To Humidify or Not to Humidify


Dry air has a lot to answer for. Many people, particularly the very young and those classed as senior citizens, can suffer respiratory problems in the summertime when the weather is…dry. If you’re retired or are nearing retirement, it could be a good idea to do some research around the subject as there’s no harm in being one step ahead of the game when it comes to your health. Air conditioners might circulate dry air through a room and keep you cool, but in doing so they also remove any moisture from the air. For senior citizens affected by dry air during these months, a humidifier could be beneficial. This said, the benefits of using a humidifier are more likely to be felt in colder months, as cold air can have a drying effect on the lungs and facial extremities. Basically, whatever time of year it is, a humidifier could be pretty useful. Here’s why.

Protection from the Flu

Humidifiers, it is claimed by some studies, can significantly reduce the risk of a person catching the flu. One study found that where humidity levels were above 40%, influenza particles were rapidly deactivated, which in effect makes those viruses much less dangerous in that the chances of infection are reduced dramatically. As with every aspect of your health, it’s always worth doing your research, particularly if you’re a retiree. 

Productive Coughs

This might be a little on the gross side, so those of a squeamish disposition might want to skip to the next one, but a productive cough lasts for a smaller amount of time than an unproductive cough. Phlegm, sticky snot and other goodness is released by a productive cough and productive coughs are aided by moisture, which can be provided by a humidifier. Better out than in, right? A humidifier can work to alleviate the symptoms of a cold, a sore throat and a cough. By eliminating the cold dry air, which dries mucus and prevents it from entering your nasal passages, a humidifier could really help you get a load of your lungs, literally. Moist air loosens mucus. Nice.

Goodbye to Snoring

It isn’t a miracle cure to snoring, sorry about that, but using a humidifier can decrease snoring as the amount of moisture in the air is increased. This gentle lubrication of the airways will have a positive effect that dry environments simply can’t match. Wet is best so run that humidifier at night time. Opinions are divided on the science behind this point, but many people have reported a distinct change in their partner’s snoring habits upon the installation of a humidifier. Snore Nation has a great break down of these contrasting opinions, with a little bit of the science thrown in for good measure.

Skin and Hair

Older people often notice that their skin and hair are affected by dry weather. Usually, in the winter time, this can make cells become fragile and weaker. Using a humidifier can increase moistness and help to alleviate dry, itchy and flaky skin.  

Good for Allergies and Asthma

If used correctly and at the right times, a humidifier could also reduce the effects if allergy and asthma symptoms by promoting a healthier and slightly damper atmosphere in the home or at work. Those people most often affected by allergies might find that their usually dry airways and sinuses feel some relief when a humidifier is used.

Good for the Home

Houseplants love humidifiers. They can’t thank you with words or gifts, but their increased verve and vibrancy should be grateful enough to show you the added worth of having a humidifier on the go. Furniture and wooden floors may well last longer in a more humid setting also, whilst static electricity build-ups are reduced and wallpaper is prevented from peeling so easily. Of course, too much humidity can cause the reverse effect but you’re unlikely to reach steaming capabilities with a humidifier.

As humid air feels much warmer than cold, dry air, humidifier users might also find that they are resorting to turning the heater on less frequently, which will save them money in the long run.

So to answer the question about whether to humidify or not, you have to evaluate the positives and make your own mind up. Just how moist do you want your air? Perhaps that is the more suitable question. 

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