Air humidity eases some skin and lungs issues caused by dry air like cracked lips, cold symptoms, and a bloody nose.
Humidifiers are useful but they also may harm your health if the air moisture level is too high for a long time. That’s why it is necessary to check the humidity level and keep the device clean.
Of course, if you suffer from asthma or allergies, consult a doctor before purchasing this device.
High humidity may ease the condition of those who suffer from allergies or asthma, and respiratory infections like a cold.
What is a Humidifier?
A humidifier is a device emitting water steam to increase moisture in the air (humidity level).
There are 5 types of them:
- Central humidifiers are built into home air conditioning and heating systems, they are created to increase moisture level in the whole house.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers produce ultrasonic vibration and a cool mist as a result. They are the most fastidious but the most productive at the same time. Its work is based on the conversion of electromagnetic frequencies into mechanical vibrations. The process is complicated and the requirements for the water are very high. Water for such a humidifier must be demineralized and distilled. Otherwise, you will have to change cartridges very often, and their price is very high.
- Impeller humidifiers create a cool mist with the help of a rotating disk. If you use usual tap water, its cartridge quickly clogged, and it will have to be changed.
- Evaporators blow air through a wet wick, belt or filter with the help of a fan.
- Steam vaporizers produce cooled steam using electricity. If you have a child or pets take care of the right place for the device. It should work far from them as hot water inside it may cause burns if spilled.
Perfect Humidity Levels
Humidity level is the amount of vapor in the air. It varies depending on the weather, season and the location you live in. In fact, it is higher in the summer and it is getting lower in winter as the heating systems dry up the air. This smart device also helps in the summer to cope with the problem of very dry, dusty air in an apartment.
High humidity level makes your apartments stuffy and provokes condensation surfaces. Extra moisture provokes the growth of mold, harmful bacteria, and dust mites. These are allergens causing respiratory issues and asthma and allergy reactions.
How You Can Measure Humidity
The best device to check the humidity level in your home is a hygrometer.
It looks like a thermometer, but it measures the amount of moisture in the air.
You will find hygrometers at hardware and department stores.
You also may think about purchasing a humidifier with a built-in hygrometer that will maintain humidity within a range you need.
If the Air’s Too Damp
This can be a problem during summertime.
There are 2 methods to reduce moisture:
- Central or window-mounted air conditioner dries the air and keeps humidity at the level that is comfortable for you.
- A dehumidifier collects extra moisture from the air. It works like an air conditioner but doesn’t have a cooling effect. As a rule, they are powerful enough to dry damp basements out.
Dirty Humidifiers and Health Issues
Mist from a dirty humidifier and too high humidity levels increase the chance of allergens growth and can worsen respiratory issues. Dirty reservoirs and filters in humidifiers can cause bacteria and mold appearance even in the air. Evaporators and steam vaporizers are less prone to produce airborne allergens than cool-mist humidifiers.
If you leave the water in the tank for a long period of time or you don’t clean it properly regularly, the air in your house may become extremely dangerous for breathing in. In fact, if you don’t maintain and use the device properly, it can do more harm than good.
How to Keep a Humidifier Clean
The best way to keep your device clean and free of harmful fungi, mold, and bacteria for a long time is to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Use distilled or demineralized water. Usual tap water includes minerals creating deposits in the humidifier and triggers the growth of bacteria. After release into the air, they often may be found as white dust on the edges of the steam nozzles or on surfaces. You may also breathe some minerals in before they settle down on your floor, furniture or walls. Distilled water doesn’t contain minerals inside and as a rule, its use is recommended by manufacturers.
- Change water in humidifier often. If water stays in the device for a long time film or deposits develop inside. Empty and the tanks and refill them with clean water every day. Especially if you use ultrasonic or cool mist humidifiers. Don’t forget to unplug the device first.
- Clean humidifiers every 3 days. Unplug it and remove film or mineral deposits in the tank and other parts of the device. You may use a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, that is available at pharmacies. But some manufacturers advice chlorine bleach or other disinfectants. Rinse the tank after cleaning.
- Replace filters inside humidifier regularly. Don’t forget changing them as often as the manufacturer recommends and more often if it is dirty.
- Keep the area around the device dry. If windows, drapes or carpeting getting wet — turn the humidifier down or don’t use it frequently.
- Always prepare humidifiers for storage. Clean and drain them humidifiers before storage. And clean them again after taking them out for use. Don’t use old cassettes, cartridges, and filters.
- Replace an old humidifier if needed. As time passes, humidifiers can build up deposits that are impossible or too difficult to remove.
If you have a humidifier that is built into your central heating and cooling system, always read instructions and follow them. If you have questions about maintenance ask a cooling specialist about it.
Indicators of Bad Water in the Humidifier
Signs that a poor-quality liquid is poured into the tank are as follows:
- white residue on surfaces in the house or apartment when the device is running
- changing the color of the water in the tank
- unpleasant musty smell
- walls of the tank under water are green
- sediment on heating elements
The higher the water hardness (the content of salts of magnesium, calcium, other minerals), the thicker the layer of sediment.
How to Make Distilled Water for Humidifier
The best way to be sure your humidifier makes the environment healthier and provides you with breathable steam improving your health is to regularly and properly clean and maintain it. And of course, use distilled water that. You can save money if you learn how to make distilled water for your humidifier use.
Distilled water is water purified from all impurities of organic (bacteria, viruses, and waste products) and inorganic (salt and mineral supplements) origin.
The distillation process is very simple. Just let the tap water heat up and boil. Then, the mineral free vapor condenses and you need to collect mineral-free distilled water. The best and easiest way to get distilled water is a water distiller using. Its price is not so high and you don’t have to worry about it for many years.
Glass Bowl Method
This is one of the most popular methods as there is no need to buy something additional.
- Fill the pot with tap water.
- Place the glass bowl inside, but the water from the pot must not enter the bowl. It must float and not touch the bottom of the pot.
- After the tap water heats up, cover the pot with the lid. The lid should be glass because if you take a metal lid, the water may pick metal particles up. And the water will not be distilled.
- Put ice on top for the steam to condense faster and drop in your bowl.
- When your bowl is full, take it out and find clean distilled water that is free of minerals.
This method requires plenty of electricity to get enough distilled water, so if you have backyard outside you may light a fire or use the BBQ. It is better to use a bowl made of tempered glass for it wouldn’t crack during the process.
Kettle, Copper Tube and Glass Jar
This method is much cheaper. It turns vapor into water much faster and produces a bigger amount of distilled water than the previous method.
- Bind the copper coil tube and the kettle with rubber binding for plumbing.
- The other end of the tube goes into a glass jar. It has to be located below the kettle level if you don’t want water returning to the kettle.
- Fill the kettle with tap water and turn on the heat.
To fasten the distillation process, wrap the copper tube with an ice pack.
Solar Water Distiller
You absolutely don’t need money to get distilled water this way. But you have to be patient as the process will take some time. It is very simple, you just need a shallow water jar and an angled glass over it. The sun makes the water evaporate and condense on the glass. The angle leads to the gathering of water to a jug.
The distilled liquid can be collected from rain as it is already purified. Of course, this method is good for those who live in the countryside. Don’t collect the first drops of rain – they contain a lot of pollutants. Leave a large canister in the rain for some time. The tank should be perfectly clean.
The collected water must be frozen in the freezer in order to use when needed.
The right water is a necessary component for the correct work of the humidifier. Tap water can cause building up minerals on the parts of the humidifier and even ruin the motor. If you don’t have the opportunity to get distilled water then using tap water for a few times would be ok, but only if it’s extremely impossible to use distilled water.
RO purifiers are also good for cleanest water producing. Membrane cleaners eliminate not only all impurities, but also do not allow pathogens to get into it. The liquid that has passed through the membrane is comparable with bottled water.
As the humidification of the air is directly related to your health, you should not save money on devices intended for this purpose.
I’m a healthy living blogger who loves to help people who care about having an eco-friendly home environment and a healthy lifestyle. With proper nutrition I helped my brother to cure gastritis and my father to normalize his blood pressure.