For many years, I was a naysayer as to the actual benefits of a home humidifier – I mean, seriously, how could pumping steam into your home have any genuine health benefit? It’s almost sounds like a cruel joke – a scam – played upon millions of hapless and deluded homemakers who believe anything they see on TV. But I was wrong.
Firstly, dry air feels colder. This is especially important in the Winter, when most countries will have much dryer air. By humidifying your room, the air will physically feel warmer – so this has the added benefit of actually reducing your home heating bill (heating our homes is the number one energy usage in our homes). 69F at 35% humidity feels as warm as 72F at 19% humidity.
Secondly, you should consider getting a humidifier immediately if you have a lot of wooden furniture and flooring – low humidity environments can cause wooden floors to even crack, and it can be especially damaging to high investment items such as valuable or antique musical instruments.
Thirdly, there are distinct health benefits, related to both skin and the respiratory system. Many people find that their legs and arms become itchy during the winter, even if they cover up and wear lots of clothing. The problem is that their skin becomes dryer. Adding a humidifier can eliminate these and help to relieve symptoms (avoiding so many hot showers is another, by the way). Other symptoms can be attributed to low humidity such as aches and pains, sore eyes, a raspy throat, and even having difficulty concentrating. A lot of people will find a home humidifier helps them breathe easily too – particularly asthma sufferers. Keeping the airways moist will also reduce your susceptibility to infection by allowing the tiny cilia hairs to function correctly.
So what is the ideal humidity? Experts say that 35-40% is optimal – at extremely high levels of moisture, mold will begin to form and will actually be detrimental to your health and home. A quick way to test if your house is too moist is to look at the windows – if they are wet to the touch, the house is too moist.
Any home will see the outlined benefits of humidification almost immediately, so what are you waiting for? You might be surprised at how many of those nagging health problems can be directly attributed to the lack of moisture. I know I was shocked!