By now, I hope that my posts made you realize that using a humidifier during the winter, when the heating kicks in and the air in your home becomes dry, is a MUST. But, knowing when to use a humidifier (I am talking about maybe using it during the seasons that are not the winter), is equally important. We all know how uncomfortable the effects of the dry air and pollen (when it comes) are.
The sinus inflammation, dry nose, the sore throat in the morning. Also, the nervous kids because they couldn’t sleep well, the itchy skin... Not to mention the accelerated deterioration of your wooden furniture and floors. Also, from pollen, running nose, red eyes, swollen and itchy eyes... All these problems are directly connected to the lack of moisture in the air in your home.
Now, we have already determined that fixing the dry air in the winter can be done by using a humidifier. And, that the benefits of moisturized air are immeasurable.
But, what about the rest of the year? Should you pack up the humidifier once the heating season is over?
Or, is there a need for it during the spring, or summer, or maybe the fall?
The answer is simple, DO NOT pack your humidifier once the winter is over and the humidity normalizes. It can, and will be useful throughout the entire year.
Here are the reasons why you need it up and running in certain situations in all four seasons.
The winter has finally ended, and the heating season is over. The temperatures begin to rise and the humidity rapidly improves.
So, why would you need a humidifier now?
Well, the truth is, now that the air outside is not below zero, viruses will start popping up.
And, the nature is also waking up, meaning that the pollen will soon be present in the air.
You know what this means, flu and pollen allergies.
Also, many think that the humidity in their homes is low only during the winter.
The cold air outside, the cranking up of the heating system inside, and you get dry, nearly moisture-free air.
The truth is, it is worse during the winter. The warm air is lighter than cool air and it is incapable of holding up moisture in it.
Thus, the indoor humidity drops and the living conditions in our homes become less comfortable.
But, many tend to forget, or maybe don’t even know one thing. When the spring comes, pollen and viruses are not the only problems that are flying around in the air.
JUST THINK LOGICALLY
The temperatures outside start rising. We are all witnesses how climate changes affected the springs in the last decade.
We don’t have that gradual temperature increasing, but literally jump from the winter, right into the summer.
This means that we use air conditioning much sooner than we used to before.
This means that the air starts drying up again, and you are back to dry nose, soar throat, and all the issues you have during the winter.
Therefore, running the humidifier while running the air conditioning is recommended.
But, this goes for those of you who live in areas where the natural humidity of the air is low. And, you need to raise it yourself.
For those of you who are living in areas where humidity is high, running the humidifier is not a must.
WHAT I DID
For example. While living in my home country (Germany) where the humidity is always high, when the spring comes, it started getting warmer and warmer.
Now, instead of using a humidifier while the air conditioning was working, I used to just open a few windows. This allowed fresh, humid air to get inside.
WHICH ONE TO USE?
But, if you do need to use a humidifier during spring because of the pollen, and you don’t want to raise the temperature even more with the warm mist humidifiers, I suggest you opt for cool mist and for that the best choice are Ultrasonic models.
If you don’t have a cool mist humidifier, you can check out my review of the MistAire XL Cool Mist Humidifier.
It will also help you with the temperature in the room because the cool mist will cool down the air a bit, meaning there’s no need to go “Full throttle” on the air conditioner.
But now, let’s return to the biggest spring problems, the pollen and allergies.
How Does KNOWING WHEN TO USE a Humidifier Help With Pollen Allergies?
According to AAFA (Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America), nearly 50 million people in the States are suffering from allergies.
That is practically every fifth person, dealing with spring allergy issues.
Now, from a science point of view, your immune system reaction foreign invader, is considered as an allergy.
Or, at least for what your body thinks is an invader.
For example, when you are around mold, bacteria, and dust, your immune system might be triggered and that would cause a temporary allergic reaction in the form of a sneezing episode, nose running, itching eyes, and so on.
However, when it comes to pollen, those temporary allergic reactions can turn into a nearly whole year allergy.
Which, isn’t dangerous for your health, but if it gets in your lungs, it can make the life complicated.
WHAT IS POLLEN AND WHAT IT DOES TO US?
Pollen is the most common allergen that, as I mentioned, can make your life quite complicated.
For example, it can prevent you from playing with your kids in the back yard, or simply going out during the warm months when plants are releasing it into the air.
So, what does pollen have to do with humidity and how can knowing when to use a humidifier help you with it?
Well, it’s simple actually, much simpler than one might think.
We all know that, when the spring comes, and your pollen allergy kicks in, no matter how hard you try, some of the pollen will find its way inside your home and you won’t be safe.
WHAT TO DO?
You can replace the air filter on your air condition system each month and that might help you a bit. But, it won’t stop the pollen completely. And, you know that even a tiny amount is enough to trigger the allergies.
Speaking of air conditioning systems, this is where the actual problem lies.
It is drying up the air in your home, and gives the pollen a chance to easily fly through the air and get into your lungs.
So, what’s the humidifier’s role in all of this?
Well, by adding moisture to your home’s air (ideally somewhere between 40%-50%), you are stopping the pollen from freely flying around.
The moisture actually captures the pollen, kind of a soaks it up and makes it too heavy to fly around, and it falls down. This goes for other air-born allergens as well.
Now, if you already live in a humid area but still have the problems with pollen, I recommend still running the humidifier, only running it at the low steam output, so that you make sure the mist traps the pollen.
As for when is the best time to use it, well, that depends mostly on you.
If you have warm or hot springs, you will probably run the AC system during the day and the humidifier at the low mist output.
At night, on the other hand, your AC will probably be off, which is why you need to crank up the humidifier.
WILL YOU SAVE SOME MONEY?
Also, since a cool mist humidifier helps with cooling down the air, you won’t need to use your air conditioning system at full power, meaning, humidifier will help you with your electricity bill as well (not drastically, but still noticeable because it uses less energy than the Air conditioning system, to cool the air down).
Therefore, as you can see, not only that using a humidifier during the spring, when you have already started using the air drying air conditioning systems, helps with getting rid of a dry nose and other dry air issues, but it also keeps the air-born allergens like pollen, at bay.
Okay, I know that to many, using a humidifier during the summer probably sounds ridiculous.
I mean, why would you add moisture when the air during the summer is not dry, right?
Well, as I always like to say, summer is not just about fun in the sun and in the pool.
At least not in my case because of my pollen allergies and sensitive skin.
As you probably know, when it comes to allergies, summer is the prime time.
It’s worse than the spring because in the summer, every single flower had already opened up and they are spraying the pollen into the air.
Bees are busy, but they are also carrying pollen, and those who have allergies, are probably struggling with running noses, right?
Also, since it’s really hot both outside and inside, our air conditioners are working at max power.
Which, if you haven’t noticed, is drying up the air in your home at light speed (and eating a lot of electrical power).
And, this can only make your allergy symptoms even worse, and might even cause sinus infections.
So, as you might have guessed where I am going with this, humidifiers are also very important during the hot summer months for those who suffer from pollen allergies (myself included).
DOES IT OFFER BENEFITS?
Here are some of the benefits I noticed after I started using the humidifier in the summer:
WHICH ONE TO USE?
So, as you can see, there are many benefits of using a humidifier even during the hot summer months, but, remember that a cool mist humidifier is what you need, not a warm mist model.
Therefore, I recommend reading a review of the myBaby Sound Spa Ultrasonic Cool mist humidifier, I did earlier.
Also, it would be wise to crank up the mist output on the humidifier during the night, when the AC isn’t working at max power, and tune it down to medium during the day so that you make sure the air is nicely humidified and trapping the airborne issues, yet not killing your wallet.
Of course, all this goes for those of you who have a climate that makes the air hot and dry, which makes everything much more complicated, especially if you add the air conditioning system to the equation, you have an extremely dry air that allows the pollen to fly around easily and get inside your nose, throat and lungs, and trigger the allergies.
Even without the pollen in the air, dry air is not what you want to breathe, therefore, it is good to have a humidifier running even during the summer if you have dry and hot climate where you live.
On the other hand, like during the spring, if the humidity where you live is high, there won’t be a need to use a humidifier because the natural humidity will make the pollen heavy and not allow it to fly around that easily.
In your case, there’s no need to use a humidifier because you can only make the humidity in your home higher than recommended (40%-50%), which can lead to mold development and wooden furniture deterioration.
Now, we’ve covered the spring and the summer, and the reasons why a humidifier is beneficial are there.
But, what about the fall?
Do you need a humidifier then?
First of all, the fall is the season that is mostly filled with rainy days.
So, the humidity is not much of an issue. Unless your home is nearly vacuum sealed, you won’t be having problems with dry air.
Also, all the flowers are long gone by then and there’s pretty much no pollen in the air.
Meaning, your pollen allergies will be at bay.
But, this is the time of the year when the temperatures start to drop, and many start turning on the heating systems, at least for a little while until the home heats up a bit.
This means larger electrical bills, as well as drying up the air.
WHAT I DID
To avoid the mentioned situations, instead of turning on the heat, I turn on my warm mist humidifier.
However, I never turn it on max mist output because there’s simply no need for that.
Lowest mist output.
In my case, is quite enough to make the air really comfortable to breath, and it raises the temperature in the house just right, not too warm, yet warmer than outside for a few degrees.
On the other hand, at night, when we normally don’t use the heating system, I raise the mist output level to nearly to the maximum.
However, if the falls where you live are known to be nearly as cold as the winter, I suggest combining the heating system with the humidifier.
The heating can be set to minimum, while the humidifier can work on the medium settings.
No real threat for the electricity bill, and a nice, warm, humid air to breathe.
WHAT CAN HELP
If you haven’t got a clue which warm mist humidifier to consider, I suggest checking out my review of the Boneco Air O Swiss Humidifier.
My parents have it and they use it throughout the entire year, and they are extremely happy with it.
But, if you simply don’t want to use the humidifier during the fall, yet the heating system is a must because the climate where you live is cold, you can crank up the heat to a level you are comfortable with, and open a window so that you allow the air exchange and let the moisture from the outside get inside your home.
However, this could impact the final electricity bill, so be aware.
Do the math with both scenarios (heating system+humidifier, and heating system+opened window) and see which one suits you best.
I am a humidifier freak and like to use it pretty much throughout the year, but the air here is always dry so I have a good reason for that.
If you don’t have such a problem, you might be better off with just slightly opening the window while the heating system works.
This is practically a no brainer!
We all know that a humidifier is a MUST for the winter days, especially when the heating turns your home into an inferno.
I cannot highlight enough how important is to use a humidifier in your child’s room during the night.
Before we got our first humidifier, the first two winters after my first child was born, were a real horror.
Not only that I would have a sore throat and nose in the morning, and a splitting headache from my sinus flare-ups because of the dry air, but I didn’t have much sleep either, because my daughter kept waking up because her little honker was all clogged up because there was not enough moisture in it to allow the mucus to “slide” out and it got stuck inside and dried up.
And, we all know how painful that gets, don’t we.
WHAT I DID
Luckily, we bought our first humidifier and we all started sleeping much better and felt much, much better in the morning.
But, even though ultrasonic, cool mist humidifiers will definitely do the job perfectly, I recommend getting a warm mist humidifier.
Well, even though it might be a bit more complicated to maintain due to more parts, filters and so on, warm mist is much healthier to breath in, and it makes the overall atmosphere in your home much more comfortable.
Also, it will help you heat up the home (in case you get a big humidifier that can humidify larger areas) easier. Due to the warmth of the mist, you can crank down the heating system and even save up a bit on your electricity bill.
There you have it folks, reasons why investing in a humidifier, is a great idea.
You can literally use it throughout the entire year, and, your family’s and your health will improve significantly, not to mention how grateful all the woodwork in your home will be.
But, since you need to switch from the cool mist to warm mist, depending on the season, you have two options. One, you'll either buy a cool mist humidifier, as well as a warm mist one. Or, you can choose a model that is a hybrid and offers both.
In my case, I have one for each room. And, one of them is a hybrid, which I move around the house, depending on the need.
So, what will your choice be?
Are you already using the humidifier for more seasons than just the winter?