4 Situations Where Using a Humidifier Makes Sense

humidifierAccording to the Environmental Protection Agency, the household humidity level should ideally range between 40% and 60%. Due to seasonal changes and other factors, however, the “ideal” may be hard to maintain. In winter, outdoor air is naturally drier and forced-air heating installed in most homes lowers humidity even more. During summer, extended use of the air conditioner also extracts humidity from the air and may overly dry the indoor environment. A humidifier can help restore balance and keep household levels within the EPA-recommended range. Here are some scenarios where use of a humidifier makes sense:

  • When you experience dry skin. Dry air often results in dry, chapped skin that itches and causes other irritations. Restoring proper humidity to the air is often a more long-term solution than using topical skin lotions that offer only temporary relief.
  • When allergy symptoms occur. When air is excessively dry, certain microscopic allergens such as common dust, mold spores and lint particles are more likely to be stirred up and remain airborne where they may be inhaled. Increasing humidity generally keeps airborne particulate counts lower.
  • When your home is getting creaky. Older houses are often affected by conditions of chronic low humidity. Building materials shrink and split over the years as wood naturally dries out. Paint also dries up and flakes and caulking that seals windows and other joints becomes hard and deteriorates. Squeaky wooden floors are another sign of a dry environment and resultant shrinkage may also cause gaps between floorboards. A humidifier keeps humidity levels more consistent in all seasons and prevents drying of wooden structure.
  • When static electricity is a problem. When indoor air is overly dry, an electrostatic charge builds up as you walk across materials like carpeting or slide across a sofa. Touching a conductive surface like a doorknob then zaps you with a shock that is painful and annoying. Higher indoor humidity causes static electricity to naturally dissipate and makes daily life less shocking.

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