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Humidifier benefits: 4 ways owning one will improve your life in winter

Humidifiers are good for your skin, hair, and health

humidifier in bedroom
Max Rahubovskiy / Pexels

Running your heat throughout the cold winter months can dry the air inside your home. Of course, not running the heat and leaving your home’s temperature freezing cold is not an option, so we’re left managing in dry air. Spending too much time in the dry air inside (including while we are sleeping) in our homes can ultimately leave us with the most annoying symptoms, from cracked lips to dry, itchy legs. But there’s a simple solution — the addition of a humidifier to your bedroom. Below, we’ll explore the benefits of a humidifier and how it can help you manage dry skin and hair and even help protect you from viral illnesses in cold and flu seasons.

Winter road

What is a humidifier?

The basics of a humidifier are pretty simple to understand. Essentially, a humidifier is a device that adds moisture back into the air after dry heat pulls it out. Humidifiers have a water tank that will need to be refilled, ranging in size. The size of your humidifier is generally determined by the size of your space in square footage. For bedrooms up to 400 square feet, a small or compact humidifier offers just enough water to add moisture to the space comfortably. In the winter, you’ll want to use a cool mist humidifier that disperses cool moisture into the air, as opposed to a humidifier that adds steam or warm water.

A humidifier tank will need to be refilled once empty, as water leaves the device and enters the air. Either tap water or distilled water can be used (we recommend distilled water if your water has a high mineral content). High mineral content in tap water can cause build-up, and thus mold, within the tank of your humidifier.

Adding a humidifier to your bedroom space offers more benefits than you’d think. Here’s why a humidifier is a must-have in the winter months.

Reduces risk of bacteria and viruses

Winter is known as cold and flu season, yet many people don’t know why. Viral illnesses like the cold and flu are most common in the winter because viruses travel better in air that lacks moisture. Airborne illnesses travel through the air much easier in dry air, making winter the perfect “storm” for spreading sicknesses.

Using a humidifier can help you add moisture back into your indoor air and increase humidity levels. In fact, studies have found that increasing the humidity levels in your home can decrease the survival of airborne illnesses by 85%. Once you add more water molecules into the air via a humidifier, pathogens become too heavy to remain suspended in the air and become less likely to spread as illnesses.

Prevents dry skin and hair

Cold, dry hair also causes brittle and dry hair, nails, and skin in the winter. Patchy, flaky, or itchy skin in the winter is often caused by too much exposure to dry air. This is often why you’ll find yourself reapplying chapstick again and again to cracked lips that never seem to get better all winter long! Using a humidifier can help create a more humid environment and help improve dry skin and hair.

Improves sinus and allergy symptoms

Sleeping in a dry environment can also make it tough to breathe and exacerbate any sinus issues you might have. In addition, breathing in dry air from your home’s heating system can leave you with a raspy, dry throat too. You (or your partner) might have even noticed you snore more in the winter due to the dry air. As such, adding a cool mist humidifier to your bedroom can help enhance your sleep quality by making it easier to breathe.

Dry sinuses in the winter can lead to trouble breathing, nose bleeds, congestion, irritated vocal cords, and other frustrating sinus-related symptoms. If you suffer from allergies or winter sinus troubles, a humidifier might be what you need to make winter more tolerable.

Healthy house plants

House plants need water to thrive too! Adding moisture back into the air with a humidifier can help prevent the leaves of your plants from browning and help support their growth throughout the winter. Healthy plants mean better air quality for you to breathe in too!

person with dry hands
Alexander Grey / Unsplash

Add moisture to your air this winter

The addition of a bedroom humidifier is a simple step you can take to improve your air quality and reduce symptoms associated with dry winter air. Start by determining the best size humidifier for you. From there, simply refill your humidifier regularly throughout the winter to benefit from more hydrated skin and hair, improved sinus symptoms, and more.

Emily Caldwell
Emily is a freelance writer with a special focus on health, fitness, lifestyle, food, and nutrition topics. She holds a B.S…
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