People often turn on the humidifier to add moisture to the air, when they start coughing, but there are varying opinions on whether humidifiers ease cough and cold symptoms. If you use one in your home, please take precautions to avoid potential problems related to bacteria, fungi and dust.
Check More About Reasons to Get a Dehumidifier for Your Home.
Ensure the humidifier is clean
If a humidifier isn’t cleaned well, bacteria or fungi can grow in the water tank and release into the room through the mist, potentially causing health problems ranging from flu-like symptoms to serious infection. Tanks need to be emptied, wiped fully dry, and refilled on a daily basis. All parts exposed to water have to be scrubbed with a disinfectant to remove film or other deposits, and then the tank should be rinsed thoroughly before the next use – it should be done every third day. Before storing the humidifier, it should be dry and clean.
Always use distilled water
Make sure you use distilled or demineralized water instead of tap water in a humidifier – it prevents mineral deposits from accumulating in the water tank or other components coming into contact with water. Using distilled water also reduces the potential for microorganisms and minerals to be dispersed into the room.
Keep an eye on humidity levels
When indoor humidity levels exceed 50 percent, the moisture in the air can encourage the growth of mold and bacteria. It can even condense on windows, walls and pictures. So if you notice condensation, the air in the room is likely too humid. Some humidifiers have a built-in control you can set to a desired humidity level, or you can use an inexpensive hygrometer to monitor humidity levels in your home.
What is the verdict?
The usage of cool mist and steam humidifiers are common when it comes to treating cough and cold symptoms, but there is conflicting information about effectiveness. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that a cool mist humidifier can soothe a cough by loosening mucus, but the World Health Organization and the Cochrane Collaboration cite lack of sufficient evidence to support this theory. Moreover, not all coughs are due to colds. Humidification might be inappropriate for a person with an asthma cough who is sensitive to humidity-loving allergen sources.
But then again, humidifiers provide a comfortable and cozy environment at home, so cold and cough symptoms won’t get aggravated if you install them (barring certain circumstances as mentioned above). Even if they don’t contribute to reducing these symptoms, the air quality in your home drastically improves for sure.