Should I Use a Humidifier in Summer?

So, you are asking yourself, “Should I use a humidifier in summer?”  Most of us have experienced cold and dry winters, so we get out the humidifier to help make those dry nights more comfortable. In the summer when the air conditioning is running non-stop, our skin is getting dry, our nose is congested, and our plants are sad.

You can use a humidifier in summer but there are advantages, disadvantages, and important tidbits to consider.

should-i-use-a-humidifier-in-summer

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Advantages of Using A Humidifier in Summer

Humidifiers can turn an uncomfortably dry room into a nice cozy place to live comfortably. They work by putting moisture back into the air we breathe. 

humidifier advantages infographic. Maintaining 30 -50 percent relative humidity levels in your home provides great benefits to include, promotes better sleep, alleviates allergy-related symptoms, combats viruses and bacteria, encourages healthy plant growth, soothes dry throat and nose, reduces nasal congestion, prevent static electricity, moisturizes skin, and reduces snoring. image created by allergypreventions.com


Humidifier Advantages

  • Promotes better sleep
  • Reduces snoring
  • Combats viruses & bacteria
  • Moisturizes skin
  • Soothes dry throat & nose
  • Reduces nasal congestion
  • Prevents static electricity 
  • Encourages healthy plant growth
  • Alleviates allergy-related symptoms

Moisturized air has many advantages that not only work in summer but all year long.

Something important to note is you need to maintain relative humidity levels in the range of 30 percent to 50 percent to avoid excess humidity issues. 

Potential Disadvantages of Using A Humidifier in Summer

There are important potential disadvantages to be aware of when using a humidifier, but most are avoidable! The main concern that causes most of these disadvantages is humidity levels that are too high, which is above 60% humidity. 

Humidifier disadvantages infographic. potential disadvantages to consider when using a humidifier: May cause a/c unit to work harder, requires frequent cleaning, using hard water lowers performance, risk of burns from stream humidifiers, potential germ, mildew and mold breeding ground, and a dirty humidifier can cause illness. image created by allergypreventions.com

 

Humidifier Disadvantages

  • May cause the A/C unit to work harder
  • Requires frequent cleaning
  • Using hard water lowers performance/product life expectancy 
  • A steam humidifier can become a burn risk
  • Potential breeding ground for germs, mildew, and mold
  • A dirty humidifier can cause illness 

Disadvantages of Too Much Humidity Indoors

Generally speaking, too much humidity inside your home (above 60% humidity) leads to some potential drawbacks as well.

Disadvantages of excess humidity indoors infographic stating: Can make asthma symptoms worse, indoor items become damp, moisture buildup on windows, breeding ground for dust mites, attracts moisture-loving insects, promotes mold and mildew growth

Disadvantages of Excess Humidity Indoors List

  • Damp items in the home
  • Moisture buildup on windows
  • Breeding ground for dust mites
  • Attracts moisture-loving insects
  • Promotes mold & mildew growth
  • Can make asthma symptoms worse 

Don’t let these potential disadvantages deter you! As long as you use distilled water, keep humidity levels below 60%, and clean the humidifier often, you can prevent most of these “cons”. 

How To Measure Humidity Levels Accurately in Your Home

Your humidifier might be equipped with a means to measure the humidity levels, but these built-in features tend to not be very accurate. 

To get an accurate humidity measurement I recommend getting a Hygrometer. A hygrometer is simply an instrument that measures humidity levels. Amazon has a large variety and you can pick up a very decently rated hygrometer for under $15.

They carry digital and analog to fit your needs. These two had the best ratings and price-point, check them out by clicking the image. 

Digital Hygrometer/Thermometer With App 


Analog Hygrometer

 

Can You Use a Humidifier With an Air Conditioner? 

Yes, you can use a humidifier with an air conditioner. Air conditioning units cool the air and remove moisture, and When humidity levels drop, you may begin to start noticing more than just dry air.

You might notice that your skin is dry and itchy and you might have an increase in nose bleeds.

As long as you maintain home humidity levels lower than 60% you will relieve symptoms, without causing complications from too much humidity. 

How Long Can You Run a Humidifier?

You should run a humidifier long enough to achieve the ideal relative humidity (RH) levels of 30%-50%. The EPA recommends that RH should be kept below 60 percent to prevent mold growth.

Can You Run Your Humidifier All Night? 

You can run your humidifier all day and night unless the manufacturer of the humidifier says otherwise. You will need to ensure that you are keeping the humidity levels under control and cleaning the humidifier per the unit’s instruction manual.

Like any other appliance in the home, do not leave it unattended. 

Should You Use a Humidifier if You Have Asthma? 

Depending on your triggers, a humidifier might make allergy and asthma symptoms worse.  The Asthma Society of Canada DOES NOT recommend a humidifier or vaporizer for the management of asthma. But they do mention that using a humidifier may assist with relieving dry skin, nose, throat, and lips.

Overall, you should get doctor approval before introducing a humidifier if you suffer from asthma. [spacer height=”20px”]

Final Thoughts

Running a humidifier in the summer can be beneficial to your health, and create a soothing environment inside your home. Don’t forget to keep humidity levels under control with a hygrometer, and properly clean your machine regularly.

Check these articles out:

Summer Allergy Treatment & Prevention Options

Are Summer Allergies A Thing?

Is It A Summer Cold or Allergies?

By Chris

Chris is the creator of Allergy Preventions. As an allergy sufferer himself, his vision is to help others find relief from allergies. By combining his 14 years of Public Health experience, personal experience, and his thirst for knowledge, he is dedicated to providing quality recommendations to assist families with allergy symptom relief.