Optimally humidified air is important for health and well-being. Humidifiers quickly improve the indoor climate, enabling you to breathe freely. Whether it is set up in the bedroom, lounge or office, a humidifier makes us feel more relaxed, more energetic and able to concentrate better. While there may be numerous tips and tricks for preventing room air from becoming too dry such as hanging up washing or introducing plants, if air really is dry, only a device for increasing the relative humidity can help. Find out below about the symptoms caused by dry air, why dry air even affects us and how humidity is measured. We will also show you which humidifier is right for you.
Problem: dry air
If the relative humidity drops below 40%, then the air becomes dry. Dry air can lead to various symptoms: headaches, burning eyes, dry and inflamed mucous membranes, dry skin, an unpleasant scratchy feeling in the throat, poor sleep and increased susceptibility to colds or flu. The symptoms of dry air are intensified at night when we are asleep. However dry room air is not just a problem for us humans, it can also affect pets. Furniture, wooden floors and musical instruments cannot tolerate long-term exposure to dry air very well either.
Causes of dry air
In apartments or houses, dry air primarily occurs in winter when the humidity of the cold air outside is a lot lower than the humidity of the warmer air in spring and summer. When the central heating is turned on indoors during the cold season, this causes the air to dry out even more. The greater the difference between the temperature outside and inside, the lower the relative humidity indoors. Besides natural reasons for air being too dry, a ventilation system can actually exacerbate the problem in the case of passive or minimum energy houses. The cold outdoor air is heated to room temperature, resulting in a level of humidity which is permanently too low. A good indoor climate must be aimed for in order to prevent the above-mentioned side effects and to stop dry heating air from ever becoming a problem.
Relative humidity of between 40% and 60% creates a healthy and comfortable climate for humans and animals. This level is recommended by doctors and medical experts and helps us to stay healthy and feel comfortable in our home environment. The benefits of optimal humidity are many
- Your nose, eyes and skin will no longer feel dry
- You will have less risk of contracting flu
- You will enjoy peaceful, deep and relaxing sleep
- You will be able to concentrate better
- Lower dust and pollen levels – ideal for allergy sufferers
- Furniture, wooden floors and paintings are protected
- Pianos, guitars, violins and other instruments will not go out of tune as much
The relative humidity in a room is measured using a humidity gauge, or hygrometer as it is known to experts. Hygrometers are available in analogue and digital versions, with or without additional functions. Stadler Form also offers air humidity measurement devices of this type: Stadler Form hygrometers. For measurement to be accurate, it is important for the hygrometer to be positioned correctly: Set up the hygrometer on a raised surface in the middle of the room, away from windows and doors. Wait a few minutes for the sensor to adjust to the room temperature. The relative humidity can then be read.
Humidifiers: the solution for healthy air
As a rule, if the level of humidity is too low, only a device for increasing the air humidity can help. There are many different designs to choose from such as vaporisers, ultrasonic humidifiers (nebulisers/atomisers), evaporators and air washers. However, the function they fulfil is always the same: to increase the relative humidity of the indoor climate by adding to the humidity (water) in the air. This can also be achieved to some extent by introducing houseplants or hanging up washing – however a good humidifier will also offer numerous features besides, such as hygrostats or automatic shut-off to facilitate and speed up humidification of the air.
Buying the best humidifier
When it comes to air humidifiers, there are many different models, shapes and designs to choose from – all with their pros and cons. Besides choosing the right system, other important factors include room size, water hardness, noise levels, positioning and the expected device features (e.g. hygrostat, automatic mode, pre-heating, remote control, etc.). A humidifier should be easy to use and quick and easy to clean. It should also demonstrate high humidification performance and consume as little energy as possible. Find out more about choosing your ideal humidifier in our blog post.
It is not a question of which humidifier is best but rather of which is the most suitable for my requirements. So I will need to know how big the room is, the current level of humidity, how hard my water is and which design I prefer. The blog post "Buying the right humidifier” contains numerous tips on the points to be taken into account when buying a device for increasing relative air humidity. We will also gladly provide you with personalised advice over the telephone or via e-mail or Twitter and help you to find the humidifier that is right for you and your home.
Our humidifiers have been the subject of numerous magazine articles, blogs and even TV programmes, involving them being subjected to rigorous testing. A number of Stadler Form humidifiers have also already won awards. However for us, it is not about winning awards but rather about you finding the model that is right for your requirements. The individual details of your current situation cannot be properly taken into account based solely on a test report. Contact us directly and our humidifier experts will be pleased to help you find what you are looking for.
A humidifier should be cleaned regularly in order to ensure that humidification is hygienic and that there are no pathogenic germs or bacteria present. During cleaning, it is important to make sure that both limescale and organic residues are removed. We recommend that you clean your device thoroughly at least once a week. Proper thorough cleaning should also be carried out at the end or start of the humidifier season. Stadler Form Cleaner & Descaler can help you clean your humidifier quickly and thoroughly. Watch this video which demonstrates the individual advantages and disadvantages of descaling a humidifier.
Although houseplants, showers, cooking and wet washing can indeed slightly increase air humidity in the short term, they will not be able to increase it to an optimal level of 40% to 60% in the long term and if the indoor air is very dry. Likewise, putting wet cloths or bowls filled with water on radiators will only serve as a short-term solution for slightly increasing the humidity and they can often become breeding grounds for germs if they are not washed regularly.
Passive houses are a great invention and help to create energy-efficient living. However, if the controlled ventilation system does not have a mechanism for regulating the humidity, very dry air in the room is the result. Continuous air exchange is the reason: Cold and dry outside air is heated and brought inside. The moisture produced by people, animals, furniture, plants, cooking, showering etc. is quickly taken outside as a result of the continuous air exchange. Extremely dry air in the room is usually the result. Use a hygrometer to ascertain the current humidity of the air. Position the hygrometer in the room (not in the vicinity of windows, doors or ventilation slots) and read the relative humidity off of the display (e.g. Selina by Stadler Form). You need a humidifier if the humidity is below 40%.
Controlled ventilation systems act like open windows. That is why, for ventilated rooms, we recommend more powerful humidifiers and room size calculations that are double those for non-ventilated rooms (e.g. Oskar for non-ventilated rooms up to 50 m² and for ventilated rooms up to 25 m²).