Air Purifier or Humidifier for Allergies?

You wouldn’t eat dirty food if you know it’s dirty. You wouldn’t drink contaminated water for sure. You wouldn’t pop an expired pill. All of these you certainly have a choice to not do—and you will certainly not dare to! But breathe in polluted air? If you’rein an open area, you certainly don’t have a choice, do you? If it’s only possible to choose the air you breathe, so you can be sure that what gets inside your lungs is clean and untainted with pollution, you would surely do.But it’s not the case.

Everyday, you breathe in 14,000 liters of air; among the large number of air you inhale, you can bet your bottom dollar that thousands of unwanted air contaminants have possibly gone in and out of your lungs. If you think of it that way, it somehow gives you a little emotional panic—and much more if you are one of those who suffer from allergies.

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For some who are not allergen-sensitive, allergies might seem like a normal case; but for those who have it, they know how serious it is to have this condition. It could be fatal if not taken care of immediately.

Allergic diseases are various conditions that are triggered by the immune system’s hypersensitivity to generally harmless or common substances found in the environment. Common allergic diseases include asthma, hay fever, anaphylaxis, atopic dermatitis,and food allergies. Most symptoms include the following: swelling of a skin or body part, red eyes, sneezing, itchy skin rash, runny nose, and worse, shortness of breath. There are even cases that food in tolerances and poisoning occur during an allergy attack.

The things that trigger allergies are called “allergens”. The latter is a type of “antigen” that creates an unusual hyperactive immune response, which the person’s immune system reacts by fighting off a potential threat that would otherwise be innocuous to the body. Some of the most common allergens include specific foods, dust, and pollen. With food, a person with allergies can definitely avoid consuming such to prevent allergies. However, with dusts and pollen, a person sometimes doesn’t have a choice—especially if he’s in a place where the air is contaminated with such allergens.

That is why it’s very important to do safety precautions if there are available measures that you can implement. Take for example, having an air purifier or humidifier inside the home is a huge step in making sure that you’re breathing in clean air.  Investing in these devices does not only make you feel secure about your respiratory or overall health, but it also gives you the comfort of inhaling good air while staying indoors.

Although air purifier and humidifier are two completely different devices, some cannot help but be confused of which to buy, “air purifier or humidifier for allergies?” The competition between two machines has boggled many consumers, making them unsure of which to purchase. But which is really better for allergies? Which is best to use to greatly decrease the chances of allergies spiking up? The air purifier or the humidifier? If you’re here looking for answers, this article is for you. But first, you have to understand that these devices were invented with completely different purpose; and there might be similar benefits, but you need to know how each one works.

Benefits

The Air Purifier

An air purifier, typically, is a device that cleanses the air by eliminating various air-borne contaminants like dust, dust mite droppings, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, second-hand smoke particles, bad odor, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Before, it was invented as a practical respirator; but over the years, air purifiers were marketed for general consumers—especially for allergy sufferers and asthmatics.

Various air purifier brands have come up with different technologies to ensure high-efficiency rate. Some of these technologies include the following:

HEPA Filter and Activated Carbon – An air purifier is equipped with layers of filters where air-borne contaminants are trapped. Air filtration cycle depends on the number filters attached inside the air purifier. A typical product may include a 3-stage air purifying cycle where the air comes in the pre-filter first, trapping particles as small as 0.03 microns, before going through another filter called the HEPA filter. The last filter may include an Activated Carbon filter, where the odor contained in the air is eliminated through the Carbon present on the filter. An Activated Carbon is another air purifying technology tied up with Filtration Technology. The former has the ability to adsorb small molecules of VOCs, but it is not designed to eliminate larger particles. Most consumers choose the Filtration  and Activated Carbon Technology because of the outcome it brings; it can eliminate indoor air pollution with a 99.97%efficiency rate because the particles are physically trapped against the filters.

Ionisation and UV Light – These technologies are also recommended by some consumers because unlike filter-equipped air purifiers, these devices don’t need filters and have lesser maintenance or replacement requirements.Ionic purifiers eliminate indoor air pollution by emitting negatively charged ions. When these ions react against positively charged air contaminants like dusts and pollen, the latter are eliminated from the thin air. It’s almost the same with Ultraviolet Germicidal Irridation; the air is sterilized as it passes under UV lamps through forced air.  Although these are non-conventional technologies, a few consumers still opt to filtration because ionizers emit little amounts of ozone. The latter could pose harm to overall health.

Over the years, more air purifying techniques have emerged such as: Thermodynamic Sterilization,Polarized Media Electronic Cleaners, Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO),Immobilized Call Technology, Ozone Generators, and Titanium Dioxide Technology.However, the four technologies mentioned earlier have been marked as consumers’choice not only in physical stores, but also in online shops like Amazon.com.

The Humidifier

A humidifier, on the other hand,is a device that helps in increasing humidity inside an enclose area or room. In hot places like deserts and snowy areas, the air tends to become drier and crisper. When the humidity is at its lowest, the body reacts to it—and oftentimes, negatively. Dry air causes the sinuses, nose passageway, and throat to dry up. When this happens, common reactions include nosebleeds, sore throat,nasal congestion, dry throat, asthma, bronchitis, and sinusitis. In worse cases, dry air can also cause general dehydration because the body fluids are depleted through respiration.

Thankfully, humidifiers do the trick in producing humid air to keep the moisture at regulated level. There are different kinds of humidifiers depending on consumer needs. Point-of-use or stand alone humidifier units are recommended for a single-room use. For the whole house, one can opt to affixing humidifiers through the home’s HVAC system; this could take a lot of budget, but it will save you from much hassle and give more benefits in the long run.  For larger establishments like hospitals,superstores, and buildings, larger humidifier units are installed on the HVAC system as well.

Just like the air purifier, there are also different kinds of portable humidifiers. Although these may range in size and kind, portable humidifiers have a common denominator—the water is usually supplied through filling in the device’s container on a regular basis. Here are some of the portable humidifiers:

Evaporative Humidifiers – Among the many kinds of humidifiers, this one is the most common. The device only consists of three basic parts: a fan,wick, and a reservoir. The evaporative humidifier works by absorbing water from the reservoir to the wick; the latter is a porous material that channels the water to a larger area, so the water will disperse in an evaporative form. The fan, which is placed adjacent to the wick, blows the air onto the wick to improve evaporation.

Natural Humidifiers – These are devices that consist of a wick humidifier’s basic part sans the fan. Natural humidifiers can be assembled with a low budget. One can even make this using a stainless steel bowl partially filled with water and a towel.

Vaporizers – Also called a steam humidifier, this device boils water and releases the produced moisture (through steaming) into the air. Some people mix medical inhalant into the water to relieve the symptoms of coughs.Vaporizers are more favoured than the cool mist humidifiers because the steam produced from it is less likely to contain bacteria, mineral impurities, or even micro-organisms. On the other hand, steam humidifiers require more energy because of its boiling technique. If misused or abused, the heat source from the device might cause accidents like fire, product melting, or leaks.

Impeller Humidifiers – This is also called a cool mist humidifier.The impeller humidifier is equipped with a rotating disc to cast the water into the diffuser. The water is then broken into fine droplets that are dispersed into the air. Unlike the steam humidifier, this device does not use heat to create mist, thus, making it safe from accidents like fires. However, the drawback in using cool mist humidifiers is these are noisier and are more prone to spreading mold or bacteria into your house.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers – Among the types of humidifiers, this one is more advanced in technology because it uses a ceramic diaphragm which vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency. The created water droplets are then silently dispersed from the humidifier in forms of “cool fog”. In regular ultrasonic humidifiers, the fog is forced out through a fan, but the smaller versions don’t have a fan.

Whether you are using a natural humidifier or the latest ultrasonic humidifier, you can be sure that it will do its job: to increase humidity inside the room. When there is enough moisture inside your home, various diseases and conditions like allergies will be prevented.

Conclusion

Air purifiers are better with allergies because of the way it is initially designed: to cleanse the air from any kinds of impurities that might cause sicknesses and allergies. It does not only get rid of indoor air pollution, but it also gets rid of bad odor that might cause discomfort in your part.

On the other hand, it’s also good to have a humidifier, especially if you are living in an area where humidity is always at its lowest. After all, frequently breathing in dry air will not do any good to your health, too. The worse that could happen is dry air triggering allergies and asthma attacks.

A Surprising Outcome

Because many consumers were found in need of both air purifiers and humidifiers, some manufacturers came up with a brilliant idea: why not combine both devices? Combo units hit not only physical stores, but also the online market. The idea of having an air purifier with a humidifying function seemed good to many customers. And guess what? A lot of people jumped into the bandwagon and started purchasing an air-purifier-slash-humidifier. Not only it is cheap, but it’s also convenient to use. With just a push of a few buttons, you’re getting clean and pure air while regulating the humidity inside the room. There are numerous air purifier and humidifier brands that you can find in Amazon.com alone. For your reference, here are some of the trusted brands:

Venta – This German brand has been providing quality products since 1981. Their commitment to bring the best quality products led to the birth of Venta Airwasher. Its 2-in-1 air purifier and humidifier products are dedicated to solve problems associated with dry and polluted indoor air.

Sharp – This Japanese-owned company is also one of the credible brands you can trust. Founded in the year 1912, Sharp has always produced devices and products that meet consumer standards. One of its products is air purification system. Sharp also produces 2-in-1 air purifier and humidifier units for home use.

Boneco – If you’re looking for a brand that has Swiss quality, then this one’s for you. Claiming as the world’s leading manufacturer of premium air treatment solutions, Boneco lives up to its statement by producing a wide exclusive range of air purifiers and humidifiers.

You can purchase products from these brands from Amazon.com. For more information about air purifiers and humidifiers, feel free to browse this website.

Source Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allergy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humidifier
https://www.livestrong.com/article/139526-air-purifier-vs-humidifier/
https://www.boneco.com/en/aboutus/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp_Corporation#Products

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