How can humidifiers ease sinus problems?
There are a lot of things that can cause dry air, like furnaces, air conditioners, and cold winter. When the air you’re breathing is too dry, this causes the mucus in your nose and your sinuses to stop flowing correctly. If the mucus stops flowing, you’ll become congested, which can then lead to sinus pain or sinusitis.
In order to counter these sinus problems, you need to add some humidity to the air your breathing. This adds moisture to the air you breathe, which then moistens your nose and sinus passages, increasing your mucus flow.
The best way to do this is to use a humidifier in the areas you frequent, like your home or office. You can even use them while you sleep to combat insomnia caused by these breathing issues.
Features to consider while choosing a humidifier
Not all humidifiers are created equal, so you may want to check out the following features before you start shopping.
There are a few different types of humidifiers, all of which have their own benefits, and possibly a few flaws to consider.
One of the more popular types is the ultrasonic humidifier. These use ultrasonic vibrations to create a cool mist, though there some that offer warm mist as well. They vary in price, depending on the size of the unit. Ultrasonic humidifiers are also safe to use around children. It’s probably the best type of humidifier for asthma and sinus problems.
Evaporators use fans to push the moisture through a moistened filter to create the humid mist. Sometimes, though, they can expel too much moisture, soaking the furniture around them. This could also be an issue for those with asthma, due to the possibility of mold growth. Their small size also means they can only humidify one room at a time, but the low price of these units makes it affordable to buy a few if you need to.
If you don’t want to mess around with smaller units, you can also choose a central humidifier. These are built right into your home’s heating unit or air conditioner. Though they can cost quite a bit, they have the ability to humidify your entire home, so you don’t need a small one in each room. They also don’t emit any steam, so are safe for the whole family.
Water tank capacity
The capacity of the water tank refers to the maximum amount of water the tank can hold. The tank size is usually smaller than the size of the unit. Smaller tabletop humidifiers have smaller capacities, usually only keeping a few liters of water. The larger console humidifiers, like the AirCare 831000 Space-Saver, can hold quite a bit more. The water tank capacity also helps determine how long the humidifier will run. The more water in the tank, the more mist it can produce, so the longer it will run.
Mist time determines how long your humidifier can produce mist, which depends on a few factors. One is the tank capacity, which we’ve explained above. The more water in the tank, the longer the mist can be created.
Another factor is the setting you use for your mist. If it only has one, then the mist time will likely be the same every time you fill it up. Some humidifiers come with more than one setting, like the Vicks Vicks Filter-Free Ultrasonic Visible Cool Mist Humidifier, which has several mist settings.
The higher the setting, the more mist the humidifier is producing, and the faster the water level in the tank will drop.
When looking for your next humidifier, the coverage area you want it to work in is one of the most important things you need to look at. If you get a humidifier that has a small coverage area, it won’t work well in an ample space. Thankfully, most manufacturers add in this information to the specs of their models, so you know how well it will work in the space you plan to use it in.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is the bigger the unit, the more area it can humidify. For instance, the tiny JZK Mini Portable Humidifier will work well in a cubicle or for the area around your desk, but won’t do well in your living room. The AirCare 831000 Space-Saver, on the other hand, will be powerful enough to humidify your entire apartment or small home. The larger the area you need to be covered, the larger the humidifier you need.
The sound level is vital in any humidifier, whether you use it in public spaces or your bedroom. Of course, it will be impossible to sleep if you have a machine humming loudly near your bed, so you want a model that won’t keep you awake. If you’re using this in a child’s room, this is also important. In your public spaces, this may not seem like that big of a deal, but if you have to crank up your television or yell to have a conversation, you will wish you had paid more attention to this particular feature when shopping for your humidifier.
Luckily, many of the humidifiers we’ve reviewed have a whisper-quiet motor, so you won’t have to worry about it disturbing you during any of your daily, or nightly, activities.
Though you hope your humidifier will last for years, sometimes there are manufacturer errors or shipping issues that cause it to malfunction, or not at all. For these types of problems, you need a decent warranty to ensure you won’t be stuck with a defective product or paying to repair the damage you didn’t cause. Most of the humidifiers we’ve reviewed here have either a one- or two-year limited warranty, sometimes with added incentives like 30-day money back guarantees or replacement parts within a particular time frame. But once in a while, you’ll find a lifetime warranty, like the one that comes with the JZK Mini Portable Humidifier. The more extended the warranty, the better you’ll feel about buying the product.
A basic humidifier can add the humidity to the air that you need to help reduce your sinus problems, but a few additional features can help make it a bit more worthwhile. One such feature is an added oil diffuser, like the one found on the Levoit LV600HH. This allows you to add essential oils to the humidifier, for a nice fresh scent mixed with the mist.
Another handy feature is a timer setting, which allows you to run the humidifier for a certain amount of time before it shuts off. Some humidifiers also have humidity settings, so when the set level in the room is reached, the humidifier turns itself off. Most models also include a safety auto shutoff when the tank runs low or out of water. This prevents overheating or short-circuiting, which could be quite dangerous.