Why You Need a Humidifier This Winter
Winter air can be rough. When cold weather comes, humidify drops, leaving you with chapped lips, dry skin, allergies, and sickness. Staying healthy and well is why you need a humidifier this winter. Luma Comfort humidifiers counteract the symptoms of dry air by releasing moisture into your home. They raise not only raise humidity levels, they help lower your heating bill, stave off flu, and protect against allergens and irritants.
Why Your Home Is So Dry During Winter
Most homes see a pretty significant drop in humidity during winter. People often misattribute the cause to their furnace. They assume it's the warm air drying everything out, but that's a misconception. Warm air may feel drier, but it's cold air that is drier. It's the difference between relative humidity and absolute humdifity. Relative humidity is the ratio of water in the air compared to the maximum amount of water the air can hold. Absolute humidity is how much water is actually in the air. They're both affected by temperature, but in different ways. As temperatures go up, relative humidity goes down as the air molecules expand and spread water particles inside out over a greater area. When temperatures fall, the opposite happens. Air and water particles come together and relative humidity goes up.
It's impossible for relative humidity to ever reach zero, but it is possible reach 100 fairly often. Any further water added to the air after this point condenses into dew, fog, or rain. If the temperature falls further, the water will precipate as rain or snow, and because there's less thermal energy, it won't get replaced, so absolute humidity goes down even though relative humidity may be high. The problem's compounded when people use fires and furnaces to stay warm. As the air warms up, relative humidity goes down, making the dry air feel even drier.
How Luma Comfort Humidifiers Counteract Dry Air
The Luma Comfort HC12W Ultrasonic Humidifier, the Luma Comfort HC12B Ultrasonic Humidifier, and the Luma Comfort HCW10B Cool & Warm Mist Humidifier all generate humdity using acoustic droplet vaporization. A metal plate, known as a transducer, is fed by an ultrasonic generator that causes it to vibrate at frequencies of 20kHz and higher, well beyond the threshold of human hearing. As the waves travel through the water, its fluid pressure rises and falls, increasing the pressure in each droplet until it finally exceeds the vapor pressure of the surrounding air. The pressure differential triggers a phase transition from liquid to gas. As it's formed, the vapor gets pushed out into the air by the compression waves running along the surface of the water. Using this method, Luma Comfort humidifiers release up to 2.5 gallons of water into the atmosphere every day over an area 538-650 square feet, more than enough to counteract the effects of dry, winter air.
Ideal Humidity Levels
Ideally, your home would have a 40-50 percent humidity throughout winter, though due to the damaging effects of condensation and ice, that may not always be practical. If it remains high as temperatures drop below freezing, you could be in need of some serious home repairs some spring. Here's the ideal humidity levels for winter temperatures.
|-10° - 0°F||25%|
|-20° - 10°F||20%|
|-20°F or Below||15%|
These guidelines are based on a home temperature of 70°F. If you don't have a hygrometer, you can track the humidity levels of your home my watching your windows and floorboards. When your windows start to fog up, it's time to turn the humidity down. If your floorboards start to separate, it's time to turn it up.
Why Your House is So Cold During Winter
Falling temperatures aren't the only reason your home feels so chilly in winter. Dry air also affects how warm you feel. When you heat a room, the air absorbs energy. As it brushes against you, it transfers that energy to your body and warms you up. It's a process known as convection. Warm air rises, displacing the cooler air above it, which gets heated and rises in turn. This process continues until you either shut off the heat or room's been heated to an even temperature, and humidity has a big impact on how effective it is. Because water vapor is less dense than air, it rises faster and stratifies more quickly when it's humid than when it's dry. Water vapor also absorbs and transfers heat more efficiently. Its thermal capacity is twice as large and its thermal conductivity is 25 times as high, which means it warms you up faster and stays warm longer when humidity is high rather than low. If you're worried about your energy costs this winter, run your Luma Comfort humidifier whenever you switch on your furnace. The extra humidity will help warm you up faster, so you won't have to run the furnace as hard or as long. The Luma Comfort HCW10B Cool & Warm Mist Humidifier can even be set to emit warm mist. A heating element warms up the vapor as it's released out into the air; extra heat at a fraction of the cost.
Why You Get Sick More Often In Winter
Dry winter air doesn't just make you cold, it also makes you sick. Flu cases spike in the wintertime and drop in the summer. Doctors used to think it was because the weather meant people were spending more time indoors in close proximity to one another, but a recent study indicates low humidity is actually to blame. Researchers studying the transmission of flu in humid and arid environments discovered that when humidity levels were low, around 23 percent, 70-77 percent of flu viruses survived long enough to infect new patients (specially constructed dummies in the study), but when humidity levels were raised to 43 percent, only 14 percent of viruses survived. Most were killed off after 15 minutes of exposure to the humid air. The reason had to do with the way humidity and mucus interact. When flu victims cough, they expel droplets of mucus witht eh flu virus inside. At low humidity, these droplets dried out, but leave the flu virus intact, but at high humidity, the droplet only dry partially, which alter the droplets' pH balance. The salts become much stronger, too strong for the virus to survive.
Besides encouraging flu, breathing dry air also dries out the mucus membranes in your nose, throat, and lungs, which play an important role in disease prevention, capturing and eliminating viruses and other harmful contaminants and viruses before the can grow into full blown infections. To keep them hydrated, keep your humidity levels around 40-50 percent is best. That's enough to protect the membranes in your respiratory tract, but not enough to encourage dust mites and mold (see below). Consider investing in the Luma Comfort HCW10B Cool & Warm Mist Humidifier. It comes with a built in hygrometer that tracks and regulates humidity levels, pumping out moisutre when humidity drops and signaling a shut down whenever they get too high. The Luma Comfort HC12W Ultrasonic Humidifier and the Luma Comfort HC12B Ultrasonic Humidifier aren't equipped with hygrometers, so set them to a middle setting to create a balanced humidity environment.
Why Your Allergies Act Up In Winter
Allergies are caused by foreign substances in the air that trigger an abnormally vigorous response in your immune system. Allergies are common in spring and summer, when the air's saturated with pollen from weeds, grass, trees, and flowers, but they can act up in winter as well. There's a number of allergy triggers right in your own home: dust mites, pet dander, dried food particles, mold spores, fabric fibers, and insect parts. Because you're indoors more often, not only are you more exposed, but you're also more susceptible. Winter air dries out your eyes, sinuses, and nasal passages, leading to nasal congestion, sinus irriration, and dry, itchy eyes.
A winter humidifier not only relieve allergy symptoms (congestion, sore throat, itchy eyes) by re-hydrating your thoat, sinus, and nasal passages, they also reduce the number of allergens. In most homes, allergies are most serious during the early winter months, when the warm air from the furnace stirs up dormant dust particles in the air ducts and blows them out into your home. Vapor particles latch onto them and other allergens, causing them to clump together until they're too weighed down to remain suspended in the air and drop down to the floor.
Humidity has to be carefully monitored in order to be useful, however. Certain allergens, like mold and dust mites, thrive in environments with over 50 percent humidity. If you don't have the Luma Comfort HCW10B Cool & Warm Mist Humidifier, you can buy a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels and make sure they're reducing allergens, not encouraging them.
Low humidity can be a real bear. It cracks your skin, chaps your lips, irritates your throat, itches your eyes, makes you sick, makes you cold, and makes you miserable. Adding humidity back into the environment is the only solution, which is why you need a Luma Comfort humidifiers not just this winter, but every winter.