Asthma. For some, it’s a not-so-serious case. Asthma is a long-term respiratory condition where the airways of the lungs are inflamed. People who suffer from this condition know the real struggle when there is an attack. The severe and rapid breathing,non-stop coughing, heavy chest, tightness around the neck and chest muscles,excessive sweating, anxiety, and panic are just few of the things that an asthma sufferer experiences during an attack. Normally, asthma is triggered by two causes: genetic and environmental factors. It is most likely that asthma sufferers inherited the condition from their parents or grandparents, but environmental factors also affect and act as triggers.
Some of the environmental factors that contribute to asthma attacks are the allergens present in the air.Medicines like beta-blockers and aspirin can also act as triggers. Although asthma has no cure, it can be managed and prevented through a healthy lifestyle. However, air quality is really a huge factor in keeping asthma attacks at bay.
That is why in most Western countries, especially in USA, Canada, and UK, you will see numerous houses equipped with an air purifier and a humidifier—especially those who have asthma patients inside. Indoor air quality is one of the important things to consider when someone in the family is allergic or asthmatic.
Air purifiers and humidifiers are proven effective for people who suffer from asthma. Although the two are completely different devices, some of the benefits share similarity when it comes to lessening the symptoms of asthma. However, consumers cannot help but think which device is better in alleviating asthma symptoms. Does air purifier produce better effects than a humidifier? Or does humidifier does it better? Before this article gives its objective conclusion, it is good to learn more about air purifiers and humidifiers, so you would be enlightened of each device’s purpose.
Air purifiers are devices that live up to what they’re called—they purify the air. Although various technologies were invented to improve air quality, an air purifier only has one goal: to get rid of various indoor air pollutants such as dusts, dust mite feces,pet dander, mold spores, Volatile Organic Compounds, and second-hand smoke. Now, an air purifier is beneficial for asthmatic people because it removes air-borne particulates with an almost 99.97% efficiency rate. However, not every air purifier is good for asthmatic people. As mentioned earlier, there are different kinds of air purifiers, depending on the technology used. Filter-equipped air purifiers are the best for asthmatics because of the high-efficiency rate. With the use of High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filters, indoor air contaminants are trapped on fine fibers of the filter through forced air.Some air purifiers are even combined with another technology called Activated Carbon to eliminate odor and trap smaller particles in molecular form. HEPA Filters and Activated Carbon are ideal for asthmatic people. There is no side effect or dangerous chemical emission and the chances of getting asthma attacks are dramatically reduced.
On the other hand, active air purifiers like ionizers are not safe for asthma sufferers. Ionisation Technology does not require filters, but the device relies on emitting negatively charged ions to clean the air from pollutants. When the ions react against the positively charged indoor air particles, the latter are eliminated.However, particulate arrestance is not as efficient as with HEPA-equipped air purifiers because ionisation does not necessarily get rid of allergens from the air. Also, ionic air purifiers emit ozone that can restrict breathing, worsen the symptoms of asthma, or potentially harm the overall health. There are plenty of filter-equipped air purifiers in the market, especially Amazon.com.
A humidifier, on the other hand, is a device that improves air quality by increasing humidity inside an enclosed area. In places like deserts and snowy areas, the air you breathe becomes drier. When the air becomes drier and crisp, your body reacts to it causing various common illnesses and conditions like sore throat, dry throat, dry eyes,sinusitis, nasal congestion, and nosebleeds. The worst case of breathing in dry air for the longest time is that allergies and asthma may act up.
To prevent all these from happening, having a humidifier inside the house is essential. A humidifier basically produces more moisture, so that the air you breathe becomes moisturized, keeping your other internal body parts hydrated. As a matter of fact, a humidifier is also an effective tool to lessen the symptoms of asthma.Because it produces steam and mist, just like the nebulizer, it eases the respiratory tracts that are inflamed or irritated because of dry air.
There are different kinds of humidifier, depending on the applied technology and how the humidifier was designed. Here are some examples of humidifier:
Evaporative Humidifiers – Considered the most common humidifier in the market, an evaporative humidifier only consists of three main parts: wick,reservoir, and fan. Water is poured into a reservoir and the wick, a porous material, absorbs the water to turn it into fine mists. The fan helps in scattering the cool moisture into the air.
Natural Humidifiers – Among the different kinds of humidifiers,this is the simplest; with two basic parts, a wick and a reservoir, you can even create your very own natural humidifier at home. One of the simplest models of natural humidifiers only consists of a stainless steel pan with water in it and a dry towel.
Impeller Humidifiers – This humidifier produces moisture through the use of a rotating disc. The latter flings water to the device’s diffuser where the water is turned into cool mist; the mist is then pushed out of the humidifier into the air. Impeller humidifiers don’t use heat to produce mist,therefore, preventing accidents like fires, leaks, and product meltdown. However,because it uses regular water, an impeller humidifier can potentially spread bacteria, virus, and mold into the air. Additionally, this kind of humidifier is a lot noisier than other humidifiers.
Vaporizers – Also called a steam humidifier, it’s a lot similar with impeller humidifiers except for one thing: vaporizers use heat to create steam. Some consumers prefer this type of humidifier because the water is boiled down before it is turned into vapor. Because of these, it is less likely that the mist will carry bacteria or mold into the air. Even better, medicated inhalant can be concocted into the water to ease the symptoms of common illnesses like colds, cough, fever, and even asthma. The only drawback is this: vaporizers have a tendency to overheat or malfunction when misused or abused. Because it uses heat to produce moisture, it can cause accidents like fire.
Ultrasonic Humidifiers – This humidifier produces a cool fog through an ultrasonic frequency. The ceramic diaphragm vibrates to form water droplets that silently go out of the humidifier. Through the help of a tiny fan, the mist is pushed out of the device. Like the impeller humidifier, an ultrasonic humidifier can also potentially spread impurities and bacteria found in the water. That’s why it’s important to replace the water after a few hours,and if you can, use sterile water to make sure that even the moisture inside your house is safe to breathe in.
Here comes the verdict in air purifier vs. humidifier for asthma: The air purifier is a better option if you’re considering health issues. Although humidifier can still provide you ease during asthma attacks, nothing can beat an air purifier that gets rid of indoor air pollution like allergens, pet dander, dust, dust mite feces, mold spores, Volatile Organic Compounds, and even second-hand smoke particles. It is more important to invest on a device that can improve indoor air quality than a device that can only do a single thing—to increase humidity inside the room. Having an air purifier at home gives you the security and confidence that you know you’re breathing in the purest air there is.
Many air purifier brands have come up with a great solution that addressed a consumer issue: “Should I buy an air purifier or a humidifier?” Because both devices have become in-demand in physical stores and online markets, air purifier brands innovated a combination unit—an air purifier with a humidifying function. The 2-in-1 devices quickly hit the market because of the convenience it brings. Who wouldn’t want to buy a combo unit; knowing that you can have not just one, but two functions in a single machine! For your reference, here are some popular 2-in-1 combo units that you might want to consider buying:
- Philips AC5659/40 Series 5000i – This filter-equipped air purifier and humidifier really has something to boast. With a 99.97% efficiency rate, this Philips 2-in-1 unit can get rid of fine indoor air particles as small as 0.3 microns! You know why?Because of its cutting-edge 6-stage filtration technology that includes 2 pre-filters, 2 True HEPA filters, and 2 Active Carbon filters, you can be sure that even small allergens, bacteria, and viruses will be trapped against these layers. Not only that, this device boasts of an AeraSense technology that automatically detects even the slightest hint of indoor air quality change; these even includes allergens and gases inside the area. The 5000i also features on its dashboard a real-time indoor air quality through its color ring and numerical indices (for allergens and gases). Even better, this air purifier and humidifier is also WiFi enabled and can cover up an extra-large room size. You can buy the Philips Air AC5659/40 5000i from Amazon.com for the price of$549.95. With the features it has, this product is ideal for asthma sufferers.
- OreckWK15500B Air Refresh 2-in-1 HEPA Air Purifier – If you’re looking for a combo unit that fits your budget and meets your consumer standards, this Oreck device is probably the best for you. The 2-in-1 air purifier and humidifier unit boasts of a 2-stage filtration cycle that consists of HEPA media filters;it can capture air-borne particles with a 99.0% efficiency rate. Even better,the unit also features a charcoal filter to eliminate bad odors from the air. Its built-in ultrasonic humidifier can be used simultaneously with the air purifier or it can also be turned off. By producing a cool mist, you can be sure that this device is safe from overheating-related accidents like fire. Additionally, the Oreck WK1550B has a Silence technology for both its air purifier and humidifier; it works silently even at night. This product is ideal for small rooms. For a price of $305.78 from Amazon.com, the Oreck WK15500B is not far from your reach.
Are you looking for a specific stand-alone air purifier that is asthma and allergy friendly? This article has just the right product for you:
- RabbitAir MinusA2 Asthma and Allergy Friendly Air Purifier SPA-780A – Quality comes with a price—and you will surely get your money’s worth with this air purifier. A certified asthma and allergy friendly, the Rabbit Air MinusA2 boasts of a BioGS HEPA filtration that contains 6-stage purification and deodorization. The best thing about this product is it works very well when it comes to odors because of its Odor Remover Custom Filter. It even kicks into higher gear when doing you’re activities that produce smoke and odor like cooking. Some customers even testified that since they started using this product, their usual snoring and stuffy nose went away. The best thing about this is it can cover an area as large as 815 sq. ft. You can get the Rabbit Air MinusA2 from Amazon.com for a price of $599.95. The product also comes with a 5-year warranty (both for parts and labor) and round the clock Technical Support.
(Note: You can buy used items from Amazon.com, but it would be wise to purchase air purifiers and humidifiers from direct suppliers like Oreck, Rabbit Air, and Philips.)
Did you get the answer you’re looking for? If you’re still choosing whether you should opt to an air purifier or humidifier—go for the former. But if 2-in-1 products meet your consumer standards, then why not go for a combo device? Whatever you purchase, you are still investing for your health—and that is already a good thing.
What are you waiting for? Purchase your very own air purifier and humidifier from Amazon.com now!
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