How To Improve Air Quality And Reduce Allergy Symptoms
Taking a few basic steps can improve the indoor air quality in your home and reduce the frequency and severity of allergy flare-ups.
- Keep it clean. Vacuum carpets, rugs and upholstery. Wipe down hard surfaces with a damp cloth. Allergens in the air eventually settle, and cleaning removes them from your house. If you do not clean, eventually they will get kicked back up into the air again. A vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter will do a better job of trapping allergens and other particles.
- Keep the windows closed. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, keep your windows closed and turn on the air-conditioning when your allergies are at their worst. We usually suggest opening windows, because fresh outdoor air is almost always cleaner than indoor air, but in this case you want to keep pollen outside.
- Use an air purification system. This could include a filter on your HVAC system or a portable air purifier.
Using a humidifier in the dry winter months is a good idea, as it will keep your skin, nose and throat from becoming dry and cracked. It will also ease some of your allergy symptoms. It is very important to use the humidifier correctly, however, keeping humidity levels between 40 and 60 percent, and cleaning the humidifier regularly to avoid contamination.
Still Follow All Covid
Though they can help, you should not depend on a vaporizer or humidifier to rid your home of potential exposure to COVID-19. Be sure to still follow all safety mandates. Air purifiers may be of some benefit in removing coronavirus particles from the air, but the filtration available in home systems may not be enough to remove them completely.
How Do You Use A Vaporizer
Vaporizers are extremely simple to use just fill with water and turn the unit on, and out comes the comforting steam you want. Plus, there are no filters to replace. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using your vaporizer:
- Fill the water chamber with tap water, not distilled water the water needs to have minerals in it in order for the unit to produce steam.
- If you dont see steam after 10 minutes, your water may not have enough minerals add 1-2 pinches of salt to the water to encourage steam production.
- Be sure to empty, rinse out and dry your vaporizer every day that you use it. Also perform simple weekly cleaning as directed in your Vicks Vaporizer owners manual, which can be found on the product’s detail page here.
And remember, a vaporizer works by boiling water during usage: for safety, always keep your vaporizer on a firm, flat, water-resistant surface that is at least 4 feet away from the bedside and out of the reach of children.
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Does A Vaporizer Help With Allergies
Got allergies? You may find it comforting that 50 million Americansalso suffer from the aggravating symptoms of hay fever.
Did you know that using a humidifier or vaporizer for allergies can dramatically improve symptoms? Maybe your friend casually mentioned regular vaporizer use for allergy symptoms over coffee or you heard an ad spot for humidifiers on your favorite podcast. However you encountered this particular article, you might have a few questions like: what is a vaporizer? What is the difference between a vaporizer and a humidifier? How does a vaporizer help with allergies?
We will answer all of these questions and more in this article. But first, what is a vaporizer?
Should Humidifier Run All Night
Q: Should my humidifier run 24 hours a day? A: Yes, generally humidifiers operate day and night. A: Cool mist is safer if you have concerns about keeping boiling water in a particular room warm mist is safer if you are more concerned about possible mold or mildew in your humidifier.
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Best With Humidifier: Boneco Air Washer W200 Humidifier & Purifier
No HEPA filtration
BONECO Air Washer is a powerhouse unit that evaporates water into vapor, adding moisture to the air, then uses that water as a filter to naturally clean the air in your living space. The Air Washer is designed to eliminate large particles, so while it may not filter out things like pesky odors, its suitable for dust and pollen.
On the technical side, the BONECO unit has both daytime and nighttime operating modes for maximum efficiency, dishwasher-safe parts for regular cleaning, and even a diffuser port for adding your favorite essential oils to really freshen your space.
HEPA Filtration: No | Size: 11 x 11 x 16 inches | Noise Level: N/A
Detects air quality and auto-adjusts
Can be loud
The Hathaspace Smart Air Purifier is not only operable with a remote, it actually has the computer brains to detect air quality and adjust itself accordingly. Using a smart sensor, this unit takes continuous readings of the air quality in the room its in. In normal mode, you can observe the data and change the settings on your purifier in auto mode, though, the purifier will change its own fan speed as needed based on the air quality readings.
Elsewhere, the Hathaspace purifier features a five-step filtration system powerful enough to remove up to 99.97 percent of allergens, trap dust, pet hair, and dander, and eliminate annoying odors.
HEPA Filtration: Yes | Size: 13 x 7 x 20 inches | Noise Level: 21dB 43db
Is Your Humidifier Making Your Sinus Condition Worse
The good news: A humidifier dispenses water vapor or steam, adding moisture to the air you breathe. When you inhale the air through your nose, the moisture helps decrease irritation, and therefore inflammation, of your nasal passages.
The bad news: A humidifier that is not properly maintained can make your allergies and sinusitis worse.
So the question is: What must you do to keep your humidifier safe?
First, there are two types of humidifiers: cold and warm mist. While both are effective, it is recommended that homes with children avoid the warm mist units because if they are knocked over, there is a risk for getting burned. Cold mist units come in three types:
- Evaporative models use a fan to blow air over a wet wick.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers use a vibrating nebulizer to emit water.
- Impeller models produce mist using a rotating disk.
All three types of humidifiers are beneficial however, in order to keep them properly maintained and free from mold, bacteria and other allergens, here are some important things to keep in mind:
Doctors recommend that the humidity level in your home stay between 30 and 50 percent. Any number below that results in dry air, and any number higher creates an atmosphere that is actually conducive to mold and bacteria. It also provides just the right climate for dust mites. If your unit doesnt come with a gauge, you can buy an inexpensive hygrometer to use for monitoring your humidity levels.
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Pick Your Vaporizer From The Updated List Below
We can use vaporizers and humidifiers to avoid such problems, but there are many differences. For many as a general user, it is a dilemma to know which is the most effective.
We will not tell you directly, which will be best for you. It is because fundamental differences do exist in their effectiveness. We will show you how these two devices work in different diseases. The next, the decision is yours alone.
Does Dry Air Affect Your Allergy
Breathing in dry air is bad for everyone. Of course, you may ask why it is so bad for allergy sufferers in particular. We put together some of the ways dry air can harm those with allergies.
- It dries out your mucous membranes in your nose and throat. What do these mucous membranes do? They catch and filter out items entering your body when you breathe. Mucus membranes help prevent these items from entering the rest of the respiratory system. They catch viruses, bacteria, dust, pollen, mold, and other items that can trigger your allergies. They are not as effective as when fully moisturized. So what can happen if they are too dry to catch these items? Bacteria, dust, mold can enter the respiratory system and trigger your allergic response.
- Dry air irritates the sinuses. Right, where many allergy sufferers feel their symptoms the most. Since you mostly breathe through your nose, your sinuses get hit hard by dry air.
- It also can dry out the things that trigger your allergies, such as dust mites and pollen. That is not good news. If they are dried out, they become lighter and better able to travel in the air and into your lungs.
- Many allergies cause skin reactions. When the air is dry, it will dry out the skin, making it more susceptible to reactions.
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Will A Humidifier Help My Allergies
Humidifiers increase the relative humidity in the air. This increase in moisture may help with your allergies. It may make them seem less severe if dry air has irritated your nasal passageways. However, excess humidity above 50% could make conditions worse. Indoor allergens like dust mites and mold thrive in moist conditions.
At an acceptable level, humidity may help in a number of ways:
How Theyre Cleaned
Youll want to clean out your cool-mist humidifier daily while its in use. The key is to keep ahead of any mineral and bacteria buildup.
The type of water you use may also make a difference. Consider using distilled or purified water versus tap water treated water contains fewer contaminants.
- Daily. Empty the tank and dry all surfaces. Refill with fresh water.
- Every third day. Empty the tank and scrub all surfaces with mild dish soap and water to remove scale and other debris. Refill with fresh water.
- If storing away. Follow cleaning directions in the manufacturer guide. Remove any dirty filters and toss them out. When all parts are dry, store in a dry place.
Similar cleaning rules apply to steam vaporizers, but the risk of mineral buildup and mold is less of an issue.
- Daily. Empty tank and dry all surfaces. Refill with fresh water.
- Weekly. Empty tank and fill with 3 1/2 inches of white vinegar for 10 minutes. Clean any residue off unit with a mild detergent.
- If storing away. Follow weekly instructions and make sure all parts are dry before storing away in a cool, dry location. Discard any dirty filters before storing.
All humidifiers are different. Be sure to follow any specific instructions from the manufacturer when taking care of your machine.
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How Much They Cost
Cool-mist humidifiers range in price from around $20 to $50. The price will depend on the size of the humidifier and the features.
You can find a range of options for adults and kids alike. The Crane Cool Mist Humidifier for Kids, for example, comes in a variety of fun animal shapes with vibrant colors. It ranges in price between $30 and $45. Buy it here.
The Tekjoy Premium Cool Mist Humidifier is just under $50. It features a quiet touch panel, 24 hours of operation, and automatic shutoff. Buy it here.
Steam vaporizers are less expensive, with well-rated models ranging in price from $15 to $30. The Vicks One Gallon Vaporizer with Night Light is a bestseller with good reviews that costs $14.99. It runs for between 15 and 18 hours before needing to be refilled. You can find it here.
Another popular option is the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier. It costs just over $30, but boasts 24 hours of operation and automatic shutoff. Get it here.
If budget is a concern, you may want to go with a steam vaporizer. This type of machine isnt recommended for children due to risk of burns. But it may be a safe, economical choice for adults, as well as babies who are not yet mobile.
How To Clean A Vaporizer Or Humidifier
Machines can vary, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Using distilled water is best to help prevent mineral buildup, which is a breeding ground for mildew, mold, and bacteria.
Follow the general steps below to clean your humidifier or vaporizer:
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Best For Pet Allergies: Germ Guardian True Hepa Filter Air Purifier With Uv Light Sanitizer
Replacement filters are expensive
For pet owners, an air purifier like the Germ Guardian is a great way to cut back on the amount of pet hair and dander floating around in the air and landing all over the floors and furniture. The hardworking filtration system traps both large and small particles, like dirt, hair, dander, and dust, while also eliminating common pet odors. Its UV-C light kills airborne bacteria and viruses, meaning it will not only reduce the amount of germs in your home thanks to Fidos romp in the mud, it can also keep your home healthier during cold and flu season.
Whats more, the unit has been tested for energy efficiency and against the clean air delivery rate system, receiving high marks in both metrics. Basically, it not only cleans the air well, it does it quickly, reducing the amount of time youll need to keep it running for relief.
HEPA Filtration: Yes | Size: 10.25 x 6.75 x 21.5 inches | Noise Level: 55 dB
Humidifiers Provide Relief For Sensitive Skin
There are several terms used to describe skin allergies: eczema, atopic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis. Eczema, characterized by swelling, redness, and itching, is a type of inflammation. Atopic dermatitis refers to the general tendency to experience allergy flare-ups related to the skin this is the most common type of dermatitis, and it occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens. Contact dermatitis, on the other hand, occurs when the skin comes into contact with a particular allergen, nickel and latex being two of the most common.
So how do humidifiers help with eczema and dermatitis? The moisture that humidification units add to the air does a lot to combat the effects of dry air, which can irritate sensitive skin. Environmental control is largely a matter of decreasing total allergen load when you humidify dry air, you eliminate one more factor that can contribute to skin allergy trouble.
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Why Humidity Matters For Viral Transmission
When the air inside your house or apartment is dry and below 30% relative humidity, aerosol particles, with their viral hitchhikers, quickly evaporate moisture.
This makes them much smaller, and smaller aerosols will remain airborne and therefore infectious for much longer.
Structural changes within microscopic droplets suspended in relative humidity under 30% also increase viral survivability and infectivity.
However, when indoor humidity is above 40% expelled aerosols maintain or increase their moisture levels, making them both less infectious and less able to float for long periods.
The Problem With Dry Air
The reason that dry air is so bad for your allergies is that it irritates your nasal passages and can potentially lead to a sinus infection. Dry air can also cause your body to produce more mucus than necessary, which can be especially dangerous if you have asthma in addition to allergies.
Even if you dont suffer from allergies, being exposed to dry air can dry out your skin and irritate eczema. Before you start shopping for humidifiers, keep in mind that its essential that you have a balanced level of humidity in your home since too much humidity can be just as bad as too little.
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Using Humidifiers For Allergy Relief And More
The dry air caused by heating systems, especially forced-air heating systems , can bring on a number of problems for allergy sufferers. Dry air can irritate nasal passageways, leading to sinus infections or sinusitis. Dry air can also lead to increased mucus production, which can pose dangers for asthmatic individuals. Furthermore, dry air can irritate sensitive skin, exacerbating eczema and causing discomfort for those with sensitive skin.
Making sure the air in your home maintains the proper level of humidity is one of the best ways to alleviate these concerns. Humidifiers re-introduce moisture to dry air, creating an environment thats healthy for allergy sufferers.
Humidifier Vs Dehumidifier: Allergies Colds & Nasal Congestion
If you regularly suffer from allergies or if this cold season just dealt you a bad lot, you may have considered getting either a humidifier or dehumidifier to help alleviate the annoying symptoms.
Some people already know that a humidifier puts moisture into the air while a dehumidifier dries it out however, many allergy or cold sufferers arent sure which device is best for their condition.
The answer lies in each individuals needs and symptoms. Here, well take a look at both humidifiers and dehumidifiers and when they can help allergy sufferers.
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It Is Important To Have The Right Humidity Level In Your House
You can improve your homes air and climate quality and Geniani will help. Proper cleaning could keep your house mold and dust free. So, it is good news for all sufferers. The list of things to do is not too long. But, to achieve success, you should be very careful. So, if you want to get relief and get rid of allergies, follow these recommendations:
- Keep your home cool
- Have good ventilation
- Maintain low humidity in your house
Focus on proper cleaning, temperature, and humidity if you want an allergen-free house. As you can see, these processes are not expensive.
Carpets. Dust mites usually are found in carpets. Replacing them with a hard-surfaced floor can remove a lot of them. It will help to relieve your symptoms in case of dust allergies. You should think about removing the carpets from your house. However, if this is not an option, you need to properly clean or vacuum them on a regular basis. If you are allergic, you shouldnt vacuum them yourself. When possible, you should stay out of the area during the process.
Dehumidifiers and humidifiers. These are the great solutions that could keep your homes humidity at the right level. Whether your house is too dry or too humid, it could impact your allergy and aggravate your symptoms. A dehumidifier could decrease the humidity in the case of a highly humid house. On the other hand, a humidifier could increase the humidity if you live in a dry environment.