An easy solution for winter dryness

How a new humidifier can dramatically increase household comfort


“Dry” is good news when you’re planning a picnic or heading to a summertime baseball game. But when it comes to your home — especially in the winter — dry air is the culprit behind painful sinuses, nosebleeds, cracked lips, and uncomfortable respiratory conditions. Humidifiers are a convenient, relatively inexpensive way to put moisture back in the air you breathe and ease the discomfort that dry air can cause.

Health benefits of humidifiers

There are plenty of practical benefits to having a humidifier in your home. The proper humidity level can protect hardwood floors from separating or splitting. A humidifier prevents static buildup around your house, eliminating those nasty shocks after you walk across the carpet. Plus, humidity makes the air in your home feel warmer, so you don’t have to keep cranking up the heat in the winter months — and suffering those extra-high energy bills.

As great as these benefits are, a reliable humidifier can do even more to improve your family’s wellness. Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Less sick time. Viruses and bacteria have trouble traveling in air that’s properly humidified. Running the humidifier can keep you healthier, so you can take fewer sick days from work and keep the kids from missing school.
  • Less sinus/throat irritation. Dry winter air can negatively affect your sinuses and nasal passages, which in turn lowers your resistance to bacteria and viruses. Keeping a humidifier on during the night gets rid of that tight, dry feeling in your nose and prevents your throat from drying out overnight as well, leading to that painful swallowing first thing in the morning.
  • Relief from dry skin. In dry air, your skin loses moisture and can become drier, duller, and start flaking. Keep that humidifier humming and your skin will not only feel softer, but heal faster, too.
  • More-restful nights. People tend to snore more when their sinuses or throats are dry. If you’ve noticed your (or your partner’s) snoring getting worse, try adding a humidifier to your bedroom. If nothing else, extra moisture in the air will create a drier, cozier environment that will help you feel warmer and contribute to a good night’s sleep.

Finding the sweet spot

Most people are most comfortable at a humidity level of between 30 percent and 50 percent. We’ve already gone through the problems that can arise when the humidity in your home is too low; however, when the humidity is too high, it can make the air feel stuffy and cause condensation that can collect on walls, floors, etc. and trigger the growth of bacteria, mold, and other harmful substances. Fortunately, it shouldn’t take long to find your ideal setting.

Tabletop, tower, or whole-house

Many homes have a central humidifier built into their furnace or AC system to help humidify the entire house; however, even on the “winter setting” you may find yourself needing some additional moisture in the air. In this case, a tabletop or tower humidifier is your best bet. Most HoMedics humidifiers are portable and have a range of customizable features like digital readouts, timers, and more to efficiently humidify small to large areas in your home.

HoMedics also offers several ultrasonic humidifiers, which means they use a ceramic diaphragm that vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency to form a cool mist. Our popular Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier is whisper quiet, producing a visible yet micro-fine warm mist or cool mist for the perfect room humidity.

Finding the best humidifier for your space

Don’t buy more humidifier than you need; use this handy guide to find the right type of humidifier for your room size: Small rooms (less than 400 sq ft): Portable or compact humidifier Medium rooms (400-1,000 sq ft): Tower humidifier Large rooms (more than 1,000 sq ft): Console or tower humidifier

How to properly maintain your humidifier

Like any appliance that uses water, a humidifier requires some basic maintenance and regular disinfection to perform at its best. It’s also better for your health — without cleaning, the water in your humidifier just sits and stagnates. Then, when you turn it on, you could be spreading potentially harmful bacteria and mold into the air.

Follow these tips to keep your family healthy, and your humidifier running well for years to come.

  • Consider filling it with distilled water. Tap water contains minerals that can create deposits or buildup in your humidifier. By using distilled or demineralized water, you can clean it less often and not have to worry about bacterial growth.
  • Change the filter regularly. This one’s easy — just follow your manufacturer’s directions on how often to change these out.
  • Clean your humidifier once a week. Your humidifier likely comes with easy-to-follow cleaning directions. If not, simply pour a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and lukewarm water into the base of your humidifier and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then, remove any residue or buildup by gently scrubbing the humidifier with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse it thoroughly. Gently spot-clean any remaining pieces, then thoroughly rinse the tank, filter, and base.

Protect your home and health

Enjoy all the benefits of your new humidifier during the dry winter months. Then, store it away when the weather warms up, and you’ll be set for year-round comfort.

Ready to make your home a more-comfortable place? Check out our complete lineup of humidifiers, air purifiers, and more here.