Benefits of a humidifier

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Benefits of Using a Humidifier

2. Soothes Dry Skin

If you are meticulous about your skin care routine and spend hundreds of dollars every year keeping your skin healthy and hydrated, then a humidifier could help reduce your skin care costs.

A humidifier can help soothe dry and inflamed skin due to the way it restores moisture to the air. Dry air is known to exacerbate skin conditions: when your skin is dry, it can become rough and can crack easily. For people who suffer from conditions like eczema, this can be extremely painful. Dry skin is also known to be a common cause of acne, as pores become blocked by dead skin cells and get infected.

Dry air is known to exacerbate skin conditions: when your skin is dry, it can become rough and can crack easily

Drinking lots of water and moisturizing regularly is very important, but having sufficient humidity levels in the air can also help your skin to look and feel more hydrated and healthy. This also applies to scalp health: a humidifier can help keep the atmosphere sufficiently moist to help reduce instances of dry scalp and dandruff. One of the best times to let your skin benefit from a humidifier is while you sleep. If you keep it plugged in the bedroom, then it will help achieve the optimum humidity levels to let your skin replenish without any effort on your part.

3. Encourages Comfortable Sleep

There are multiple ways that a humidifier can help you sleep more comfortably. If you struggle with snoring, then a humidifier could be one investment that will help with this irritating problem. Snoring usually occurs due to air not being able to move freely through inflamed and congested respiratory passages, resulting in vibrations. A humidifier can help restore moisture to the nose and sinuses and thus help open the airways to prevent snoring and the discomfort caused by a dry throat. This will result in more comfortable sleep for you as well as your partner.

humidifier can help restore moisture to the nose and sinuses and thus help open the airways to prevent snoring

Humidifiers can also help children sleep better. Their nasal passages are more sensitive than in adults and so anything out of the ordinary can cause discomfort and thus prevent them from sleeping easily. Dry air causes often results in irritation and nighttime coughing which can frequently wake up young children. A humidifier can create a healthier and more comfortable sleeping environment for them, which allows them to breath easily and sleep better. Less tossing and turning and night wakings for children usually results in more comfortable sleep for everybody.

4. Reduces Nose and Sinus Pain

If you’re generally prone to conditions like sinusitis then a humidifier can help alleviate these symptoms. This is because dry air causes the mucus in your nose and sinuses to not flow as it should. This means the sinuses will not drain, which will lead to the congestion and inflammation which causes sinus pain. Increasing air humidity, though, can reduce instances of suffering from sinus and nasal pain.

In addition, having a cold or the flu often results in us wiping our noses more vigorously. This can cause dry skin which is uncomfortable and painful. A humidifier can help reduce this discomfort by clearing the airways naturally and reducing the need for regular wiping. It can also soothe dry skin due to the hydrating effect of the humidifier.

5. Soothes Cold & Flu Symptoms

Purchasing a humidifier could actually be considered preemptive measure since air that is not too dry is less likely to transfer airborne viruses. If you are already suffering with symptoms related to a cold or flu then a humidifier can also help in a number of ways. This is because dry air can cause mucus to become thick and more difficult to pass. This can in turn result in a cough that feels like it will never go away. Nasal passages that are dry and congested can cause stuffy noses.

Since flu and cold symptoms are easily alleviated with a humidifier, it will no doubt make recovery smoother and easier

A humidifier can help loosen impacted mucus which will aid recovery. The moistening of the air can also lubricate your nasal airways resulting in easier breathing. Since flu and cold symptoms are easily alleviated with a humidifier, it will no doubt make recovery smoother and easier.

6. Keeps Houseplants Healthy

Decorating your home with the lush green of real plants has been proven to improve wellbeing. For many plants, adequate humidity is essential because plants lose moisture through the pores in their leaves, and this happens more rapidly when the air around them is dry.

Water that is absorbed through the roots does not always replenish the moisture lost through the leaves quickly enough. Since humidifiers control the level of humidity within your home, it can be one of the ways in which to achieve the best conditions not only for you, but also for your houseplants to truly bloom and thrive.

7. Protects Wooden Furniture

Dry air can also have adverse effects on your wooden furniture because it can dry out wood which, in turn, causes it to shrink. This places inevitable pressure on the wood cells, leading to cracking. Over time, this shrinking and cracking may develop into other problems such as loose table and chair legs, gaps in door frames, gaps in floorboards and even widening of cabinet joints. This can all lead to an increase in home repair costs that could be avoided. One of the most effective ways of preventing your wooden furniture from becoming dehydrated and damaged is to maintain a healthy level of humidity in your home. Investing in a humidifier will thus help keep down furniture replacement and repair costs.

8. Prevents Static Shocks

Static shocks occur when there is an imbalance in the electrical charges between a given surface and the level of electrical resistance in the air. Most commonly this is caused by friction. Electrical resistance is directly linked to the level of moisture in the air: when humidity is low, static electrical charges start to build up very quickly. They are released by being brought into contact with another object, which ultimately results in a static shock.

Since winter is usually when the air is drier, this is the most common season for static shocks to happen. While they are not dangerous, they can be annoying, painful, and sometimes destructive to electrical devices. To prevent them from occurring, invest in a high-quality humidifier to keep the air moisture high enough for this to not happen.

9. Keep Heating Costs Down

Humidity is one of the little-known factors that determines how hot or cold you feel. Hot temperatures, for example, will feel even hotter with high humidity. This is why tropical environments may be more unbearable for some than the desert heat, even though the desert temperatures are effectively higher.

using a humidifier to improve humidity levels in your home can help to reduce your heating bills over winter

Accordingly, having the heating on while the air is dry can be counterproductive. Raising humidity to a healthy level, while using moderate heating will make you feel warmer much quicker. This is because the moisture in the air works to trap the heat. Therefore, using a humidifier to improve humidity levels in your home can help to reduce your heating bills over winter.

Humidifiers and Health

The type of humidifier you choose depends on your preferences, budget, and the size of the area you want to add moisture to. There are five types of humidifiers:

  • central humidifiers
  • evaporators
  • impeller humidifiers
  • steam vaporizers
  • ultrasonic humidifiers

Humidifier sizes

Humidifiers are often classified as console or portable/personal.

Console units are meant to add moisture to the entire house. They’re often very large, but usually have wheels so you can easily move them around. Console units are meant to add moisture to one room.

Shop for console humidifiers.

Personal (or portable) humidifiers are the smallest, and are the best choice if you need a humidifier while traveling.

Shop for portable humidifiers.

Central humidifiers

Central humidifiers are built directly into your home’s air conditioning or heating unit. These are the most expensive types of humidifier, but they’re the best choice if you want to add humidity throughout the entire house.

Traditional humidifiers carry a potential risk of burns from the steam they emit. Central humidifiers don’t emit steam.

Shop for central humidifiers.

Evaporators

Evaporators blow moisture through a moistened filter. Fans power the unit and expel the humidity into the air from a single-unit system.

Shop for evaporators.

These are more affordable than central humidifiers, but the downside is that they only work in one room at a time. They may also expel too much moisture into the air. This can be problematic for people with asthma, as it raises the likelihood for mold growth.

Impeller humidifiers

Impeller humidifiers work with the help of rotating disks that run at high speeds. These units are often less expensive. They’re also among the most child-friendly devices, because they create cool mist and carry no risk of burns.

The downside is, like evaporators, they only work for single rooms. They can potentially cause breathing difficulties for people with allergies and asthma when they’re overused.

Shop for impeller humidifiers.

Steam vaporizers

Steam vaporizers are electrically powered. They heat water, and then cool it before expelling it into the air. These are the most inexpensive and portable humidifiers. You can purchase them at drugstores.

This type can cause burns, so it’s not the most kid-friendly.

Shop for steam vaporizers.

Ultrasonic humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers produce a cool mist with the help of ultrasonic vibration. The units vary in price, depending on the size you need for your home. Both cool and warm mist versions are available.

An ultrasonic humidifier — especially the cool-mist version — is a good choice if you have children.

Shop for ultrasonic humidifier.

Why You Need a Humidifier in Your Bedroom

Staying warm in the winter comes at a cost—and we don’t mean just your heating bill. Flaky skin, itchy eyes, scratchy throats, and nosebleeds are just a few of the symptoms that kick in when you fire up your home’s furnace or radiators for the season.

Winter’s discomforts don’t have to keep you up at night. There’s an easy way to instantly improve indoor air quality for a more comfortable night’s sleep: a humidifier.

“Humidifiers basically are aimed at returning the atmosphere to something that is closer to what we experience when there is no heating or cooling of the air,” explains David Rapoport, MD, director of the Sleep Medicine Research Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. With a humidifier in the bedroom, you’ll breathe better, itch less, and maybe even keep colds and flu at bay. Here’s why.

How humidifiers work

A humidifier’s job is simple: add moisture to the air. Generally, there are two types of humidifiers: cool mist and warm mist. Cool mist humidifiers tend to be either evaporative (they produce moistened air) or ultrasonic (a high frequency shakes up water and releases droplets into the air).

Warm mist humidifiers create warm moisture from boiling water. The most common types are steam and vaporizer humidifiers, says Rebecca Park, RN, nurse and founder of the blog RemediesForMe.

Either one will get the job done, but the choice depends on how much maintenance you want to do and whether you have children at home (in that case, a cool mist humidifier, which has no heating element, might be safer).

The benefits of sleeping with a humidifier

Because they produce moisture, humidifiers help to eliminate the dry air that can cause irritation, inflammation, and pain in your nose and throat come winter.

“The nose is an extraordinarily efficient humidifier,” explains Rapoport. “The air that gets to our lungs has to be humid or we get very uncomfortable.” But even the nose has a limit—in an extremely dry room, he says, “you overwhelm the ability of the nose to hydrate the air.”

As a result, you could end up with a sore throat, nosebleeds, and common cold symptoms like a stuffed nose, since dry air increases mucus production and keeps it thick. What’s more, when your throat is dried out, it’s more susceptible to infection. “Dry mucous membranes in the nose and throat makes it difficult for the membranes to catch the germs from entering into your lungs,” says Park.

To recap, adding moisture back into the air:

  • Helps keep the respiratory tract moistened and comfortable;
  • Prevents dry nasal passages and throats that can make you more susceptible to infection;
  • Reduces symptoms of asthma and colds or flu (since moist air keeps mucus thin, making it easier to expel);
  • Decreases the chance of nosebleeds.

Potential drawbacks of humidifiers

While humidifiers certainly have their benefits when it comes to sleep, they’re not without their drawbacks. The big issue is maintenance. Water that’s left sitting around in the device can lead to the growth of bacteria and mold. “Legionella pneumophila is a type of bacteria that can cause pneumonia,” Park says, noting that the risk is not as present with warm mist humidifiers, which reduce contamination by heating the water.

No matter which kind of humidifier you choose, though, make sure to clean it regularly, says Rapoport, to help avoid mold and bacteria growth, which can also contribute to allergies. Many humidifier tanks are dishwasher safe, he notes, though be sure to follow the cleaning directions on your device. Make sure to clean the filters, too, says Park.

You also might need to vacuum the area surrounding your humidifier. “Minerals in water that is evaporated can fall as white dust,” says Park. To minimize the possibility, you can use distilled water. “Distilled water has less mineral content, thus decreasing the chance of white dust.”

The other issue with humidifiers? You run the risk of the device causing too much moisture in the air, which can lead mold and dampness to accumulate on windows and walls, says Park. If you see droplets forming, it’s a sign to turn down the dial.

Warm mist humidifiers, in particular, can also become scalding hot, which can come with a risk of fire, Rapoport says. In fact, the National Institutes of Health recommends using a cool mist humidifier to avoid the risk of burning.

Should you try a humidifier?

Humidifiers aren’t for everyone, nor are they necessities for a good winter’s night rest. If you sleep easy come cooler, drier weather, you likely don’t need one, says Rapoport. But if you’re noticing symptoms—a dry throat or skin, nosebleeds, or if you have a cold—it’s worth amping up the humidity to find out if a little moisture can do you a lot of good.

Consider these three humidifiers:

  • Honeywell Germ-Free Humidifier. “It is relatively inexpensive, easy to clean, easy to refill, and nearly silent on the lowest setting,” says Park. Because it’s a cool most humidifier, it also doesn’t use as much electricity, she notes.
  • Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier. If you must have warm mist, this top-rated Amazon pick is a warm mist humidifier that’s also affordable, clocking in at just about $34.
  • Levoit Ultrasonic Humidifier. You’ll pay a little more (about $85) but you’ll get features such as a display that lists the actual humidity in the room (“The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a humidity levels of 45% to 50%,” Park says), a remote control, and a super-quiet hum.

Something else that can help you sleep this winter? A weighted blanket. Here, learn how weighted blankets work.

The Creepy Truth About Humidifiers

Lung issues, from flu-like symptoms to serious infection, are your main worries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Experts have also identified something they call “humidifier fever,” a form of viral lung inflammation caused by colonized humidifier bacteria.

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While inhaling these agents is bad for everyone, it could be especially harmful for kids and those with asthma or breathing problems. The authors of one case study from the University of Utah discovered that an infant had developed a serious lung injury after breathing in humidifier “white dust,” or the powdery build-up of calcium, magnesium and other metal deposits that can form on the inside of the machine’s reservoir. “This case raises important questions about the safety of exposing infants and young children to humidifiers,” the authors of that study write. A 2005 government report on pediatric asthma also cautioned against the use of humidifiers.

Of course, a lot of things are harmful when used improperly. The biggest concern with humidifiers may be operator error—or the fact that most of us don’t keep our machines clean. A past report from the Environmental Protection Agency recommends washing out your humidifier every third day, but Nolen says even that guidance may be too relaxed. “I’d say at least every three days, and every day would be better,” she says.

She recommends using plain dish soap and warm water, taking care to scrub the sides of your water reservoir to remove any deposits. “Be careful about cleaning agents,” she adds. In 2011, there was an outbreak of lung infection among patients at a Korean hospital. An investigation concluded that “humidifier disinfectants” were to blame. While the types of disinfectants linked to that hospital outbreak aren’t likely to turn up in your home, Nolen says you don’t want to use harsh chemicals. Again, plain dish soap, hot water, and elbow grease are your best cleaning tools.

The water you use to fill your tank could also cause issues. Both the CPSC and the EPA recommend filling your humidifier with distilled water—not tap—to keep potentially harmful microorganisms out of the air you breathe. But a study from the University of Colorado suggests that’s overkill. While the researchers found the water used to fill a humidifier does dictate its bacterial profile, few of the microorganisms they turned up could lead to health concerns. (Worth noting is that they were looking at humidifiers filled with Rocky Mountain water from their state’s Front Range, which has a reputation for being very clean. Their findings might not hold in other places.)

Assuming you’re good about cleaning your humidifier and filling it with distilled water, you also need to be careful about moisture around your machine. If your humidifier is cranked up so high that it’s surrounded by a scrim of wetness, that’s bad. “Moisture feeds a lot of things we don’t want in our homes, like mold and spores,” Nolen says. “You want to keep the humidity in your home at or below 50%.” (You can buy an indoor humidity monitor for about $10.) If you’re accustomed to running your humidifier at its most powerful, “I can see the mist!” setting, you may want to turn it down.

Finally, based on its own tests, the EPA says “evaporative” or “steam vaporizer” humidifiers may spit out fewer microorganisms than “ultrasonic” or “cool-mist” machines. (There’s some recent research to support this advice.)

Or you could just move to Florida.

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Do Humidifiers Really Work?

In winter, even if you are in a nice warm building, there is one thing that makes you uncomfortable, which is low humidity. Along with a warm environment, people need an adequate amount of humidity to be comfortable and for this humidifiers are the best cure.

But do humidifiers really work? As there are many reports of allergic symptoms such as tight skin, irritating nasal passage and dry throat associated with using a humidifier. A humidifier is an electronic device that adds moisture in your surroundings and keeps the air clean, so you need to watch out the mistakes that you might be making in the use and care of the unit. Certain instructions need to be followed while maintaining and using a humidifier.

source:time.com

Otherwise, it can lead to allergic symptoms. There are five common mistakes which people make while using a humidifier.

Neglecting the Cleaning of Humidifier

While using a humidifier, you need to maintain and clean the unit effectively as you are breathing the air that is affected by the humidifier. If the tanks and filters of the humidifier are not cleaned, the unit can lead to growth and breeding of mold, certain bacteria, and mildew. These allergens when added to the air lead to infections and allergies. So, cleaning and maintenance of humidifier is of utmost significance.

Letting Water Stay in Your Unit

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Do not let water stay in your unit when the humidifier is not in use. As bacteria start breeding on the top of the standing water. So, make sure to clean the tank when the humidifier is not in use and when if you skip its usage for a day. Cleaning or wiping down the unit with hydrogen peroxide or bleach inhibits the growth of bacteria. Rinse and dry the unit afterward thoroughly to make sure that the harmful chemicals are not released in your indoor air through the humidifier.

Ignoring Humidity Levels in the House

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People need an average amount of humidity in the air to work effectively. Dry air affects the performance and health of people. Similarly, too much moisture is also harmful to your health. In summer it is recommended to keep the humidity level below 60 percent and in the winter season, the ideal percentage is between 25 to 40.

Many humidifiers are available with a built-in humidistat for measuring the relative humidity. You can also use a separate humidity meter known as a hygrometer to measure and check the indoor humidity level accurately especially if you are using a humidifier to control symptoms of specific allergies than you need to check the humidity levels often and try to keep them relatively stable.

Using Tap Water in Humidifier

Tap water contains certain pathogens as well as minerals. If you use tap water in the humidifier, when the water evaporates, the minerals are left as a residue. These minerals deposit at the bottom of the tank and also on the walls which leads to contaminated air. This mineral deposit also promotes bacterial growth in the humidifier and eventually you will be breathing them as they are disbursed in the air.

To prevent this, you need to use purified and filtered water in the humidifier. In order to avoid allergies because of the mineral deposit, make sure that you never use tap water in the humidifier. Also, if you notice algae or bacterial growth in the unit, it’s recommended to use a special water treatment formula that will get you to get in control.

How a Humidifier Works

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A humidifier is a simple device that increases the number of water vapors in your room or building. It consists of a container for the water and a vaporizer. A control system is installed in the humidifier that senses the amount of humidity in the air and turns the humidifier on or off. When the humidifier senses dryness in the air, it adds water vapors to the atmosphere when needed. In order to understand more about this technology, you need to be aware of the most popular types of humidifiers. You can check out reviews on humidifiers on Wereviews as well.

Steam Humidifier

Steam humidifier, also known as vaporizer boils water in the tank and releases steam into the air. A humidistat is installed in this type which sends a signal to the humidifier to release steam in the air when it senses that the humidity level is low. Steam humidifiers use the simplest humidifier technology which makes them less expensive. But you need to be very careful while installing these humidifiers in your house because the steam is very hot and it can even burn the person in contact.

Evaporative Humidifier

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Evaporative humidifier utilizes a wick system, this system uses cloth, foam or paper wick which is used to draw water out of the reservoir inside. A fan in this system blows over the wick letting the air absorb moisture. When the humidity levels in the room are higher less water evaporates from the filter automatically. That is how this type of humidifier regulates itself. With the increase in humidity in the room the evaporation of water from the water decreases.

Ultrasonic Humidifier

The ultrasonic humidifier uses the high-frequency vibrations of sound to produce a very fine mist. The water droplets are converted to a mist by a metal diaphragm that is vibrating at the ultrasonic frequency. The humidifier then adds moisture in the air by expelling the mist. Ultrasonic humidifiers are silent or make a very little sound and the mist produced by them is cool, unlike the steam humidifier. This feature makes this humidifier safe to use and it makes the residents feel more relaxed.

Conclusion

A humidifier has enormous health as well as other benefits. It is the best way to add moisture to the air of your home, making you and your family much comfort and is cost efficient at the same time. Humidifiers also protect your things and save a little wear and tear by adding moisture in the air. You can make a difference in your world by installing one or more humidifiers in your house, especially when you are living in a dry environment.

Static in your hair or the sparks that fly when you touch someone or something in winter are sure signs the air in your house is too dry.

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Setting up a humidifier is your best bet for improving indoor air quality and your breathing, says pulmonologist Kathrin Nicolacakis, MD.

“When the air is dry, your respiratory system just isn’t happy. Even if you have no medical problems at all, you can suffer,” she says. “Your skin and nasal passages get dry – all the way down to your lungs. You can wake up with a dry mouth and start coughing for no reason.”

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends keeping your home’s humidity level between 30% and 50%. It also suggests using filtered water in humidifiers, if possible, to avoid the minerals and micro-organisms that unfiltered water might contain.

When should you use a humidifier?

Dry air can wreak havoc on your nose and lungs and make existing conditions worse, Dr. Nicolacakis says. And, humidity levels that aren’t optimal can harm everyone.

Using a humidifier can relieve:

  • Chronic runny nose.
  • Hay fever symptoms.
  • Nose bleeds.
  • Asthma and allergy flare-ups.
  • Sinus congestion.
  • Dry throat.

What type of humidifier do you need?

Regardless of what kind of humidifier you choose, she says, everyone should have some type of humidifier in their home, Dr. Nicolacakis says.

“There’s no magic to a humidifier,” she points out. “But, if you use one, you will feel better.” Here’s a quick breakdown of the types available:

  • Central humidifier: This humidifier is built directly into your home’s heating and air conditioning system and can control the humidity level throughout your entire house. It’s the most expensive option, Dr. Nicolacakis says, but it’s the most effective choice.
  • Evaporators: This type of humidifier blows moisture through a moistened filter. Fans push the humidity out into the room.
  • Impeller humidifier: This option creates a cool mist that is pushed out into the room by disks that rotate at high speed.
  • Steam vaporizer: This electric-powered option heats water and cools it off before pushing water vapor out into the room. Vaporizers can be moved from room to room.
  • Ultrasonic humidifier: Like an impeller humidifier, this humidifier spreads a cool mist through the room via ultrasonic vibration.

How to get the most out of your humidifier

You need to keep tabs on your humidifier to ensure it’s clean and in proper working order, Dr. Nicolacakis says. Try following these three simple steps:

  1. Refresh the water. Room humidifiers use a gallon of water daily, and you must change the water to avoid any mold or bacteria that could grow in standing water. Wash any buckets or filter systems every two to three days, as well.
  2. Change your filter. If you have a central humidifier, change the filter at least as often as the manufacturer recommends, or once a month.
  3. Check the humidity level. Check your home’s humidity level every few days, because too much humidity can also cause lung problems. High moisture levels in the air can trigger allergies and asthma, as well as promote the growth of mold, bacteria, mildew and dust mites.

Consider purchasing a hygrometer that will keep a constant measure of your home’s humidity, she says.

“Humidifiers are a preventive measure. Without proper humidity, the air is uncomfortable,” Dr. Nicolacakis says. “This is about maintaining your health.”

What Are the Benefits of a Humidifier for Your Home?

During cold winter months (or in the heat of the summer when your AC is on), you may notice that the air in your home is dry. Just like very humid air could be bad news for your health, dry air may cause nose and eye irritation in otherwise healthy people. One solution is to use a humidifier if the air in your home is too dry. Below, you will learn how humidifiers work, the benefits of using one in your home, and how to choose the right one and use it correctly.

Humidity levels and health benefit

Very dry and very humid air can affect your health and the condition of your home. When air is too humid, it can encourage mold and mildew growth and contribute to health issues, as well as cause potential damage to your home. If you have asthma or another respiratory illness, dry air may make it worse.

The Cleveland Clinic reports that dry air may cause problems including:

  • Dry eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Dry nasal passages
  • Bloody nose
  • Make colds and flus worse
  • Chapped skin and lips
  • Itchy, dry skin
  • Worsened asthma and allergy symptoms

Keeping the air in your home from becoming too dry may help with many of these health issues. Depending on where you live, controlling indoor humidity is not always easy. This is where a humidifier may offer benefits. It is best to keep your home’s humidity within an optimal range–not too high and not too low. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you keep the air in your home between 30 and 50 percent humidity.

6 Benefits of using a humidifier during sleep

Humidifiers may be beneficial for adults and children during sleep. Sleep itself aids in repair, rejuvenation and maintenance of our immune system. Adding a humidifier to your bedroom can bolster the effects sleeping naturally provides. Here are some of the benefits you can get from sleeping with a humidifier in your room.

  1. Air that is not too dry may help you avoid colds and flu: Viral colds and flu can feel awful and can severely affect your sleep. In the winter months, they might seem to pass from person to person with no signs of slowing down. Thankfully, air at acceptable levels of humidity that is not too dry may lessen the infectivity of airborne viruses. Research has found that a humidity level of 40% or higher decreased infectivity levels of influenza virus to about 14%. At less than 23% humidity, almost 75% of the virus retained infectivity (Noti et al., 2013). Higher humidity allows viruses a better chance of attaching to water vapor droplets and falling out of the air, instead of viruses clinging to us and infecting us directly. This helps to explain why the dry climate of winter can leave us more susceptible to illness. Moreover, studies have shown that sleep deprivation is linked to our body’s immune systems–particularly in suppressing immune activity i.e increasing inflammation and reducing antibody response to Hepatitis A and influenza immunizations (Cohen et al., 2009).
  2. Higher humidity may help loosen congestion: Dry air may cause mucus to become dry and thick, which can result in clogged nasal passages. In turn, this may lead to a stuffy nose, sore throat, and sinus pain. Humidifiers may help by adding moisture to the area, which might help break up phlegm in your nose and chest.
  3. Cold and flu symptoms may be alleviated: If you do get the flu or a cold, using a humidifier while you sleep may help you recover faster. In addition to loosening congestion, it may help lubricate your nasal passages, allowing you to breathe a lot easier. This may also help alleviate a sore throat and, for some people, sinus headaches, and restore a restful sleep. Moreover, cold and fever symptoms could be worse at night as lying down puts you in a compromised position. Cold, dry air, in addition to a prone sleeping posture can affect how mucus builds up in the nasal cavity and the lack of adequate draining while lying down can create that mucus build up and exacerbate cold and flu symptoms. A humidifier may help alleviate this by adding more moisture to the air.
  4. May help to alleviate allergy and asthma symptoms: If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you may notice a worsening of symptoms when the air is dry. Using a humidifier, especially in conjunction with a high-quality indoor air purifier, can help. Clear nasal passages are key to your body filtering out allergens it is exposed to. Additionally, adding moisture to the air can help reduce dry air irritants.
  5. Moist air may help prevent dry skin: Dry air may cause dry skin. When your skin is dry, it may crack and wrinkle more easily. This can be incredibly uncomfortable. Unfortunately, when you have dry air in your home, using lotion and chapstick may not be enough to rehydrate skin. One way to help is to have acceptable levels of moisture in the air, so your skin can absorb it. Skin-related conditions that cause itchy skin such as eczema can disturb sleep. The National Eczema Association states that a damaged skin barrier coupled with uneven humidity levels can exacerbate these symptoms. A humidifier, along with creams, may help sufferers retain skin moisture, reduce scratching, and promote uninterrupted sleep.
  6. It can help keep your hair and scalp healthy: Just like the skin on the rest of your body, your scalp may become dry and irritated when there is a lack of moisture in the air. This may cause your scalp to itch and worsen dandruff. Your hair may be affected, too. Since it is made up of collagen, your hair needs a certain amount of moisture. When exposed to dry air for too long, your hair might become dry and brittle. Acceptable levels of humidity may help with this.

Humidifier benefits for snoring and sleep apnea

Humidifiers may help alleviate dry airways that cause snoring. Snoring results from a constricted airway, resulting in a dry mouth and relaxed throat. This dryness causes the respiratory airways to overcompensate by producing more mucus and therefore more constriction and likelihood of uttering an audible vibration such as snoring. Relieving the causes of snoring, such as dry airways, may help those sleep sounder as well (Stuck et al., 2015).

Habitual snoring could very well indicate an underlying problem such as sleep apnea. Typically this breathing condition would be treated with the use of a CPAP machine in the most severe of cases. Those with snoring issues or sleep apnea could benefit from adding a humidifier to the CPAP treatment. The American Sleep Apnea Association suggests adding a heated humidification (HH) with CPAP to mitigate some problematic features of the CPAP. However, research has shown that HH may not influence CPAP users to continue to use CPAP nor improve sleep itself, but it does improve naso-pharngeal symptoms. (Yu et al., 2012). Since the nasopharynx is part of the nasal cavity of our respiratory system, symptoms such as swelling of the lymph nodes or any other obstruction in this area may cause snoring. We can deduce that those who snore from a naso-pharngeal symptom, may find a heated humidifier useful.

Too much humidity can disturb sleep

Studies by NASA indicate that the ideal humidity level for the optimal sleep condition is between 50-60% (Flynn-Evans, Caddick & Gregory, 2016). Though there are benefits to using a humidifier during sleep, excessive use may actually disrupt sleep patterns. For example, high humidity alters the perception of the room temperature of an enclosed room; the higher the humidity, the hotter the room feels to us. Conversely, if both humidity and heat are elevated, the sweat response will become disrupted, preventing the natural cooling relief of evaporation when we sweat. This can decrease REM and cause you to stay awake. (Okamoto-Mizuno & Mizuno, 2012)

Humidifier benefits for babies and children

For babies and young children, dry air could cause health issues. Using a humidifier may help keep the air within acceptable moisture levels. The main benefits of using a humidifier for babies and kids include:

  • Potentially protects their sensitive skin from becoming too dry: When air is dry, a baby or young child may experience dry, irritated skin and chapped lips. It may also aggravate eczema and other chronic skin conditions. Putting moisture back into the air could help your child’s skin stay moisturized.
  • Could help them breathe easier: Stuffy noses and coughing can make it hard for children to get a good night of rest. A good humidifier can keep the air in your child’s room moist, which may help keep their nasal passages clear. It may also help loosen congestion.

Of course, your child does not need to be sick or have dry skin to possibly benefit from the use of a humidifier. Moist air in the right amounts may be beneficial for health and could potentially help keep them from getting sick.

Read more about a new technology that works in sync with humidifiers to improve your indoor air quality.

Other humidifier benefits in your home beyond health

A humidifier may provide benefits to your home, as well.

  • Moist air could be good for your houseplants: To survive (and thrive), plants need water from their soil and the air. Dry air may leave your plant shriveled up.
  • Humidity may warm up your home’s air, saving you money on utilities: The more humid the air in your home is, the warmer it can feel. In the cold winter months, you probably spend more on heating than you would like. Running a humidifier may cost less than using your heating system and can make the air feel warmer.
  • Humid air might reduce static electricity: When the air in your home is dry, you may notice that touching certain fabrics, other people, or your pets can cause a little shock. A little moisture in the air may help alleviate this annoyance.
  • Humidifiers may help protect the wood in your home: Wood exposed to dry air may shrink, split, and crack. This is bad news for your wooden furniture, as well as the doors and trim in your home.

Possible benefits of a humidifier in the spring and summer

Depending on where you live, the weather may have an impact on when the air in your home feels dry. For example, if you live somewhere with high levels of outdoor humidity, you probably run your air conditioner a lot in the summer. Air conditioning may dry out your home’s air. Using a humidifier may help counteract this. If you live somewhere with dry air, a humidifier might be good to use year-round.

Since pollen and mold counts tend to be higher in the spring and summer, using a humidifier in your home may also help keep your sinuses from becoming inflamed.

Which humidifiers to choose?

There are five main categories of humidifiers. Each works in a different way but the end goal for all of them—adequate moisture conditions in your home—is the same. The type you should choose depends on your needs. Let us take a look.

  1. Evaporators — This type uses a fan to blow air through a moistened filter. Evaporators are an affordable option but may be problematic if they put too much moisture in the air. Excessive humidity can contribute to mold growth and more problems with dust mites, which can aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms.
  2. Central humidifier — This type of humidifier is built into your home’s central heating and air conditioning unit. The benefit of this is that it helps with humidity levels throughout your home instead of just one room. It is the most expensive option.
  3. Impeller humidifier — Rotating disks that run at high speeds expel moisture into the air in the form of a cool mist. These could be more child-friendly since they do not cause burns. Similar to evaporators, overuse may trigger asthma and allergy reactions.
  4. Ultrasonic humidifier — With both cool and warm mist options available, ultrasonic humidifiers are versatile. These produce a mist with the help of ultrasonic vibrations. They may also be available in varying sizes.
  5. Steam vaporizer — These humidifiers are the most portable and least expensive you can find. They work by heating water and then cooling it down before pushing it into the air.

Pros and cons of using cool mist or warm mist humidifiers

Humidifiers release either warm or cool air to help add humidity to a room. Either type could be beneficial, though they each have pros and cons. Which you choose could depend on whether you have children or pets, how big your space is, and your personal preferences.

Some of the benefits and drawbacks of cool mist humidifiers include:

  • They use less electricity than warm mist humidifiers.
  • They do not contain hot water, which makes them a safer option to use around children.
  • They can be noisy since they use fans to propel the water into the air.
  • The cool mist can cause the air to feel chill.

The benefits and disadvantages of warm mist humidifiers are:

  • They tend to be quieter than cool mist humidifiers.
  • The boiling process can help remove waterborne mold and bacteria.
  • They only work best in small areas.
  • They contain boiling water and are a burn hazard.
  • The boiling process requires more electricity to use.
  • They can be more difficult to clean due to the minerals left behind from boiling the water.

Tips for using a humidifier in your home

Any time you use a humidifier, you should take care to use it properly. Not only will this extend the life of your humidifier, it can ensure that you and your home receive benefits and are not adversely affected.

  • Use distilled or demineralized water — Tap water can contain minerals that can encourage mold to grow. If possible, use filtered water. This will help ensure your humidifier—and the air you breathe—does not encourage mold or bacteria growth.
  • Change the water daily — Standing water can cause mold to grow. Be sure to change the water in your humidifier every day.
  • Clean it weekly — Again, bacteria and mold are two things you want to avoid. Wipe down the inside of your humidifier with a disinfectant regularly.
  • Change filters regularly — Not all humidifiers have filters but if yours does, make sure to change it as often as recommended by the manufacturer. If you do not change it enough, trapped mold and bacteria may be released into the air– definitely not what you are looking for.

It is clear that dry air can affect your health. Adding a bit of moisture to the air with a humidifier can be an easy solution to this problem. Take care not to use one excessively so that moisture levels are too high, which can encourage mold and dust mite problems. Using an air purifier at the same time can also help improve indoor air quality.

What Are The Benefits of Owning a Humidifier?

What is a Humidifier?

A humidifier is a device used to control the amount of humidity in the air.

There are many different types of humidifiers, but they all have the same function; control humidity.

  • Generally, humidifiers have a large reservoir of water attached to their base.
  • Air then passes through a filter and evaporates some of the water.
  • The amount of water evaporated depends on the relative humidity of the environment.
  • During times of high relative humidity, there is little water evaporated into the environment.
  • During times of low relative humidity, humidifiers will release large amounts of steam.

Humidifiers are typically used in environments that need more humidity, they are not recommended in environments that have too high of humidity because, having too much humidity can make your home incredibly stuffy, warm and it can cause condensation to form on your walls and floors.

This can trigger the growth of harmful bacteria, mold and dust. In situations where there is already too much humidity in the air, a dehumidifier should be used instead. A dehumidifier removes humidity from the air.

Humidifiers are a useful device for adding and regulating humidity levels in your home. Owning a humidifier can have a plethora of benefits.

Humidifiers Have Many Health Benefits

Health experts agree that a healthy home is one that has humidity in between 30-50%. Keeping your home within the recommended range can be seriously beneficial.

Unfortunately in most homes, the humidity level is not within the healthy range of 30-50%. Owning and operating a humidifier is an excellent way to ensure your home has a healthy humidity level.

Homes that have too low of a humidity level can cause residents to face a variety of unwanted health benefits including; infections, asthma, and respiratory irritations. However, these and a number of other ailments can be reduced by operating humidifier.

Cold & Asthma Symptoms- Breathing in cold, dry air when you have a cold can further irritate an already inflamed respiratory system. Chronic irritation caused by breathing in cold and dry air can cause an increase in asthma attacks in asthma sufferers. A humidifier warms and adds moisture to the air, which moistens the respiratory tract, which in turn can help reduce asthma attacks and make cold symptoms better.

  • Some humidifiers are outfitted with a medicine cup. The medicine cup allows vaporizable medicines to be added to the tank so that you or your child can breathe the medicine in and keep your airways healthy. This can be an extremely beneficial way to ease uncomfortable asthma, cold, or allergy symptoms.

Keep Sinuses from Drying Out- If your sinuses hurt and get infected often, the cause could be too dry of air. Cold, dry air can cause the sinuses to get inflamed and painful. Operating a humidifier could be a great help. Keeping the proper humidity level in your home can keep your sinuses moist and healthy.

Reduce Snoring- Snoring is caused when the throat becomes very dry. When the throat becomes dry in sleep, breathing produces a loud and annoying sound. When the respiratory tract is moist, the sound is reduced or eliminated completely. Some people are more prone to snoring than others. A humidifier can relieve both the intensity, and the noise level of snoring because it adds moisture to the air, thus preventing the throat from drying out.

Keeps Skin Moist- Dry skin can be very uncomfortable. Dry, itchy skin can be prevented and relieved by humidifiers. A humidifier can also relieve chapped and dry lips.

Reduce Frequency of Infections- Humidifiers reduce the risk of infection by constantly keeping mucous membranes in the respiratory tract moist. This moist environment allows the cilia in the throat and nose to expel any particles from your body that were suspended in the air.

This means that if bacteria and viruses are floating around your home, they will be less likely to infect you and your family if you have a humidifier. Humidifiers also help reduce infections because bacteria and viruses need a certain environment to thrive, which is generally a moist, warm one. If you have a humidifier and can control the amount of moisture in your home’s air, then you can stunt the growth of pathogens and keep your family healthy.

Reduce Allergens- No matter how clean your home is, you probably still have a few biological contaminants lurking around. These contaminants include bacteria, mold, mildew, animal dandruff, viruses and pollen. Any or all of these can cause allergies to flare up and make you and your family miserable.

Humidifiers help reduce the growth of many of these biological contaminants. If the relative humidity in your home is set to 30 to 50 percent, then molds, mildew, bacteria and viruses will not be able to thrive. This will reduce their abundance and your home will become allergy-free.

Humidifiers Provide Many Benefits to a House and Its Valuables

Besides the health benefits, a humidifier is also an excellent tool for preserving many items in your house. There are many elements of a home that are affected by humidity.

Just like for our health, items in our homes are healthier when the house humidity is kept at a level between 30-50%.

Having a humidifier can extend the life of, and reduce damage to many parts of the home. Owning a humidifier has many benefits outside of the health benefits.

  • Protect Wooden Items- A humidifier can protect the wooden items in your home from drying out and cracking. Valuable wooden furniture and musical instruments can crack and be ruined if your home is too dry. Wooden floors and wooden structures can dry out, shrink, and crack when the air is too dry as well. This can lead to expensive repairs and even structural damage. Humidifiers can help add moisture to your home and protect your valuable wooden items from drying out, shrinking, and cracking.
  • Protects Walls- Wall paper can peel and pain can chip with the air is too dry. A humidifier controls the humidity and can prolong the lifespan of paint jobs or wallpapering.
  • Reduce Heating Costs- Moist air can retain far more heat than dry air. For this reason, houses with humidifiers are warmer. With a humidifier during the winter, you can reduce your heating costs and save money because the humidifier will moisten the air and allow it to stay warmer, longer.
  • Reduce Static Electricity and Subsequent Shocks- Unpleasant static electricity shocks from dry, dusty carpets are reduced with humidifiers because humidifiers add moisture into the surroundings.

Humidifiers are Energy Efficiency & Can Reduce Heating Costs

In today’s energy stricken world, it’s essential to buy products that are energy efficient and which won’t add to the overall energy crisis. Many humidifiers are energy efficient and will be good on your wallet and on the environment.

In addition to the humidifier itself being energy efficient to operate, operating a humidifier can actually help reduce your carbon footprint and reduce energy costs as well. This is because a humidifier makes the air warm and moist.

In the winter, this is beneficial because warm, moist air retains more heat than cool dry air. When the air is moist, the heater can be used less, which will dramatically reduce energy usage and costs.

Humidifiers are Safe

The number one concern on many people’s minds in terms of humidifiers is whether or not the device is safe. No one wants to bring an unsafe appliance into their home and affect the safety of their family. To ensure that your humidifier is completely safe, always keep it on a level, dry surface.

Keep small children away from the device and always keep it cleaned. Also, whenever filling the water tank, always unplug the device. Finally, keep your appliance clean and maintained and it should stay safe for many years to come.

Because not every home has the ideal humidity level of between 30-50%, owning a humidifier is an excellent way to relieve allergies, asthma, and other irritating respiratory symptoms.

It can reduce the frequency of infections, and even reduce snoring. Humidifiers are also beneficial for preserving wooden valuables in your home, ensuring that they do not dry out and crack.

There are many different types of humidifiers available so they are suitable for any type of environment. In addition, they are energy efficient devices and can actually reduce the costs of heating your home in the winter. Overall, owning a humidifier has many unique benefits that cannot be duplicated by any other appliance.

What’s the purpose of a humidifier?

“A humidifier allows us to control the environment, which is a great way to control the skin,” explains New York City dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank. “Skin is our largest organ, and heat is naturally very drying, so it’s important to keep air hydrated.”

And the best way to keep indoor air hydrated is — you guessed it — by using a humidifier. Very simply, humidifiers help increase air hydration levels by forcing moisture into the environment. Humidity is the measure of how much water vapor is actually in the air. If you want to get scientific, a humidifier “raises the relative humidity of an indoor space, which is the actual moisture in the air compared to the highest amount of moisture that air can hold without raining,” explains William Reisacher, an allergist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

So, how does a humidifier benefit skin?

They’re especially helpful during the colder months of the year because winter is basically a one-two punch to air humidity levels: artificial heat makes indoor air extremely dry, and seasonally frigid temps make the outdoor air really dry, too. This alternating of dry hot and cold air can strip the skin of its natural oils, says dermatologist Gary Goldenberg of Goldenberg Dermatology, who regularly recommends the use of humidifiers to patients suffering from eczema, psoriasis, and dry skin. Similar to your hair, when skin loses enough of its natural oils, things start to go haywire.

“Low humidity levels degrade the skin’s natural moisture barrier, which can lead to flaking, cracking, and peeling,” explains dermatologist Dendy Engelman. “Abrasive factors such as indoor heating, strong winds, and hot showers can disrupt the lipid layer, which serves as a barrier protection against bacteria, pollution and other harmful environmental assaults.”

In other words, the outermost barrier layer of your skin is its first line of defense, and in order for it to properly do its job, it needs to be sufficiently hydrated. When this layer becomes compromised, skin appears dry.

If you’ve ever experienced dry skin (such as after a long flight), you also know that when your skin is exposed to a very dry environment, it triggers the increase of oil production to try and compensate — this is why skin can be both oily and dehydrated at the same time. But it turns out that the importance of skin hydration goes far beyond simply avoiding an oily T-zone.

“Hydration is important to keep toxins flushed and fluid moving efficiently through the capillaries,” Engelman explains. “The skin needs natural oils to maintain healthy cells and eliminate waste, as well as not cause oil production to go into overdrive.”

Humidifiers are great for your overall health, too

Using a humidifier will not only help your skin retain a sufficient moisture levels, but it can also “have a positive impact on the body’s overall hydration,” Reisacher says. “In addition to drinking sufficient amounts of water each day and moisturizing the skin, people who are naturally prone to dryness can benefit the greatest from using a humidifier.”

Not sure where to start? Here are some affordable humidifier options.

Don’t forget to clean it — regularly

One more word to the wise: All four experts agreed that when used regularly, humidifiers need to be cleaned every week. If not cleaned properly or often enough, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, yeast and even mold (yikes!), none of which you want expelled into the air you breathe. To clean your humidifier, just use regular soap and water (or vinegar) and make sure to dry it out completely before refilling. Reisacher also reminds us that the size of the humidifier should be based on the size of the room in which it will be used.

More on combatting dry skin:

  • The Most Affordable Humidifiers to Buy Right Now
  • How to Tell If Your Skin Is Dry vs. Dehydrated
  • The Best Moisturizers for Dry, Winter Skin

Now, see how skin care has evolved within the last 100 years:

Should I use a humidifier?

Humidifiers have many benefits to the health and wellness of your family. There are 5 main benefits to having a humidifier.

  1. Maintain your health: Did you know that one of the perfect breeding grounds for viruses that cause cold and flu symptoms is dry air? Humidifiers make it easy to maintain an ideal humidity level in the home, making it one of the most overlooked preventative measures against getting sick during the winter.
  2. Valuable for your home: Low indoor humidity causes wood flooring to dry out, separate and crack, wood furniture to crack and split, and wallpaper to peel. Chances are you put valuable dollars towards these household items and would like to see them last as long as possible without getting damaged.
  3. Saves you money: A little known fact about dry air: it feels cooler than humidified air. The colder you feel during the winter, the more likely you are to run your furnace. Conversely, the warmer you feel, the less likely you are to run the furnace. This saves you money.
  4. Helps you sleep better: One of the most well-known benefits of humidifiers is snoring relief. Due to the humidity moisturizing the respiratory system, the loudness and intensity of snoring is greatly reduced. Even more so, moist air keeps mucus membranes from becoming dry which is a primary reason for sore throat and stuffy nose. It also helps babies sleep better as well. Humidified air can reduce dust and the drying of the air passages. A baby will sleep better in a humidified environment.
  5. Benefits your skin: Dry air is often one of the main culprits for dry skin. Proper indoor humidity can prevent and relieve scratchy and dry skin.

Some things to keep in mind

The benefits of humidifiers are great for your home, but they do need to be cleaned regularly. If they’re not, they can become a source of mold and bacteria. Here are some ways to avoid this:

  • Don’t use tap water: It has minerals that create buildup in your machine and promotes bacterial growth. Water is vital in cleaning a humidifier so opt to use filtered, distilled or demineralized water instead. They’ll contain fewer minerals and cause you to have to clean less often.
  • Change the filters regularly: If you are using a humidifier that uses a filter, change it! Just like you remember to change your refrigerator and furnace filters (you are changing them, right?) your humidifier filter needs to be changed as well. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for how often to change it as this can vary slightly from unit to unit, although they generally will not be effective longer than 3 months.
  • Clean once a week: Make this apart of your routine and you’ll prevent the growth of mold and bacteria, thus keeping your home healthy. Chances are that your unit came with instructions for cleaning, be sure to follow these guidelines.
  • Use a hygrometer: Too much humidity can be a problem by becoming a breeding ground for mold and mildew. You can combat this by keeping an eye on the humidity levels in your home by using a hydrometer. Ideally, the levels should be between 40-50%.

Have any questions about humidifiers that you would like answered? Feel free to share them with us, we’ll be glad to help!

Although we usually highlight the health benefits of air purifiers here, they aren’t the only personal appliance that can help you live a healthier life through improved air conditions. Aside from just being clean, it’s also important that the air you’re breathing has the right moisture content in it, which is why we recommend personal humidifiers as a way to improve the air in your home. Here are some of the major health benefits of humidifiers that you should be aware of.

Better Skin

Dry air can cause your skin to dry out quickly, a fact that many people notice most strongly in the cold months when air tends to hold less moisture. By using a humidifier in your home, you can help keep your skin moist and healthy through the winter.

Less Dry Mouth and Irritation in the Mornings

Do you sometimes experience the unpleasant feeling of waking up with your mouth completely dry and your throat feeling irritated? Although this sensation can be caused by many things, one of the more common causes is sleeping in a room with air that is simply too dry. Overnight, the dry air can dry out your mouth and throat, leading to irritation. A humidifier in your bedroom can help to solve this problem by keeping the relative humidity in your air higher.

Lower Chances of Catching the Flu From Your Family

One of the most interesting health benefits of humidifiers is their potential ability to reduce your chances of getting influenza. At least one study has demonstrated that, up to a certain point, higher relative humidity levels correlate with reduced chances of an infected person spreading the flu to others through coughing. If you live with other people, using a humidifier to keep your air from becoming too dry may help to keep one infected person from getting everyone else in your household sick.

These are just a few of the health benefits of humidifiers. If you are interested in getting a humidifier for your home, check out our selection of best-selling humidifiers. Have questions? We’re here to help! Feel free to contact us directly and we’ll help you pick out the best humidifier for your personal needs.

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