Air humidification: comfort first!
In winter, as in summer, it’s nice to be able to enjoy the comforts of home. There are so many things that make our home a haven: a warm fire in the fireplace, the people we love, soft background music and familiar sounds and smells. In Canada, we spend nearly 90% of our time indoors, so it is important that the air we breathe at home is pleasant and healthy.
Cigarette smoke, mould, certain household cleaning products and woodstoves are examples of things that can affect the quality of the air we breathe in our homes. Excessive humidity can compromise air quality, but air that is too dry can cause discomfort or trigger and exacerbate health problems.
Dry air and health
Due to the climate they live in, most Canadians have felt the discomfort dry air can cause. Here are some examples of symptoms caused by dry air:
- dry, irritated eyes, nose, and throat
- nose bleeds
- nasal congestion
- dry skin
Moreover, dry air may contribute to worsening certain health issues such as a cold, flu, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sinusitis, allergies, and xerostomia (dryness of the mouth).
Humidity levels in the air and humidifiers
Humidification improves air quality. It's a good idea to measure humidity levels in your home regularly. The device used to measure humidity levels in your home is called a hygrometer. Measure the humidity level in your home using this type of device and keep the humidity level at about 50% in summer and 30% in winter. If necessary, use a dehumidifier to reduce relative humidity and a humidifier when the air is too dry.
The use of a humidifier can be especially beneficial for babies or young children, particularly if they have respiratory problems or cold or flu symptoms. It is an additional way to protect children's health during winter.
Whatever the season, air humidifiers are a good way of dealing with dry air. There are three types of portable humidifiers, hot steam humidifiers (also called "vaporizers"), cool mist humidifiers and ultrasonic humidifiers. Your pharmacist can give you advice on the advantages and inconveniences of the different types and models available. This will enable you to make an informed choice.
When used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, humidifiers do not present any risk. However, if not cleaned and disinfected regularly they could aggravate respiratory problems for people who have asthma, allergies or other respiratory problems.
Your loved ones deserve to breathe clean, properly humidified air. For many families, a humidifier can be an excellent option!