As temperatures drop, youâll once again find yourself shutting the windows and turning on the heater to stay warm. Unfortunately, this time of year is also cold and flu season, and with closed windows, germs tend to stick around and spread indoors â especially at school, work, the grocery store, or even the gym.
When it comes to the fight against germs, you may wonder âwhat is the difference between air purifier and humidifier machinesâ and how they may impact your health this time of year. Keep reading to find out how both the air purifier and humidifier should become staples in your home to help keep your family healthy during seasonal changes.
Whatâs in the Air?
Most of us spend about 90 percent of our time each day indoors. This makes us susceptible to illness when we encounter the millions of bacteria and viruses lurking inside. When you consider whatâs happening in the air around us, you may be surprised to learn that Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is also largely affected by pollutants you may already have in your home. These include:
- Cabinetry, furniture, or home decor
- Synthetic building materials
- Household cleaning products
- Fuel-burning appliances such as gas stoves
- Tobacco products or vapes
- Newly installed carpet or flooring
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Air fresheners
- Personal care products
- Excess moisture, mildew, or mold
- Radon (Luckily, you can test for radon levels.)
- Pet dander
- And more!
Poor IAQ and inadequate ventilation may lead to irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, asthma and other respiratory diseases, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and other unhealthy symptoms. Thatâs why itâs important you take precautions to protect your familyâs health by maintaining clean air indoors.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
The most effective way to improve your air indoors is to reduce emissions or eliminate common air pollutants.
Opening windows and doors, running fans, and ventilating your home or office regularly will also help reduce any potentially toxic fumes or germs. Having your air ducts cleaned annually, and changing out air filters in your home at least every 90 days will also help maintain cleaner air.
HEPA air filters will help trap dust and other small particles and keep them from spreading. During winter months, it is especially important to change air filters regularly. You may even want to do this every 60 days if youâve been keeping windows shut for a long time to keep out the cold.
There are also air-cleaning devices such as portable air cleaners, furnace filters, and HVAC filters that help reduce indoor air pollutants and reduce the risk of health contaminants in the home. They do not, however, remove all indoor air pollutants.
In addition to keeping your air clean, itâs crucial to play your part in preventing the spread of seasonal illnesses.
How to Avoid Illness During Seasonal Changes
Avoiding getting sick and or getting others sick this time of year may be easier than you think. There are many natural cold and flu remedies, as well as other methods to support good health during seasonal challenges as outlined below.
The first step is covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. If you feel a sneeze or cough coming on, do it into a tissue, or at the very least, into your elbow. Never sneeze or cough in the open around others without covering your face first.
The next step is frequently washing your hands (with enough soap and friction for at least 30 seconds). Avoid antibacterial hand soaps, as they contain many harmful chemicals that pose health risks and are ineffective at properly disinfecting.
Fourth, exercise regularly to get your heart pumping and blood flowing. Physical fitness is a natural mood booster and also helps reinforce a healthy immune system, so you donât get sick as often and you bounce back to feeling normal quicker.
Fifth, find out for yourself the answer to the question: What is the difference between air purifier and humidifier machines?
What is the Difference Between Air Purifier and Humidifier Machines?
During seasonal changes, an air purifier and humidifier can be your secret weapons in the battle against indoor air pollution. The trick is to use these machines properly and to clean them regularly.
Benefits of an Air Purifier
An air purifier works best to capture some air pollutants and particles by means of a filter and a fan that sucks in and circulates air. If you purchase an air purifier that uses ionizers, make sure it does not produce ozone, which is a lung irritant.
An air purifier will help you:
Filter out dust, smoke, pollen
Filter out some allergens (if it has a HEPA filter)
Unfortunately, however, an air purifier does not remove gaseous pollutants like VOCs or radon.
Benefits of a Humidifier
When you run your heater constantly during the winter months, you may notice your nose drying out, or maybe youâre catching a cold easier. The mucous in your nose, which is used to help trap germs andÂ flush out toxins, needs natural moisture from the air to stay consistent. The heater actually dries out the air, and when your nose doesnât have enough natural moisture from the humidity in the air, germs can spread. Thatâs where the benefits of using a humidifier may help.
By adding moisture to the air, a humidifier may help:
- Reduce the risk of catching the flu
- Make a cough more productive
- Reduce snoring
- Moisturize the skin and hair
- Reduce allergy and asthma symptoms
On the other hand, if thereâs too much moisture in your living space, mildew and mold may grow. If thatâs the case, stop using a humidifier or replace it with a dehumidifier. To check the moisture levels in your air, you can use an air humidity meter to show youâre the best levels.
Other Ways to Clean the Air
Try Paleo Air with Essential Oil Blends
When indoor air gets stale, stuffy, or even a bit smelly, try opening a window and airing out. You may also want to consider breathing paleo air â beneficial plant oils diffused for various medicinal properties. This is also referred to as aromatherapy by some people. Paleo air is believed to help support a sense of calm, memory, detoxification, meditation, and sleep. The essential oils used in paleo air blends are best used when plant oils are steam distilled and then diffused with purified water and used with an aromatherapeutic essential oil distiller.
For a delightful and cleansing bit of aromatherapy, create a purifying room mister by adding 30 drops of Clear the Air Purifying Blend from NOW Foods to 1 oz. of water in a spray bottle. The perfect blend of all-natural essential oils (including peppermint essential oil, eucalyptus, hyssop, and rosemary) will help cleanse and refresh the air.
Treat Your Symptoms Naturally
If you still find yourself with the annoying symptoms of seasonal discomfort, try Health Concernsâ Clear Air Perilla Fruit tablets, which contain herbs that support ventilating the lungs and dispelling phlegm for clearer airways and an easier time breathing.
This cold and flu season, donât get stuck with bad air! Use an air purifier and humidifier, as well as our other suggestions, to help keep you and your family feeling healthy all season long.