Should You Leave a Humidifier Running All Day During the Winter?
During the winter, running the heat more often in your house can dry out the air. Along with being uncomfortable, colder, drier air can contribute to diseases and illness. It’s worth considering running a humidifier throughout the winter. A humidifier running all day and all night increases moisture in the air at a steady level. It may make your home or office a healthier place.
Reasons to Run a Humidifier During the Winter
Humidifiers can be an excellent solution to a number of winter-related problems. Here are a few of the benefits of using a humidifier during the cold winter months.
- Lowers the Chances of Illness
Bacteria and viruses do not move as well in higher humidity. One study from 2013, as an example, found increasing a property’s humidity level up to 43% or higher decreased the capacity of airborne viruses to lead to flu-related infections. The likelihood of getting an airborne virus was 14% when the humidity is at 43% or higher in the study. By contrast, a drier environment led to a 70-77% rate of getting an airborne virus.
- Helps Dry Skin
Cold, dry air sucks the moisture out of your skin. This can create all types of issues, such as dryness, itching, flaking, red spots as well as premature aging. Humidifiers can assist in fighting these problems through the winter. The indoor humidity of furnace-heated air can drop to 10% or below. A humidifier, be it for one room or a larger whole-house unit, adds moisture to the air, which is easier on your skin. This can help stop all the damaging effects of winter on you skin and overall health.
- Relieves Bronchial Asthma
Kids and adults with asthma usually discover humidifiers are valuable for easier, healthier breathing. This can be more important specifically when someone is trying to deal with an asthmatic condition and a respiratory infection. If you have asthma and are considering using a humidifier, check with your doctor before using it.
- Stops Snoring
If you’re a snorer, it may seem impossible to do anything about a dry throat, mouth and sinus overnight. Running a humidifier all night can help you get more comfortable sleep and feel much better when you wake up. This can have numerous health and energy benefits. Running the humidifier throughout the day might additionally help keep your throat feeling good, this will also decrease usual irritation related to snoring and drying out overnight.
What to Look for in a Humidifier?
There are basically two sorts of humidifiers: warm and cool. A cool mist humidifier puts moisture into the air and lowers the temperature by about a couple degrees for added comfort.
A warm mist, or steam, humidifier has a heating element and sends out steam. It’s typically a slight mist and a very safe level and temperature of steam.
Both types, cool and warm, are made to give the room or area they’re in a right, consistent level of humidity. Both add moisture to a dry area. They equally provide benefits when it comes to problems like chapped lips, irritated sinuses, sore throats, other common illnesses, bloody noses, dry skin, asthma, snoring and more breathing difficulties.
Beyond the temperature, there are more types and functions of humidifiers to consider. Check out what sounds best for you or your family.
- Ultrasonic humidifier: This humidifier uses ultrasonic resonance to produce a cooling mist. The mist disperses throughout a room or larger area and evaporates.
- Impeller humidifier: Similar to an ultrasonic humidifier, an impeller humidifier creates a cool moisture yet it does so making use of a turning disk.
- Evaporator: An evaporator humidifier functions with a fan blowing air through a damp belt or filter to create and send out a cool mist.
- Steam or vapor humidifier: A steam humidifier creates steam. The humidifier cools it to a safe level before releasing it into the room as a mist.
Each of these humidifiers will help you keep the right moisture level in your house. They function in different ways. The cost of the different styles varies as well as the usual maintenance they will need.
Once you have a humidifier, you need to keep it maintained. Good upkeep keeps the unit functioning and is about safety.
When a humidifier’s storage tank or filter gets dirty, it can breed mold and germs. In this case, you might have started using the humidifier to help someone with asthma, allergies or another condition. Instead, you now have something in a bedroom, office or another room making the room’s environment worse. Here are some ideas and suggestions to easily care for a humidifier:- Change the water in the tank as often as instructed. It’s probably smart to change it more often if it’s running all day or all night.
- Use distilled or demineralized water rather than tap water.
- Clean your humidifier every three days to remove buildup of minerals, film, dust and mold. You can use hydrogen peroxide or an additional disinfectant.
- Rinse your water container well after cleaning so cleaning chemicals aren’t put into the air.
- Change your humidifier filters at least as often as the maker suggests. Again, this might need to be more often depending on how many hours your running the unit.
- Make sure the area around your humidifier is not wet.
- If you put the humidifier away for part of the year, completely drain, clean and dry all parts of it before leaving it alone for months.
At South End Heating and Air we specialize in HVAC and furnace repair, call us for a free consult. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? Give us a call 704-684-5339.