When the air is too dry inside your home, a humidifier can be used to increase the level of moisture. However, it must be used properly to be beneficial.
It is recommended to keep the humidity inside your home between 40% and 50%. Too little humidity can irritate the eyes, nose, and mouth and promote the survival of certain viruses. Too much humidity contributes to the growth of mould and certain bacteria.
Types of humidifiers
There are three types of humidifiers:
- Vaporizers: These send out a hot mist to humidify the air. It's important to keep these humidifiers out of the way to avoid burns.
- Cool-mist humidifiers: These humidify the air without heating the water. Instead, they send a cold mist into the air.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers: A fine mist is produced by ultrasound and dispersed into the air.
All three types are equally effective.
Effects related to humidifier use
When used properly, humidifiers can help reduce dryness of the nose, throat, lips, and skin. They can also help if you have breathing problems.
When used improperly, humidifiers can aggravate asthma, allergies, and breathing problems. In fact, the stagnant water in the reservoir is a very favourable environment for the growth of germs. Bacteria and mould can form if the reservoir is not emptied and water is left sitting in the tank. Restarting the humidifier can then send these germs into the air of your home.
Humidifiers are not recommended for asthmatic children with laryngitis or bronchiolitis.
The following guidelines are recommended to ensure the safe use of your humidifier:
- Make sure the water reservoir is empty when the humidifier is not in use:
- Empty the reservoir as soon as the humidifier is switched off
- Fill it up just before turning the humidifier on
- Disinfect the reservoir regularly according to the manufacturer's recommendations
- Prefer distilled water instead of tap water
- Stay clear of the spray and keep the humidifier out of reach of children if you're using a vaporizer
- Keep the humidity level below 50%