If someone in your home has allergies or asthma, a humidifier can be beneficial. Increased humidity in your home can help ease breathing in both children and adults. It can also help reduce symptoms of respiratory infections, such as a cold, as well as dry skin and cracked lips.  When using a humidifier in your home, however, you must monitor the humidity levels.

Different Types of Humidifiers

Humidifiers emit steam or water vapor into the air to increase moisture levels. There are different types you can choose from including:

  • Steam vaporizers: This type of humidifier uses electricity to create steam in the air. The humidifier cools the vapor before it is released.
  • Central humidifiers:  If you use a central humidifier, it is built into your home heating and air conditioning system.
  • Evaporators: An evaporator uses a fan that blows air through a wet belt, filter, or wick.
  • Impeller humidifier: If you choose this humidifier, it features a rotating disk that produces cool mist in the air.

Humidity Levels in Your Home

You need to keep a watch on the humidity levels in your home. Humidity is how much water vapor is in the air, and it is generally higher in the hot summer months, and lower during the cold winter months.

It is recommended that you maintain a relative humidity that is below 50%. If you live in a colder climate, you will need lower levels to prevent condensation on surfaces, such as windows.

If the humidity levels in your home are too high or too low it can cause problems, such as:

  • High humidity: If the levels are too high, it will cause condensation on your windows, floors, walls, and more. This condensation causes the growth of molds, dust mites, and harmful bacteria. This can trigger an asthma or allergy flare-up, as well as cause other respiratory problems.
  • Low humidity. If your home has low humidity, it can irritate your throat and nasal passages. It can also make your eyes itchy, and make your skin dry.

Measuring the Humidity Levels in Your Home

There is a tool that you can purchase from many hardware stores called a hygrometer. This tool works by measuring how much moisture is in the air. You can purchase humidifiers that have a built in hygrometer so you can keep a constant check on these levels.

Talk with your doctor before you purchase a humidifier for your home. They will be able to tell you what will work best for you for the medical problem you or your family is having.