I’m so dry these days! Santa neglected to gift me a humidifier this past Christmas but if you’re lucky and already have one, then you’ll really appreciate today’s guest post by Felicia Baratz. She shares 4 simple care instructions to help improve your humidifier’s health benefits!
During the cold, dry winter, a humidifier can help you sleep peacefully at night. Although humidifiers are great for keeping your skin hydrated and improving breathing, they can also be bad for your health if you don’t care for them properly. To get the most out of your humidifier and foster better health and comfort in your home, make sure to follow these recommendations:
1. Use filtered water
You wouldn’t want to drink unfiltered water, so why breathe it in? It’s true that some water contaminants will simply be too heavy to mix with the air when water turns to steam. However, others can contaminate the air and compromise your breathing ease. This can be especially dangerous while you’re sick because your immune system will be less equipped to fight off bacteria and other harmful pollutants. To avoid this risk, always fill your humidifier with filtered water for cleaner air.
2. Change water often
Sure, water isn’t going to spoil or expire or anything like that, but it can develop film and deposits that can contaminate your air. Constantly replenishing your water – about every 24 hours – helps prevent the accumulation of contaminants in between extensive cleanings. Be sure to empty the tank completely and dry the inside before refilling with clean water.
3. Clean every three days
Cleaning your humidifier is one of the most important maintenance tasks because it prevents residual contaminants from mixing with the air. Although three days is ideal, you should shoot for cleaning at least once a week. Make sure to unplug the humidifier before you clean it and apply a 3-percent hydrogen peroxide solution to the inside of the tank to fully remove film and mineral deposits. This solution can be found at your local pharmacy; but some manufacturers suggest cleaning with chlorine bleach or other disinfectants. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to prevent chemicals from becoming airborne.
4. Keep in a clear area
If you place your humidifier in a cluttered area, the moisture it produces may settle on nearby items rather than dissipating into the air. This increases the likelihood of mold and mildew growth, which can be detrimental to your health and compromise the quality of your belongings. Because of this risk, be sure to keep your humidifier in a clear area, preferably slightly elevated to keep the moisture in the air where it’s intended to be. And if you have small children or pets in your home, keep the humidifier out of their reach. Warm-mist machines do pose a slight risk for scalding, although many come equipped with safety latches to help prevent burns.
Humidifiers can have a highly positive effect on your health when used properly, but they can also be breeding grounds for bacteria, mold and mildew if not properly maintained. Fortunately, regular cleaning and the use of filtered water in your humidifier can keep your machine working properly, making the air you breathe healthier and helping you sleep easier at night.
About the Author
Felicia Baratz is a writer living in the Indianapolis area. As a writer for doseofmyown.com, she specializes in articles about health and nutrition.