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Fighting the Flu

How a Healthy Humidity Level in Your Home Can Get You Through Cold and Flu Season

Photo: Courtesy of Crane Lifestyle

Katie Sotor, VP of Marketing at humidifier manufacturer Crane USA, answers questions about the benefits of maintaining optimal air quality during the dry winter months, which is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Katie Sotor

Vice President, Crane USA

What are the benefits of humidifiers during the winter months and flu season? 

During the cold winter season, people spend more time indoors with windows closed, making it easier to spread the flu virus in dry indoor air and to other family members in the house. Humidifiers help relieve symptoms from dry air such as dry, itchy skin but also soothe nasal congestion, sore throat, and dry cough that occurs with the flu, and overall cough and cold symptoms. Recent research has shown that having humidity at 40-60 percent in your home will help reduce the spread of virus aerosols in dry indoor air. Low humidity, less than 30 percent, may increase the spread of the virus.  

How will clean air effect people as we navigate both flu season and COVID-19? 

Cold dry air facilitates the spread of the coronavirus, and the social distancing that helped outside won’t be as effective indoors, scientists have found. Turning on your heat in your home dries both the air and the tissues lining your airways, impairing how well mucus removes debris and invaders like viruses, including COVID-19. Having a humidifier in your home when the air is dry helps reduce the transmission of aerosols — tiny airborne particles — that can be released when people cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe. Crane humidifiers are an inexpensive precaution, particularly during this year’s winter season and concern of COVID-19. 

Why should parents be purchasing humidifiers or similar products for their children this flu season? 

Humidifiers add moisture in the air. Humidity from a humidifier relieves dry itchy skin, dry cough, sinus headaches, bloody noses, and dry eyes.  Adults tend to get two to four colds a year, while some experts suggest that an average child under the age of two can get eight to 10 colds a year.  Again — this especially occurs in the winter when children spend more time indoors and close proximity to one another. Young children have more colds than older children or adults because they have not built up immunity.  

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