Which type of humidifier is right for you?There are five main categories of humidifiers, each with a different method of getting the moisture in the air. Evaporators — Humidity is produced by a fan that draws the air in from the room and blows it over or through a moistened wick in water. Some of this water evaporates and this water vapor is added to the air which increases its humidity. Central humidifier — A central humidifier is installed in your ductwork near your furnace, either on the supply or return end. The unit is also connected directly to your home's water supply. Inside of the humidifier is either a humidifier pad, a rotating drum or a steaming system that is used to distribute water to your home's air. Impeller humidifier — These use a rotating disc to fling water at a diffuser, which breaks the water into fine droplets that float into the air. The water supply must be kept scrupulously clean, or there is a risk of spreading bacteria or mold into the air. Ultrasonic humidifier — With both cool and warm mist options available, ultrasonic humidifiers are versatile. These produce a mist with the help of ultrasonic vibrations. They may also be available in varying sizes.. Steam vaporizer — These humidifiers work by heating water and then cooling it down before pushing it into the air. They are small, portable and cheap to purchase.
Warm mist vs. cool mist: which is better?
Pros and cons of a cool mist humidifierSome of the benefits of cool mist humidifiers include:
- They use less electricity than warm mist humidifiers.
- The water is cold, not hot, so if a child knocks the unit over he or she will not be burned.
- They can be more noisy than warm mist units.
- The cool mist can actually reduce the ambient temperature of the room.
Pros and cons of a warm mist humidifierThe benefits of warm mist humidifiers are:
- They are usually quieter than cool mist humidifiers.
- The boiling process can help keep them cleaner than cool mist humidifiers.
- They work better in small rooms, not large areas.
- They contain boiling water, which is a burn hazard if tipped over.
- The boiling process requires more electricity to use.
- They can be more difficult to clean due to the minerals left behind from boiling the water.
Don't forget to clean your humidifier.Warm, moist environments do one thing really, really well: they breed bacteria. That's why it's so important to clean them out once a week. Cleaning is rather simple, and can usually be done with soap and water, or water and vinegar (just read the user manual for your model). You certainly don't want it to become a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, yeast and even mold.
Benefits for all.Humidified air makes it harder for airborne viruses and bacteria to survive. It is easier to breathe. Humidified air moisturizes everything in your home, including your wood flooring, which can crack in overly dry environments. If you do come down with a cold or the flu, your symptoms may be worse in dry air. Even your house plants will thank you!
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Do you or someone you know suffer from moderate to severe Hidradenitis Suppurativa, also known as HS? Dr. Ellen Frankel and Clinical Partners are looking for participants ages 18 and older with a diagnosis of Hidradenitis Suppurativa to evaluate an investigational medication. Medical Insurance is not required and there is no cost to participate. Patients that qualify and enroll into the study may be compensated for time and travel.
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- Use a daily facial moisturizer: The dry air that winter brings both indoors and outside sucks the moisture right out of your skin. Using a daily moisturizer, especially on your face, will reduce the effects of that harsh winter air.
- Use sunscreen: Not something we often think of doing in the winter, applying sunscreen daily is a must. Though the air is not warm, the sun's rays are equally dangerous and at times even more impactful than they are in the summer, should they bounce off the white snow. Whenever you see snow glare, think "sunscreen"!
- Protect your lips: Lips take a beating just like the rest of our skin. Make sure to moisturize them to protect them from the elements. We recommend a balm with shea butter like Aquaphor. Bonus points if your lip balm also has SPF in it, like ChapStick Sun Defense.
- Protect your hands: If you have dry, cracked hands, you're not alone. Painful skin cracks can easily develop on fingers and over knuckles this time of year. Prevent new damage with a hand moisturizer like Eucerin Intensive Repair Hand Cream, available at drugstores.
- Eat well: Put good ingredients in your body, and your body will be able to perform better even in less desirable weather conditions. Some foods even help moisturize skin, especially those high in omega-3 fatty acids, like fish, nuts, olive oil, avocados, and even oysters. If you don't typically eat well, consider taking a multivitamin with omega-3's, Vitamin E and zinc, which helps build collagen.