How Do I Humidify My Home Safely this Winter?

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It’s getting to be that time of the year; temperatures are dropping, and so is the humidity outside, which means people are waking up stuffy and with dry coughs. For some with respiratory problems like asthma, an environment that is too dry can actually agitate their respiratory system. Fortunately, a great solution is to set up a humidifier on a nightstand or table. 

But how do you know that you’re properly humidifying your home? Too little, and you won’t experience the full benefits of a humidifier. Too much, an you risk damaging surfaces around the humidifier and developing mold. Here’s what you need to know to properly humidify your home this winter:

What to Know About General Usage and Upkeep

When using a humidifier, it’s crucial to use it right and maintain it properly. Otherwise, you may be putting yourself and your family at risk for breathing in harmful bacteria or other particulates dispersed into the air by the humidifier.

The first thing you should know is that a humidifier and a diffuser are two very different things. While some humidifiers have a separate area for essential oils or medicines, you should never put anything besides water in the water reservoir in a humidifier. Doing so may cause build up in the mechanisms and ultimately ruin the machine, or can potentially harm anyone who breathes in the inhalants. 

You should also be cleaning the machine and replacing the filter regularly to prevent bacteria from being expelled into the air you breathe. When you get a humidifier, take care to keep the owner’s manual handy, as it should have the directions on how to clean it and change the filter listed there.

Some homes have a humidifier built in to the HVAC system. If that is the case, you simply have to set the level of humidity (we recommend anywhere between 35-55%) and having it cleaned 1-2 times a year. However, we do not recommend trying to clean out a built-in humidifier yourself because it’s wired in to the whole HVAC system. Instead, it’s best to hire a professional. If you’re in the Twin Cities metro area, we recommend giving Kura Homes Maintenance a call at 612-503-4050, if you have a built-in humidifier.

Cool Mist or Traditional Humidifier?

When shopping for a humidifier, you’ll find two main types: a cool mist humidifier, and your traditional humidifier that has a warm mist. 

As you would expect, a cool mist humidifier expels a steady flow of cool moisture by using a fan to disperse small water particles. A traditional humidifier relies on boiling the water to create steam. If you have kids or pets, you may want to consider purchasing the cool mist, as the traditional version can be a burn hazard and an accident waiting to happen. 

Pick the Right Size for the Right Room

Every room is different. Similarly, every humidifier is different. That’s why it’s important to check the specifications listed on the machine to ensure you’re purchasing the right size humidifier for the room you intend to put it in.

Most humidifiers will specify what size room it is good for by the square foot. So, take a tape measure and check the room’s dimensions and base your choice off of the square footage results. If you’re still unsure of what size to get, do a quick internet search for a humidifier sizing chart.

The reason why it’s so crucial you pick the right size is if you choose a machine too big for your room, the moisture output may cause mold growth or damage surfaces around it. Your room humidity level should remain at a healthy 30-50%. Anything higher than 50% creates the perfect environment for mold to grow in your home.

Should your house develop mold, though, in the Twin Cities area, you can trust Green Clean Restoration and Carpet Care to restore your home to a healthy and safe environment. That’s why we’re the Right Team, Right Away.