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Air quality has been an important health issue for decades. While most news stories and headlines only focus on the breathing quality and pollution in major cities, they overlook the space with the greatest impact on your personal health: your home.
The air in your home can have a significant impact on your long-term health and happiness. And air quality isn’t just about breathable purity: It includes your home’s moisture levels, undetectable carbon odors, and airborne bacteria. As Alanis Morrissette would say, isn’t it ironic: We often pay close attention to the foods we eat but give hardly any thought to air quality in the places where we live, dine, and sleep for hours every day.
Kudos to you for taking action. However, the sheer number of product choices out there can be almost paralyzing. Here are some helpful suggestions on how to determine if an air purifier, a portable humidifier, or a combination of the 2 is right for your home.
Have you ever petted your dog or cat, only to look down at your fingertips afterward and notice a thin layer of what looks like dirt? That’s actually pet dander, the microscopic skin cells shed by your dog, cat, rodent, or bird. These flecks of your pet’s skin don’t just trigger irritation for people with animal allergies or asthma; they’re also generally not ideal for you to be breathing. Even if you aren’t an allergy sufferer or don’t have a pet allergy, allergies can develop over time from overexposure to pet dander.1 Plus, who wants a layer of dead skin from your pet making its way into their lungs?
Solution: An air purifier with True HEPA filtration. HoMedics offers a wide range of purifier sizes — choose yours based on the size of the space you want to clean. (Note: It’s better to buy “too much” purifier than one that’s too small for the job.) Our TotalClean® PetPlus Air Purifier features a True HEPA filter that captures hair, fur, and large particles. The PetPlus odor filtration reduces litter box odor, wet dog smell, and other household odors. While HEPA filtration can be found in many sizes, a large air purifier is probably best if you have a pet that’s allowed to roam throughout your home.
As unhealthy as smoking has been shown to be, there are plenty of people who still indulge. If there’s a smoker under your roof, it’s next to impossible to avoid the carbon odor or the smoke itself, even if they step outside for their cigarette breaks. And, even if the carbon odor is physically undetectable, the resulting smoke on their clothing and belongings makes it tough to keep a fresh-smelling house.
Are you and your family constantly getting chapped lips or cracked skin — long after the snow has melted and your winter gear has been stowed away? This may be directly related to the lack of moisture (or a low humidity level) in your home causing dry air.2 While heavy use of lotion and lip balm may treat these symptoms, improving the air in your home addresses the root cause. Adding humidity to your home is a must in the winter, and could be right for you during other times of the year as well.
Solution: A portable humidifier with ultrasonic warm or cool mist capabilities. The Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier from HoMedics lets you choose between adding warm or cool microfine mist to the air in your home, depending on the season and current climate. This won’t just soothe your skin but will make your entire environment more comfortable and pleasant. The unit is also portable enough to move easily from room to room, depending on where you're working or relaxing.
Unless monitored properly, the air in your home can often lead to a lingering dry cough or other respiratory issues — or worse, further agitate existing conditions, like asthma.3 This direct health issue is too pressing to let linger, and it’s most often due to the humidity levels (or lack thereof) in your household.
Solution: A humidifier with an easily detachable water tank. The humidification system circulates moisture throughout the air in your home to restore comfort and combat dryness. Be sure to get a model with a removable water tank, which makes for easy regular cleaning and demineralization to prevent mold. This feature is absolutely essential if you have family members with asthma who want to avoid irritation and flare ups.
Sometimes the biggest threats to our health are the ones we can’t see. This is extra true when it comes to airborne germs and mold spores4, since they’re always lurking in our living spaces. You can stay blissfully ignorant or take preventative measures to capture bacteria that might not be so harmless.
Solution: A tower air purifier with True HEPA filtration. We can’t say it enough: True HEPA filtration is the way to go, capturing up to 99.97% of airborne contaminants. In the case of the TotalClean® 5-in-1 Tower, the helpful differentiator is the tower design, which provides 360-degree purification in rooms up to 185 square feet.
Whatever type of air quality enhancer you decide to bring into your home, make sure it specifically addresses your needs. Even if your easier breathing and better health don’t make national headlines, it could be the best news you and your family experience all year.
1Acosta Scott, Jennifer (2013, February 5). When Allergies Develop Suddenly. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/allergy/when-allergies-develop-suddenly.aspx.
2Wu, Jessica (2010, September 20). Top 10 Causes of Dry Skin. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/dry-skin-relief/dr-wu-causes-of-dry-skin/.
3Indoor Asthma Triggers. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/triggers_indoor.html.
4Mold Spores In Air And Health Issues. Retrieved from https://www.moldbacteria.com/mold/mold-spores.html.