In this article, I’m going to share the benefits of a humidifier in summer.
Our bodies always respond to changes in relative humidity. The air around us helps to regulate our core temperature. Quite simply, when sweat evaporates from our skin, it cools us down.
When the environment becomes too humid, this perspiration doesn’t evaporate, and our bodies cease to function optimally.
We assume that humidifiers work best in the winter months when the atmosphere is dry. But as my research shows, a humidifier can make an enormous difference to your well-being during the summer months too.
When it gets hot, we run the AC, often without thinking. But, air conditioning changes the humidity of the environment – in fact, I’m sure you’ve noticed how dry the air feels in an office building, for instance, where the environment is air conditioned 24/7.
Keep reading for a rundown of the benefits of using a humidifier in summer.
Should You Run A Humidifier In Summer?
Man, the balmy weather of summer brings such relief after the months of parched winter air.
It spells the end of scaly, chapped lips and dry winter skin. And the increased humidity in the air just makes you feel better all around. So, it seems counterproductive to run a humidifier in your home during the summer months.
Or does it …?
Don’t be so quick to pack your humidifier away just yet. The summer months may prove to be the most important time of the year to use a humidifier in your home.
As the mercury shoots up, a whole host of factors cause our air to become dry, and this is where the benefits of a humidifier in summer start bringing substantial relief.
Because of higher levels of conditioned air in your surroundings, the air can often become even drier in summer than in winter. Allergens travel freely between outdoors and indoors. March, for instance, has the highest pollen counts of any month of the year.
If you or your family struggle with allergies, summer can be quite miserable, especially in the early months. A humidifier, when used properly, can provide relief from the symptoms of allergies simply by sustaining comfortable humidity levels in your home or office.
Where To Use A Humidifier In Summer
I use a humidifier in various rooms in my home, depending on the time of day and the traffic in any specific area.
In the bedroom, I generally place it in the center for the best all-around effect. 3-feet from the foot of the bed works well for me, and testing the humidity in various spots in the room with a hygrometer proved that this is the ideal placement.
If you are planning to get a smaller unit (these are great if you want to improve the quality of your sleep) then make a home for it on your bed stand. Smaller units can be drippy, so make sure to place a towel underneath to prevent moisture on the nightstand.
The air in my house is at its driest in the living room. Again, I opted for placement in the center of the room – and again the hygrometer proved me right. Here I should add that the size of your humidifier should be a good match for the size of the space you want to humidify.
Uneven moisture distribution can lead to fungal growth in nooks and crannies in your living area!
I have a separate humidifier that I use exclusively for the kids’ bedrooms. This has proven to be godsent for the prevention of dry skin and allergies. I make sure to place the humidifier out of reach to prevent curious hands from causing spills or other accidents.
I also have a small humidifier in the nursery, and this one I placed about three feet away from the cot, again with the help of the hygrometer.
My wife uses a smaller humidifier in her home office, which is not attached to the house. She opted for a small unit, which has a permanent home on one corner of her desk. It keeps the area directly surrounding her well-moisturized, and makes for a comfortable working day, especially since she runs the air conditioning for around seven hours at a time.
Things To Keep In Mind When Using A Humidifier In Summer
As mentioned – in summer it pays to keep your humidifier fairly centered in whatever space you’re spending time in. This, I’ve found, is a solid rule of thumb.
In the warmer months, there is no harm in using a humidifier near your bed. But, bear in mind, when cooler days come and you decide to use the warm mist function, move it a little further away, both for your comfort and health.
Always make sure that your humidifier matches the size of the room you’ll be placing it in. If the humidifier is too powerful for the area (imagine using a humidifier that covers 1000 square feet in your bathroom), you’ll end up pumping too much moisture into the air.
Not only will this make the atmosphere uncomfortable, but it also leads to the growth of fungus and mold. I use a few different units in my home – for the bedroom, the kids’ room, the nursery, and my wife’s office – and each one was bought with the size of the room in mind.
And then, of course, there is the big unit that takes care of the humidity in the larger living spaces in the house.
Always bear in mind that humidifiers need adequate airflow to do their job. If the airflow is inadequate where you place your unit, it will not function optimally, and the humidity will fluctuate.
What Type Of Humidifier Should You Use In Summer?
Definitely a cool mist humidifier. Without a doubt.
These models make up the largest percentage of humidifier sales in the United States and for good reason.
The cool mist humidifiers add adequate moisture to indoor spaces without producing steam. There is no chance of burning yourself if an accident happens. Cool mist humidifiers are recommended by pediatricians, so if you have kids in the house, this is a no-brainer.
Misha Kollontain, Consumer Reports’ leading humidifier tester, says they’re also the best if you have pets in the house.
Cool mist humidifiers are also more energy efficient. Because they don’t turn water into steam, they require less electricity to function.
And, just so you know, the technology the cool mist units use is, in the case of an evaporative unit, a fan that blows air across a wet wick to cool it down. In this case, the filter ($10) needs to be replaced once every few months.
Then there is also ultrasonic technology, which uses small metal diaphragms that vibrate to create the microparticles of water in the atmosphere.
If you decide an ultrasonic humidifier is the one for you, it pays to remember that these units function best if you use them with distilled water instead of water from the tap. If your tap water contains too many minerals, these units can leave fine, white dust, which is a hassle to clean.
It is just as beneficial to run a humidifier during summer, as it is in winter. It will help cool you down, combat the dry air caused by air conditioners, and help avert the nasty allergy symptoms.
But, be mindful that the size of your humidifier matches the room it is used in. That’s if you want to prevent fungus growth and the appearance of patches of mold.
Each room in your house will also require a different placement, so you may want to get yourself a hygrometer to optimize your unit’s performance when you place it. Also, bear in mind that different-sized human beings respond differently to humidifiers, so you may want to place it further away from children than you would from an adult.
And if you want to maximize the benefits of a humidifier in summer, make sure to get a cool mist unit. It will turn your home into a cool, comfortable haven during the hot months.