Have you ever woken up in the night, and realized that your mouth is dry? How about experiencing dryer skin during the winter months?
Both of these are common issues that can be caused by the air in your home becoming too dry, which can have a negative impact on your comfort, skin, and overall well-being.
If you live in a hot climate, then you probably don’t even realize it. But if you live in a cold climate, then you might want to consider using a humidifier to keep your house feeling comfortable.
Humidity levels vary throughout the year. In the cold winter months, humidity levels tend to reduce, especially during the night.
This makes our homes more uncomfortable as the air is dry and lacks moisture. Humidifiers help to put some of this lost moisture back into the air, and this offers a number of benefits.
You can control the amount of humidity in your home by adding a humidifier. There are several types of humidifiers available, such as ultrasonic, evaporative, and steam. The type you choose will ultimately depend on the size of your space and your budget.
What Is A Humidifier?
In the simplest terms, a humidifier helps increase the level of water vapor in an enclosed space. Unlike dehumidifiers, which remove moisture from the air, a humidifier increases the humidity levels within a room or building.
Whenever we breathe out, the moisture content of our breath condenses into droplets. These dampen down when they reach the ground, but without any other source of moisture, they quickly evaporate.
This natural process means that most of the moisture in our environment will remain suspended in the atmosphere, rather than falling onto our floors.
Even though there is already enough moisture in the air for us to inhale, our bodies still need additional moisture to maintain proper functioning – without it,
we will experience the dry mouth and tight, uncomfortable dry skin that we were discussing earlier.
Humidifiers provide this moisture through evaporation and condensation processes, maintaining a good level of moisture in the air – even in dry, cold weather – and helping us to stay more comfortable and healthy.
How Can You Tell If You Need A Humidifier?
For most people living in the Western hemisphere, winters tend to be dry and cold, and so the majority of people will benefit from investing in a quality humidifier to help improve their living space and general wellbeing.
Dry air can be tricky to detect – especially if you have never given it much thought before – but common signs may include a dry, sore throat, a nose that seems constantly runny, skin that is dry, itchy, and uncomfortable, and constant sinus congestion.
If all of these symptoms are present, then the chances are high that you can benefit from adding a humidifier to your home.
What Are The Benefits Of Humidifiers?
Adding a humidifier to your home can offer a number of benefits, and some of the most important include:
Protect The Lungs
Having enough moisture in the air also increases the amount of moisture in your lungs.
When you have adequate moisture in your lungs, you are more protected against irritation and dryness,
and this can reduce your risk of experiencing dry coughs, coughing fits, and throat discomfort – all of these are all linked with low humidity levels.
Regular use of a humidifier, therefore, may prevent you from suffering from these problems as often or as severely.
Boost Your Sense of Smell
This is a lesser-known advantage, but a humidifier can actually help to improve your sense of smell, as this can be negatively impacted by poor air quality.
Our noses pick up odors easily, and they tell our brains what those smells mean, whether they are appealing or dangerous, and we can then decide what to do next.
When humidity levels are high, our nose has less trouble detecting the scent of bad things in our surroundings.
Therefore, keeping our living spaces well-moistened not only keeps us healthier, but also improves our sense of olfactory perception.
Keep Your Environment Clean
Humidifiers can also help you to maintain a clean, hygienic environment; using a humidifier regularly ensures that the dust particles
which collect on its surface will simply fall straight down, instead of being blown around inside your house by strong winds.
Similarly, cleaning a humidifier is relatively easy – just wipe off the surface and rinse underneath with water.
It should be noted, however, that keeping your humidifier clean is essential – dirty humidifiers do not produce an ideal environment for breathing, as they can develop mold and bacteria – wipe over your humidifier regularly to help reduce this issue.
Help Reduce Chills And Fever
A moist room tends to feel warmer than a dry one because heat cannot escape quite as quickly. When outside temperatures drop, dry air begins to condense into liquid droplets under cold conditions.
These ‘foggy’ drops begin to settle on surfaces as soon as the temperature goes below freezing point, making your living space feel damp, even when no actual moisture is present.
This is problematic, as cold spots in your home can lead to chills and fevers, and there is evidence to suggest that these illnesses can increase during cold weather months, due to a lack of indoor ventilation.
If you suffer from regular feverish spells, a simple way to keep warm is to add a humidifier to your room, as this can help you feel warmer and more comfortable.
How Can I Humidify A Room Naturally?
Humidifiers have increased in popularity in recent years, and there are a wide range of models on the market. There is, however, an alternative if you are looking to save cash, or simply get creative: create your own natural humidifier.
There are a number of ways to achieve this, and we will take a closer look at some of the most popular below.
1. Lower Your Heating
One of the easiest ways to humidify a room naturally is to cut down on your central heating. Though it is great for keeping you warm, central heating forces hot air to be blown into the room, and this dries the air out rapidly by increasing the rate of evaporation.
Turn down your central heating to decrease the speed with which your room dries out – this will also have the added bonus of reducing your energy bills!
If you are still feeling a chill, opt for a plug-in heater using radiant energy, or an oil-filled radiator, as these are less drying than central heating. You can also close the door of the room that you are in to help conserve heat and slow the rate of evaporation.
2. The Water Bowl Method
Another easy, cheap method to increase humidity naturally is to place small saucers and bowls of water around the house. The water will evaporate, adding moisture to the air in your home and helping with boosting humidity.
Just make sure that your bowels are placed well away from any potential spills or pets! If you can, place the containers on a wide windowsill – this will allow the sun to warm the water and speed up the evaporation process.
3. Dry Your Clothes Inside Using A Drying Rack
Give your tumble dryer a break, and dry your laundry using a drying rack. This will allow moisture to evaporate into the air as the clothes dry, increasing the humidity levels in each room.
Most drying racks can be purchased fairly cheaply and will fold away when not in use. Your energy bills will also thank you for choosing this solution!
4. Leave Water Boiling
Another great trick to help you humidify a room naturally is to boil water on a stove, and then place a bowl of this boiling water close to a heat source, and away from any curious children or pets.
An alternative is to keep the water boiling for an extended period of time – just make sure you keep an eye on it. Boiling water offers a speedy, effective, and easy way to humidify a room, and is also cheap and affordable.
5. Open The Bathroom Door While Showering
If you live alone, or share space with people who respect your privacy, then leaving the shower door open can be a fast, cheap and easy way to humidify your space.
As you shower, the heat will create water vapor – leaving your door open allows this to travel to the rooms adjacent to the bathroom; and has the added bonus of preventing your mirrors from fogging up!
6. Fill Your Bathtub
In addition to the shower, your bathtub can also be a great way to naturally humidify a room. Once you have finished your soak, leave the water for a little while after you get out of the bath. This will allow any remaining heat to evaporate, adding moisture into the air.
No bathtub? Then you can also replicate this by leaving water in the kitchen sink until it has cooled down. Remember to never leave standing water unattended if you have children or pets.
7. Invest In Houseplants
Houseplants are not only a great way to cheer up a room, but they can also help you with humidifying a space!
When plants are watered, a process known as transpiration takes place – this occurs when moisture evaporates from the stems and leaves of plants, and goes into the air, adding moisture and relieving dryness.
The only issue is that a dry space will cause your plants to struggle a little more, so don’t forget to keep them well-watered and hydrated – if you help them, they can help you!
8. Be Smart With Vases
This is similar to the bowls of water, but is an easy and effective way to humidify your space without any extra effort on your part. If you are displaying cut flowers, make sure that they are placed on window ledges and sunny spots – this will increase evaporation, and add more water to the air.
9. Use Sponges To Humidify Spaces
Another often overlooked household item is the humble sponge – this can be great in helping you to humidify your home. Pick a large sponge, and fill this with water.
Place the wet sponge into a bowl, or hang it roughly in the center of the room. As the sponge dries, it will release moisture into the room, helping your home feel more comfortable and humid.
10. Spray The Curtains
Your curtains can be another unexpected source of humidity, and this is particularly effective if they are long. Grab a spray bottle, and carefully spray the material from top to bottom, taking care not to over-saturate the fabric.
Always make sure that your curtains can handle water before you try this one – some may become damaged if they are exposed to water.
11. Use A Fan In The Bathroom
During the cold winter months, the chances are high that your fans are stored away, waiting for the warmer summer weather.
Adding a fan to your bathroom can be a great way to naturally humidify the air, as the cool air generated by the fan helps to move air around the space, ensuring that any water vapor is constantly kept moving – this helps to add moisture to the air around the house.
12. Invest In An Indoor Fountain
If all else fails, and you have a little extra to spare in the budget, investing in an indoor fountain could be the answer to your issues, and will help to provide a permanent solution to dry, stuffy spaces.
The water generated and kept in the fountain will constantly evaporate, adding moisture to the air, and ensuring that there is a steady supply of humidity – the effects will be increased if the weather is warm, or alternative heating sources are used.
Adding humidity and moisture to the air of your home is important for helping you to stay comfortable, and for helping your skin and hair look and feel their very best.
The good news is that there is no need to spend large sums on a humidifier – there are a number of items already lying around the house that can help you to naturally humidify your space – give one a try today to enjoy the benefits!