Why You Should Be Using a Humidifier

humidifier bedroom
(Photo: Compact Appliance)

By now, you know winter can wreak havoc on your looks, causing dry, flaky skin and unsightly chapped lips. But did you know winter dryness can also affect everything from your teeth to your throat -- and even contribute to the onset of the flu virus?

Thankfully, there’s an easy way to combat the winter woes. It’s as simple as using a humidifier. Believe it or not, humidity has an incredibly positive effect on your health. Adding moisture to the area around you helps reverse the cold weather’s harsh impact on your body.

Throat and Nasal Passages

You’re probably most familiar with the use of humidifiers at night to help improve sleep. Besides adding comfort, they’ve also been linked to a decrease in snoring, as dry-climate related allergies can flare up at night.

Fighting the Flu

Humidity has an impressively positive effect when it comes to protecting your body from the flu. According to a study published in Environmental Health, humidifiers help create an environment in which the flu virus cannot survive. The study proved that homes kept at 40-60 percent relative humidity are likely to have fewer flu viruses lingering in the air and on surfaces like sink faucets, door handles and counter tops.

Oral Health

Humidifiers help support saliva production, a process that preserves the health of the oral cavity, gums and throat. Maintaining proper moisture and hydration can also keep bacteria under control and fight the dreaded dry mouth, which can be brought on by stress, medications or diet and can lead to painful swallowing if left untreated.

Your Skin

It’s fairly obvious that the cold weather inhibits your skin from holding onto moisture like it can when it’s warmer; however, blasting the heat won’t help matters either. Both lower humidity in the cold outdoor air and dry heat inside your home lead to an increase of water loss from the skin, leaving you feeling itchy and dry.

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But incorporating a humidifier into your daily routine can help replenish moisture loss and even soothe frustrating skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. The way it works? The humidification of the air opens up skin’s pores and helps the skin to breathe better, which is why aestheticians use humidifiers and steamers during facials.

The Purchase

Since we can't make a daily trip to the spa, turning up the humidity at home is a great option to look and feel better this winter. And while it's not the most complicated or expensive investment, we recommend you do some research before buying a humidifier. Decide if you want warm or cool mist, look into humidifiers with a "nighttime" or "quiet" setting and consider maintenance and size in relation to the time you have and the size of your home. Every humidifier will increase the moisture content of the air in your home, but it's important to consider features and conveniences that may be important to your health concerns and lifestyle.