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Are Humidifiers Good for Winter?

Posted by ServiceMaster YSI | January 22nd, 2021 | No responses

Air tends to be dry in the winter months, prompting many homeowners to turn to a humidifier for comfort. A humidifier releases water vapor into the air and soothes many ailments that become more pronounced in the cold season. Here are reasons why humidifiers are ideal in the winter.

What health conditions are caused by dry air?

Breathing in dry winter air can be damaging. Respiratory conditions, such as bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis, can develop as homeowners inhale the dry air. Nosebleeds are common, too. Since body fluids are depleted during respiration, breathing in dry air can cause dehydration.

As sinuses dry out when homeowners breathe in the dry winter air, the risk of infections increases. Physicians attribute an increase in the common cold to drier mucus. Thick mucus traps viruses; but drier mucus is less efficient and not as able to catch airborne viruses.

The cold season’s dry air also leads to a spike in the frequency of dry skin, cracked lips, dry cough, dry throat, sinus congestion or headaches and irritated vocal cords. Relieving the aforementioned ailments that become prevalent in winter may be achieved by running a humidifier.

What types of humidifiers are available?

Homeowners may choose from amongst five different types of available commercial humidifiers: evaporators, central humidifiers, impeller humidifiers, steam vaporizers and ultrasonic humidifiers. Evaluate budget, preference and the size of the room to humidify in order to select the best humidifier.

Humidifiers may also be either portable or console units. Built as large units, console humidifiers add moisture to the entire home or to one specific room. Portable humidifiers (aka personal humidifiers) are small in size and ideal for adding moisture when traveling during winter.

Central humidifiers are built into the home’s HVAC system and are the most expensive; however, this type of humidifier adds moisture to the whole house. On the opposite end of the price spectrum are evaporators; these affordable units moisten one room at a time.

Impeller humidifiers also add moisture to a single room; however, overuse can cause breathing difficulties in those with asthma or allergies. Steam vaporizers are portable, inexpensive and dispel heated water vapors. Ultrasonic humidifiers may release either cool or warm mists.

What are the benefits of running a humidifier?

Switching on the humidifier (no matter what type) in winter promotes an increased sense of well-being. Airborne viruses, for instance, are rendered ineffective—germs become less mobile in moist air. As a result, the spread of illnesses, like influenza, is sharply reduced.

Running a humidifier in winter can also improve the quality of sleep and help prevent snoring. People who breathe through their mouth when asleep are likely to experience a dry throat. Moisture from a humidifier soothes throat tissues and prevents irritations that lead to snoring.

Extremely dry winter conditions lead to dry skin and chapped lips. Since 50 to 60 percent of the human body consists of water, the right amount of moisture allows people to function optimally. Running a humidifier eases dry, itchy skin, dry eye irritation and chapped lips.

Dry air feels cooler than humidified air. Moist air leaves people feeling warmer because sweat evaporates more gradually. Running a humidifier in winter can create a feeling of warmth; consequently, homeowners may lower the thermostat and save on energy costs.

A home’s occupants are not the only ones to benefit from running a humidifier in winter. Structural materials made of wood require a constant level of moisture. Otherwise, the wood will dry out and crack; wooden doors can become harder to open, and joints in wooden furniture may loosen.

Static electricity, too, is reduced in wintertime when a humidifier is running. The buildup of static electricity can be damaging to sensitive electronics and even create sparks. Moist air reduces the likelihood of issues that stem from an increase of static in winter.

How much humidity is best?

Running a humidifier in winter offers clear benefits. However, homeowners are advised to avoid introducing too much moisture into the air. Along with an increase in respiratory issues, too much moisture can lead to excessive and uncomfortable dampness in the air.

Excessive moisture in the home environment can encourage the growth of mildew, dust mites, mold damage and harmful bacteria. Condensation on the walls is also the outcome of allowing a humidifier to expel too much moisture. Constant indoor dampness leads to mold infestations.

Prevent the Risk of MoldMold Damage on the Ceiling

The ideal levels of humidity should fall between 30 and 50 percent. Homeowners may use a hygrometer tool to gauge the level of humidity in the home. It is also important to maintain the humidifier to prevent bacterial growth, which can lead to coughing and colds.

Dry air naturally increases in winter conditions. During the cold season, running the furnace also dispels substantial hot, dry air into the home. Both scenarios make running a humidifier in winter a good choice for improving comfort and health and maintaining the integrity of the home’s structural components.

Water Damage Restoration

Homeowners are advised to correctly run a humidifier in winter and maintain it to prevent issues. In the event a humidifier expels too much moisture into the air, water damage can occur. When you are faced with water damage, consult ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration for prompt service.


Our skilled technicians quickly arrive onsite to assess the extent of water damage. We extract the excess moisture, set up industrial fans and dehumidifiers to thoroughly dry the premises and clean the property. We provide comprehensive water damage restoration services to return your home to its pre-loss condition fast.

Water damage of any severity should be addressed immediately. Otherwise, mold colonies can latch on within 24 hours. Whether your water damage is due to a leaky pipe, malfunctioning appliance, natural disaster, rainstorms or the improper use of a humidifier, ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration will help.

Homeowners and business owners with properties in Quincy and Mt. Sterling, IL and Hannibal, MO, are encouraged to contact ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration when confronted with a water damage emergency.

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Our experienced water damage restoration crews are available 24 hours a day at 866-801-2653 to respond to calls.


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