Despite the breathtaking snowscape provided by the winter months, the cold, frigid air that accompanies that beautiful blanket of snow can wreak havoc on your health. Can using a humidifier during winter months help combat those winter woes?
The Benefits of Using a Humidifier During Winter
While we recommend using a humidifier during the spring and summer months in addition to the fall and winter months, using a humidifier during winter is particularly compelling. As we discussed in the previous section, the winter months are devoid of moisture, making regular humidifier use essential to optimal health.
Using a humidifier during winter to maintain a favorable 40-60% humidity level in your home can produce the following benefits: prevent the spread of airborne viruses and bacteria, improve health recovery time, improve snoring, treat dry winter skin, and more.
Prevent the Spread of Airborne Viruses & Bacteria
One of the most impressive benefits of using a humidifier during winter months is the effect of elevated humidity levels on airborne viruses and bacteria.
A 2013 study revealed that a humidity level of at least 43% decreased the survival rate of approximately 85% of airborne pathogens commonly found in the home. How is this even possible?
Airborne pathogens are much more agile in a dry or dehydrated environment where they can float through the air unadulterated. When you introduce moisture into a space, the airborne pathogens bond with the water molecules. The weight of this bond becomes too heavy to remain suspended in the air causing the bonded pathogens to drop to the ground.
Improve Health Recovery Time
Common colds and the flu produce symptoms that tend to linger for days to weeks on end: congestion, dry cough, runny nose, and more. When the air in your home drops below 30% humidity, the resulting dry air only exacerbates your symptoms.
Increasing the moisture in your home by way of a humidifier will lubricate the nasal passage and throat, improving dry cough and congestion. Not only will the elevated home humidity levels dissipate any lingering cold or flu symptoms, it will also accelerate recovery by improving comfort levels and assisting your body with its natural rehabilitation process.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, 45% of adults snore occasionally while 25% of adults snore regularly. With such high numbers, it is quite evident that snoring is a common household problem.
Generally, snoring is induced by a restricted airway caused by the relaxation of the facial and throat muscles during sleep cycles. Introducing a humidifier into the bedroom while you sleep will allow the elevated moisture levels to reduce inflammation in the nasal passage and throat, soothing irritated airways. The result is a reduction in the frequency and fervor of you or your partner’s snoring.
Treat Dry, Winter Skin
One of the most common winter ailments is dry, chapped, raw, and irritated skin. The skin around your nose, your lips, your hands, your legs… It seems that no skin surface is unaffected by the harsh, dry winter air.
Your skin is composed of 10-30% water content, which comes from sweat, the atmosphere, and the underlying layers of your skin. Your skin’s natural oils work as moisturizers, sealing moisture into your skin and preventing water loss. When the air outdoors and indoors lacks sufficient moisture, it draws moisture from your skin. The dryer the air, the more aggressively your skin loses moisture to the environment. The result is dry, red, inflamed, and itchy skin.
A major benefit of using a humidifier during winter months is the radical improvement of dry, winter skin. The increased moisture in the environment reduces the rate at which your skin loses moisture to the environment, ensuring your skin remains hydrated and supple all season long.
Additional Benefits of Humidifiers
In addition to preventing the spread of airborne viruses and bacteria, improving recovery time from the cold and flu, improving snoring, and treating dry, winter skin, using a humidifier during winter has the following benefits:
- Alleviate allergy symptoms
- Improve asthma symptoms
- Improve breathing and congestion in infants
- Improve a dry, flaky scalp and hydrate dry strands
- Reduce static electricity in the home
- Improve the health and lifespan of houseplants
- Prevent wood damage to furniture and your home foundation
The Best Humidifier for Winter Months
When deciding on the best humidifier to accompany you through the harsh, winter months, you may want to consider the following features: safety, output, run time, and maintenance. Let us explain.
Do you have an infant, small child, or a curious pet in your home?
If so, safety is obviously a major concern when choosing the best humidifier during winter months. Cool mist humidifiers are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for households with infants and small children. A warm mist humidifier or vaporizer is considered a burn hazard since curious hands could pull on the humidifying device spilling boiling water on their hands, face, or other body part.
Output is a key feature when considering the best humidifier for your home. Output refers to total square footage that your humidifier can reach based on the size of the device, the tank size, and power.
If you plan to humidify your bedroom, it is helpful to pinpoint the square footage of your bedroom before selecting a humidifier. You will need a humidifier with an output of at least the square footage of your bedroom to effectively humidify the space. The same goes with any room in your home.
Sufficient Run Time
How often do you plan to run your humidifier? Do you plan to use your humidifier as a sleep aid? Do you plan to keep your humidifier on all day long through the winter months?
It is essential to consider run time when purchasing a humidifier. The run time refers to the duration of time your device will operate with a full water tank before shutting off. If you plan to use your humidifier through the night, consider a humidifier with at least 8 hours of run time. If you plan to run your humidifier through the day, consider a humidifier with longer run times to reduce the frequency of tank refills.
Lastly, but certainly not the least of your consideration is maintenance requirements. While there are major benefits of running a humidifier during winter months, it can easily be trumped by complicated device maintenance requirements.
Choosing a humidifying device with minimal maintenance requirements will ensure your device stays produces fresh, clean moisture all season long.
Canopy Humidifier is a no-mist, anti-mold humidifier with 36 hour run time, built-in aroma diffusion and dishwasher-safe componentry. Canopy features unique SPA™ technology that virtually stops mold from developing in the water tank. Built-in smart sensors keep your device running until the 2.5 liter tank and water tray is completely dry and a disposable paper filter traps any remaining contaminants from entering the hydrated air stream. Canopy Humidifier is truly an anti-mold humidifier.