Buying Guide to Humidifiers

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A lack of humidity in the indoor air can quickly lead to uncomfortable conditions for you and your home. Low humidity is especially a problem during the winter months in constantly heated air, but it can also occur during hot weather when the air conditioner is on. Low humidity is more common in certain climates.

A quick solution to the low humidity problem is a humidifier, which is designed to emit moisture into the air, thereby restoring a more comfortable humidity level. If you're considering investing in one, you'll want to understand the various types and their capabilities.

Humidifiers

How do you know if you need a humidifier?

If your home humidity level dips below 30 percent on a regular basis, you want a humidifier. Symptoms of low humidity for people include dry skin, chapped lips, sinus problems such as bloody noses, scratchy throats and dry coughs and breathing trouble. A sign of an overly dry environment for your home is static electricity, which can damage electronics. Overly dry air also dries out wooden furniture and flooring, causes wallpaper to peel and can damage houseplants.

Is it possible to over-humidify your home?

While it is possible to over-humidify your home, many humidifiers feature a humidistat that regulates a humidifier's output to maintain desired humidity levels. Ideally, you want your indoor humidity levels to fall between 35 to 45 percent. If humidity levels are higher than 50 percent, you will experience unfavorable conditions such as condensation on walls and windows, which can lead to the growth of molds, dust mites and bacteria.

The best way to ensure the humidity level in your home is satisfactory is with a hygrometer, which looks like a thermometer and measures the moisture level in the air.

What do you do for overly humid air in your home?

If you live in a moist climate and your humidity levels are more than 50 percent, instead consider purchasing a dehumidifier, which removes moisture from the air.