A humidifier is a device that raises the humidity in a room by slowly releasing moisture into the air.
Humidifiers are used in dry environments to make them more livable and to ward off health problems associated with dry air.
A good humidifier produces a variety of benefits that our health and lifestyle experts outline in the list below.
19 Benefits Of Humidifiers
If the environment in your home is unusually dry a humidifier may help. Here are 19 benefits produced by today’s best humidifiers.
1: Humidifiers help you breathe easier.
Cool air may be good for sleeping, but too much cool, dry air can irritate the lungs, dry out your nasal passages and leave you susceptible to respiratory and sinus infections. Warm, humid air, on the other hand, encourages your entire respiratory tract to relax, enabling more air to pass. This reduces stress on your lungs and allows you to breathe easy.
2: A humidifier can help reduce dust levels in your home.
The drier the home, the more dust in the air. The more dust in the air, the more you breathe in. That might not sound like a big deal, but many researchers now believe there is a connection between dirty air and dementia (1). A humidifier adds water molecules to the air that gather up dust particles and cause them to settle onto the floor or furniture where they can be vacuumed or wiped away.
3: Humidifiers may help prevent the spread of viruses.
That may seem like a questionable claim, but it is true. A recent study concluded a simple humidifier can reduce the number of airborne virus molecules in a home by up to 85% (2). The mechanism is very similar to how the humidifier removes dust from the air. The water molecules attach themselves to the virus molecules and cause them to settle to the floor where they cannot be breathed in.
4: A humidifier can prevent your skin from drying out.
During the long winter months, the hot, dry air produced by home heating systems sucks the moisture right out of our skin, causing it to shrivel and crack. But it does not have to be that way. A humidifier can easily reverse that trend and enable you to transcend the winter months with your skin intact.
5: Humidifiers can reduce allergy symptoms.
Today’s humidifiers do a much better job of controlling how much moisture goes into the air. This prevents excess moisture from promoting the growth of molds and bacteria that can cause or aggravate allergies. Warm, moist air also soothes irritated throats and nasal passages, making seasonal allergy symptoms much easier to deal with.
6: Humidifiers are essential if you have kids.
Dry air in the home can make both adults and children more susceptible to developing allergies, asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems. A simple humidifier in your child’s room can help prevent dry air from damaging their respiratory tract.
7: A humidifier can help save your wood furniture.
Dry air may be great for preserving things like wood, but it is not great for preserving wood in its optimal state. Dried wood cracks, shrinks and loses its character. It does not take long before your expensive wooden furniture is virtually worthless. A humidifier can rescue your prized furnishings and make sure they do not wind up in your next garage sale.
8: A humidifier can create a warmer atmosphere.
When the air is dry, it feels cooler (3). Conversely, when the air is humid, it feels warmer. That is why 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the dry heat of Phoenix feels cooler than 90 degrees Fahrenheit in Washington DC, where the humidity can be oppressive. Adding a bit of moisture to the air in your home can actually make it seem warmer, even if you do not raise the setting on the thermostat.
9: Humidifiers can help reduce your winter heating bills.
If, as we just noted, you feel warmer because of the nice moist air, you are not as likely to crank the heat. This enables you to potentially save a lot of money over the course of the entire heating season.
10: A humidifier can reduce or prevent static electricity.
Static electricity (4) can produce some fun effects when it makes the hair stand up on our head and such. But shocks from static electricity are no joke. Raising the moisture content in the air can eliminate static electricity and enable you to get through the day without creating sparks everywhere you go.
11: A humidifier may help some people snore less.
No one is claiming that a humidifier can cure snoring. But, in some instances, more humid air may help the tissue inside the throat retain its naturally supple quality and thereby reduce the frequency and volume of snoring in some people.
12: Humidifiers are good for houseplants.
People sometimes forget that their houseplants have to live in the same dry air that they do. But the vast majority of houseplants are not dry weather plants. So, when they are subjected to dry air, water evaporates rapidly through pores in their leaves, just like it does through the pores in our skin. Adding a humidifier to your home is one of the best things you can do for your houseplants.
13: A humidifier can save your wood floors.
Wood floors are a joy to have and elevate the atmosphere and value of the entire house. But if they are exposed to dry air for too long, they will begin to crack and lose their structural integrity. If you have wood floors, it is important to make sure the atmosphere in your home is not allowed to get too dry.
14: Humidifiers are easy to use.
This is one of the many great things about humidifiers. All you do is top up the tank and turn them on. Most will run for the better part of the day before they need to be refilled. And many have sensors that detect the amount of humidity in the air and automatically adjust the amount of water vapor they release to keep the air just right. They are also energy efficient and easy to clean.
15: A humidifier is good for your nose.
The nose plays an important role in protecting us from airborne pollutants. It is designed to filter out dangerous particles before they reach the lungs. But the cilia (5) in the nose needs to be healthy to do this. If the air in your home is too dry, both the cilia and the mucus inside the nose dry up and lose their ability to act as filters. A humidifier can prevent that from happening.
16: A humidifier can save you money on healthcare.
How? By preventing you from developing allergies. By enabling you to sleep better and maintain a strong immune system. By relieving allergy symptoms and preventing skin problems that might drive you to the dermatologist. It also saves you money by staving off respiratory problems and preventing airborne viruses from making a victim out of you.
17: Humidifiers can save leather furniture.
Leather, by its very nature, absorbs moisture from the air. It is one reason leather clothing lasts so long; because it rehydrates itself on a regular basis. A dry home environment can cause as much damage to your expensive leather sofa as it will to your precious skin. And the results will be the same: a cracked, dry, shriveled surface. Save your leather furniture by getting a humidifier.
18: A humidifier can help relieve asthma symptoms.
Asthma attacks are scary episodes for adults and children alike. And dry airways are a known trigger for asthma attacks (6). If you or a loved one suffers from asthma, a humidifier may help prevent dry winter air from triggering an attack. Talk to your doctor about exactly what humidity setting to use to enjoy optimal benefits.
19: A humidifier can help your home retain its value.
A chronically dry atmosphere is not just tough on the people that live in the house, it is also tough on the house itself. Dry air pulls moisture from the home’s wooden framing, undermining its integrity and sapping the house of value. You may not notice the damage at a glance, but it is there. And it could well undermine your efforts to sell the house should you decide to.
The benefits of the humidifier go beyond simply preventing dry skin (although that is a very important benefit). Humidifiers can help save your furniture, relieve asthma symptoms, reduce winter heating bills, reduce dust levels and help your home retain its value.