Humidifiers are a great solution for skin and breathing problems caused by dry air. But without regular maintenance, your humidifier can become a household health hazard. If humidity levels stay too high for too long your house can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. The good news is all Blueair filters are made using hydrophobic polymers, meaning the fibers will not absorb any water and are naturally resistant to mold or bacteria growth without any toxic, chemical additives.
Safety first. Proper maintenance is key with humidity.
If you use a humidifier, be sure to monitor humidity levels and keep your humidifier clean. Proper maintenance can provide needed humidity without creating a breeding ground for mold and/or bacteria. If you have allergies or asthma, be sure to talk to your doctor before using a humidifier.
Humidity by definition is simply the amount of water vapor in the air. How much humidity varies depending on the season, weather and where you live. Typically, humidity levels are at their highest during the summer and lowest during the winter months. The ideal humidity level in your home should be somewhere between 30 and 50 percent. The problems begin when humidity levels are too low or too high.
Dry skin, sinus and throat irritation, itchy eyes, cracked lips, cold/respiratory conditions. When our mucus membranes are too dry we are more receptive to infections and also more sensitive towards fine particulate that can cause inflammatory conditions. The right air purifier can lower levels of virus, bacteria and other fine particulate before we breathe it in.
Condensation on walls, floors and other surfaces that triggers the growth of harmful bacteria, dust mites and molds. These allergens often lead to respiratory problems and trigger allergy and asthma reactions. Filtering the air can limit the spread of mold spores before it starts to grow in other places. Once mold takes hold it can be very hard to remove so it’s best to catch it early before it results in what is known as sick building syndrome.
How to avoid “Humidifier lung” and white dust.
If the humidity in your home is over 60%, your humidifier could very easily turn into a breeding ground for dust mites and harmful mold. This specific type of mold growth is often associated with a condition known as Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis (Humidifier Lung), which can cause additional respiratory symptoms and lung damage. Using tap water containing minerals (a.k.a. hard water) to fill your humidifier may produce a “white dust” (calcium is most common), which usually spreads over furniture and other objects. Using distilled water and a demineralization cartridge in ultrasonic humidifiers, or cleaning the unit with citric acid or vinegar can help with mineral deposits. The US EPA suggests cleaning and disinfecting humidifiers every third day. Avoid using soap and other chemicals that could potentially get vaporized into the air you breathe.
Suffering from skin or breathing problems?
If your doctor recommends using a home humidifier be sure to clean it properly in addition to using your Blueair purifier to capture any mold or bacteria created.
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