Things are finally starting to cool down around here, and we couldn’t be more excited. As much as I love beach weather, I’m a bigger fan of fall. The only thing I’m not excited about is cold and flu symptoms. It also doesn’t help that drier autumn air can cause nosebleeds, irritate skin/eyes and exacerbate asthma and allergies.
Although we’ve always thought that cold temperatures are the cause of the sniffles, it may actually be extremely low humidity levels that are the hallmarks of winter. A recent study conducted by Oregon State University compared death rates attributed to influenza to absolute humidity levels around the country. The study found a trend: humidity levels dropped significantly before a flu outbreak. Transmission and survival rates would then increase, and influenza-related mortality rates would follow. Results of the study have ultimately prompted medical professionals to start paying more attention to humidity levels during flu season.
That’s why it’s even more important than ever to keep humidity levels in check during fall and winter. For years, professional medical associations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Medical Association have recommend the use of humidifiers to help relieve cold and flu symptoms. But armed with this new information, it looks as though humidifiers may also help prevent illness altogether.
When shopping for a humidifier, you’ll find that there are 2 types out there: warm and cool mist. Our customers often ask us which type they should choose, and the answer isn’t simple, as it really depends on several factors. Do you have young children around? Are you looking for immediate cold/flu relief? Are you concerned with energy usage? These are all factors that can influence your purchasing decision. Think about these things before shopping for a humidifier:
- As a general rule, if you’re using the humidifier in a nursery or around young children, we’d always recommend a cool mist humidifier. The hot water and steam from a warm mist unit can be potentially dangerous if a child gets too close.
- If you’re looking for more cold/flu relief, we tend to prefer warm mist models. These models have a heating element that boils the water and lets out distilled steam. We find that warm mist is easier to breathe in very cool weather, and some units have a small compartment for steaming medications, if that’s something you’d like to do.
- If you’re concerned with energy-efficiency, a cool mist unit is the way to go. Since this type of humidifier doesn’t have a heating element, it uses much less energy. Also, many cool mist humidifiers utilize ultrasonic technology, which is proven to be significantly more energy efficient – sometimes by up to 90%!
If you’re still undecided on whether you’ll need a cool or warm mist unit, we’ve made it easy for you. Our new Luma Comfort HCW10B humidifier actually produces both cool and warm mist, so you get to choose which type of mist you want without having to buy 2 different humidifiers. Also, this humidifier produces warm mist at a lower temperature than other models on the market, offering you the benefits of a warm mist model but with less risk of burning. You’ll still need to supervise children if you decide to use it on the warm mist setting, but rest assured that it won’t cause burns or injury if curious little hands decide to touch the mist as it’s coming out of the machine.
The Luma Comfort HCW10 cool/warm mist humidifier retails for $99.99 and is available now through our authorized dealers.