The problems caused by dry air include health and property damage. Very dry air can aggravate respiratory problems. It can make people's skin dry. It can damage art work. When the air is too dry wood shrinks, and that can warp furniture or cause larger gaps or cracks in wood flooring.
Warmer air can hold more water. Heating the air causes the relative humidity to be lower. So a humidifier is more likely to be needed in cold weather when the air is being heated. Some heaters have built in humidifiers to compensate for their drying effects.
A humidifier may also be helpful when a child is sick. (Check with your doctor first.) You may find that you like the effect when you're sick. Some humidifiers have features that let you add airborne medicines, like menthol.
Some humidifiers are intended to add humidity to a room. Others are connected to a heating system, especially a forced air system, to help compensate for the drying effects of the heating. These systems are designed to humidify many rooms or even an entire building.
Tips and HintsEdit
- Make sure the humidifier is well dried when not in use.
- Some humidifiers have filters which need to be changed regularly.
- Don't aim the tip or nozzle of a humidifier directly at something that you don't want to be damp.
- size and amount of water held
- amount of noise made while running
- Does it have a sensor?
- Does it have different levels or speeds?
- ease of refilling
- hot or cold system (how is the water made to evaporate?)
- power usage
- size for storage and fitting into place while in use
- scent or menthol capabilities
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on CPSC ISSUES ALERT ABOUT CARE OF ROOM HUMIDIFIERS: Safety Alert: Dirty Humidifiers May Cause Health Problems CPSC Document #5046
- Mayo Clinic on Humidifiers: Air moisture eases skin, breathing symptoms - Humidifiers can ease problems caused by dry air. But they need regular maintenance. Here are tips to ensure your humidifier doesn't become a household health hazard.
- Detailed information on the best humidifiers online - Discussing the differences between the many styles of machines.