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  • Air Purifier Vs. Humidifier: Which One Can Help With My Cough And Colds?

    Indoor pollution can affect the family's health, especially the young ones who are more prone to sickness.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Air Purifier Vs. Humidifier: Which One Can Help With My Cough And Colds?
PHOTO BY Air Intellipure and iStock
  • The air quality inside the home can have a big impact on the family’s well-being. If you find yourselves constantly battling a headache, cough, colds, and allergies, then indoor pollution may be contributing to (and worsening) your family’s respiratory symptoms. Products like air purifiers and humidifiers are said to help with air quality, but which one do you really need to create a healthy home environment?

    Air purifier vs. humidifier

    An air purifier and humidifier are different from each other but both aim to improve the air quality at home. Here's what you need to know about each product.

    What is an air purifier?

    Prices for air purifiers range in thousands. Air purifiers from Air Intellipure, in particular, range from Php47,000 to Php89,000.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Air Intellipure
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    Air purifiers remove particles and other pollutants from indoor air, according to Livestrong. It uses fans to draw in dirty air, filter it, then permanently remove allergens, cigarette smoke particles and odors, pet dander, dust, and more. After filtering, the fans will blow out fresh, healthy, and clean air back into the room.

    Traditionally, air purifiers make use of an industry-standard filtering ability called a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, commonly found in medical laboratories.

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    What is a humidifier?

    Prices for humidifiers vary depending on the type you'll need.
    PHOTO BY iStock
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    A humidifier is a device used mainly to adjust levels of moisture of the air inside a home. Dry air can cause chapped skin and contribute to respiratory problems, says Livestrong, and “adding moisture to the air with a humidifier can reduce dry skin and decrease breathing problems, including lessening coughs.”

    If you have wooden furniture and wall or floor finishes at home, using a humidifier can also help maintain their quality, since dry wood can crack and split easily.

    How can air purifiers and humidifiers impact my family's health?

    Air purifiers can help reduce allergens in the air — like dust mites, pet dander, or mold spores — and lessen exposure to these triggers. It can also capture particles in the air that carry viruses and bacteria, which is essential for homes with younger kids and who are prone to sickness.

    Humidifiers on the other hand help fight dry air in the home. Very dry air can worsen stuffy nose, colds, and the flu. It can dry out mucous membranes in the nose, eyes, and throat, making you uncomfortable. This can make breathing difficult as well.

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    Which one do I need for my home?

    Air purifiers may put you off because of its high price tag, but according to Dr. Lou Ver Leigh Manzon-Reyes, MD, DPPS, DPSAAI, a pediatrician who specializes in child and adult allergy, asthma, and immunology, it’s a worthwhile investment.

    “With all the microorganisms we have now, it’s very invisible and we don’t see it. This one can actually purify the air you breathe at home. You spend more of your time there, and you bond with the kids at home. At least, when you sleep, you have a good sleep, you disinfect your air, so you get less infection and less allergies. Hindi tapon ‘yung pera mo,” she tells SmartParenting.com.ph during the launch of Air Intellipure.

    That’s not to say that humidifiers don’t have its benefits, but Dr. Manzon-Reyes says that humidifiers are most effective during wintertime. “But we don’t have winter here,” she points out.

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    Dr. Manzon-Reyes adds, “The problem with humidifiers is dust mites thrive in the humid air. So if you use humidifiers, you’re making a more humid environment. Between humidifiers, and anti-humidifiers, mas maganda ‘yung anti-humidifier kasi there’s a certain level you need to achieve. Dapat 50% lang ‘yung humidity in the air para ma-lessen ‘yung dust mites.”

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    Dr. Hayden Kho, who uses the Air Intellipure at home, says that he instantly fell in love with air purifiers because he saw how it helped him and his daughter, Scarlet Snow, overcome their allergic rhinitis. It also helped manage Scarlet Snow’s asthma.

    “We had that machine for three days and on the third day, wala na siyang symptoms. And me too. I wake up na hindi na parang gusto ko laging singa ng singa,” he shares.

    Air purifiers also boast of long-term benefits, which include better, more restful sleep, lower risk for respiratory infections, increased productivity, and decreased risks for heart and lung disease. Air Intellipure, in particular, can also filter ultra fine particles, gas and chemicals, including formaldehyde.

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    Humidifiers do have its advantages, including soothing dry skin conditions, like itchiness, eczema, psoriasis, and thyroid disorders, according to Livestrong. It can also ease asthma, and soothe dryness and irritation in the nose, nasal passages, sinuses, mouth, throat and eyes.

    Humidifiers may also be a preventive measure in limiting or eliminating viruses and bacteria that thrive in dry air, according to the Aerias Indoor Air Quality Resource Center. Just be careful: the overuse of humidifiers can lead to the growth of pathogens and allergens.

    At the end of the day, it all comes down to health- and wellness-related issues you have at home. Bear in mind also that air purifiers and humidifiers can be used together. So if your family’s health is your top priority, nothing is stopping you from getting and trying both.

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