Dry air can wreak havoc on you and your home so let’s see how a humidifier benefits you. When there’s too much dry air in your house, your furniture and your wooden floors will all gradually start to change shape and become unsightly. But more alarmingly, dry air will have a negative effect on your body. Getting enough moisture back into the air is where you’ll start to see how a humidifier benefits you.
Think about your body for a moment. More than 50% of your skin, the largest organ in your body, is comprised of water. When your skin loses moisture it starts to dry out and become itchy. Skin will start to crack and flake off and you’ll soon become irritable.
Then there’s your respiratory system. Air firstly enters your body through your nose. As your nose is one of the most sensitive parts of the body, it detects tiny changes in the atmosphere and if it detects the air is too dry, it’ll start to get itchy, making you slightly uncomfortable.
On a more serious level, as the air makes its way from your nose towards your lungs, it travels through your bronchial tubes. These are lined with a film of mucous, which keeps out dust and pollutants. However when the air is too dry, the mucous will start to evaporate, leaving you subsceptible to repiratory problems.
It’s easy to see here how a humidifier benefits you, in that a humidifier is designed to put moisture back in the air, until it reaches a comfortable realative humidity level.
Relative humidity is the amount of moisture in the air expressed as a percentage of the amount of moisture needed for that same air to become completely saturated. This figure can change according to what the temperature is, which is why we use a ‘relative’ measurement rather than an ‘absolute’ measurement.
- 0% Relative Humidity : Air is completely dry
- 10% Relative Humidity : Air feels dry
- 50% Relative Humidity : Comfortable
- 80% Relative Humidity : Air feels heavy
- 100% Relative Humidity : Fog and Haze begins to appear
A comfortable relative humidity level is between 40 and 60%. You should always check what the relative humidity level is in your room by using a hygrometer, which you can pick up pretty cheap these days.
Why do I need a hygrometer? can’t I just use an app ?
A hygrometer has sensors to detect moisture in the air. It takes a physical reading wherever you take it. If you use it in a dry room you’ll get an accurate humidity level for that room, then if you take it into the bathroom after someone has showered then you’ll get a higher accurate reading.
Apps that show you humidity levels are simply showing you what the outside humidity level is in your area, in the same way that a weather report will tell you the current outside temperature.
Signs you need a humidifier
A way to test if your house is too dry is to fill a glass with water and put some ice in it. Leave it on the table for about 5 minutes. After five minutes check the glass to see if there is any moisture on the outside of it. If you can’t feel moisture on the outside of the glass then it’s a sure indication that your house is too dry and needs humidifying.
Can you use a humidifier for asthma ?
Yes you can, Dry air, as we mentioned above, can cause the mucous to evaporate from your bronchial tubes. The bronchial tubes will then narrow allowing less air through, making it hard to breathe. At the same time your body will try and compensate for the evaporated mucous and will go into mucous production overdrive, producing far too much of it. Too much mucous can trigger an asthma attack. So having the right humidity level is key to reducing the chances of asthma attacks being triggered.
What are some other humidifier benefits?
Have you ever met anyone in the world who likes static electricity? No I guess not. The build up of static increases when the air gets too dry. If you work around computers you may find this happens a lot to you. I can vouch for that. A while back I was working on a computer all day, in a very dry studio environment. I used to dread the regular visit to the local supermarket. The reason was I’d get numerous shocks simply trying to grab a can of soup. If the air in your house is too dry then you may find this happening to you as well. But regularly running a humidifier will ensure it doesn’t.
Protect your furniture
Say you have a lot of wood in your home. Wooden furniture, wooden floors, wooden doors. It’s not going to thank you for letting all the dry air into the house. When wood gets too dry it starts change shape. Floorboards will start to creak, window frames will start to show gaps. Furniture can start to distort. Maintaining a comfortable level of humidity will prolong the life of your furniture. And let’s face it, good quality wooden furniture doesn’t come cheap. That $2000 table with it’s beautiful straight lines starts to lose its value and its straightness. Humidifiers on the other hand can be bought very cheap and can really be a no-brainer to pay $30-50 for the humidifier benefits, in order to save thousands of dollars of designer furniture.
Keep Musical Instruments in Tune
I used to have a little home recording studio in a room that was far too dry. My guitars would never stay in tune. I tried different techniques for winding new strings, stretching the strings. Polishing them with expensive oils didn’t work. Adjusting the necks didn’t make a difference. I even bought new guitars in the vain hope that they’d stay in tune for longer.
It wasn’t until years later that I realised that the room was just too dry. The wooden necks on the guitars would warp. The same would happen to violins and pianos. Having the correct humidity level, which is essentially the comfortable 40%-60% relative humidity level is imperitive to maintaining musical instruments and just like the wooden furniture, musical instruments can be very expensive indeed. A humidifier costing less than $50 is a small price to pay to keep your treasured instruments sounding awesome.
Stop nose bleeding in children
And adults of course, but a friend of mine had this frightening experience recently with two of her children. Both were experiencing frequent nosebleeds and she was naturally getting more and more concerned as to the cause. She didn’t realise at the time that dry air is the most common cause of nosebleeds. The dry air in her home was a major factor in this. She ended up using a humidifier to control the air in her home, but also now actively carries out a lot of the natural techniques to humidify a room that we discuss here.
Dry air cough
Cold dry air will aggravate an existing cough and will also irritate your nose. If you already have a cough and an itchy nose then dry air will make it a whole lot worse. It feels worse because the air will dry out your air passages. A humidifier will put moisture back into the air, making it easier to breathe.
As you can see, there are many ways in which a humidifier benefits your home and most importantly, your health.