The old saying, It’s not the heat it’s the humidity, applies to winter as much as it does in the summer. But with the opposite effect. Warmer air holds more moisture, so in summer, the humidity usually goes up with the temperature, often making the heat feel unbearable. In the winter, on the other hand, humidity is naturally lower. The result: air so dry that it that irritates the eyes, nose, and throat, dries out the skin, and exacerbates health conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The dry air of winter can even cause nosebleeds and make worsen snoring.
In order to remain healthy in dry winter air, it is best to add moisture to the air by using a humidifier. However, humidifiers need special care. Here are 3 tips to make sure you benefit from properly humidified air all winter, without adding additional risk.
1. Monitor the humidity
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), humidity should be between 30% and 50% indoors. Humidity that is either above or below that range will negatively impact health. How to tell how much humidity is in your home? Use a humidity meter, called a hygrometer. Some humidifiers have built in hygrometers, but if yours doesn’t, you should buy a separate meter.
2. Use only purified or distilled water in your humidifier
Tap water and unfiltered water contain minerals and other particles that can cause your humidifier to wear out more quickly. Moreover, inhaling these particles can lead to health problems.
3. Clean your humidifier regularly
Check the manufacturer’s instructions on how often your humidifier needs to be cleaned. Cleaning it less frequently or not as thoroughly as the manufacturer recommends will lead to the growth of bacteria in the water. And you don’t want your humidifier spraying bacteria all through your house.
Beacon of LIFE, in Oceanport, NJ, is a government-approved PACE program created to provide seniors, their family, caregivers and professional health care providers the flexibility to meet their health care needs while continuing to live in their community.
Beacon of LIFE maintains a comfortable and safe center that offers a variety of activities, and an interdisciplinary team of professionals who give each client the coordinated care they need. Our staff specialize in working with older people, and work with each client and their family to develop the most effective plan of care.
We provide a variety of services, including primary care, hospital care, medical specialty services, prescription drugs, nursing home care, emergency services, home care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, adult day care, recreational therapy, meals, dentistry, nutritional counseling, social services, laboratory / X-ray services, social work counseling, and transportation.
Our care and services allow people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.