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Humidifiers and Air Purifiers: Your Year-Round Defense Against Allergens

Everyone loves something about winter. Whether it’s celebrating the holidays, time with family, freshly fallen snow, or nights by the fire, there’s something for every personality to enjoy. That’s why it’s surprisingly easy to overlook things like flu season…seemingly incurable dry skin and hair…and other sources of discomfort that come during the wintry months.

In fact, dry air is more than just a source of discomfort, and the havoc it wreaks on your health can’t just be cured with a little extra moisturizer. Dry air tends to hold bacteria and viruses (like the flu) longer after someone coughs or sneezes.(1) It also dries out your mucus membranes,(2) which typically contain the mucus that is your body’s defense against airborne illness. Unfortunately, dry nasal passages mean you’re much more susceptible to catching a cold or worse this winter.

Besides sickness, the impact of dry air on allergies is another common wintertime problem. Allergies are extremely common in the United States, affecting over 50 million people every year.(3) The irritation of a slight runny nose is annoying enough, but when allergies intensify, allergy symptoms can feel more like a full-blown illness. Unfortunately, low humidity levels in your home can exacerbate allergy attacks.(4)

By neglecting to fix a dry air problem, you can also end up with a multitude of unpleasant symptoms like(5):

  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea


If spending days miserable on the couch doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, fortunately, there’s an easy solution for dry air in your home: a new humidifier. HoMedics carries a great range of ultrasonic humidifiers, such as a Personal Ultrasonic Humidifier for $19.99. A smaller model like this one is great for travel or smaller spaces like dorms where dry air is a concern. For those who have a bit more space to cover, a model like the TotalComfort® 2-in-1 Warm and Cool Humidifier provides maximum coverage with a 360° nozzle and 3 different mist settings, all while barely making a sound. Plus, this model has a built-in essential oil diffuser, so you can breathe in calming scents like lavender while your humidifier provides some much-needed dry-air relief. HoMedics humidifers are also modern and sleek, so you can leave the unit out even when you have guests over.

While dry air can be a serious barrier to feeling your best, too much humidity can have a negative impact on allergies as well. Models like the TotalComfort® Humidifier Deluxe allow you to set your desired humidity level, and then cycle on and off to maintain your perfect level of comfort, to avoid an overly humid environment.

Where dry air may exacerbate allergy symptoms, skin conditions like eczema, and leave you more prone to illness, high humidity can increase the presence of dust mites(6) and other humidity-seeking allergens (like mold) in your home. Much like dry air, there is a simple solution: an air purifier. Air purifiers do exactly what they claim, removing airborne mold spores, dust, and other allergens from your home using a fine filter.

Air purifiers come in a variety of sizes and models for different spaces. For a smaller space (roughly 124 ft²), a unit like the TotalClean® Desktop Air Purifier is ideal. When tested, it removed up to 99% of airborne allergens including dust and mold spores, and improved the smell of the room with its carbon odor filter. In a larger room (up to 245 ft²), the TotalClean® 5-in-1 Large Room Tower Air Purifier works to remove up to 99.97% of airborne allergens while reducing odors and VOCs (Volatile Organice Compounds) that can easily become vapors or gases. This unit also monitors the air quality in a given room and adjusts accordingly, has a UV light to kill germs, an essential oil slot, and 3 speeds plus an Auto setting, making sure all of your air-quality needs are covered.

Ultimately, the product necessary to clean your indoor air really depends on the characteristics of your environment. But one thing is certain: you don’t have to suffer from allergies in your own home. Using a humidifier and/or air purifier is an easy way to make your living environment more comfortable and healthier for you and your loved ones.