Are you using a humidifier to help annoying allergy symptoms caused by dry air, such as scratchy nasal passages or throat or dry, tight skin or eczema? You need to watch out for mistakes you might be making in the care and use of your unit. Manufacture’s instructions should be strictly followed!
Here are some commonly made errors while using humidifier:
Don’t ignore humidity levels at home
Simply put, humidity is the level of water vapor in your indoor air. And, the level of humidity in your indoor air can either help your allergy symptoms or hurt them if it gets out of control. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you should keep humidity below 60% in the summer and, ideally, between 25% and 40% relative humidity when the weather turns cold.
While many types of humidifiers come with a built-in humidistat for measuring relative humidity you can also buy a separate moisture or humidity meter, officially called a hygrometer to measure and check your indoor relative humidity, more accurately.
Forgetting to clean the unit often
Since you breathe the air affected by your humidifier, you must follow the manufacturer’s specific directions on how to clean and maintain the unit most effectively. If you don’t clean filters and tanks as often and in the exact manner as described by the manufacturer, the unit can grow and breed mold, mildew and even bacteria and then spew those allergens into your air along with the mist. Dirty mist may significantly worsen any allergy symptoms, so be sure to clean your unit as specified.
Letting humidity levels rise too high
Along with keeping humidity stable, watch out if it rises above acceptable levels, because while a little humidity can improve allergy symptoms, excessive levels of humidity can actually make them a lot worse. This is especially the case if you have specific, known allergies to dust mites, molds and mildew. Higher relative indoor humidity levels lead to these known allergens increasing, proliferating and thriving in your house.
Check the humidity and reduce it immediately if the room feels particularly dense and moist, curtains and pillows feel damp, or condensation is building up on windows or window sills, which are all signs that the humidity is too high.
Letting water sit in the unit
Never let water sit in the machine for days between uses as a film can form on the top, which is a breeding ground for bacteria in the enclosed tank. Always empty water and clean the tank when not in use or even when skipping use for one day. Follow manufacturer’s directions for cleaning and/or wiping down the unit with hydrogen peroxide or bleach to inhibit bacterial growth and then rinse and dry thoroughly so harmful chemicals never get released into your indoor air. If you notice that bacteria or algae are building up in your unit, it is recommended to use a special water treatment formula to help you get it under control.
Please make sure you avoid these mistakes as they put your health at risk and interfere with smooth functioning of the humidifier.