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Winter is characterized by dry air inside your home, often caused by your heater running all the time combined with the cold outside. If you live in a climate that is exceptionally cold or dry, a humidifier is an essential part of your home health arsenal.

There are a ton of these machines out there, and you will want to discover for yourself what the best cool air humidifiers for your home are, and where exactly you will place one. If you have a large home or a split level with an upstairs and a downstairs, you may need more than one.

Adding humidity to the air has a number of benefits, and here are five ways a humidifier can improve your health.

Easing Allergies and Asthma

Yes, the moisture can soothe your abused sinuses, and that is a good thing. It also keeps your mouth from getting dry, and lung secretions like mucus from being too dry. This is often the reason that coughs are not very productive.

Just keeping a humidifier in the bedroom can help these things from becoming a problem and deepening from allergies into a summer cold or something even more serious. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, a humidifier can be a real life-saver.

Improved Health

Besides allergies and asthma, a humidifier can help with your overall health as well. Dry sinuses are more susceptible to viruses, and so without a humidifier, you and your family are more likely to catch the latest cold that is going around.

A humidifier also reduces the likelihood of getting the flu. While flu shots are a good idea, they are not always the perfect solution, especially if there are new strains that develop throughout the season. Moisture in the air can be a great preventative measure.

Many humidifiers will offer you the option of adding essential oils, which can also improve your health when they are atomized and spread throughout your home.  There are a number of combinations that will help with everything from immunity to fatigue.

Humidifiers Prevent Bloody Noses

One of the most annoying nasal conditions is nose bleeds, but if it is exceptionally windy where you live, or you have other sinus issues, a nosebleed often results. If these become common, you can feel fatigued worn down as well. A humidifier is a great way to prevent them. A good idea is to know what humidity is in the air in your home by having a gauge. Some humidifiers even have a gauge on them that will let you know the level of the moisture in the air of your room.

For hot air, you can boil a pot of water on the stove to add humidity, but you need to be careful not to forget it. A cool mist humidifier is usually a much better solution. Also, sometimes the humidifiers with gauges will also have automated features that let you turn them on automatically when levels get too low. You can set it to turn on at 55% or lower, keeping the humidity in your home consistent.

Great Skin

Know what else benefits from humidity and moisture? Your skin. In the winter, cold and dry air can wreak havoc on your skin, and in the summer sun exposure and heat can do the same thing. Unless you are going to moisturize constantly, a humidifier can do a great deal to help your skin look and feel better.

Dry air can literally suck the moisture from your skin, causing it not only to be dry, but you to be more dehydrated. In the winter when it is cold, it is easy not to notice dehydration until it is too late.

Better Sleep

Dry air irritates your sinuses and your throat, which can cause you to snore more. This can be very disruptive to your own sleep and that of your partner. This can also be a contributing factor to sleep apnea, and those dry, unproductive coughs that can keep you awake or even wake you in the middle of the night.

Sleep is an essential part of good health, and a poor night’s sleep can result in fatigue, which leaves you susceptible to other viruses and even bacterial infections. Be sure you recharge sufficiently by having a humidifier nearby.

There are a variety of humidifiers, from cool mist to warm air, automated models, and those that disperse essential oils as well. The prices range from inexpensive to elaborate. Shop around and choose the one that is right for you, but don’t neglect this vital component in your home. Your health will be much better in many ways if you have one or more of these machines in your home.