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Debunking Myths About Humidifiers

March 23, 2016 • By

Debunking Myths About Humidifiers

When it comes to humidifiers, there are plenty of myths surrounding their use. Many people are uncertain about what they do to you and how one ought to be using them. Even though some of these myths are partially true, most of them can easily and effortlessly be debunked. Before you go ahead and scratch a humidifier off your shopping list, make sure to read and research the truth about these appliances.

We’ve taken some of the most common myths that muddy the collective reputations of the many types of humidifiers available in the world and shed some light on them – debunking the false assertions and revealing the truth to you.

Myth: Humidifiers Will Eliminate the Need To Ever Dust Again

Don’t retire your feather dusters just yet. The most common misunderstanding about humidifiers is that they literally lift the dust off of the surface of your stuff and magically make it all disappear. Unfortunately, this one is not true. If it was true, the fans inside humidifiers would cause a dust storm and leave allergy sufferers feeling more irritated than ever.

Always make sure your home is dusted as this assists with allergy relief and helps a humidifier do its job better. Remember that a humidifier can stop dust from forming as quickly, but it cannot prevent its appearance all together.

Myth: By Only Using a Humidifier your Allergies Will Be Cured Forever

Adding a humidifier to your home is only one part of allergy relief. It does not cure your allergies but it assists in soothing the symptoms. It also gets rid of pollen, dust mites, mildew and mold that might cause allergies. People who suffer from bad allergies including hay fever specifically use a humidifier to purify the air which gets rid of anything that might irritate their nose, eyes, throat or skin. A cool mist humidifier is the best option for allergy sufferers.

Besides using a humidifier, some other tips to help relieve allergies in your home include the following:

  • Block out any breeze from outside that may bring in dust and pollen.
  • Keep your home clean with less “chemical-heavy” products.
  • Try using a nasal wash, taking a shower or having a bath after being outdoors.
  • Drink plenty of water.

Myth: Humidifiers Prevent All Odors in your Home So You Do Not Have To Bother With Everyday Hygiene

Yes, a humidifier does take care of unwanted odors in your home, but this does not mean you can ignore the odor-causing problem. Many people think that using a humidifier gives them permission to leave rotting food in their kitchen, never clean the cat’s litter box and not take out the trash.

A humidifier does not pick up for the slack of bad hygiene. Instead of finding a solution for bad odors in your home (a humidifier), solve the problem by taking out the trash, giving your kitchen a once over and cleaning it, or simply flushing your cat’s waste down the toilet. If you don’t get rid of the problem, it will remain, and masking it with a humidifier doesn’t make it go away. It might also bring about other bacterial and mold problems that this appliance can’t fix.

Myth: The Air Produced By a Cool Mist Humidifier Is Not Clean

Even though a warm mist humidifier boils the water that is released into the air – killing any bacteria or germs within it, it is not necessarily better than a cool mist humidifier can be. A warm mist humidifier usually has a pure, clean and mineral-free moisture output which is often a little cleaner than a cool mist humidifier. However, this does not mean that the air produced by a cool mist humidifier is particularly dirty. Using a wick filter, cool mist humidifiers also ensure a clean mineral-free moisture output and are often very nearly as pure as a warm mist humidifier.

Myth: If You Have Dust Mite Allergies, You Need to Immediately Buy a Humidifier

Anyone who has a dust mite issue should not immediately buy a humidifier. Instead, they should seek out dust mite covers for their bedding, which is where dust mites tend to congregate. This will prevent them from spreading.

A dust mite problem can only get worse if not taken care of immediately. Once you’ve covered the problem area with a dust mite cover, it is time to kill the dust mites. You’ll need to wash your bedding (pillowcases and mattress pads included) at a temperature higher than over 130 degrees and dry it in a hot dryer. This should kill all the dust mites that are living in your warm, moist bed.

By controlling the humidity in your home, you can prevent dust mites. These tiny creatures enjoy high humidity and by installing a dehumidifier into your bedroom, you’ll be able to control the humidity in your room. Aim for a humidity of less than 50 percent to avoid a dust mite problem.

Myth: You Never Have to Clean Your Humidifier

No matter what type of humidifier you use, it is extremely important to keep it clean. When mineral deposits or gunk form in a humidifier, it becomes an ideal place for bacteria and germs to breed. The bacteria also have a high possibility of being released into the air through the humidifier.

In cool mist humidifiers, you need to replace the wick filter and ensure you clean the water tanks with vinegar. With warm mist humidifiers, there is a higher chance of mineral deposits being left behind in the humidifier but these can also be removed by using vinegar. Always make sure to also read the user manual and follow its specific maintenance and cleaning instructions, especially if your humidifier is still under warranty.

If you don’t clean your humidifier, you can cause some serious health issues. If you have allergies or an existing asthma condition, regularly inhaling mineral content that is in tap water can aggravate your symptoms or cause a full-on attack. You could also get a more serious condition called “humidifier lung.” This lung condition develops when you inhale vapors contaminated with certain strains of bacteria and causes fever, chills, shortness of breath, body aches, lung inflammation and general malaise.

Myth: Humidifiers Are Unhealthy for Newborn Babies

Adding a humidifier to a newborn baby’s room is actually one of the best things you can do for your child. Unlike adults, babies’ immune systems are not as strong and they struggle to fight bacteria and viruses in the air. Their skin is also more sensitive and their respiratory systems are easily affected by the temperature and humidity of a room.

To accommodate the sensitivity of a child’s body as a whole, adding a humidifier to your home or your newborn’s room makes a huge difference. With numerous benefits such as protecting your child’s skin, soothing symptoms of colds and flues, and preventing asthma, newborn babies will only benefit by the use of this appliance.

A humidifier helps keep the air of your baby’s room clean and germ-free. The moisture in the air also keeps the baby’s room warm without the turning up the heat and helps the baby sleep better and breathe easier.

Myth: Warm Mist Humidifier Can Not Burn You

When it comes to warm mist humidifiers, safety is of the utmost importance. The danger of this humidifier lies in the use of a heating element to raise the temperature of the water in the tank to boiling point. This in turn makes a warm mist humidifier a potential danger to anyone that uses it as it may burn your skin. Warm mist humidifiers aren’t advised for homes with children and pets as they may present a very real safety risk.

Myth: Humidifiers Get Rid Of Wrinkles

A humidifier does wonders for your skin, but unfortunately, it cannot get rid of wrinkles. What a humidifier can do is help prevent wrinkles. Prevention is better than curing so making sure that wrinkles do not show up in the first place is the best way to deal with them. The air dries out your skin and the dryer your skin is the more prominent your wrinkles become. A humidifier helps fill the room with nourishing, moisturizing steam that can smooth out your skin and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.


Myth: Humidifiers Clear the Air Of Tobacco Smoke

A humidifier can only remove the particles floating about in the air left behind when people have been smoking. It cannot get rid of tobacco smoke but rather the odors that they cause. If you are a smoker, it is useful to get a humidifier as it will help purify the air and allow you to breathe easier. However, it is unreasonable to expect a humidifier to remove actual smoke from the environment.

Myth: Humidifiers Kill Harmful Airborne Bacteria

Having a humidifier in your home could mean the difference between getting the flu and remaining healthy. As the humidifier adds moisture into the air, it automatically stops airborne bacteria and germs from moving throughout your home. It, however, does not kill airborne bacteria. The moisture in the air has the ability to make airborne bacteria too heavy to float around. Once moisture is added, viruses and bacteria end up dropping down to the floor, which, in effect, helps prevent the spread of illnesses and infections.

This theory has been scientifically proven in many studies which have shown that by raising the indoor humidity in your home or office to at least 43 percent it will make approximately 85 percent of airborne bacteria and viruses that cause infection ineffective. This technique of preventing illness will soon be used in hospitals to prevent visitors, doctors, nurses and other hospital staff from catching any airborne virus or bacteria.

Myth: Humidifiers Kill Your Indoor Plants

It is true that if the humidity is too high or incorrect inside your home, the tips of indoor plant leaves will start turning brown and the plant can potentially die completely. However, since many species of indoor plants originally come from tropical climates with high humidity, it is not particularly easy for the dry air inside your home to cause them to dehydrate and die. By adding a humidifier to your home and regulating the humidity level properly, you can actually be sure that plants get the moisture they need from the air to re-hydrate and thrive.

Myth: The Moist Air That a Humidifier Produces Damages Your Wood Furniture

Whether you have wood flooring and furnishing in your home or not, getting a humidifier will only help it look and feel its best. If there is too much moisture or dryness in the air, it can cause various problems to your wood furnishings. Too much moisture will lead to mildew while too little moisture causes dryness. Dryness in furniture can cause it to lose its natural luster and can weaken joints. By maintaining a consistent temperature in your home using a humidifier, you can help find the perfect balance for your furniture to remain preserved and beautiful all year round.