During winter the dry heated air in homes and offices can irritate the nose and the throat. This irritation is reduced by use of humidifiers. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which helps ease coughing and congestion due to low humidity. Humidity refers to the amount of water which is in form of vapor in the air. During the winter, air holds less moisture than in warmer days and this results in itchy eyes, scratch nose and dry throat. Many people use humidifiers for health reasons, but they can be particularly helpful in making sure your plants retain their moisture. Some humidifier models use steam and some use cold water, but they all ultimately perform the same task. Choose the type of humidifier which will work best for your home, and make certain that you clean it periodically to keep bacteria and mould from developing in the humidifier water. Also, since humidifiers increase the humidity they could, if not used properly, create perfect conditions for mould and bacterial growth.
There are three types of humidity on which different types of humidifiers are built. These are relative, specific and absolute humidity.
Use of humidifiers in confined areas with the doors and windows closed could result in condensation and mould growth on the walls. Mould is a recognized health hazard.
What to do:
- Use a humidifier if you must but monitor the humidity level to ensure it is between 30 and 50%
- If you must use a humidifier, buy the kind that uses steam or boiled water
- Regularly clean the humidifier as per the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent microbial growth in the water.