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Does Humidifier Increase Oxygen In Indoor Air? It Decreases It!

If you live in a dry environment, you might need a humidifier to increase the level of humidity in your indoor spaces. The recommended level of humidity is between 30 and 55 percent.

A humidifier works by releasing tiny droplets of water into the air, or releasing mist.

During winter when you turn on the heating, it dries out the air. Thus, you should use a humidifier more in winter than in other seasons.

But does a humidifier increase oxygen in your indoor air? It does not add oxygen to the air. Water contains a molecule of oxygen, but this does not increase the level of oxygen in the air. It might help you breathe better because it makes allergens such as pollen and dust mites heavy so they don’t float.

Overall, a regular humidifier only raises the level of moisture in the air, but it does not raise the level of oxygen.

However, a medical oxygen humidifier increases the level of O2 in the air. Such a unit is only found in hospital settings, so it is not something that you will buy for your home use.

An oxygen humidifier moistens the oxygen being delivered to a patient through tracheostomy.

This is necessary since in this case (using a ventilator), the oxygen does not pass through the upper airways where it is moistened.

Read: How do I stop humidifier white dust?

Does humidity affect oxygen saturation?

What is oxygen’s relationship with humidity?

The higher you go, the cooler and more humid it becomes. Of course, at high altitudes, the air feels much thinner and so many people find it hard to inhale properly.

That is why we ask: does humidity affect oxygen saturation?

It does. In fact, science shows that oxygen saturation in dry air is far higher than what you get in humid air. When humidity is high, the saturation of oxygen is at 20.9 percent.

In high humidity, the oxygen saturation is at 20.4 percent, a small difference but one that your lungs will feel.

Now, when you have dry air at home, you can breathe well, as long as you do not have respiratory issues such as asthma.

However, when you turn on the humidifier, you will find it a bit hard to breathe well if the humidity level increases above 55 percent. I will explain this in the next section.

Can a humidifier make breathing worse?

When you set the humidity too high, a humidifier can make it hard to breathe.

The reason for this is that when it starts to release mist into your indoor air, the water molecules start to displace the oxygen molecules in the air.

Read: Why is my dehumidifier blowing cold air?

The result therefore is that you have fewer oxygen molecules and so you cannot breathe very well.

In addition, too much humidity in the air is both uncomfortable and it has its effects on health.

The best thing is that you can buy a humidifier that has an automatic on and off feature such as the Honeywell 350 Unit. When the set humidity level in the house is attained, it just turns itself off automatically.

When the humidity drops below the required levels, it starts automatically, as long as there is enough water in the tank.

If you have a chronic respiratory problem such as asthma, you will also find it harder to breathe in high humidity. It can cause inflammation in your airways.

Too high humidity in the house can lead to development of mold. In return, this will cause your family members to start exhibiting humidifier sickness symptoms.

Mold also spreads mold spores, which can aggravate asthma and other conditions when we inhale them.

How you can use a humidifier to increase oxygen

If you have determined that there is a low oxygen saturation in your indoor air, you can use a small oxygen concentrator unit.

It separates oxygen from the air. You can then connect your humidifier to the concentrator so that the oxygen is delivered through the mist that the humidifier releases into the room.

That way, there will be increased humidity and oxygen level in your indoor air, helping you to breathe better.

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Only then can we say that you have increased oxygen in the air using a humidifier. Used alone, a humidifier is never going to increase the level of oxygen in your air.

Does Humidifier increase Oxygen FAQ

The relationship between humidity level and oxygen saturation is not that complicated to understand. If you still need more clarification, see the frequently asked questions below:

Does humidity affect oxygen saturation?

No it does not. In fact, it reduces oxygen saturation from 20.9% to 20.4%, and this is why it is difficult to breathe in high humidity. You run out of breath too soon, so you find yourself gasping for air.

What does a humidifier do for your lungs?

Running a humidifier has its benefits for the lungs. First, the right humidity level helps to reduce the allergen level in the air.

For instance, dust mites, pollen and pet dander get too heavy, so they fall to the ground. You don’t inhale them. In that regard, a humidifier can help your lungs.

If the humidity is too high though, it can lead to the inflammation of the airways, same way that dry air can.

How do you increase oxygen levels in a room?

You can use a portable oxygen concentrator that will separate the oxygen from the air and pump it into your room.

You may also open the windows and doors, get more indoor plants and remove air pollutants using an air purifier.

Should the humidifier run all night?

You can run a humidifier all night but keep it at the recommended distance from your bed. It should also have a humidistat so that it does not continue pumping mist into the room even when the desired humidity level is attained.

Final Thoughts on Does Humidifier Increase Oxygen

A humidifier does not increase oxygen levels in the air.

In fact, too high humidity like 70 percent makes breathing hard. Thus, the main thing is to keep your indoor humidity level between 30 and 55 percent.

The water molecules in the mist from the humidifier displace oxygen molecules in your air, making your indoor air less saturated with oxygen.

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