Can a humidifier breathe?

Humidifier: answers to typical questions

A humidifier is needed to maintain normal humidity in the room. Reduced humidity in heated rooms in winter has a bad effect on the respiratory tract. Dry air dries out your mucus membranes and creates hard crusts of dried mucus that obstruct the free flow of air in your nasal passages. As a consequence, the protective properties of local immunity drops dramatically, increasing the likelihood of blockage of the airways and sinuses, the development of this condition of severe bacterial complications. It is especially important to maintain a normal humidity level for infants and pre-school and primary school children, since they are much more sensitive to dryness due to the smaller size of their airways and peculiarities of their metabolism.

Normal humidity for a healthy child who often walks and sleeps at a maximum of 18 ˚ C is 40% to 60%. And 40% is the minimum. But for a sick child or seriously ill child, reducing the relative humidity in the children’s room to 50% or less is fraught with increasing the severity of the condition and the likelihood of complications. However, it is not advisable to keep humidity higher than 60-70%.

Adults are much more robust and better adapted to low humidity, but for their health the normalization of humidity is very useful.

humidifier, breathe

On this basis, we can conclude that the humidifier is needed primarily for the health of children, but adults, too, will be useful.

Why is indoor humidity not normal in winter??

Tired of Being Short of Breath? Not Getting Enough Air? Try this!

The solubility of water in the air is directly related to temperature. The higher the temperature, the higher the solubility, the more water in a gaseous state can be trapped in the air. In winter at minus 10˚C there is no more than 2 grams of water in 1 cubic meter of air. Once inside and warmed up, the air continues to contain the same amount of moisture as outside. But the potential capacity of air with respect to water when heated to room temperature increases sharply. For example, the absorbency of the air has changed from 2 grams 17.5 grams of water in a cubic meter of air at 20 degrees Celsius. Accordingly, the water vapor saturation of the air changed from 100% to 11.5%, or in other words, the relative humidity when heated decreased from 100% outdoors to 11.5% indoors.

The presence of pasteurization in the device not only reliably solves the problem of suppressing the growth of microorganisms, but also significantly increases productivity due to the presence of thermal component.

The disadvantages include the fact that together with water, all impurities and minerals dissolved in water are thrown into the air, which, after drying microdroplets in flight, continue to fly smoothly around the room, settling gradually on all surfaces. This peculiarity of the principle imposes additional requirements to the mineralization of water. There is not enough distilled water, and boiling will only partially reduce the level of lime, leaving many other components that will fly around the apartment, staining the flame on the gas stove in different colors for a long time. In many cases, hot tap water has a level of impurities that can be tolerated. But still more suitable for such a device water from the first stage of the reverse osmosis home filtration system.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of steam humidifiers compared to other types??

The main advantages are high productivity, little related to the level of humidity, absence of impurities in the evaporated water, sterility.

The disadvantages include the need for frequent maintenance to remove limescale and relatively high power consumption in some models.

If you need a device that is guaranteed to quickly fill the air with clean moisture without impurities, it is quite a good option, if the model is sufficiently productive.

But in urgent cases, any dish will do as an alternative. a bucket, basin, kettle or pot. mounted on a safe heat source.

What are the advantages and disadvantages compared with other types of humidifiers with the natural principle of evaporation?

Their main advantage is the “naturalness” of the evaporation: water evaporates from a large area of constantly wetted surfaces. The intensity of evaporation is regulated by the humidity. the lower the humidity, the more intensive the process is. Humidity rises to the upper limit of normal. evaporation slows down. Plus, moisture evaporates as a gas and all impurities and minerals remain in the liquid phase inside the device. The air saturated with moisture with such a device is perceived more comfortably, naturally, than when using an ultrasonic humidifier. The result of the operation of such a device is equivalent to being in a room with an area of 1-2 square meters, which is constantly blowing on a fan.

Devices of this type include “air washers” and various devices with wetted wicks, nets, a water-spraying turbine, and many others. In my opinion, only air washers with a set of flat wetted discs mounted on a rotating axis are really effective. This option will be considered, and the other designs will be disregarded as certainly unsuitable.

In the “air washer”, a set of disks is coaxially mounted on a rotating axis and partially submerged in water. During rotation, the discs are constantly being wetted in the tray, and over the surface of the water is dried by the air flow from the fan. The air between the discs is saturated with moisture and the dust it contains is partially deposited on the surface of the wet disc and then washed out in the tub. So, these units have the dual effect of humidifying and removing dust from the air. Despite the simplicity of the design, there are devices made according to 2 different design schemes. According to one scheme, water is supplied from a removable reservoir into the tray to wet the disks, and according to the other scheme, the disks are in a tray, which itself is a reservoir. The difference may seem insignificant, but it is significant.

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In the first type of construction, the water in the tub is changed only when the device is completely serviced, and a removable reservoir is used for refilling, water from which is supplied to the working tub, it should be noted, with a loud enough to wake up the sound. Thus, during a refill, impurities also arrive with the water, the concentration of which is constantly increasing, increasing 10-fold by the end of the first refill and 20-fold by the end of the second refill. In seven days, the concentration of impurities can reach one hundred times that of the original water. At the same time, the concentration of dust and the concentration of microbes and algae increases. In my opinion, it is unpleasant and unhealthy to use an opaque turbid cocktail as source of moisture.

The air in the child’s room.

Almost all books and textbooks on child care draw attention to the obvious fact that infants have imperfect mechanisms of body temperature regulation, so there is a high risk of hypothermia. From this, in general, absolutely correct position, often absolutely wrong conclusions are drawn[1]. Protection of the child from hypothermia is a priority, to the point that the purchase of an electric heater is one of the most mandatory actions in preparation for welcoming a newborn. If, as we have mentioned, the temperature in the neonatal ward in the maternity hospital should, according to the instructions, be no lower than 22 ° C (usually it is higher), all parents are afraid at all costs will strive to ensure that it (the temperature) does not fall below this figure does not. The author visited hundreds of newborns in the first days after their discharge from the hospital, and the feeling of shortness of breath was the most constant and most typical of all the feelings he experienced after a short stay in the nursery.

Panic-stricken by the cold, parents often do not even think about the fact that we mentioned imperfect thermoregulation mechanisms are fraught with not only hypothermia, but also overheating.

humidifier, breathe

A newborn’s metabolism is very intense, and it produces a considerable amount of heat. The child’s body needs to get rid of this heat. This can be done in two ways. through the lungs and through the skin (direct transfer of heat by contact between two environments with different temperatures plus the evaporation of sweat).

The air inhaled by a person (a newborn is no exception) reaches the lungs and heats up to body temperature. Т. е. The child breathes in air with a temperature of 18 ° C, and exhales, respectively, 36.6 ° C. In this, of course, a certain amount of heat is lost. If the temperature of inhaled air is 23 ° C, it is obvious that heat loss is significantly reduced. But it is necessary to lose heat! And the child activates the second way of loss. through the skin. It is necessary to form sweat[2], which is not only wet, but also salty. it means that water and salts are lost, and the reserves of both in a newborn are very small.

Even a small lack of fluid significantly disturbs the function of all systems and organs. And the consequences of these disorders you are sure to find when you turn your baby around. Overheating (as long as you don’t say you caught a cold) in the maternity ward is first seen on your newborn’s skin. it’s bright red, with diaper rash in places where sweat accumulates (in the groin, for example)[3]. The baby has a bellyache and painful tummy (the thick intestinal juices can hardly digest food due to the lack of liquid), the mouth has white spots: thrush[4] (thick saliva doesn’t do its job because of the lack of liquid), the nose has dry crusts that make breathing difficult (sometimes he can’t even suck), etc. д.

The temperature control of a newborn baby can be accomplished through two tasks:

1) the temperature of the air in the baby’s room;

Both of these tasks need to be solved immediately, within the first 24 hours after returning from the hospital. The longer it takes to organize and decide, the worse it will be for you and your baby, the more effort you will need to make up for lost time.

It is extremely important (. ) not to confuse and not to mix up such concepts as “cold baby” and “temperature of the air the baby breathes”.

The optimal temperature for children’s rooms is 18-19 ° C.

The higher, the worse. But for life. both yours and the children’s. you need to remember the most important rule that allows you to make the right decision when in doubt[5]:


Only so and not otherwise, because you can not, in any case do not forget that overheating a child is not less, but usually much more dangerous than overcooling!

Natural conditions usually allow an optimal temperature regime (18-19 ° C), but there are exceptions, and they are not at all uncommon. A child may be born in a hot season, in a country with a hot climate, in a city where heating network workers tend to be more zealous about their duties, etc. д.

To protect a child from overheating at high indoor temperatures (above 22 ° C), you can act in three ways:

1) clothing, or rather its minimal amount;

2) Enough fluid intake in the child’s body, in addition to milk (water);

On all these fronts, we will thoroughly go further.

Another factor. no less important in comparison with the temperature in the nursery. the relative humidity.

The relevance of this parameter is exceptionally high especially for children, and it is associated with the same previously mentioned features of infant thermoregulation. Exhaled air has a body temperature and humidity of 100%. The drier the inhaled air, the more fluid the child’s body expends to its humidification, and what additional water loss leads to. we have already said.

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Most of the readers of this book live in very specific climatic conditions, when at least six months (from October to April at best) there is a heating season, and a fundamental feature of almost all heating systems is drying of air in living rooms.

What Happens When You Put Soda in a Humidifier?

The optimal relative humidity in the children’s room is 50-70%.

Heating the air tends to make the humidity in the room less than half of what is recommended. And the more the child’s relatives are concerned about the risk of freezing, the more actively the children’s room is heated, the drier the air, the greater the chance of health problems for the baby: drying out of the mucous membranes of the airways (coughing, sniffling), skin problems, blood clots, etc. д.

The conclusion is obvious: controlling and maintaining indoor humidity is the most important parental task. Frequent humid cleaning, open containers of water, sprayers, decorative fountains, an aquarium are options for its solution. Modern technology makes it less time consuming to achieve the goal. Relatives of the child should at least know that there is such a simple, not very expensive and very effective gizmo, which is called a household humidifier (they come in steam and ultrasound, the latter is quieter and safer).

How dangerous is too dry air?

Too dry indoor air is contraindicated especially for people with allergies and people with respiratory problems. Dry air does not bind dust, tiny particles of which get into the lungs with every breath.

As a result, even a healthy person has such symptoms as:

An asthmatic can literally suffocate. For people suffering from chronic respiratory diseases, a humidifier in the apartment is as necessary as medicine.

Central heating in an apartment building during a cold winter dries the air out. To avoid this you need a humidifier

Particularly dangerous is the dry air in old houses, the ventilation system of which is far from ideal. Central heating in multistory buildings also “dries out” the air.

Closed, and sometimes still old-style taped-up windows and electric heaters in older apartments only worsen the situation. In such apartments it literally becomes difficult to breathe. But discomfort is only part of the problem.

Control via smartphone

Remote control can help you not only to turn on the device from the comfort of your couch, but also to get information about the condition of the air in the house and the appropriate period of service. In this category you can add the same LG Signature LSA50A with Wi-Fi and control via smartphone using the SmartThinQ app.

Or the Boneco U350 which works via the Boneco App for smartphones with useful tips from Boneco. The app will let you know if the water needs changing, for example, and that has a positive effect on the air quality in the house.

The damage from dry air

There is a reason why there are strict guidelines for the lower relative humidity limit: being in an environment with too dry air can lead to unpleasant and even dangerous consequences for your health.

For example, nasopharyngeal dryness, bleeding, itching and burning can occur. The mucus that protects the nose and throat consists mostly of water. when it evaporates, the risk of catching a bacterial or viral infection increases.

The tear film protects the cornea and the mucous membranes of the eyes against drying out, it causes burning sensation, increases the sensitivity of the eye to various pathogens and toxic substances, which can lead to dry eye syndrome and corneal damage.

Some scientific work has linked the occurrence or more severe course of atopic and seborrheic dermatitis to low relative humidity in rooms.

Interestingly, in addition to health hazards, excessively dry air harms the interior: parquet shrinks, the paint on paintings cracks. Wooden musical instruments such as the violin, guitar, piano, and grand piano are also affected.

The dangers of a humidifier in the apartment

The devices are not always beneficial. So it happens when the humidification is excessive and exceeds the optimal 40-60%. If it is a short-term phenomenon, it will be stuffy in the room. This way you can feel the excessive moisture. Constant over-humidification will cause “wet” furniture, clothing, curtains. Mold and fungus can appear and develop quickly.

humidifier, breathe

To avoid this, ultrasonic, and especially steam systems should be with hygrometers. They quickly saturate the air mixture with water vapor, it is impractical to control them “by eye. Steam equipment is potentially dangerous to use. If handled carelessly, it can burn or damage furnishings, room decorations. Therefore it is prohibited to install it in children’s rooms.

humidifier, breathe

Benefits and harms

The mucous membranes of the nose and nasopharynx have important protective functions. They produce mucus that can bind viruses, slowing their spread.

If the mucus dries up because the child is breathing dry air or breathing through his mouth during the runny nose, the biological fluid that has changed its consistency becomes dangerous for the baby. Dried nasal mucus is a perfect place for pathogenic bacteria to live.

Many parents have noticed that the flowing snot turns thick and green one day. This is the consequence of improper air humidity.

A child who is constantly breathing dry air is more likely to get acute respiratory viral infections.

During illness, they have a much higher risk of complications. The fact is that if the cough in the bronchi, which also actively produce a protective secret against viruses, begins to dry out bronchial mucus, then it is very likely to lead to bronchitis. If the dried mucus begins to interfere with pulmonary metabolism, then lung inflammation will begin.

Wet air during the flu or acute respiratory infections is one of the main “cures”: viral infections recede faster, and the immune system learns to recognize viruses and resist them when a patient breathes moist air, drinks a lot of fluids. Usually you do not need to buy any other drugs from the pharmacy.

Children who do not breathe enough humidified air are more likely to suffer allergic reactions. They are more susceptible to high temperatures, which accompany various diseases, get sick longer, their immunity is much weaker than peers who breathe air with a relative humidity range of 50 to 70%. That is the level of humidity Komarovsky recommends to maintain for children’s rooms.

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To find out how saturated with moisture the air in the room, you should take a device. hygrometer. If the figure does not “reach” 50%, then you should consider buying a humidifier. It will help without fuss, running around with basins, jars of water and wet towels, to create the right microclimate in which the child will grow up healthy.

The harm from the humidifier will be only if the parents will roughly violate the rules of its operation. If the child’s room will have a humidity higher than 75-80%, it will have a negative impact on his health and well-being.

There are three types of humidifiers on sale today:

Steam humidifiers are similar in principle to kettles: for the water to evaporate, it is heated to boiling point by two electrodes in the device. It is the cheapest and most affordable option for home appliances.

When choosing a steam humidifier, one should make sure that it is equipped with a special humidity sensor that allows the device to turn off as soon as the desired humidity level in the room is reached. If it is not in the humidifier, you have to buy one separately, which is not very convenient and expensive.

Among the disadvantages of steam devices you can specify a high level of power consumption. But otherwise this type of humidifier is very suitable for children’s rooms. it is the most productive, creates the right microclimate faster, there is no need to buy supplies. The product works simply: water is poured and the container is plugged into a socket.

Keep in mind that the humidification is hot steam, and therefore need to place the humidifier so that the child in no circumstances could not reach it.

Ultrasonic humidifiers are more expensive than steam humidifiers, but have greater advantages. Thus, with lower power consumption these devices show quite high performance.

The principle of operation of such a device is more complex: an ultrasonic radiation is applied to the piezoelectric crystal, the electrical vibrations become mechanical. The advantage of this technique. in small size, mobility of the atomizer, with which you can direct the steam to any side.

For all the advantages of ultrasonic humidifiers rather capricious: if they often pour too hard water, the filter will quickly fail. This can lead to white residue on furniture and wallpaper. In addition, replacement filters for devices do not come cheap.

“Cold” humidifiers are the most expensive. So they got their name for the principle of action, by which the dry air that is present in the room at the moment, going inside the device, is purified. Inside there is a humidifying cartridge, through which the air cools down and gets saturated with moisture.

The performance of such equipment is directly dependent on the initial humidity. The higher it is, the slower the device will work, because there is no point in intensive humidification. So such a “smart” humidifier will always maintain the optimum level of humidity itself, without the intervention of the household.

Such a device is very demanding to the quality of water, which will wet the filter. Too hard water will damage the filter. Therefore it is better to use distilled water or for extra money to buy special cartridges that “know how” soften hard water and demineralize it.

This humidifier does not produce jets of steam like the previous two types, and therefore will not interest a child. Another advantage is that the humidifier not only saturates the air with water, but also purifies it, because it works with finer particles.

Cold humidifiers use as much electricity as ultrasonic humidifiers. However, their performance is lower than the ultrasonic ones, but they are self-regulating.

The disadvantage of the device is that it is not able to raise the relative humidity above 60%. In addition the lifetime of the filter. no more than 3 months, so at least 4 times a year consumables will have to buy and change.

How to protect yourself: 7 ways to breathe for asthma, bronchitis and COPD

Do not forget about the medications

If you have a respiratory condition, talk to your doctor in advance about the best medications for the winter months.

Otorhinolaryngologist K. Jones usually recommends his asthma patients use a short-acting bronchodilator albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin, ProAir) before going outside. But the right approach depends on your specific needs.

Moisturize the nasal cavity

Saline nasal sprays

Artificial nasal moistening every day is recommended. A dry nose feels like a stuffy nose, which leads to breathing through your mouth. Regular use of a nasal saline spray or nasal saline gel helps reduce the feeling of a stuffy nose.

Cover your mouth and nose outside with a shawl

When you are outside, cover your nose and mouth with a shawl. This reduces symptoms. Warming your inhaled air increases the humidity in the air you breathe.

Go outside less often

Patients with respiratory conditions should spend as little time in the cold as possible, especially when exercising. Cold air and exertion increase airway dryness and potentially increase symptoms or risk of an asthma attack. Do all the necessary physical exercises in the winter months at home or at the gym.

Maintain the temperature and humidity in the room.


Even at home, you can reduce the risk of breathing problems. Keep the air warm and humid. Indoor temperature should not be below 17-18 degrees. Use a humidifier to keep the air from getting too dry.

Avoid irritants to the lungs.

The smell of smoke from stoves may irritate your lungs. Try to avoid it when you are outside.

Take care of yourself.

If you feel any worsening of symptoms, see a doctor. Together you can come up with a plan to make it easier to breathe in the winter.

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