Humidifier Benefits and Side Effects to Be Aware Of

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Humidifier Benefits

Dry air in your home can cause various problems, from itchy skin to respiratory issues. 

A humidifier can help you combat the adverse effects of dry air. Still, it’s essential to be aware of the potential humidifier benefits and side effects before you make a purchase.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using a humidifier and share some tips on how to avoid the potential side effects.

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Top Choice
Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
  • Ultrasonic humidifier has 1.6 gallon tank that works in rooms up to 500 sq feet and lasts for up to 50 hours
  • Includes essential oil tray to circulate into the cool mist
  • 2 year replacement policy
9.8
Check Price on Amazon
Best Value
AquaOasis™ Cool Mist Humidifier
AquaOasis™ Cool Mist Humidifier
  • Quiet ultrasonic humidifier runs for continuous 24 hours with auto shutoff
  • Multiple mist settings and 360° rotating nozzle for direction control
  • Lifetime warranty
9.5
Check Price on Amazon
WiFi
LEVOIT Wi-Fi Cool Mist Humidifier
LEVOIT Wi-Fi Cool Mist Humidifier
  • Smart control via the free VeSync app to monitor humidity in real-time with programmed timers, customized schedules, voice control, or let the auto mode make adjustments for you
  • Ultrasonic, customizable, quiet mist for 40 hours
  • BPA-free, essential oil tray
9.6
Check Price on Amazon

Humidifier Benefits

Here are some of the most significant ways that you may benefit from running a humidifier in your home.

1. Reduces the Spread of Germs

One of the main humidifier benefits of using a humidifier is that it can help reduce the spread of germs in your home. 

When the air is dry, viruses and bacteria can travel more quickly and stay airborne for extended periods of time. But when the air is moist, these particles are more likely to fall to the ground and be less easily inhaled.

This effect has been backed up by studies that have found that increased humidity levels reduced the spread of influenza (source).

So, if you’re looking for ways to reduce your family’s exposure to illness, a humidifier may be a helpful addition to your home.

2. Soothes Allergies and Asthma

A humidifier can be a godsend if you or someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma. 

Dry air can worsen these conditions by drying out the mucous membranes in the nose and throat, making them more susceptible to irritants. The increased moisture in the air from a humidifier can help to moisturize these membranes, providing relief from symptoms.

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, be sure to consult with your doctor before using a humidifier to ensure it’s the proper treatment for you. Humidity levels that are too high can also cause issues for allergies and respiratory issues.

3. Moisturizes Skin and Hair

Dry air can wreak havoc on your skin and hair, causing them to become sensitive, cracked, and brittle. 

Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which can help to keep your skin and hair hydrated. This can prevent wrinkles, static electricity in your hair, split ends, and itchy or flaky skin.

If you live in a particularly dry climate or suffer from conditions like eczema or psoriasis, a humidifier may be a helpful addition to your skincare routine.

4. May Loosen Congestion

If you’re struggling with a cold or sinus infection, the increased moisture in the air from a humidifier may help to loosen congestion and make breathing easier. 

The steam from a humidifier can also help to soothe irritated mucous membranes, providing relief from coughing and sore throat.

Be sure to keep your humidifier clean to avoid worsening your congestion or respiratory problems.

Related: The Best Place to Put a Humidifier

5. May Help with Other Irritations

Aside from the other health issues already mentioned, a humidifier may help ease or reduce the discomfort from minor irritations like dry throat, chapped or cracked lips, dry eyes, nose bleeds, or other nose irritations.

A humidifier can also help to reduce static electricity in your home, which can be a nuisance.

6. Reduce Snoring

If you or your partner snores, a humidifier may help to reduce the noise. 

Dry air can contribute to snoring by irritating the throat and nasal passages. The increased moisture in the air from a humidifier can help to lubricate these areas and reduce snoring.

Of course, if you’re struggling with chronic snoring, it’s best to consult with a doctor as there may be other underlying causes that need to be addressed.

7. Improves Comfort Level of the Air

Whether you live in a dry climate or your home just doesn’t seem to retain moisture well, running a humidifier can improve the comfort level of the air if it usually is too dry. 

If the air in your home feels particularly dry, it can actually make you feel colder as dry air will suck the moisture out of your skin. This can lead to increased static electricity, itchiness, and cracking skin.

Adding humidity to the air can help to alleviate these issues and make your home feel more comfortable overall.

Side Effects or Risks of Humidifiers

While there are many potential humidifier benefits, there are also some side effects that you should be aware of. If not used properly, humidifiers can worsen some conditions and cause new ones.

Here are some of the most common side effects of using a humidifier.

1. Excessive Humidity Levels

The humidity levels in your home can become too high. This can occur if you use your humidifier too much or if you don’t have proper ventilation.

Excessive humidity levels can cause several problems, including several that are mentioned below. Be sure to monitor the humidity levels in your home with a hygrometer to ensure they stay within the safe range of 30-50%.

2. Could Spread Germs

It’s essential to regularly clean out the humidifier and tank. The damp environment can be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, which can then be released into the air along with the water vapor. The key to preventing these issues is simply cleaning (and drying) the humidifier frequently to kill any germs.

50-Hour Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifiers for Bedroom (6L) - Quiet, Filterless Humidifiers for Large Room w/ Essential Oils Tray - Small Air Vaporizer for Baby, Kids & Nursery - Everlasting ComfortUltrasonic Cool Mist Humidifiers

Check the price on Amazon

3. Can Put Minerals Into the Air

If you use tap water in your humidifier, the minerals in the water can become airborne and spread throughout your home. This isn’t necessarily harmful (except that it’s harmful to the humidifier itself), but it can lead to issues like white dust on surfaces or furniture.

You can avoid this problem by using distilled water instead of tap water. Or, if you prefer, you can install a whole-house humidifier that is connected to your home’s water supply. This type of humidifier will remove minerals from the water before it is released into the air.

4. Mold and Bacteria Growth

Humidity and moisture are the perfect conditions for mold and bacteria to grow. These can cause severe respiratory problems, so you must take steps to prevent their growth.

Again, the key is to monitor the humidity level in your home to ensure that it is not too high and avoid using a humidifier in rooms susceptible to mold growth.

5. Encourages Dust Mites

Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in humid environments. They are too small to see and feed on the dead skin cells we shed daily.

If you have dust mite allergies, using a humidifier can worsen your symptoms. Keeping the humidity level below 50% will help to prevent dust mites from becoming an issue.

AquaOasis™ Cool Mist Humidifier {2.2L Water Tank} Quiet Ultrasonic Humidifiers for Bedroom & Large room - Adjustable -360 Rotation Nozzle, Auto-Shut Off, Humidifiers for Babies Nursery & Whole HouseAquaOasis™ Cool Mist Humidifier

Related: What’s the Difference Between Air Purifier and Humidifier?

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Tips to Avoid or Minimize the Side Effects

Now that you know some of the potential side effects of using a humidifier, here are some tips to help you avoid them.

Clean Your Humidifier Regularly

This is the most important thing you can do to avoid humidifier problems. Be sure to clean out the tank and base of your humidifier frequently (daily if possible) to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

Use Purified or Distilled Water

If you’re using a portable humidifier, be sure to use distilled or purified water to fill it. This will help to prevent minerals from being released into the air.

LEVOIT Humidifiers for Bedroom, Smart Wi-Fi Cool Mist Essential Oils Diffuser in one, 4L Ultrasonic Air Vaporizer for plants, baby, Quiet for home large room, nursery, 40 Hours, Classic 200S, BlueLEVOIT Humidifiers

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Check the Humidity Levels

Monitor the humidity level in your home. Use a hygrometer to keep an eye on the relative humidity in your home. Aim for a level between 30-50%. If the level goes above 50%, stop using the humidifier.

Stop Use if Allergies or Health Issues Worsen

If you have allergies or respiratory problems, pay close attention to how your symptoms change when you use a humidifier. If they worsen, it’s best to discontinue use.

Only Use as Needed

Humidifiers are most effective when used sparingly.  Only use it when necessary to avoid problems associated with high humidity levels.

Whether using a humidifier to ease the symptoms of a cold or prevent static electricity in your home, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects. Following the tips above, you can minimize the risks and enjoy the humidifier benefits without worrying.

Should I Use a Humidifier?

Whether or not you should use a humidifier in your home depends on several factors. If the humidity level in your home is below 30%, using a humidifier can help to prevent problems like static electricity and dry skin.

If you live in an area with high humidity, you may want to avoid using a humidifier as it could make your indoor environment too moist and encourage the growth of mold and dust mites.

If you have respiratory problems, talk to your doctor about whether or not using a humidifier is right for you. In some cases, it may help ease symptoms, while in other cases, it could worsen them.

Related: Can a Diffuser Be Used as a Humidifier?

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Top Choice
Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
  • Ultrasonic humidifier has 1.6 gallon tank that works in rooms up to 500 sq feet and lasts for up to 50 hours
  • Includes essential oil tray to circulate into the cool mist
  • 2 year replacement policy
9.8
Check Price on Amazon
Best Value
AquaOasis™ Cool Mist Humidifier
AquaOasis™ Cool Mist Humidifier
  • Quiet ultrasonic humidifier runs for continuous 24 hours with auto shutoff
  • Multiple mist settings and 360° rotating nozzle for direction control
  • Lifetime warranty
9.5
Check Price on Amazon
WiFi
LEVOIT Wi-Fi Cool Mist Humidifier
LEVOIT Wi-Fi Cool Mist Humidifier
  • Smart control via the free VeSync app to monitor humidity in real-time with programmed timers, customized schedules, voice control, or let the auto mode make adjustments for you
  • Ultrasonic, customizable, quiet mist for 40 hours
  • BPA-free, essential oil tray
9.6
Check Price on Amazon

Final Thoughts on Humidifier Benefits and Side Effects

While there are many potential benefits to using a humidifier, there are also some side effects that you should be aware of. By taking some simple precautions, you can avoid many humidifier problems.

Be sure to clean your humidifier regularly, use distilled water, and monitor the humidity levels in your home to ensure they stay within the safe range. If you have allergies or respiratory problems, pay close attention to your symptoms and discontinue use if they worsen.

With some care, you can enjoy all the humidifier benefits without worrying about the potential drawbacks.

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