Humidifiers are known to help keep your home comfortable because they maintain healthy humidity levels. Now, as the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases increases, many health organizations are encouraging the use of humidifiers to help relieve coronavirus symptoms as well as help prevent the virus’ spread.
Airborne viruses of all kinds, like flu and cold viruses, survive best in homes and buildings with low relative humidity (RH) levels, typically less than 40%. This is because dry air allows the virus to travel more easily and survive on surfaces for a longer period of time. Numerous studies1-6 have shown that raising indoor humidity levels to between 40-60% can help fight airborne infections, like the flu.
“Air humidification acts in a proactive way to combat the spread of viruses by infected people, including so-called super spreaders, even before any symptoms appear or a diagnosis can be made,” explains Dr. Walter Hugentobler in a recent article for Condair.
A 2010 study7 by the American Society for Microbiology set out to examine the effects of air temperature and humidity on two coronaviruses. Their results showed that the greatest level of virus inactivation took place at 50%RH, indicating that maintaining a mid-range RH of 40-60% could be an effective way to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.
Healthy humidity levels of 40-60% can also help improve respiratory health, which boosts the immune system’s resistance to airborne viruses. In a 2019 study, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that low humidity hinders the immune system’s defenses in three ways:
Adding a humidifier to your home and office are excellent ways to quickly raise indoor humidity levels while also aiding general respiratory health. You should also follow other important measures, like washing your hands frequently, keeping your hands away from your face, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, and staying home if you are sick.
Have questions about adding a humidifier to you’re home? Give us a call at 800-547-3888 and we can help you select the best unit for your home.