Why You Should Invest In A Humidifier This Winter

Wintertime is coming upon us; we all know what that means. It’s Holiday season with the chance of a snowstorm, the temperature is becoming colder and the air is becoming dryer. Everyone around you is coughing and sneezing and wishing they were in their beds watching a movie and drinking some hot chocolate; it’s flu and cold season. How does one survive through the winter without getting a cold? How can we protect our immune systems and help it become stronger once we get sick? According to science, the answer could be as simple as getting a humidifier.

A humidifier is a device that you can put in any room or building to increase the moisture in the air. There are several different types of humidifiers. Central humidifiers are built directly into 71A82N7-29L._SL1500_  your home heating and air conditioning systems. These can humidify you whole house along with the heating and air. Next, there are ultrasonic humidifiers. These are small machines that you can place on a table in a room that produce a cool mist. Impeller humidifiers also produce a cool mist, put the mist is produced a different way. Evaporators are also small machines that contain a fan that blows air through a wet wick, filter or belt. Lastly, a steam vaporizers use electricity to create steam that cools before leaving the machine.

The humidifiers’ steam that increases the moisture of the air is what can help protect you from the common cold. They are often used for relieving dry skin, sinus congestion, dry throat, nose fluirritation, bloody noses, irritated vocal cords, dry cough, and cracked lips. All of these are symptoms of the common cold or the flu. Humidity should stay between 30 and 50 percent in order to reduce these symptoms. If you set the humidity too high, it can actually worsen the problem or create new ones.

Jeffrey Shaman and his collogues experimented they effect that using a humidifier has the flu. They did an observational study, examining the rate in which humans get influenza in wintertime compared to other seasons, while observing the humidity conditions surrounding the rate of the flu. They claim to be using the human population as a whole in their data, which also is a large randomized trail, does have some problems because not everyone is diagnosed with the flu that has it. After collecting and comparing all their data, they concluded that the wintertime increases the chances of getting the flu due to the levels of humidity in the air.

Clearly, as long as you keep your humidifiers clean and not at too high of a percent, no harm can come with having one. They help relieve sinus health by decreasing the dry air that doesn’t Unknownallow our sinuses to drain properly. They keep our nasal passages lubricated, speeding up our immune systems ability to heal the common cold, flu, and even asthma. The moisture from a humidifier even keeps the throat from drying out and helps relieve us from snoring. The moisture in the air keeps our bodies less chapped and dry, and more hydrated, leading to beautiful, nondehydrated skin. What more can we ask for in the cold and dry wintertime?

6 thoughts on “Why You Should Invest In A Humidifier This Winter

  1. Mia Rose Del Nunzio

    I liked reading your post because there was a point in time that my parents purchased a humidifier for me because they thought that my skin as becoming too dry as a result to the dry air. I never knew that the flu had correlation having a humidifier but even to try air for that matter. Although the observational study that was conducted in your research was a very large sample size, it still provided valid information as to why people should take steps to invest in a humidifier. At first I was bothered by the noise of mine, but as you mentioned there are many different types and styles that can be purchased. Here is an article that talks about more reasons why humidifiers may help fight the flu: http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/11/healthmag.humidifier.flu/index.html?iref=24hours

  2. Isaac Benjamin Will

    This is blog post was as great- a majority of this can be accredited to how kairotic it was, given the (actually slow) approaching winter season. Everyone suffers from running noses. Everyone suffers from colds. Everyone suffers from being cold. Everyone suffers the fear of contracting influenza. And in turn, as it shows through the four comments already, everyone could relate easily to your blog subject.
    Earlier in the semester, I wrote an article on why more individuals seemingly contract illnesses during the winter time. Summed up briefly, as you said, the colder the weather, the drier the air. This causes more moisture to evaporate from particles we breathe out. And the more moisture that evaporates from particles we (and others) breathe out…the lighter any potential viruses become. This allows them to lightly float around throughout the air, and collaterally, easily transition from one body to another, and easily infect individual after individual. So, if this theory on the flu and cold weather is true…it only makes sense that everyone should invest in a dehumidifier (like you mentioned).
    Obviously, and needless to say, a humidifier would mean the air is more humid. The air being more humid would mean the air had more moisture. The more moisture in the air would mean more water droplets. And the more water droplets, the more viruses would have to cling onto…and therefore, they would only become heavier and more likely to sink downward…and less likely to infect. So if this logic is accurate, we would be naive to endure winter without a humidifier.
    Even if these studies and this theory were flawed, it still wouldn’t be a bad idea to invest in one. As you stated, it helps with asthma, and prevents snoring, and keeps our lips from being chapped…and most importantly…keeps us beautiful. And what would winter be if we couldn’t stay beautiful? Dry. Cold.
    Similar to the study that found hamsters are more depressed when sleeping with light on at night, there would be less harm done by investing in a humidifier if it can be afforded. So, logically, the best move would be purchasing one. If it actually prevents illnesses such as the flu, the winter could be much more enjoyable. But if it doesn’t- you’re still left with all the benefits aforementioned.
    Again, great job taking what could be a very simple subject (humidifiers) and vastly expanding upon the item. I thought you did an excellent job analyzing the many different areas of a humidifier’s effects overall. While this next article may not be necessarily credible, it’s important to examine some dissenting opinions, theories, and possibilities to get a well-rounded understanding of the subject. After all, that’s science, isn’t it? This is the URL to that article: http://www.milehighmamas.com/blog/2012/01/13/the-hidden-risks-of-humidifiers/
    (I didn’t try to provide a hyperlink- I have a bad habit of butchering them and therefore losing the entire link to the article all together. So there’s simply a URL to be copied and pasted so you can take a look…this was probably the most effective, safe, and efficient way to share the article. Sorry for any inconvenience).

  3. jqr5447

    Interesting post. I took a look at this, but from a different aspect. How much do humidifiers help when you are already sick? This article from NPR (http://www.npr.org/2011/01/07/132743646/Humidifiers-Dont-Do-Lick-Of-Good-Helping-Colds) says that there is no evidence showing that using a humidifier helps when you are already sick. Instead, this doctor being interviewed states that the increased humidity in the air can actually spread the germs and bacteria more easily and harm those around you. So maybe it’s a good idea to keep the humidifier out to prevent your cold, but put it away when it actually comes to help your roommate.

  4. Amy Rosenzweig

    This is a really cool post. I had never given much thought regarding humidifiers and I never really cared enough to learn what they’re even for. This post was very educational by teaching what a humidifier is and its purpose in a practical sense. I think this post is cool because it teaches us something practical that we can all use in our day to day lives especially at this time of year. Great work!

  5. Alexandra Herr

    I’ve never owned a humidifier, but many of my friends have so I’ve seen them before but never truly experienced one. I understand how the machine itself works, but I wasn’t really sure what effect the increased moisture in the air was having until I found this article. It says that the moisture in the air prevents dryness that can cause irritation in many parts of the body. I am interested in what the harms of overuse or misuse of a humidifier would be and think that would be an interesting second part to this blog!

    After reading this article, I think my roommate and I should look in to getting a humidifier for our room because neither of us can seem to shake a cold for the past 3 or 4 weeks. However, I’m not sure what the school safety code on that would be and if they would permit it. I’ll have to look into it!

  6. Dean Giammarco

    Honestly this post helped a lot. I have such an issue with getting random cold like symptoms through out the year. Especially during the school year we can all use things like this. I always wake up with a dry mouth, sore throat, or stuffy nose. Definitely going to try this out. Check out this website I found to make your own DIY humidifier. I thought this was interesting. https://www.yahoo.com/makers/the-three-best-homemade-humidifiers-111261481725.html

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