I remember my mom and dad dumping buckets of water into the big humidifier in our living room each winter in Nebraska. I loved the warm moist mist that steamed from it, making the hot dry air pumped out by the furnace a little easier to breathe. I never really thought about it until I moved out of the house and started missing that “moist air feeling” in my own home. I’ve had a humidifier ever since.
The air in your house in the winter, no matter how temperate the climate, can get very dry. It happens right about when the heater starts clicking on. That’s when the humidifier comes out. Experts say that you should keep the indoor relative humidity (water vapor in the air) at between 35% and 55%. Get a hygrometer to easily test your humidity levels. It works like a thermometer.
Why Do You Need a Humidifier?
* Your Health: Low humidity dries your skin, causes nasal situations and makes your eyes itchy. Humidifiers keep your skin moisturized, help relieve cold and flu symptoms and can relieve asthma symptoms (check with your doc first). The American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as other medical organizations, recommend the use of humidifiers and vaporizers for treating upper respiratory infections. Proper humidity levels year round will help you avoid colds, bloody noses and sinus problems.
* Lower Utility Costs: You will feel warmer at a lower temperature so you can turn your thermostat down a couple degrees in the winter.
* Your Furniture, Art and Instruments: Dry air can ruin your wood floors, wood furniture, piano, guitar and artwork.
* Your Electronics: Dry air causes static electricity. Sometimes funny, sometimes just a pain, but these “zaps” can wipe out computers and electronics.
What kind of humidifer do you need? Read Humidifier Types & Tips.
If you have a portable humidifer, are you keeping it clean or Is Your Humidifier Making You Sick?
Asthma is serious business. According to the CDC there are approximately 16 million Americans who currently have asthma, 7 million of whom are children. In fact, asthma is the most prevalent chronic illness in children affecting nearly 10% of the population.
Asthma attacks can last for minutes or even days and are generally characterized by coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.
Asthma is generally treated or controlled with anti-inflammatory drugs and bronchodilators but asthma symptoms can be substantially reduced by avoiding exposure to known allergens and respiratory irritants such as pollen, dust mites, mold and animal dander. Other asthma triggers include irritants like smoke, pollution, fumes, cleaning chemicals and sprays.
Popular Asthma Products
Nebulizers– Nebulizers deliver lifesaving aerosolized liquid medicine to the lungs through a tube-like mouthpiece. Allegro offers a wide assortment of nebulizers including the latest piston-powered, pediatric nebs, hand-held ultrasonic nebulizers and compact nebulizers. We suggest the MABISMist II Handheld Ultrasonic Nebulizer, the CompMist Compressor Nebulizer Kit or the Beetle Neb Compact Ultrasonic Nebulizer.
See All Nebulizers and Accessories
Metered Dose Inhalers (MDI)– Doctors most commonly prescribe inhalers to deliver asthma medication, largely because these are more convenient and portable than nebulizers.
See our full line of Breathing Therapy Products.
Peak Flow Meters – Highly Recommended and Low Cost!!Asthma sufferers ages 4 and up should have a peak flow meter at home to help recognize early signs of worsening asthma or a pending attack. Readings can predict an attack hours or even days before asthma symptoms appear. Be sure you always know your baseline measurement that reflects your best breathing.
Peak Flow Meter Ranges per WebMD:
- If your peak flow meter shows numbers between 50% and 80% of your personal best, an asthma attack has likely begun.
- A number below 50% signals an emergency that needs immediate attention.
- Call 911 if you have trouble walking or talking due to shortness of breath, or if your lips are blue or gray.
Finger Pulse Oximeters– A pulse oximeter is a diagnostic tool that enables the indirect measurement of the percentage of oxygenated hemoglobin in the blood. Pulse oximetry is commonly used in the assessment of children with asthma and wheezing. Parents or caregivers of children with asthma may have a home oximeter that is used, under a doctor’s instruction and recommendation, when asthma symptoms are present to determine the severity of an asthma attack.
Allergy Products– Half the battle of managing asthma is avoiding asthma causing triggers. See our Allergy Condition for products to help you stay away from asthma and allergy irritants. Pay special attention to our allergy-free bedding and pillows and Humidifiers / Vaporizers.
Visit Allegro’s Asthma Condition product listing for all asthma products and may you breathe easy all the days of your life.
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First of all, Do You Need a Humidifier?
Central humidifiers are built into home heating and air conditioning systems and are designed to humidify the whole house.
Ultrasonic humidifiers produce a cool mist with ultrasonic vibration.
Surround Air MiniAire Humidifier – A palm-sized humidifier that’s perfect for your office or car. Weighs less than 1 lb.
SonicAire Humidifier – Ultrasonic cool mist with built-in air purifying ionizer. 2 gallon tank for up to 30 hours of operation without refills.
Impeller humidifiers produce a cool mist with a rotating disk.
Sunbeam Cool Mist Impeller Humidifier – Perfect for small to medium-sized rooms. Produces a refreshing cool mist. Contemporary design.
Evaporative humidifiers use a fan to blow air through a wet wick, filter or belt.
Care-Free Humidifier Plus – 2.5 gallon. PermaWick, mechanical humidistat, NiteGlo night light and 2-speed whisper quiet Hunter fan. Needs no regular maintenance. Clean once a year. Triple antibacterial SafeSystem protects 100% agains bacteria, molds & spores.
Steam vaporizers use electricity to create steam that cools before leaving the machine. Avoid this type of humidifier if you have children; hot water inside this type of humidifier may cause burns if it’s spilled.
Sunbeam Warm Mist Vaporizer Humidifier – Produces a soothing warm mist to combat coughs and colds. Great for small rooms. Up to 14 hours on 1 filling. Sleek and compact. Easy to clean.
- Keep your humidifier clean and maintained or you could get sick. Dirty reservoirs and filters quickly grow bacteria and mold. Read Is Your Humidifier Making You Sick?
- Talk to your doctor about using a humidifier if you have asthma or allergies.
- Test the humidity in your home with a hygrometer or “Mold Alert”. A healthy range is between 35% and 55%.
- Rule of thumb: 40°F outside 45% humidity inside; 20°F out, 35% in; 0°F out, 25% in, -10°F out, 20% in.
- Move to another State if it’s 10 below in the winter. Okay, anyway…
- High humidity can be remedied by an air conditioner or dehumidifier.
- Some rooms will be higher in humidity than others. Even if you have a central humidifier unit, you may need to regulate some rooms with separate units.
- You can remove excess humidity in kitchen and baths by running the vent/fan during cooking and bathing, and afterwards for about 20 minutes.
- You may consider a cool mist humidifier for children, so they don’t risk accidental steam burns.
Apparently you can get really, really sick if you don’t keep your portable humidifier clean.
Here are Mayo Clinic’s Tips for portable humidifiers:
Use distilled or demineralized water. Tap water contains minerals that can create deposits inside your humidifier that promote bacterial growth. And, when released into the air, these minerals often appear as white dust on your furniture. You may also breathe in some minerals that are dispersed into the air. In addition, use demineralization cartridges or filters if recommended by the manufacturer.
Clean humidifiers every three days. Unplug the humidifier before you clean it. Remove any mineral deposits or film from the tank or other parts of the humidifier with a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution, which is available at pharmacies. Some manufacturers recommend using chlorine bleach or other disinfectants.
Keep the area around humidifiers dry. If the area around a humidifier becomes damp or wet — including windows, carpeting, drapes or tablecloths — turn the humidifier down or reduce how frequently you use it.
Consider replacing your humidifier each season. Over time, your humidifier can build up deposits that are difficult or impossible to remove and encourage growth of bacteria. Even if you plan to toss out your humidifier at the end of the season, it still needs frequent cleaning in the meantime.
To keep humidifiers free of harmful mold, fungi and bacteria, follow the guidelines recommended by the manufacturer.
Buy one from Allegro Medical that needs very little maintenance, like the 3.5 Gallon Care Free Humidifier Plus with 100% protection against bateria, molds and spores.
For more info, see Humidifier Types & Tips.