Why you shouldn’t use a humidifier is a safe guide to health and quality of life. Because they can make your indoor air quality worse.
Poor air quality is due to various things, but one common indoor air pollutant is excess moisture.
When & Why You Shouldn’t Use A Humidifier?
Humidifiers are a good source of help for many people who experience sinus problems, nosebleeds, or dry skin conditions.
But did you know that they can make your indoor air quality worse?
That’s right. If not used properly, humidifiers can be worse for you and your home. Here are some reasons why:
1. Breeding Ground For Bacteria And Mold:
Bacteria and mold love humid environments. If you have a humidifier, you must be vigilant about cleaning it regularly.
Otherwise, you’re just giving bacteria and mold a nice, warm, moist place to breed.
Not only does dirty humidifier water breed bacteria and mold. But it can also spread those contaminants through the air in your home.
How? Well, when the humidifier’s water vaporizes into the air, so do any bacteria or mold lurking in the water.
And we all know that breathing in mold and bacteria can lead to many health problems.
Also, when there is excess moisture in the air, it condenses on windows and other cold surfaces.
This provides the perfect environment for mold to grow. So if you have a humidifier, keep an eye out for mold growth in your home.
For instance, you might see black, green, or white growth on walls, ceilings, or windows.
And you can usually tell if it’s mold or has a musty smell. A musty smell is often one of the first signs of mold in your home.
Once you identify mold, getting rid of it as quickly as possible is essential.
You can get rid of it by scrubbing it with a mold-killing solution. But be sure to wear gloves and a mask when you’re doing this. Mold can be harmful to your health.
2. Can Make Asthma And Allergies Worse:
If you suffer from asthma or allergies, you might want to think twice before using too much humidifier.
That’s because excessive air moisture can worsen your asthma and allergies.
How? Well, increased moisture can cause the pollen and mold spores in the air to become airborne.
And when you breathe in that airborne pollen and mold spores, it can trigger asthma or allergy attack. And you don’t want that.
You can avoid this by using a humidifier with an air filter. The air filter removes any pollen or mold spores from the humidifier’s water before turning it into vapor.
And when you use a humidifier with an air filter, be sure to change the filter regularly. Otherwise, it won’t do you much good.
Sometimes, cleaning the filter isn’t enough. If your allergies or asthma are worsening, it might be time to replace the filter.
3. Can Cause Respiratory Infections:
Respiratory infections are no fun. And using a humidifier can increase your risk of getting one.
That’s because dirty humidifiers can spread bacteria and viruses through the air.
Excessive moisture cause bacteria and viruses to attach to respiratory tract.
Some common respiratory infections that humidifiers can cause include:
And once they attach, it’s much easier to cause an infection. So if you use a humidifier, be sure to keep it clean.
Some essential oils can increase your risk of respiratory infections.
So if you use essential oils in your humidifier, ensure they are properly diluted.
To dilute them, mix them with water in a 1:1 ratio. So for every drop of essential oil, add one drop of water.
4. Can Lead To Condensation And Moisture Damage:
If there’s too much moisture in the air, it can condense on cold surfaces like windows and walls. This can lead to problems like water damage and wood rot.
Water damage happens when the water from the condensation seeps into porous materials. Such as wood and drywall.
This can cause those materials to swell, warp, and rot. And it can also provide the perfect environment for mold to grow.
Wood rot, on the other hand, happens when the moisture from condensation seeps into wood.
This can cause the wood to rot and eventually crumble. So if you use a humidifier, keep an eye out for any condensation in your home.
And if you see any, be sure to address the problem right away.
5. Can Encourage The Growth Of Dust Mites:
Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in humid environments. So if you use a humidifier, you could encourage the growth of dust mites in your home.
And that’s not good news for people with asthma. That’s because dust mites are one of the most common triggers for this condition.
Also, when dust mites die, their bodies and feces can trigger an allergic reaction in some people.
Allergies can cause problems like runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing.
Once you have dust mites in your home, getting rid of them can be pretty tricky.
That’s why it’s essential to take steps to prevent them from taking up residence in the first place.
If you use a humidifier, keep the humidity level below 50%. This will make it harder for dust mites to survive.
You should also vacuum regularly and use dust mite covers for your bedding.
Also, wash your bedding in hot water (above 130 degrees Fahrenheit) every week.
6. Can Be A Fire Hazard:
If you have a humidifier, you must be extra careful around open flames. That’s because the extra moisture in the air can make it easier for fires to start and spread.
So if you’re using a humidifier, keep any candles, incense, or other open flames away.
And if you have a gas stove, be sure to turn it off before using the humidifier.
Sometimes, even electric appliances can pose a fire hazard. If you have an electric humidifier, keep it away from any electrical outlets.
Such as power strips, extension cords, and outlets that are not grounded.
You might also consider investing in a humidifier with an automatic shut-off feature.
This way, if the humidifier gets too close to an open flame, it will turn itself off.
7. Can Be Expensive To Operate:
A humidifier can cost you a lot of money if you’re not careful.
That’s because they use a lot of electricity. Some humidifiers can use as much electricity as a space heater.
So if you use a humidifier, be sure to look for one that is energy-efficient.
Also, be sure to use it sparingly. You should only use it when the humidity level drops below 30%.
Also, be sure to turn it off when you’re not home. And be sure to clean it regularly.
You can prevent the build-up of mold and mildew by using distilled water.
And you should also empty the water reservoir after each use. This will help to prevent the growth of bacteria. Prevention is better than cure.
8. Can Be Difficult To Clean:
A messed up, a dirty humidifier can cause more harm than good. And cleaning such a humidifier can be pretty difficult.
That’s because the layers of grime and bacteria can be tough to remove. Also, if you are using a cleaning solution, it might cost you more.
Thus, to prevent this, you should clean your humidifier regularly. You can do this by using a mild soap and water solution.
Rinse it well and dry it thoroughly before using it again. And when you’re not using it, be sure to store it in a dry place.
A humidifier can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew, even with regular cleaning. If this happens, you’ll need to replace it.
9. Can Be A Source Of Noise Pollution:
It can be pretty noisy if your humidifier is old or not working correctly. This can be unpleasant, especially if you’re trying to sleep.
So if you’re using a humidifier, check that it’s not too loud. You can do this by holding it up to your ear and turning it on. If it’s too loud, you might need a new one.
And also, be sure to put it on a soft surface, such as a towel. This will help to reduce the noise.
Likewise, if you have an ultrasonic humidifier, place it on a stable surface.
If it’s not stable, it can vibrate and make a lot of noise. Other humidifiers, such as evaporative humidifiers, are usually relatively quiet.
10. Can Cause Suffocation:
In excessive moisture, no outlet for humidifier’s steam can cause suffocation.
So if you’re using a humidifier, keep the door open. And also, be sure to keep it away from your bed.
You should also be careful when using a humidifier in a small room. Be sure to open a window or door to allow the steam to escape.
And be sure to turn it off when you’re not in the room. If you have asthma or allergies, consult your doctor before using a humidifier.
How Often To Use Or Replace Your Humidifier?
Ideally, you should only use it when the humidity level drops below 30%.
And you should only use it for a few hours at a time. Also, be sure to turn it off when you’re not home.
Replace it every 2-3 years or as needed. And clean it every week or as needed. This will help to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
Humidifiers can be quite helpful, but they also have some risks. So be sure to use them carefully.
There are some reasons why not to use humidifiers. They can be expensive to operate, and they can be challenging to clean. And they can be a source of noise pollution.
When dirty, they can cause more harm than good. So be sure to clean them regularly. And be sure to turn them off when you’re not using them.
- How to Clean a Warm Mist Humidifier in 7 Easy Steps - October 9, 2023
- Warm Mist Humidifier: 5 Uses and 7 Life-Changing Benefits - October 9, 2023
- How to Clean a Cool Mist Humidifier? 4 Easy Steps - September 22, 2023