Signs You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

(And How to Do It)





Physical symptoms caused by poor indoor air quality could be ambiguous and wide ranging, including everything from allergies, to sinus conditions, to headaches, to respiratory irritation. But when symptoms do persist, checking a home’s air quality and air circulation might have great benefit.


The indoor air quality of your home is a key part of you and your family’s overall health, because indoor air quality health effects can be wide ranging and have a long-term cumulative effect.

Indoor air quality isn’t always easy to spot the way that a burst pipe or a broken refrigerator is – unlike those household appliances, there’s no switch you flip only to find out your indoor air quality is broken. In the busyness of modern life, it’s often easier to think that smell is coming from the neighbors or the headaches you experience are from your stressful job. But indoor air quality plays a key role in our long-term health, and as we spend up to 90% of our lives indoors, having good indoor air quality is important.


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Know What Your Indoor Air Quality Is


In most homes, both urban and rural, people have become much more environmentally conscious than ever before. And while much is made of the air quality outdoors and around the world, we often overlook the air quality inside our living space. It really shouldn’t be that way, especially since we spend so much of our waking hours indoors. The bigger question is how to ensure that indoor air quality is at an acceptable standard. The best way to start is with an air quality test.

Most every home could use an air quality test, including those that seem to be just fine. The truth is, a homeowner doesn’t have to wait for physical symptoms to arise before exploring the indoor air environment. For that matter, symptoms could be ambiguous and wide ranging, including everything from allergies, to sinus conditions, to headaches, to respiratory irritation. But when symptoms do persist, checking a home’s air quality and air circulation might have great benefit.

In the majority of homes, dust and debris is commonplace. And this could be anything from plain dirt, to plant materials, to skin particles, to home cleaning off-gases. For those with respiratory issues, polluted indoor air may be playing a part, especially when irritation is exacerbated. Even furnace filters have their limits – and poor maintenance can easily contribute to poor air quality. In cases where furnace filters clog up quite quickly, an air quality test might diagnose a problem.

Knowing what your indoor air quality is and why it’s important is the first step to having a healthier, safer home. Indoor air quality refers to the condition of the air inside of and around the building, especially as it relates to the comfort and health of the occupants within. Indoor air quality health effects appear when parts of the systems that support a high level of indoor air quality are faulty or broken. Some of these systems include your Heating, Ventilation and Cooling systems (HVAC), fans, HEPA filters, windows, doors, and moisture barriers.

Indoor air quality is more than just clean smelling air, it’s also about keeping allergens and pollutants out, while constantly refreshing and renewing the air within. When indoor air quality health effects appear, it can be the first symptom of a larger problem within your home.




High Off-Gas Levels in Your Home Can Make You Sick


Off-gassing is the release of chemicals from the things we bring into our homes, or that our homes are actually made of. In drafty old houses with lots of air changes it wasn’t much of a problem, but as we build our houses tighter for energy efficiency, these chemicals can build up inside. The craziest part of it all is that we go out and buy them without knowing what’s in them, and often stockpile them in the bathroom, the tiniest room of the house with the worst ventilation.

Poor indoor air quality can affect your health in a number of ways, and research has shown that certain toxins or chemicals can build up in people’s systems and cause trouble years down the road. Children, elders, or people who suffer from chronic illness or weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to poor indoor air quality which can worsen symptoms or complicate existing illnesses.

While the symptoms of poor indoor air quality health effects are broad, there are a number of them that can be mistaken for other illnesses such as colds, influenza, or allergies. They are:

  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • itchy, watery eyes
  • tiredness
  • headaches
  • dizziness


The key sign that your trouble may be with indoor air quality health effects is that they often completely disappear as soon as you leave the room or building.Indoor air quality health effects can be experienced at any time, by any person. But when indoor air quality is a problem in your own home, these effects can become serious. Air pollution can affect asthma, COPD, or allergies, but also heart conditions like angina; it can even be a contributing factor to heart attacks or strokes. Air pollution from some pollutants like asbestos or bacteria like legionella (which causes Legionnaires’ disease) can be fatal.

Some indoor air quality health effects may show up after one exposure, while others take repeated exposure to cause symptoms, which often makes it difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem.


Walk-In Lab Allergy Test


These small chemical compounds are common in many household items like wood, perfumes, paint, cleaners, glues, and solvents. They may be stable as a liquid or solid, but when exposed to air, they rapidly become gaseous and can become problematic for your indoor air quality.



Here are some of the worst offenders of off-gas and volatile organic compounds in the home:


Particle Board and Plywood

Judging by words of the American Chemistry Council, Formaldehyde is positively benign, a natural part of our world. And it is, in small doses. Unfortunately, it is part of the glue that holds particle board together, the stuff our houses and furniture is made of. It is a recognized carcinogen and causes eye and nose irritation. But hey, it’s a natural part of our world.

The best way to avoid formaldehyde is to buy used, whether it is an older home where it has had the time to off-gas, or furniture that has stood the test of time. Or, buy solid wood furniture instead of particle board.



Dryer Sheets

Here is a completely useless product that does nothing but add VOCs to your clothing. Chemicals include chloroform and pentanes, which the Material Safety Data Sheet suggests can cause eye and skin irritation. Ultimately, anything that is designed to make your clothes smell nice is releasing compounds you don’t want in your house.  To reduce wrinkles, static and drying time, use dryer balls instead.

Example: These Handy Laundry Sheep Wool Dryer Balls are a great alternative to liquid fabric softeners and dryer sheets.



Air Fresheners

There really are few products stupider than air fresheners, which are actually designed to pump chemicals into your home. The NRDC notes that 75% of houses now use them. Most of them are pumping out phthalates, the gender bender hormone disruptor that is the main villain in vinyl. The NRDC says:

Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can be particularly dangerous for young children and unborn babies. Exposure to phthalates can affect testosterone levels and lead to reproductive abnormalities, including abnormal genitalia and reduced sperm production. The State of California notes that five types of phthalates—including one that we found in air freshener products—are “known to cause birth defects or reproductive harm.” Young children and pregnant women should be especially careful to avoid contact with these chemicals.

 To enhance the scent in your home, you can use essential oils and a diffuser instead of chemical sprays.  They’re safe and natural, and smell much better, anyways.

Example: These Lagunamoon Essential Oils are premium grade, natural and 100% pure. The set includes lemongrass, peppermint, orange, lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree.



URPOWER Real Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser Ultrasonic Aromotherapy Diffusers Cool Mist Aroma Diffuser with Adjustable Mist Modes, Waterless Auto Shut-off, 7 Color LED Lights for Home Office

Example: This Urpower Real Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser has adjustable mist modes, 7 colored LED lights for ambience, and auto shut-off.



Nail Polish Remover With Acetone

Breathing moderate-to-high levels of acetone for short periods of time can cause nose, throat, lung, and eye irritation.  It can also cause intoxication, light-headedness, dizziness, confusion increased pulse rate, nausea, vomiting, and shortening of the menstrual cycle in women.

Use an acetone free nail polish remover instead.  A good quality remover without acetone can get the job done!


Example: I use this Pure Vitality Beauty polish remover, and it has never let me down. It’s free from acetone, acetate, ethyl lactate & petroleum chemicals (and it’s cruelty free).




Many products have the flame retardant triphenyl phosphate in the insulation on their wiring; it is an endocrine disruptor that off-gases when the device heats up.


Non-Stick Pans

It is suspected that overheating a teflon pan can lead to the release of Perfluorinated chemicals that cause “teflon flu.”


Laser Printers and Copiers

The printing process releases ozone, which causes irritation to nose, throat and lungs.

Individuals who have preexisting lung problems, such as emphysema, bronchitis, or asthma, are even more at risk for the effects of ozone (O3). Children are also more susceptible to the effects of ozone (O3) and can increase their sensitivity to allergens.



Example: Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Vinegar is an effective natural cleaner, with a pleasant fresh lime mint scent.

Household Cleaners

It is hard to know where to start with this one, so many of them are full of VOCs. That’s why people get “spring cleaning headache” from inhaling them all.

The US Department of Health and Human Services maintains a household products database where you can look up the ingredients of almost every product sold in the country. It is disturbing reading.

The EPA has noted that levels of organic pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes rather than outside. Most of the cleaners we use are not needed;  vinegar and baking sodas are good substitutes.

If, like me, you can’t stand the smell of vinegar, try one of the many natural cleaners on the market.  They are pleasant to use, and most are very effective. 

I have used several of Aunt Fannie’s products, as well as Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products, and have been satisfied with all of them so far.  There are many options, so get rid of your toxic cleaners and replace them with natural choices – it’s an easy change.


Getting Rid of VOCs

There really are two ways to deal with the buildup of VOCs:

* Don’t use products that have them in the first place, and

* Provide lots of fresh air to get rid of them.

That’s why every new house should have a heat recovery ventilator, every stove should have a real exhaust fan that vents to the exterior (not those silly recirculating noisemakers) and every bathroom should have a high quality exhaust fan that actually gets used, (not the ten buck noisy ones that most builders put in and people hate using).


EnviroKlenz Mobile HEPA Air Purifier



Moisture Build-up and Mold


Sometimes you see it, but sometimes you don’t: mold is often not visible to the naked eye, but it has a recognizably musty smell and it’s important to have it promptly -and professionally- removed.


Interestingly, most homeowners aren’t aware enough of the negative effects of moisture build up in various parts of the house. Moisture is simply a stepping-stone for mold or mildew to develop, even in a small sized washroom space. And while mold may look unsightly, an infiltration could be the first sign of a health risk. In any home, it’s wise to watch for the beginnings of mold, but for extra measure a high quality air test will be able to pinpoint the exact source and extent.

Found worldwide, mold is an important type of fungus. But when it grows indoors, toxic strains can proliferate and cause serious indoor air quality health effects that can make people seriously ill. Mold is often found after a water leak or flood, and can destroy construction materials and objects as well as cause health trouble.

Mold is often not visible to the naked eye, but it has a recognizably musty smell and it’s important to have it promptly -and professionally- removed. 

If you suspect that your home has a mold problem, you can pick up a mold testing kit to see if you need to  call a professional for mold removal.  Keep in mind that a mold testing kit is for mold only, and does not test for any other volatile organic compounds or off-gas.  For that, you will need a comprehensive test.


Example: This DIY Mold Test tests for mold and pollen.








Carbon Monoxide

This odorless, invisible gas is produced by appliances that use fossil fuels, such as your furnace or gas stove. Carbon monoxide can build up in your home and it prevents your body from using oxygen efficiently – resulting in tiredness, dizziness and headaches. If the concentration is high enough, you can die. While plug-in and battery powered testers are available, have your heating and cooling systems checked by a professional yearly, and ensure appliances are correctly vented.

Every home should have a carbon monoxide detection device on every level of the home. If the home has an attached garage a CO detector should be installed in the room that shares a door with the garage. In the case of CO, monitoring is better than testing.



Here’s How You Can Be Proactive About Your Indoor Air


You can test your home’s indoor air quality quite easily on your own with a testing kit.  If a specific problem is found, you can then assess whether you can handle the issue or need to call the appropriate professional to take care of it.

My husband and I did this testing in our home, and it was a simple process, which saved us from paying a professional for a service call to do the testing for us (using a similar testing device).

There is a good variety of indoor air testing kits available to consumers these days, so there is really no reason to feel you have to call someone if you suspect your home’s air is causing health problems.

We used the Home Air Check, and were very satisfied with it.  Their testing device  provides a comprehensive picture of chemical levels that you are breathing when in the home. It also indicates a level of actively growing mold present in the home. Since these chemicals are tested simultaneously, this sophisticated analysis becomes less expensive than arranging for a professional to come out charge you for their time and several separate tests.

Also, the samples are collected without the use of toxic chemicals, so there are no health risks using Home Air Check. We were happy with the level of completeness, sophistication, prediction, and value of Home Air Check.

The Home Air Check Indoor Air Test measures VOC’s, formaldehyde and mold.


This is how the testing process works:

You use a small sampling device to collect an air sample in your home. The sampling time takes about 2 hours.  Full instructions are included in the kit (and it is very straightforward).

After the sample is collected,  you return the complete kit to the Home Air Check laboratory, where they analyze the air sample using sophisticated state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation for hundreds of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can be found in home air. In addition, they look for 21 specific mold compounds that can be generated when mold is actively growing in a home.

A detailed report is then generated. In this report will be a Total VOC concentration level – a total of all the VOCs found in your home. The US Green Building Council recommends a TVOC level of less than 500 ng/L to be considered a healthy environment. (The median US home is about 1,200 ng/L.) A total concentration of Mold VOCs is also listed. Generally, this number should be less than 8 ng/L or you have active mold growth you need to find.

The report also includes a Contamination Index, which gives you a prediction of which sources or materials in your home may be responsible for these contaminating chemicals, such as gasoline, paint, adhesives, odorants, personal care products, etc. Home Air Check emails you the report within 5 business days of receipt of your air sample. You can then use their phone or chat line support to answer any questions you have and to help you improve your air quality.



Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information. 

I welcome your comments below.




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MyPurMist Review – Is the MyPurMist Steam Inhaler Worth Buying?

MyPurMist Review – Is the MyPurMist Steam Inhaler Worth Buying?




Why Use a Steam Inhaler?


Steam is a doctor recommended natural decongestant used by millions. And steam from MyPurMist is instant so you don’t have to wait. It provides instant fine mist that penetrates deep into your sinuses, nose, and throat for superb relief. MyPurMist is 100% Natural (drug-free) therapy.


Steam has been used throughout the ages to provide powerful therapeutic benefits to the upper respiratory system.

Steam inhalation is a natural and effective treatment for respiratory conditions and is highly recommended for treatment of the common cold, sinusitis, allergies and laryngitis.

Steam relieves inflammation and congestion of upper respiratory mucous membranes, it moistens dry nasal passages, thins and loosens mucus for easier elimination and helps clear congestion. Inhaling steam also helps to relax muscles, thereby relieving coughing.


How Does MyPurMist Work?


Steam is a doctor recommended natural decongestant used by millions. And steam from MyPurMist is instant so you don’t have to wait. It provides instant fine mist that penetrates deep into your sinuses, nose, and throat for superb relief. MyPurMist is 100% Natural (drug-free) therapy.


Steam has been used throughout the ages to provide powerful therapeutic benefits to the upper respiratory system.

Steam inhalation is a natural and effective treatment for respiratory conditions and is highly recommended for treatment of the common cold, sinusitis, allergies and laryngitis.


Steam relieves inflammation and congestion of upper respiratory mucous membranes, it moistens dry nasal passages, thins and loosens mucus for easier elimination and helps clear congestion.


Inhaling steam also helps to relax muscles, thereby relieving coughing.

MyPurMist has harnessed the natural, therapeutic power of steam in a handheld device that is easy to use.

MyPurMist reinvents steam therapy utilizing breakthrough patented “CFV” hospital technology, setting  a new standard for safety, convenience, speed, and ease of use. It provides fast natural relief for people suffering from sinus congestion, colds, or allergies.

Steam from MyPurMist is instant so you don’t have to wait. It provides instant fine mist that penetrates deep into your sinuses, nose, and throat for superb relief. This provides direct and maximum humidity where you need it (and nowhere else).

Additionally, MyPurMist has temperature controls that allow you to decide how warm you want your mist to be. The temperature range of MyPurMist is a comfortable 100-115F, which will not burn you even at the highest setting. The best way to see that there is enough steam is to turn on MyPurMist with the mask on and see if the mask clouds up within 2-3 seconds.



Who Does MyPurMist Help?


MyPurMist relieves the inflammation and congestion of your sinuses, alleviates mucous membrane dryness; and helps keep nasal passages moist and clean.



MyPurMist can provide symptomatic relief for:


  • Allergies
  • Sinusitis
  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Laryngitis
  • Nasal, sinus and chest congestion
  • Coughs
  • Parched throat
  • Lessening mucus production
  • Discomfort from sore throat
  • Headache pain



How to Use MyPurMist


Using the MyPurMist is very simple: you just add water to the little cup, turn it on, and when the steam starts coming out immediately, you put the mask to your face and breathe it in. It’s very easy.

The cup is pretty tiny – it’s practically a shot glass – but you may be surprised to see how much steam the MyPurMist puts out and for how long.

On one little shot of water, it runs for almost 30 minutes, and then stays on another 10 minutes to clean and dry itself out.


I’ve been doing steam therapy for over a year now, with a number of different products, and the first thing I noticed when I began breathing the steam was how efficient it is. By that I mean, you breathe in and you’re actually able to feel a lot of water vapor going into your lungs.

Interestingly, despite the amount of water, it’s not super hot like you get if you put your face too close to a different model of facial steamer. Reading the manual, I found out this is because it uses something called CVF, or Capillary Force Vaporizer, technology.

MyPurMist vaporizes the water without boiling it, so you don’t have to deal with hot steam burning your face. I will say that the face mask can get a little hot, but not unbearably so.


You can use MyPurMist as often, or as long, as you like since it is 100% natural.

A full water reservoir provides approximately 20-25 minutes of use. One idea is to use MyPurMist for 10-15 minutes just before sleeping for more restful sleep.

For most optimal results the manufacturer recommends using MyPurMist once in the morning and once before bed for 10-15 minutes each.

Try different durations to see what is most optimal for you. Generally speaking using MyPurMist more often will provide you the consistent benefits of humidification.



Getting Started With MyPurMist


For the First Use or After a Long Period of Storage (No water in the reservoir):


  • After the cycle is done, do not empty the reservoir of the water left over unless you plan to store the device.


For Subsequent Uses:


  • Pour MyPurFill Demineralized or distilled water till the fill line

  • Turn on device right away
  • After the cycle is done, do not empty the reservoir of the water left over unless you plan to store the device



The MyPurMist device has two primary indicators of operation.


Red light:

The steady red light is an indicator for “water out” or when the timer has run a full cycle. However, at times a red light may come prematurely. In such cases the water level may need to be adjusted or the device needs to be reset. The flashing red light means you will have to wait 30 seconds for the unit to come back on (it’s cooling down). This is the top light.


Blue light:

The 4 blue lights are indicators of your selected temperature and that the unit is turned ON.



MyPurFill Demineralized Water


MyPurFill Demineralized Water is available in convenient 12 oz. bottles.  MyPurMist uses only 1 oz. of water to generate approximately 25 minutes of very fine soothing steam so the cost of using MyPurFill is less than 10 cents per average daily use.

Distilled water is also appropriate to use in MyPurMist.  The manufacturer recommends using either MyPurFill Demineralized or distilled water only.

Using any additives in the water reservoir, any other liquid or water with minerals (e.g. bottled, purified or boiled water) will damage the device and will void the warranty.



MyPurMist ScentPads

MyPurMist ScentPad Eucalyptus and Peppermint, 8 reservoirs - (Pack of 4)

You can also purchase MyPurMist ScentPads, which are designed to work with the MyPurMist steam to release soothing aromatic Eucalyptus and fresh Peppermint vapors for non-medicated comfort and a peaceful night’s rest.

Each MyPurMist ScentPad has 8 reservoirs of 100% natural essential oil that are uniquely designed to work with the steam from MyPurMist. 50% Eucalyptus, 50% Peppermint; Double distilled essential oils.

One reservoir may be used multiple times in the course of a day.



Cleaning MyPurMist is Simple


The manufacturer suggests wiping down the outside of the product with a dry cloth before storing for longer periods of time. If the outside of your MyPurMist gets dirty, use a warm damp cloth dipped in soapy water to gently wipe the outside of the unit, but do not submerge the MyPurMist in water.

Be sure to drain all of the water out of your MyPurMist and wait until it has run through the automatic drying cycle before storing. This helps to prevent mold growth on the inside of the unit.


MyPurMist Replacement Masks for Adults and Children


To prevent germs from spreading, wipe masks down with warm soapy water and dry before storing. Everyone that uses MyPurMist have his or her own mask.


MyPurMist Adult Replacement Mask, 1 ea


Adult and Child MyPurMist  Additional/Replacement Masks are available at Amazon.




Final Thoughts


If you are looking for the therapeutic effects of breathing steam, and want the convenience of something portable and handheld, I don’t think there is a better personal steam vaporizer than the MyPurMist Handheld Steam Inhaler.






Summary of Pros:

  • All natural relief for respiratory and nasal congestion
  • Lightweight, handheld, portable design lets you use it comfortably anywhere
  • Unique CVF technology delivers a lot of steam from a little water, without boiling or getting too hot
  • Face mask delivers steam directly to your mouth and nose
  • Self-cleaning
  • Safe for anyone to use several times a day



  • Needs to be plugged in, so not fully portable




Consumer Reviews of MyPurMist


For more opinions, there are over 1,120 consumer reviews on Amazon, and 240 answered questions.





Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.






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Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids


The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids



Many things motivate people to quit tobacco: being a good role model, wanting to reduce others’ exposure to second hand smoke, saving money, and wanting to feel better and improve health.

Whatever your reason, keep in mind that quitting cold turkey is the least successful method for kicking cigarettes for good.



Fortunately, many over-the-counter and prescription quit aids have been developed that may significantly improve your odds of success.


As you figure out which quit-smoking aids best meet your needs, keep the following in mind:

  • Some treatments to stop smoking are covered by health insurance. Check with your carrier to see.
  • Some products are available both over the counter (behind the pharmacy counter) and with a prescription. Ask your health insurance about whether you need a prescription for coverage or reimbursement.



Try, try, and try again.

People who successfully quit smoking rarely do so on the first attempt. If you’ve tried before without success, don’t be discouraged. Consider a different quit aid—the nicotine patch instead of gum, or adding in a prescription medication—and evaluate what worked and didn’t work to keep you on track during past attempts to quit.



Start with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

They can offer invaluable advice and connect you with programs for people trying to quit, including support groups and other resources. Consider taking advantage of these supports, because most people do best when they combine quit-smoking products with behavior change programs.

When selecting a product, consider your current medications and health conditions. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if unsure about whether any particular smoking cessation product is safe for you.

Some people load up on patches, gum, and sprays yet continue to smoke at the same time. This can overload your system with nicotine, resulting in jitters, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and trouble sleeping. However, some products can be used together, so ask your doctor or pharmacist what’s best for you.

Research suggests that medications and nicotine replacement therapies can double and sometimes even triple the chances that a smoker will successfully quit. Some of these treatments also help to minimize weight gain while quitting — an important plus for many smokers who want to kick the habit.

With a growing number of options available, doctors are now able to create personalized treatment plans tailored to an individual smoker’s needs and preferences.



The Best, Most Up-To-Date Quit Smoking Aids:



Nicotine Patch



The nicotine patch is a small, self-adhesive patch that releases a slow, steady amount of nicotine into your body through your skin. You apply a new nicotine patch every day on a hairless area of skin between your waist and neck, such as your upper arm or chest.


The nicotine patch is available without a prescription in various doses. The patch is easy to use. The nicotine patch is long acting, controlling nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms for 24 hours at a time. You can gradually taper off the nicotine patch as your cravings and withdrawal symptoms decrease. The patch may be used in combination with other quit-smoking aids.



You can’t quickly adjust the amount of nicotine if you have sudden cravings or withdrawal symptoms. However, you may be able to use a second quit-smoking medication along with the patch when a craving arises. The patch may cause skin itching, rash and irritation where it’s applied. Patches also may cause sleep disturbances and vivid dreams. Removing the patch at night may help. Patches must be replaced every 24 hours. To minimize potential skin irritation, avoid putting the patch in the same place more than once every two weeks or so.


If you have certain skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, you may more easily develop skin irritation if you use the patch.


It’s typical to use the nicotine patch for eight to 12 weeks. You may need to use it longer if cravings or withdrawal symptoms continue. Talk to your health care provider if you think you need to use it longer.

Read nicotine patch reviews.





Nicotine Gum


Nicotine gum contains a small amount of nicotine. The nicotine enters your body as it’s absorbed through the lining of your mouth when you use the gum according to directions.


Nicotine gum is available without a prescription in two doses. It’s short acting, which means it can control sudden nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms for short periods of time. When you first start using nicotine gum, you can use a piece every one to two hours, up to 24 pieces a day. Nicotine gum comes in several flavors. It’s often used in combination with the nicotine patch and other quit-smoking medications.



You must use nicotine gum repeatedly throughout the day to control cravings or withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine gum may only take the edge off cravings, not make them go away completely.

You must follow a specific biting technique for nicotine gum to work effectively. Don’t chew it like chewing gum. To release nicotine from the gum, bite a piece until it has a peppery taste or you notice a tingly sensation in your mouth. Then, to let the nicotine absorb, hold the gum between your gumline and cheek until the taste or tingly sensation stops. To release more nicotine, bite and hold again. Repeat the cycle for about 30 minutes, and then discard the gum because all the nicotine in it has been used. Side effects include jaw soreness from too much biting, as well as mouth irritation, nausea, stomach upset and excess saliva.



Nicotine gum may stick to dentures or other dental work. Avoid eating or drinking anything but water during use and for 15 minutes before to prevent problems with poor nicotine absorption.



Nicotine gum is recommended for up to 12 weeks. You can start by using a piece every hour or two, and then gradually reduce the frequency as cravings and withdrawal symptoms decrease.

Read nicotine gum reviews.



Nicotine Lozenge


Nicotine lozenges are tablets that contain a small amount of nicotine. You place a lozenge between your gumline and cheek and suck it slowly, allowing it to dissolve. The nicotine enters your bloodstream as it’s absorbed through the lining of your mouth.



Nicotine lozenges are available without a prescription in different doses and flavors. One type is called a minilozenge, and it’s intended to get nicotine into your system more quickly. All lozenges are short acting, which means they can control sudden nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms for short periods of time. You can generally use up to 20 lozenges a day. Nicotine lozenges are often used in combination with the nicotine patch and other quit-smoking medications.


You must use nicotine lozenges repeatedly throughout the day to control cravings or withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine lozenges may sometimes cause nausea, indigestion, heartburn, throat irritation or hiccups.



Avoid eating or drinking anything but water for 15 minutes before use or during use to prevent problems with reduced nicotine absorption.




Nicotine lozenges are recommended for about 12 weeks. Reduce how many times a day you use the lozenges as your cravings and withdrawal symptoms decrease.

Read nicotine lozenge reviews.




Nicotine Inhaler – Only by Prescription


The nicotine inhaler is a prescription device that gives you a small dose of nicotine. When you puff on the nicotine inhaler, nicotine vapor is released from a cartridge inside the device. The nicotine enters your bloodstream as it’s absorbed through the lining of your mouth and throat. Hold the vapor in your mouth for a few seconds and then blow it out — don’t inhale it into your lungs.



The nicotine inhaler is short acting, which means it can control sudden nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms for short periods of time. You control the dose of nicotine you receive. You can take as few puffs as needed to satisfy withdrawal symptoms or cravings and save the rest of the cartridge for later. The inhaler also keeps your hands busy, which can help with cigarette cravings. The nicotine inhaler is sometimes used in combination with the nicotine patch and other quit-smoking medications.



The inhaler is available only by prescription. You must use the nicotine inhaler repeatedly throughout the day to control cravings or withdrawal symptoms. The nicotine inhaler may cause coughing and mouth or throat irritation.


Check with your doctor before using the nicotine inhaler if you have any lung disease, such as asthma. Avoid eating or drinking anything but water for 15 minutes before use or during use to prevent nicotine absorption problems.



Recommended use of the nicotine inhaler is six to 16 cartridges a day for six to 12 weeks, gradually tapering to none over the next six to 12 weeks.




Nicotine Nasal Spray – Only by Prescription


The nicotine nasal spray is a prescription medicine which delivers a solution into your nostrils that contains a small dose of nicotine. The nicotine enters your body by being absorbed through the lining of your nose. The recommended dose is a spray in each nostril one to three times an hour.



The nicotine nasal spray is short acting, which means it can control sudden nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms for short periods of time. The nasal spray also works faster than does nicotine gum, lozenges and the inhaler. You control the dose by using the spray as needed throughout the day. The nicotine nasal spray also can be used with the nicotine patch and other quit-smoking medications.



Nicotine nasal spray is available only by prescription. It may be inconvenient, since you must use the nasal spray repeatedly throughout the day to control cravings or withdrawal symptoms. Side effects include nasal, sinus and throat irritation, watery eyes, sneezing, and coughing. These effects typically go away with regular use over five to seven days. The nasal spray also poses a slight risk of dependency.



Nicotine nasal spray isn’t recommended if you have a nasal or sinus condition.




Nicotine nasal spray is often used for about three to six months. Recommended use is one to two sprays in each nostril an hour at first, gradually tapering to none.




Bupropion (Zyban) – Only by Prescription


Bupropion (Zyban) is a prescription medication classified as a type of antidepressant. A sustained-release form of bupropion is approved for smoking cessation. Unlike nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion doesn’t contain nicotine. It’s thought to decrease tobacco cravings and withdrawal symptoms by increasing the levels of certain brain chemicals.


Bupropion is a pill, so it’s relatively easy to use. It can be used in combination with any nicotine replacement medication.



Bupropion is available only by prescription. Because it takes five to seven days to achieve effective levels in the bloodstream, you typically should start taking bupropion a week or two before you quit smoking.

Side effects may include insomnia, agitation, headache and dry mouth. Also, you must remember to take the pill two times a day.



In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required bupropion to carry a black box warning — the strongest safety warning that the FDA can issue about a prescription medication.

The warning is required because bupropion may be associated with serious mental health problems either while taking it or after stopping it, including an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior, hostility, and depression.

If you take bupropion, report any changes in mood or behavior to your doctor immediately and stop taking the medication. Bupropion isn’t appropriate if you have a seizure or eating disorder, if you’ve lost consciousness for more than an hour because of head trauma, if you’re already taking a medication containing bupropion, or if you take a type of antidepressant known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor.



Bupropion is generally used for 12 weeks, but if you’ve successfully quit smoking, you can use it another three to six months to reduce the risk of a smoking relapse.



Varenicline (Chantix) – Only by Prescription


Varenicline (Chantix) is a prescription medication that can help reduce cravings for tobacco and control nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It also blocks nicotine receptors in your brain, which decreases the pleasurable effects of smoking.


Varenicline is a pill, so it’s relatively easy to use. It can be used in combination with any nicotine replacement medication.



Varenicline is available only by prescription. Because it takes several days to reach effective levels in the blood, you typically should start taking varenicline a week or two before you quit smoking. Also, you must remember to take the pill two times every day. Side effects can include nausea, vision trouble, fainting, severe skin reactions, vivid or strange dreams, and impairment of the ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. Some studies have shown an increase in road accidents and falls among people taking varenicline.



In July 2009, the FDA required varenicline to carry a black box warning — the strongest safety warning that the FDA can issue about a prescription medication. The warning is required because varenicline may be associated with serious mental health problems either while taking it or after stopping it, including an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior, hostility, and depression. If you take varenicline, report any changes in mood or behavior to your doctor immediately and stop taking the medication. Varenicline should be used with caution if you have severe kidney problems.



Varenicline is typically used for 12 weeks, but if you’ve successfully quit smoking, you can use it another 12 weeks to reduce the risk of a smoking relapse.



Nic Out Cigarette Filter Holder


While researching smoking cessation products, I came across an item called Nic Out Cigarette Filter Holder, which looked interesting.

Its a disposable cigarette filter which cuts out up to 90% of the tar in cigarette smoke. 

The idea of this product is to gradually lower the nicotine level in your blood, thus reducing cravings. 

This is not technically for quitting smoking, but it’s something positive which can be implemented until one is fully committed to the quitting process. At the very least, you will be limiting the amount of cancer causing nicotine, tar and other chemicals from entering your lungs while you smoke (worth doing!)

Nic Out Cigarette Filters Holders Stop Smoking Aid Reduce Tar and Nicotine

What struck me about this product were the numerous positive reviews.  Apparently, the Nic Out doesn’t change the taste of the cigarette, so its a relatively unobtrusive way to cut down on the harm from smoking. 

It comes in a pack of 30, with each filter being good for 5 cigarettes.

It might be worth investigating as an intermediate measure until your quitting day.




Final Thoughts


The most effective strategy to quit smoking for good is to combine a quit-smoking product with a program that includes support from professionals trained to treat tobacco dependence.

Consider joining a community stop-smoking group or starting in-person or telephone counseling. Call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) to obtain free telephone counseling services and information about stop-smoking programs near you.


I’d love to hear your experience with quitting smoking (or trying to).  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.






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Keep Your Elder Safe in Hot Weather

Summer weather can pose special health risks to older adults and people with chronic medical conditions.

Here’s what you need to know about keeping your loved one staying safe and comfortable while enjoying the warm weather.


Elderly people (people aged 65 years and older) are more prone to heat stress than younger people for several reasons:

  • Elderly people do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature.
  • They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat.
  • They are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.

It is critically important that adults particularly susceptible to hyperthermia and other heat-related illnesses know how to safeguard against problems. Hyperthermia is caused by a failure of the heat-regulating mechanisms of the body.

Heat fatigue, heat syncope (sudden dizziness after prolonged exposure to the heat), heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are forms of hyperthermia … older adults are at risk for these conditions, and this risk can increase with the combination of higher temperature, individual lifestyle and general health.

Lifestyle factors can include not drinking enough fluids, living in housing without air conditioning, lack of mobility and access to transportation, overdressing, visiting overcrowded places and not understanding how to respond to hot weather conditions.

Older people, particularly those with chronic medical conditions, should stay indoors in cooler spaces on hot and humid days, especially when an air pollution alert is in effect.

People without air conditioners should go to places that do have air conditioning, such as senior centers, shopping malls, movie theaters and libraries.

Cooling centers, which may be set up by local public health agencies, religious groups and social service organizations in many communities, are another option.

See Portable Air Conditioners – What to Consider


Factors that increase the risk of hyperthermia may include:


  • Dehydration.
  • High blood pressure or other health conditions that require changes in diet. For example, people on salt-restricted diets may be at increased risk. However, salt pills should not be used without first consulting a doctor.
  • Heart, lung and kidney diseases, as well as any illness that causes general weakness or fever.
  • Use of multiple medications. It is important, however, to continue to take prescribed medication and discuss possible problems with a physician.
  • Reduced sweating, caused by medications such as diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers and certain heart and blood pressure drugs.
  • Alcohol use.


Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the body loses its ability to sweat, and it is unable to cool down. Body temperatures rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.


Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Warning signs vary but may include the following:

  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea


Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids.


Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Warning signs vary but may include the following:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Skin: may be cool and moist
  • Pulse rate: fast and weak
  • Breathing: fast and shallow


What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

You can follow these prevention tips to protect yourself from heat-related stress:

  • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages. (If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink when the weather is hot. Also, avoid extremely cold liquids because they can cause cramps.)
  • Rest.
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
  • Wear lightweight clothing.
  • If possible, remain indoors in the heat of the day.
  • Do not engage in strenuous activities.


Recommended: Lethmik Women’s Wide Brim Summer Hat, available in 11 color combinations!

Warm Weather Suggestion

On a hot summer’s day, a misting fan can be your loved one’s best friend, and provide insurance against heat risks. It works on the same principle of a humidifier, and its a great, inexpensive option for when and where you don’t have air conditioning.  Even in air-conditioned conditions, the misting fan helps to keep the moisture balance in the air, making it more comfortable and less irritating to the throat and eyes.


A misting fan blows a fine mist of water into the air and if the air isn’t humid, the mist evaporates, taking heat from the air with it. This allows the misting fan to work like an air cooler. In a dry climate, a misting fan can work very well outdoors.

I recommend the Designer Aire Indoor/Outdoor Misting Fan



  • Its beautiful styling to accent any indoor or outdoor living space
  • It is safe to leave outdoors: ETL “Wet Listed” safety rating with GFCI
  • The weight painted bases provide stability for windy conditions
  • The telescoping neck piece is height-adjustable


What You Can Do to Help Protect Elderly Relatives and Neighbors

If you have elderly relatives or neighbors, you can help them protect themselves from heat-related stress:

Visit older adults at risk at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Encourage them to increase their fluid intake by drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages regardless of their activity level.

Warning: If their doctor generally limits the amount of fluid they drink or they are on water pills, they will need to ask their doctor how much they should drink while the weather is hot.

Take them to air-conditioned locations if they have transportation problems.


What You Can Do for Someone With Heat Stress

If you see any signs of severe heat stress, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency.

Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the affected person.

Do the following:

  • Get the person to a shady area.
  • Cool the person rapidly, using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the person in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the person with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the person in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
  • Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101°–102°F
  • If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
  • Do not give the person alcohol to drink.
  • Get medical assistance as soon as possible.


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Full Reviews – Best Air Humidifiers For Skin and Breathing Problems


Full Reviews – Best Air Humidifiers For Skin and Breathing Problems



Humidifiers: Air moisture eases skin issues and breathing symptoms


Humidifiers can ease problems caused by dry air. But they need regular maintenance. Here are tips to ensure your humidifier doesn’t become a household health hazard.


See my full reviews below, including




Dry sinuses, bloody noses and cracked lips — humidifiers can help soothe these familiar problems caused by dry indoor air. Humidifiers can also help ease symptoms of a cold or another respiratory condition.

But be cautious: Although useful, humidifiers can actually make you sick if they aren’t maintained properly or if humidity levels stay too high. If you use humidifiers, be sure to monitor humidity levels and keep your humidifier clean. Dirty humidifiers can breed mold or bacteria. If you have allergies or asthma, talk to your doctor before using a humidifier.


What are humidifiers?


Humidifiers are devices that emit water vapor or steam to increase moisture levels in the air (humidity). There are several types:


  • Central humidifiers are built into home heating and air conditioning systems and are designed to humidify the whole house.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers produce a cool mist with ultrasonic vibration.
  • Impeller humidifiers produce a cool mist with a rotating disk.
  • Evaporators use a fan to blow air through a wet wick, filter or belt.
  • Steam vaporizers use electricity to create steam that cools before leaving the machine. Avoid this type of humidifier if you have children; hot water inside this type of humidifier may cause burns if spilled.


Ideal humidity levels


Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. The amount of humidity varies depending on the season, weather and where you live.

Generally, humidity levels are higher in the summer and lower during winter months. Ideally, humidity in your home should be between 30 and 50 percent. Humidity that’s too low or too high can cause problems.


  • Low humidity can cause dry skin, irritate your nasal passages and throat, and make your eyes itchy.
  • High humidity can make your home feel stuffy and can cause condensation on walls, floors and other surfaces that triggers the growth of harmful bacteria, dust mites and molds. These allergens can cause respiratory problems and trigger allergy and asthma flare-ups.


How to measure humidity


The best way to test humidity levels in your house is with a hygrometer. Anyone who has breathing issues and is concerned about air quality in their home should own one of these inexpensive gadgets.


This device, which looks like a thermometer, measures the amount of moisture in the air. Hygrometers can be purchased online,  at hardware stores and department stores.









Humidifiers, asthma and allergies


 In addition to helping with COPD and asthma, The National Institutes of Health recommends the use of humidifiers to help relieve congestion from the common cold, flu and sinus infections, as well as symptoms of dry eyes, eczema, itchy skin, dry nasal passages, cracked lips and nosebleeds due to dry air, allergies or asthma.

However, if you or your child has asthma or allergies, talk to your doctor before using a humidifier. Increased humidity may ease breathing in children and adults who have asthma or allergies, especially during a respiratory infection such as a cold. But dirty mist or increased growth of allergens caused by high humidity can trigger or worsen asthma and allergy symptoms.



When the air’s too damp:

Dehumidifiers and air conditioners


Just as air that’s dry can be a problem, so can air that’s too moist. When humidity gets too high — common during summer months — it’s a good idea to take steps to reduce indoor moisture.

There are two ways to reduce humidity:

  • Use an air conditioner. Central or window-mounted air conditioning units dry the air, keeping indoor humidity at a comfortable and healthy level.
  • Use a dehumidifier. These devices collect excess moisture from the air, lowering humidity levels. Dehumidifiers work like air conditioners, without the “cooling” effect. They’re often used to help dry out damp basements.


Keep it clean: Dirty humidifiers and health problems


Dirty reservoirs and filters in humidifiers can quickly breed bacteria and mold.

Dirty humidifiers can be especially problematic for people with asthma and allergies, but even in healthy people humidifiers have the potential to trigger flu-like symptoms or even lung infections when the contaminated mist or steam is released into the air.

Steam vaporizers or evaporators may be less likely to release airborne allergens than may cool-mist humidifiers.



Tips for keeping your humidifier clean


To keep humidifiers free of harmful mold, fungi and bacteria, follow the guidelines recommended by the manufacturer. These tips for portable humidifiers also can help:


  • Use distilled or demineralized water. Tap water contains minerals that can create deposits inside your humidifier that promote bacterial growth. And, when released into the air, these minerals often appear as white dust on your furniture. You may also breathe in some minerals that are dispersed into the air. Distilled or demineralized water has a much lower mineral content compared with tap water. In addition, use demineralization cartridges or filters if recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Change humidifier water often. Don’t allow film or deposits to develop inside your humidifiers. Empty the tanks, dry the inside surfaces and refill with clean water every day if possible, especially if using cool mist or ultrasonic humidifiers. Unplug the unit first.
  • Clean humidifiers every three days. Unplug the humidifier before you clean it. Remove any mineral deposits or film from the tank or other parts of the humidifier with a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution, which is available at pharmacies. Some manufacturers recommend using chlorine bleach or other disinfectants.


  • Always rinse the tank after cleaning to keep harmful chemicals from becoming airborne — and then inhaled.
  • Change humidifier filters regularly. If the humidifier has a filter, change it at least as often as the manufacturer recommends — and more often if it’s dirty. Also regularly change the filter in your central air conditioning and heating system.
  • Keep the area around humidifiers dry. If the area around a humidifier becomes damp or wet — including windows, carpeting, drapes or tablecloths — turn the humidifier down or reduce how frequently you use it.
  • Prepare humidifiers for storage. Drain and clean humidifiers before storing them. And then clean them again when you take them out of storage for use. Throw away all used cartridges, cassettes or filters.
  • Follow instructions for central humidifiers. If you have a humidifier built into your central heating and cooling system, read the instruction manual or ask your heating and cooling specialist about proper maintenance.
  • Consider replacing old humidifiers. Over time, humidifiers can build up deposits that are difficult or impossible to remove and encourage growth of bacteria.


Today’s Best Humidifiers Reviewed



Best Ultrasonic Humidifier




The SPT SU-4010 is an ultrasonic tabletop humidifier that can produce either warm or cool mist — enough to humidify 500 square feet of space. The moisture output can be adjusted with a manual dial, but there is no built-in humidistat. It does well in expert tests, and users say that this humidifier produces plenty of good, fine mist, and it runs quietly.


  • Quiet
  • Variable humidity
  • Produces cool or warm mist


  • No humidistat
  • May leak
  • Some durability problems

The SPT SU-4010 is an excellent option for those looking for a top performing ultrasonic humidifier at an easy to swallow price. It’s compact, effective and can emit either cool or warm mist. There aren’t too many bells or whistles on this model, but provided you pay close attention while filling its tank, it should satisfy most users’ needs.

Ease of use

Minimal features, but simple and effective. The SPT (formerly Sunpentown) SU-4010 humidifier is an excellent pick for those users who are looking for a straightforward machine with both cool- and warm-mist options. The large control knobs are easy to use, and users praise the SPT’s dual nozzles, which rotate 360 degrees to pinpoint where you want the mist to go. Some experts say that cleaning is a chore, but others note that ease of cleaning is above average compared to most ultrasonic humidifiers.


Moisture output

Fine mist, few issues with dust. This ultrasonic model can produce either warm or cool mist, enough to humidify 500 square feet of space. The moisture output can be adjusted with a manual dial, but there is no built-in humidistat.

Users say that this humidifier produces plenty of fine mist. Its demineralization cartridge (called the Ion Exchange Filter) seems relatively effective as we saw fewer complaints of dust residue than with other ultrasonic humidifiers, though the SPT SU-4010 is not completely immune from that issue.


A low humming, but otherwise quiet. Most reviewers agree that the SPT SU-4010 is incredibly quiet. It generates a low humming noise when on, but most owners and reviewers say that it is only nominally noticeable.



Some durability concerns. User feedback for the SPT SU-4010 is mixed, but very much in line with most ultrasonic humidifiers, including those that cost twice as much. While most owners are generally happy with the SPT SU-4010 humidifier, questions about durability, and reports of units that failed prematurely, are easy to spot. We also found some owners that noted problems with leaking.

Others say this can be easily fixed by simply paying closer attention to the washer when screwing the cap back on (it sometimes can become knocked out of place). The value of the SU-4010 compared to other options comes in for kudos.

Best Humidifier for a Large Room




Ultra-large Capacity: 3.0L water tank can support 33 hours continuous use at the “Weak” level and 12 hours continuous use at “Strong” level.



Ultrasonic: Humidifying immediately right after starting, producing no heat, so suitable for both young and old.


Sensor Control: Built-in sensor can sense the indoor humidity, then enables the humidifier to auto control.




Auto Swing: Swing 45° the left or right for wide-range humidification.



Aroma Diffuser – you can use medicated liquids in the pullout tray on the back that has a small pad. These would be 100% pure essential oils (not included) to drop onto the pad.  Be careful when you pull the tray out—it does not have stops and can fall to the floor.

Do not put oils into the water tank because it will corrode the parts—only put on the small pad.



7 Colors Night Light: 7 available colorful lights together with the white light so it works like a night light at bedtime and creates romantic atmosphere.





Best Cool Mist Humidifier


The Honeywell HCM-350 cool mist humidifier is an evaporative tabletop humidifier with sufficient output to handle medium sized rooms — 400 to 500 square feet, depending on who you ask.

This humidifier is a little bit louder than some ultrasonic humidifiers, and can only output cool mist, but it is effective, easy to clean, and there’s no white dust residue from minerals in hard water to worry about.


  • Effective
  • Easy to clean
  • No white dust residue
  • Large footprint
  • No humidistat
  • Cool mist only


The Honeywell HCM-350 cool mist humidifier earns very positive reviews thanks to its effectiveness, ease of use, and ease of cleaning.

There are few features, including no humidistat to monitor and maintain room humidity, but operation is simple and straightforward.

It’s a great choice for those with hard water: This is an evaporative humidifier so there are no issues with white dust settling on your furniture (the byproduct of minerals in the water) — a drawback with competing ultrasonic humidifiers.


Ease of Use

Basic, but it works well. While the Honeywell HCM-350 may not have as many features as other top-reviewed models, reviewers say that it’s simple to use — just a single dial to set fan speed — and efficient. The water tank has a wide mouth and is easy to fill — and a sturdy built-in handle makes carrying the tank a snap.

One feature it does have is a UV lamp to kill germs, but experts say that its effectiveness is dubious, making this more hype than help — just as well as the bulb tends to burn out quickly and replacements are hard to find.

There’s a filter that needs to be periodically replaced, but it’s inexpensive. One expert reviewer dings the HCM-350 saying that it is difficult to put back together once the filter is saturated because it won’t hold its shape.

One of the big pluses experts largely agree on is that the Honeywell HCM-350 is designed to make ongoing maintenance easier than with most competing humidifiers. “The Honeywell didn’t have any of the difficult-to-reach areas and small spaces that some of the ultrasonic humidifiers had, and we could easily fit our entire hand into the water tank to clean it,” reports. As an added plus, the tank and the base are dishwasher safe.


Moisture Output

Plenty of moisture for medium sized rooms. This humidifier is rated to humidify a space of around 500 square feet, though says it’s best with rooms of 400 square feet or less — which covers all but the largest rooms.

The tank, to some reviewer’s concern, holds only a gallon of water; because of this, the machine can go through two full tanks a day at maximum output. However, the positive side of this is that larger tanks are heavier to carry, harder to fill as they many not fit under some sink spigots, and more difficult to clean, notes John Holecek at



In the ear of the beholder.  I saw split opinions regarding noise. As an evaporative unit, noise levels will certainly be higher than with an ultrasonic model. tests sound levels from one meter away and says that while the HCM-350 is loud enough to be noticed, it’s not loud enough to be objectionable at top speed, and drops down to barely noticeable levels at medium speed.

Holecek adds that the pitch of the sound helps minimize any issues. “It’s a pleasant white noise that sounds like a box fan on a medium to low setting,” he says. downgrades the HCM-350 quite a bit more over its noise, while conceding that, “During in-home testing, we actually found the Honeywell’s fan noise at the lowest setting to be soothing and felt that some parents may appreciate the added “white noise” benefit.”

A third expert weighs in on noise level and rates it at “very good” at its highest fan speed, but offers little additional insight.

So there are certainly a variety of opinions when it comes to noise level.  The consensus appears that it is similar to a fan at lower settings, and not particularly irritating.



Well-made to reduce leaks. likes that the tank on the Honeywell HCM-350 is made from a single piece of plastic, without the seams that seem to develop leaks over time with other humidifiers — and something that will help make sure the HCM-350 survives to the end of its generous three-year warranty, Holecek says.

Because this is an evaporative humidifier, there are no issues with a fine white dust settling on furniture; a byproduct of minerals in water, especially hard water, that’s unavoidable with ultrasonic models (even those with good filtration), and the source of lots of user complaints with such models.

The HCM-350 is large compared to some ultrasonic models — so large that it might be a tight fit on some nightstands.

User feedback, while not universally positive, is better than we generally see with most humidifiers, including a 4-star rating at based on more than 1,500 reviews.



Best Cool Mist Humidifier for a Small Room


Compact and cute, the Safety 1st Ultrasonic 360 humidifier is another excellent choice.

With a small, three-quarter-gallon water tank, you won’t see as much moisture output as larger machines. Still, reviewers say that thanks to its quiet operation, variable mist settings and easy-to-use design, this is a nice option.

There are 1,850 consumer reviews on Amazon, where it has earned a 3.5 star rating, as well as 149 answered questions.


Here are two particularly helpful reviews from verified purchasers:


Very quiet, very nice cool mist humidifier

I’ve used a few different types of humidifiers over the past couple years, and my favorite so far has been a warm mist/vapor humidifier, like the simple boiling water kind you get from Vicks. Those humidifiers put out a lot of humidity, they’re easy to refill, and they don’t make everything in a room get a white powdery coating.

Ultrasonic/cool mist humidifiers often make a white powder coating appear on some surfaces if you have hard water (like I do), but they are quieter (no boiling or fans), they don’t raise the ambient temperature, and the mist can be directed via the vent at the top. They also don’t use filters, so there is no maintenance or extras you have to purchase other than a simple weekly (at least) cleaning.

This humidifier has simple controls (on/off switch on the back, mist level knob on the front), and a neat little port on the top that you can direct in two different spots. I usually just keep both vents pointed in the same direction.

Refilling is easy; just grab the translucent top part, turn it upside-down, unscrew the drain plug, and fill in a standard-size sink.

If I set the level to low/medium, I can use the humidifier up to a full day or so before a refill. If set on high, it only seems to last about 8-10 hours. Also, the humidifier shuts itself off if it senses no more water.

RECOMMENDATION: If you need a simple cool mist humidifier, like one for a baby’s room, this is a great option–especially if you only need to have it on for a small part of the day (otherwise you’ll be refilling it a lot).

TIP FOR LONGEVITY: Make sure you follow the included cleaning instructions, especially with regard to cleaning mineral buildup every week. If you don’t this humidifier will probably only last a year or less (especially if you have hard water at your home, and don’t use distilled water to humidify the air). If you clean it weekly, expect years of use.

My top choice, though not perfect

Pros: I love that I can turn it on high and get a room humidified fast. (When needed, I can leave it on high for an our or two to get one kid’s room humidified for bed time and then move it to another kid’s room). I love that I can turn it on low and leave it for two days running without touching it. And that there are settings in between high and low. I love that it doesn’t have a filter to deal with and to purchase regularly! I have used a filtered ultrasonic humidifier in the past, and besides having the filter to deal with, I disliked that it was so slow to humidify a room. After a day it was fine, but when a child is sick at night, you want the humidifier to work immediately.

Cons: The plastic tank is very thin. Others have complained about it leaking after a while. I had mine for half of a season and then it was knocked over from a high shelf and broke. That is understandable from how hard it fell, but I worry about how long my new one will last. The tank is also a little awkward to fill. It would be nice if it had a flat top or a better handle. But it’s not bad.

I didn’t clean my first one as often as I should have, and then I did have a hard time keeping it clean. The second time around, I rinse it all every time I change the water (or sometimes sooner if I have it on low), and rinse with vinegar once a week as it explains in the instructions, and have had no problems keeping it clean.

The switch is easy to move from low to high, and I have had the problem of a child turning it up to high at night without me knowing, and things being a little too humid the next morning.

I spent a lot of time looking at humidifiers, and I am very happy with this purchase for the reasons mentioned and with the relatively low price. (It was about $30 when I bought it.)



Best Whole House Humidifier

The Essick MA1201 is an evaporative humidifier that can put out up to 12 gallons of moisture per day, enough to humidify 3,600 square feet of space. Its humidistat allows you to adjust the humidity in 5-percent increments, and its double-fill tank system reduces the number of trips you must make to the sink.
Professional tests indicate that the AirCare MA1201 produces very good moisture output, although it is much louder than most humidifiers. Users say this machine is easy to fill, and that its value is terrific.


  • Covers up to 3,600 square feet
  • Built-in humidistat
  • Easy to refill


  • Loud
  • Humidistat might not be accurate
  • Flimsy housing


The Essick MA1201 is a good bet for a budget-friendly whole house humidifier. The 3.6-gallon water tank means infrequent refilling. The moisture output is excellent. Plus, bonus features like the automatic shut-off, check-filter message and electronic display are welcome additions. Consumers do lament the flimsy, cheap construction; cost of replacement filters; and say that despite an “ultra-quiet mode,” this machine is very loud — yet this humidifier still gets excellent feedback overall.


Ease of use

Simple design and easy-to-use controls: The Essick AirCare MA1201 whole house humidifier is an excellent pick for those looking to humidify a large space. The simple digital controls and built-in humidistat allow users to easily control the moisture level in their homes. Owners appreciate the automatic shut-off, check-filter message and the water refill light. A few reviewers claim that the humidistat is calibrated poorly, meaning that you might need to experiment with the settings to get the best results.


Moisture output

Large, easy-to-clean tank: The Essick AirCare MA1201 is rated for up to 3,600 square feet — nearly five times the space of a traditional tabletop model and enough to provide humidity for even a large home. We found excellent user feedback on the room coverage offered by this model. The 3.6-gallon tank allows for up to 12 gallons of moisture output per day.



It’s loud. Perhaps the most common complaint about the Essick MA1201 is that this evaporative humidifier is very loud. Many reviewers claim that this machine can be heard from another room. The humidifier does feature an “ultra-quiet mode,” but users say that even in that mode the machine is quite noisy.



Good value, but iffy build quality: Many reviewers say the plastic housing is flimsy, but also say that in spite of the poor build quality, this humidifier does perform quite well.

Some reviewers who said that the unit lasts only through a few seasons with continual use, but others seem quite pleased with the durability of this product. We also saw some accounts that the LCD control panel stopped working after just months of use. Some did note that the humidifier tank does require regular cleaning, but it does a relatively good job at bacterial and mold growth regulation.



Best Warm Mist Humidifier

  • Automatic Shut-off
  • 1-gallon capacity; operates up to 12 hours on a single filling
  • Quiet operation. Soft glowing nightlight.
  • 2 Comfort settings
  • Medicine cup allows the use of Vicks Vaposteam or Kaz Inhalent to produce a medicated vapor that soothes
Here is the Vicks Humidifier review which Amazon readers consider most helpful:
An Honest Review

I love Amazon because of the reviews. For the most part, the reviews are honest, detailed and very helpful, especially when a true defect or some other “quirk” is described. However, many of the reviews for this item are really…bizarre! I have to wonder what some of these reviewers were actually thinking. Also, are they are realistic in their expectations? It is what it is – an inexpensive humidifier. It WILL make some noise, It will NOT humidify your entire house, it WILL require cleaning and care, it will NOT last forever, etc.

1) This item is being shipped from a warehouse to your home. If it arrives broken, cracked, leaking or damaged in any way, contact Amazon- they offer one of the best return policies around. This is an issue with whoever shipped it, not a reason to leave a one-star rating.

2) This is a HUMIDIFIER and uses tap water and electricity to create a heated mist. Should you be horrified to find mold or mildew? NO. Does it require regular maintenance and cleaning? YES. There is no way around it. If you allow water to sit, mold will grow. If you use tap water, there is a good chance you will have mineral deposits. Inspect the humidifier each time you fill it.

When you re-fill the tank, give it a good rinsing out. It if smells, add a teaspoon of bleach, swish it around and dump it out.

If it has deposits around the heating element, pour vinegar into the bottom, let it sit for a few hours, take a small toothbrush to it and rinse it out.

If it has deposits on the plastic pieces, remove them from the unit and soak them in vinegar, same as above. It is not difficult to disassemble at all.

It is a fact of life, humidifiers need to be cleaned and maintained.

3) This is a very INEXPENSIVE humidifier. Is it helpful to compare it to a humidifier that costs 5x as much? NO. That is like comparing a Toyota Corolla (MSRP 25K) to a Bentley Continental (MSRP 175K).

4) This is an electrical device. Like anything that uses electricity, it has the potential to start a fire. Even though it has an automatic shut-off, I wouldn’t bet my house on it. Pay a little attention to it and treat it like any other electrical device.

5) Seriously, having to carry it by it’s handle with the plug on top is a big issue? Would you carry a bottle of water (or any liquid with a screw cap, for that matter) upside down? As for the leaking, screwing the cap on tightly and carrying it by it’s handle would probably help.

6) Will it last for a lifetime? NO. Does any inexpensive product last beyond a few years? NO. Will the gaskets dry out if it is stored for long periods of time? It’s entirely possible. Again, this is an INEXPENSIVE humidifier.

BOTTOM LINE: It is very reasonable priced, does a good job and lasts a couple of years if you take care of it. I am about to make my 4th purchase of this exact humidifier. I read the reviews to see if anything changed or if a better, similarly priced unit was introduced into the market. The answer is NO. This is the best deal for the money.

****UPDATE**** 11/19/2011 Almost one year later, last week I pulled out the humidifiers and gave ’em a nice, thorough cleaning, set ’em up and they are working perfectly. I am going on at least my 5th New England winter with the first one I bought, and it still works like new – whisper quiet, zero leaking, couldn’t be happier for the price! From the looks of it, Amazon’s price hasn’t changed much either (although it does fluctuate day-to-day). It’s still the BEST YOU”LL FIND in this price range!

Although experts generally say cool-mist humidifiers are better for most purposes, the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier is an option if you want to make a room feel warmer during the winter.
The Vicks humidifier has two vapor settings and, while some noise complaints are seen, others seem not to be bothered.
The Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier has an automatic safety shut-off (though some say this feature can be unreliable) and a nightlight.

One caution: I read several reports of leaks with this model and some users find this humidifier difficult to clean.



Regardless of the model you choose, you must clean it regularly. Otherwise, you run the risk of spreading bacteria and mold, which can exacerbate allergies and asthma symptoms.

Choosing one of the newer models that come with built-in antibacterial technology will help keep the water clean so you don’t have to wash the unit as frequently, but even the newer models will still require occasional cleaning.

Also pay close attention to the moisture level of the room. Some humidifiers automatically adjust their output based on the moisture level, others let you set the level. It should always be between 30 percent and 50 percent or, again, you run the risk of increasing mold and bacteria growth.



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The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids

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Oxygen Therapy for COPD

All About Portable Oxygen

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Air Purifiers for COPD

Best Air Purifiers for COPD



Full Reviews of High Quality Air Purifiers for Your Indoor Air


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer.

The most common forms of the disease are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. About 12 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD, and experts estimate another 12 million remain undiagnosed.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says exposure to air pollution particles may aggravate COPD and be responsible for COPD-related hospitalization and premature deaths.  Recent research suggests air pollution may play a role in the onset of COPD as well.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends reducing exposure to air pollutants at home and work to prevent early development of COPD.

The right air cleaning system can effectively remove a large percentage of the particles associated with COPD problems indoors. But the wrong air cleaner can be ineffective or, even worse, dangerous.



Important Considerations for a COPD Air Purifier:



Choose “mechanical filtration” air cleaning technology.


This is the air purification technology recommended by the American Lung Association, and includes HEPA-filtration systems. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. Mechanical filtration systems remove particles from the air by capturing them on filter materials. The particles then remain in the filter until it is replaced.

In order to make a HEPA filter, glass fibers are used, arranged in a unique configuration so that air is able to pass through the filter while large contaminants such as allergens, mold or dust are captured.

The pollutant particles are captured using several different principles. For the most part particles come into contact with the filter, and are then trapped based on the principle of adhesion while clean air is free to circulate.

Other cases include contaminants being trapped after achieving partial contact with the glass fibers, or being pressed up against the filter because of the strong air flow inside the purifier.Furthermore, airborne particles are attracted by other particles which are already trapped by the HEPA filter.

Thanks to these various ways of stopping contaminant particles before they are able to pass through, HEPA filters can collect 99.9% of airborne impurities as long as they’re larger than 0.3 microns in diameter.

Since most contaminants fall into that category, just imagine how much of an impact these filters have on the quality of air you breathe.


Dust, allergens, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mildew and mildew spores are all eliminated with the use of a HEPA filter (especially useful for people who suffer with COPD, asthma or hay fever).



Don’t buy air cleaners that produce ozone. Ozone is a lung irritant that can damage the lungs, and is especially dangerous for those with COPD or other respiratory conditions. That’s why the American Lung Association and others warn consumers to avoid these devices.



Avoid air purifiers that use ionization to clean the air.

Ionizers generate ions that attach to airborne pollution particles, giving them a charge so that they then attach to nearby surfaces such as walls or furniture. Even air purifiers that combine ionizers with filters or air-cleaning “plates” can release thousands of charged particles into a room. The EPA says air cleaners that generate ions can increase the particles being deposited into your lungs and absorbed into your bloodstream.


Choose an air purifier that is proven to protect against ultrafine particles.

Ultrafine particles represent 90 percent of all the particles in the air you breathe, and are considered by scientists to be the most dangerous of all. Yet they are so small many air purifiers can’t stop them.




Ultrafine particles pass rapidly into the human circulatory system and reach internal organs. Individuals with COPD may be at greater risk than healthy individuals when exposed to ultrafine particles. See my list below of the the very best air purifiers for COPD, which will clear your inside air or ultrafine particles.



Do not rely only on CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings.


This rating system was designed and is promoted by a trade association of appliance manufacturers, and while CADR ratings are useful, it’s their limitations that can mislead people shopping for effective purifiers:


  • Small Particle Filtration Effectiveness Not Shown – CADR numbers do not adequately inform customers of a purifier’s ability to filter out very small particles. Yet these are the most numerous, and often the most dangerous, pollutants. Looking at an air cleaner’s Clean Air Delivery Rate, you cannot tell how effective it is in dealing specifically with these tiniest bits of matter. Many air purifiers eliminate larger particles very well but are almost completely incapable of removing smaller ones from circulation.


  • Gas Filtration Not Measured – The test does absolutely nothing to measure a purifier’s ability to rid the air of gaseous pollutants, such as dangerous Volatile Organic Compounds. The three CADR numbers all refer to particulate pollution only, which is very different from gaseous pollution. Air purifiers vary wildly in their ability to deal with the latter. Because cleaning gas pollution requires different mechanisms from cleaning solid particle pollution, a purifier’s effectiveness at reducing gas is completely unrelated to its effectiveness at reducing particles.


  • Doesn’t Show Decline in Effectiveness Over Time – Because the test is so short, it does not account for the fact that some purifiers will decline in effectiveness over time.


  • Purifiers Run At Their Highest Settings – Fourth, in the ANSI/AHAM AC-1 test, purifiers are always run on their highest setting. But users will often use lower settings to reduce noise, and this can drastically reduce the efficiency of an air cleaner.


CADR Conclusion


  • CADR is one tool to measure the effectiveness of air purifiers. It should neither be ignored, nor considered the only important factor in determining the value of an air cleaner. Instead, potential customers should check for CADR numbers as one of a number of things to keep in mind, along with other factors such as long-term durability and the ability to filter out gasses and odors.


  • CADR only measures tobacco smoke, dust, and pollen


  • CADR formulas only measure the ability to remove 80% of tobacco smoke assuming one air exchange per hour


  • CADR does not measure the effectiveness of filtering the size of particles


5 Top Air Purifiers for COPD


Best Overall: BluAir 503 Hepa-Silent Air Purification System


  • Exceptionally quiet at low speed
  • Ability to clean air in large areas
  • Captures particles down to 0.1 micron
  • Energy Star-qualified
  • Noisy at high speed
  • Filters must be changed every six months



If you want an air cleaner that excels at both particle removal and odor suppression, the Blueair 503 is a top choice. It’s got the capacity to handle large rooms and clear them of allergens and other particles quickly.

You’ll want to spring for the optional SmokeStop filters if odor suppression is at the top of your list; they are judged to be highly effective. The Blueair 503 is also a quiet worker at all but the top speed. Despite the presence of an ion generator, no ozone is produced — another plus.


The Blueair 503 is a solid performer capable of cleaning moderately large rooms, such as a living room. Though not inexpensive — especially if you opt for the SmokeStop filters for better odor suppression — both the purchase price and ongoing operating costs are lower than some other well-regarded air cleaners. The Blueair is both fast and effective, tests say.

The five year warranty is another plus — but you’ll need to register (free) to get that and remember to change the filters as recommended.



Breaking it down



Noticeable improvement in air quality. The Blueair 503 is capable of filtering air from medium to large rooms, up to 580 square feet according to its AHAM rating, though some experts say that 400 square feet — or the size of a typical living room is more realistic.

Testing at revealed that the 503 was the fastest of any air purifier tested, making it an especially good choice for busy spots. According to testers at one professional consumer organization, the Blueair 503 does an excellent job at removing dust, pollen and cigarette smoke at its highest setting, and a good job at the low setting.

The best results in removing odors requires use of the optional SmokeStop filters (Est. $150 per set), but with those in place, the 503 is competitive with the best air purifiers in that regard.

More than 70 percent of owners posting reviews to give this unit a perfect 5-star rating, and it earns an overall grade of 4.5-stars after 80 reviews.

Several owners point out that they notice a difference in allergy symptoms within hours of turning the unit on. The Blueair 503’s filter is capable of removing 99.7 percent of particles down to 0.1 microns in size.

Ease of use

Easy to use, simple filter changes. TEditors of give the Blueair 503 a perfect 5-star rating for ease of operation and filter changing.

The filters do require replacing every six months, although a filter-change indicator lets owners know when it’s time for a replacement and the task is said to be easy.

This air purifier weighs about 35 pounds, but caster wheels make the Blueair 503 easier to move from room to room.


Low noise in most regards. In one professional test, the Blueair 503 gets only a fair rating for noise level at the highest speed setting, but an excellent score for noise at the low setting.

However, Ed Sherbenou at says that at speeds where the 503 will most often be used by most owners, the noise level is actually relatively good compared to similar devices.

Most owners posting reviews to say the Blueair 503 is so quiet that it can be used in bedrooms at the lower speed settings without disturbing sleep. There are a few detractors who complain that it’s too loud, however.

Cost of ownership

Filter changes every six months add up. The Blueair 503 is one of the more expensive room air purifiers available, although it costs less than some other premium models, such as the IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus.

Its filters (Est. $80 per set) must be changed every six months, which contributes to the overall cost of ownership — and that goes up even more if you opt for the SmokeStop filters instead.

The Blueair 503 is backed by a five-year warranty in case of defects or malfunctions, but you must register the air cleaner to qualify (free), and be able to prove that you’ve kept up with the filter replacement schedule, so hang on to your receipts.




Best Premium Air Purifier


The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus earns some mixed reviews, but it’s highly prized by experts and owners who are the most troubled by chemical sensitivities and odors.



Pluses include superior filtration that removes particles down to 0.003 microns in size – better than a HEPA filter. It can handle rooms up to 900 square feet.



  • Superior odor and chemical removal
  • Effectively removes allergens
  • Does not emit ozone



  • High operating costs
  • Not as effective in removing particles

Bottom line

The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus gets rave reviews from many experts and owners for its superior allergen-removal capabilities, though a lukewarm reception from some for its particle removal effectiveness and its cost. The latest version of this air cleaner is rated to remove particles even smaller in size than standard HEPA filters can handle, though that performance is not always borne out in testing.


The Plus portion of this unit is the addition of a V5 filter for odor and chemical removal, and the HealthPro Plus is a top choice in that regard. Though this New Edition is quieter than previous models, some reviewers say it still gets pretty loud on the highest setting.


Breaking it down


Great for odors, so-so on particles. Multiple reviews, both professional and owner-written, say the IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus is a terrific choice for those suffering from chemical sensitivities.

It’s been revamped with a HyperHEPA filter to capture particles tinier than a normal HEPA filter can — down to 0.003 microns in size, but well-documented testing by The reveals only okay results when it comes to removing particles from the air.

IQAir is the educational partner for the American Lung Association and was used by the Hong Kong Hospital Authority during the 2003 SARS outbreak.

Ease of use

Advanced controls with presetting features. The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus comes in sturdy packaging and is easy to set up. The package includes optional casters for moving the unit from place to place easily if needed. The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus offers advanced controls that are intuitive to use, navigating the unit’s six speed settings and other features.

Editors at say, “While we did not see the need for the remote control, we were impressed with the ability to set the machine to go on and off at certain pre-designated times and fan speeds. The four key touch pad displays the programming timer status, filter life and status, and fan speed.”


New Edition is quieter, thanks to upgrades. A few owners and experts say this air purifier can be loud when run on its highest setting. Upgrades over the previous IQAir HealthPro Plus reportedly made the current version 32 percent quieter.

Cost of Ownership

Multiple filters to replace. The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus is expensive, and it has several filters that need to be replaced periodically: the prefilter (Est. $80) every six to 18 months, gas and odor filter (Est. $90) every one to two years and the HyperHEPA filter (Est. $200) every two to four years.



A few reviews point out that, because the filters are all on different replacement schedules, it does offset the cost of having to replace multiple filters simultaneously. In one test, energy consumption was a serious concern as it used considerably more power than competing models.



Best Cheap Air Purifier


The Whirlpool AP51030K Whispure air purifier is one of the quietest air purifiers available — it’s even tolerable for nighttime use at its lower speed setting.



Despite its low price, The Whispure is very effective at removing dust and allergens from the air. It uses both HEPA and carbon filters for removing light odors and chemicals.


  • Great pollen/dust/smoke clearing
  • Includes HEPA and carbon filters
  • Quiet
  • Costly replacement filters
  • Carbon prefilter works for light odors only
  • Air output can feel drafty


Bottom line


The Whirlpool AP51030K Whispure air purifier is a solid performer that costs less up front than some premium air cleaners, although it’s less effective than some in clearing odors or chemicals from the air.

But when it comes to particle removal, the Whispure is top-rated in professional reviews and gets excellent ratings from owners, who say there’s a noticeable difference in air quality and a reduction in allergy symptoms. Another plus is that the electronic controls make it a cinch to use.


Breaking it Down


Noticeable improvement in air quality. The Whirlpool AP51030K Whispure air purifier gets top marks in one major test, where it exceeds expectations for filtering dust, pollen and cigarette smoke out of the air on high and low fan speeds.

Ed Sherbenou of isn’t impressed by its effectiveness at getting rid of odors or chemicals, but does say that it is “a good choice for seasonal pollen, housedust, or mold allergy sufferers.”

Editors at say the Whispure “significantly reduced the particle count in the room” and note its “impressive” ability to clean large rooms considering the size of the unit.

Hundreds of owners contributing to sites like concur, noting that the Whirlpool AP51030K Whispure noticeably reduces dust particles in rooms and eliminates allergy and asthma symptoms.

Ease of use

Intuitive electronic controls. The Whirlpool Whispure is easy to use, with electronic controls and a “nicely-labeled” dashboard, according to editors at Editors also point out the convenience of the five-stage filter status indicator, noting that it lets you know when the filter is reaching the end of its life in ample time to order or purchase a replacement. Owners posting feedback at user review sites say the controls are simple to use and appreciate the various options for fan speed, which aids in noise control.


Quieter than most, even on highest setting. This Whirlpool air purifier is quieter than other air cleaners on both its high and low settings; it was the quietest portable air conditioner tested in one expert test and receives praise from editors at for its quiet operation. Most user reviews concur, though some dissenting voices can be seen at

Cost of ownership

Expensive replacement filters. The initial cost of this air purifier is less than that of premium air cleaners. However, replacement filters are expensive and can wind up costing as much as half of the original purchase price per year, Sherbenou says. The Whispure’s five-year warranty is good, and should offer some peace of mind for owners.



Best Air Purifier for Small Rooms


The Honeywell 50250-S is an effective option that’s rated for small spaces up to about 390 feet.



It offers excellent performance at removing dust, pollen and smoke at its high speed and still performs well at its lower speeds.

This Honeywell is one of the least expensive air purifiers available, and its HEPA filter is long lasting and inexpensive to replace.

  • Low purchase price
  • Good dust/pollen/smoke removal
  • Long lasting, cheap filters
  • Small coverage area
  • Noisy on high speed
  • Not Energy Star-qualified

Bottom line

The Honeywell 50250-S is best used in small spaces, and does a good job of removing dust and other allergens from the air.

The biggest complaint surrounding this unit is that it’s noisy, noticeable even at low speeds.

A near identical version, the Honeywell 50250-N, is said to have permanent filters, but that’s more marketing than reality as its filters, too, need to be replaced. That matters little as the filters in both models last a long time and are relatively cheap.



Breaking it down


Good for small rooms. The Honeywell 50250-S is best used in small rooms as it’s not powerful enough to clean rooms with larger capacity.

The Honeywell air purifier takes in air from all sides of its cylindrical design, expelling clean air out the top, but it doesn’t pull as much air through its HEPA filter as more expensive models, such as the Blueair 503, experts say.

Still, notes Ed Sherbenou of, this air cleaner offers “a lot of power for the money.” Testers from one professional consumer testing organization say the Honeywell 50250 is excellent at removing dust, pollen and cigarette smoke at its high setting, and also does a good job at the low setting.

Ease of use

Easy use with filter indicator lights. Filter indicator lights let users know when it’s time to change out — or at least vacuum — the filter for maximum performance.

The unit itself is fairly large, according to Sherbenou, and it needs to sit a minimum of three feet away from a wall. Therefore, it will take up some available space in the room.

It’s lightweight (just 20 pounds) and has a carrying handle at the top for easy transfer from room to room. Replacement filters are easy to find online or in stores.


Noticeable noise on low, quite loud on high. Sherbenou praises the Honeywell’s cleaning power, but says he rarely will use it in his bedroom because of the noise.

One professional testing organization gives the Honeywell 50250 a rating of Poor for its noise level at the highest fan speed setting, and a slightly better rating of Good for noise at the lower speed settings.

Cost of Ownership

Affordable filters, low up-front cost. The Honeywell’s long-lasting HEPA filter should be vacuumed twice a year, but Sherbenou says it will eventually have to be replaced.

The Honeywell also uses an odor-reducing carbon prefilter (Est. $15) that should be replaced every three months. It’s not Energy Star qualified, but power draw isn’t terrible — about as much as two standard light bulbs, Sherbenou says.




Best Furnace Filter


Furnace filters such as the Filtrete Ultimate Allergen 1900 cost significantly less than air purifiers, and experts say they can be just as effective for many users.

The Ultimate Allergen 1900 is part of a series of Filtrete filters that are designed to remove coarse to fine particles from the air distributed by a hot air heating system and/or central air conditioning.

Owners say they notice a difference in allergy symptoms, and these filters add zero noise to the home.


  • Treats whole house
  • Excellent at capturing dust and pollen
  • Good at removing cigarette smoke
  • Maintains good airflow
  • Pro-installed filters trap smoke better
  • Can’t be used with hot-water heating systems

Bottom line

Slipping a filter into your home’s forced-air heating/cooling system is one of the most effective and least expensive ways to clean the air, experts say — sometimes eliminating the need for a stand-alone air purifier.

The Filtrete Ultimate Allergen 1900 gets excellent reviews from both professional review sources and users, with many noting a significant reduction in allergy symptoms.



Breaking it down


Excellent at removing allergens and smoke. Filtrete filters, including the Ultimate Allergen 1900, do an excellent job of trapping dust and pollen in one expert comparison test and a good job at cigarette smoke removal, too.

The 1900 in the model number is its microparticle rating, with higher numbers indicating a finer microparticle removal capability.

Filtrete filters are available with ratings as low as 600 MPR all the way to 2,400 MPR (microparticle rating). All rate well in user reviews, and several, including the Ultimate Allergen 1900, score well with the pros as well. Anecdotally, users report that they dust less, sneeze less and need less allergy medicine after they installed a Filtrete filter in their home heating/cooling systems.

Ease of use

No stand-alone air purifier unit required. Filtrete filters (made of pleated electrostatically charged fiber) are inexpensive, disposable and easy to find at discount and home improvement stores. They work in an existing furnace to replace standard furnace filters for a higher level of filtration.

All of the Filtrete filters allow very good airflow to the furnace, according to one expert test, but you should change the filter every three months to keep it from clogging up.

The most common issue cited by owners posting feedback to, however, is that these filters may cause some furnaces to overheat.


Zero additions to home noise levels. One major benefit of Filtrete filters, which work with an existing furnace, is that they don’t add any additional noise to the home. This is true of all furnace filters. In fact, one professional testing organization doesn’t even offer ratings for noise levels on do-it-yourself furnace filters, whereas room air purifiers are rated for noise levels at both low and high settings in the same review.

Cost of Ownership

Costly among furnace filters, but worth it. Filtrete filters vary in cost depending on their size and MPR rating, and some cheaper still options are available, but the majority of owners posting feedback to are more than happy to pay the additional cost for the allergy relief these provide. One professional review notes that while the filter price is relatively high, overall operating costs are relatively low.

The manufacturer rates the filters as having a three-month life span. Compared to a stand-alone air purifier, which can cost several hundred to well over one thousand dollars and still require periodic filter replacements, Filtrete filters seem reasonably priced, many say.



Remember that doctors often advise you to limit your exposure to pollutants in the air that can aggravate COPD. From dust and pollen to paint fumes and chemical vapors, a wide variety of particulate can inflame airways and worsen breathing conditions.
HEPA air purifiers help to reduce these things by filtering out these pollutants, both particulate and chemical vapors. Keeping your house clean and reducing dust are also basic but helpful measures that can help anyone coping with COPD.

Using a HEPA filter in your home can remove most airborne particles that might make COPD worse. But the particles suspended in air are not the only ones in your home.

There are far more in your rugs, bedding, and drapes, and resting on countertops and tabletops, so it’s important to keep these areas clean. It’s also important, when possible, to get rid of the source of irritants. For example, the only effective way to keep tobacco smoke out of your home is to not smoke.

Walk-In Lab Allergy Test



Final Thoughts


Air purifiers can be an important part of a plan to remove irritating particles from your home.

Removing irritating particles from your home should also include:

  • Vacuuming frequently
  • Replacing carpets with wood, tile, or vinyl flooring
  • Keeping pets outdoors if you are allergic to pet dander or at least away from your sleeping area
  • Changing bedding frequently and washing sheets in hot water
  • Replacing draperies and curtains with roll up shades
  • Using plastic covers over mattresses and pillows



Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.





You may also be interested in:

Simple Steps to Ease Your Allergies at Home

Physical Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

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Oxygen Therapy for COPD

Portable Air Conditioners – What to Consider

The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids


Oxygen Therapy For COPD

Oxygen Therapy for COPD


 Image result for oxygen therapy


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, sputum production and wheezing. It’s caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke. People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions.

Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two most common conditions that contribute to COPD. Chronic bronchitis is inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs. It is characterized by daily cough and sputum production. Emphysema is a condition in which the alveoli at the end of the smallest air passages (bronchioles) of the lungs are destroyed as a result of damaging exposure.

COPD is treatable. With proper management, most people with COPD can achieve good symptom control and quality of life, as well as reduced risk of other associated conditions.



Symptoms of COPD often don’t appear until significant lung damage has occurred, and they usually worsen over time, particularly if smoking exposure continues. For chronic bronchitis, the main symptom is a daily cough and sputum production at least three months a year for two consecutive years.


Other signs and symptoms of COPD include:

  • Shortness of breath, especially during physical activities
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Having to clear your throat first thing in the morning, due to excess mucus in your lungs
  • A chronic cough that produces sputum that may be clear, white, yellow or greenish
  • Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis)
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Lack of energy
  • Unintended weight loss (in later stages)


People with COPD are also likely to experience episodes called exacerbations, during which their symptoms become worse than usual day-to-day variation and persist for at least several days.


Causes of COPD


The main cause of COPD in developed countries is tobacco smoking.



In the developing world, COPD often occurs in people exposed to fumes from burning fuel for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated homes.





Only about 25 percent of chronic smokers develop clinically apparent COPD, although up to half have subtle evidence of COPD. Some smokers develop less common lung conditions. They may be misdiagnosed as having COPD until a more thorough evaluation is performed.


How your lungs are affected


Air travels down your windpipe (trachea) and into your lungs through two large tubes (bronchi). Inside your lungs, these tubes divide many times — like the branches of a tree — into many smaller tubes (bronchioles) that end in clusters of tiny air sacs (alveoli).

The air sacs have very thin walls full of tiny blood vessels (capillaries). The oxygen in the air you inhale passes into these blood vessels and enters your bloodstream. At the same time, carbon dioxide — a gas that is a waste product of metabolism — is exhaled.

Your lungs rely on the natural elasticity of the bronchial tubes and air sacs to force air out of your body. COPD causes them to lose their elasticity and over-expand, which leaves some air trapped in your lungs when you exhale.


Causes of Airway Obstruction


  • Emphysema. This lung disease causes destruction of the fragile walls and elastic fibers of the alveoli. Small airways collapse when you exhale, impairing airflow out of your lungs.
  • Chronic bronchitis. In this condition, your bronchial tubes become inflamed and narrowed and your lungs produce more mucus, which can further block the narrowed tubes. You develop a chronic cough trying to clear your airways.


Cigarette Smoke and Other Irritants


Image result for smoking and copd

In the vast majority of cases, the lung damage that leads to COPD is caused by long-term cigarette smoking. But there are likely other factors at play in the development of COPD, such as a genetic susceptibility to the disease, because only about 25 percent of smokers develop COPD.



Other irritants can cause COPD, including cigar smoke, secondhand smoke, pipe smoke, air pollution and workplace exposure to dust, smoke or fumes.


Alpha-1-antitrypsin Deficiency

In about 1 percent of people with COPD, the disease results from a genetic disorder that causes low levels of a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin. Alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAt) is made in the liver and secreted into the bloodstream to help protect the lungs. Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency can affect the liver as well as the lungs. Damage to the liver can occur in infants and children, not just adults with long smoking histories.

For adults with COPD related to AAt deficiency, treatment options include those used for people with more common types of COPD. In addition, some people can be treated by replacing the missing AAt protein, which may prevent further damage to the lungs.




Complications of COPD include:


  • Respiratory infections. People with COPD are more susceptible to colds, the flu and pneumonia. Any respiratory infection can make it much more difficult to breathe and could cause further damage to lung tissue. An annual flu vaccination and regular vaccination against pneumococcal pneumonia will help prevent some infections.
  • Heart problems. For reasons that aren’t fully understood, COPD increases your risk of heart disease, including heart attack. Quitting smoking markedly reduces this risk.
  • Lung cancer. Smokers with chronic bronchitis have a greater risk of developing lung cancer than do smokers who don’t have chronic bronchitis. Quitting smoking also markedly reduces this risk.
  • High blood pressure. COPD may cause high blood pressure in the arteries that bring blood to your lungs (pulmonary hypertension).
  • Depression. Difficulty breathing can keep you from doing activities that you enjoy. And dealing with serious illness can contribute to development of depression. Talk to your doctor if you feel sad or helpless or think that you may be experiencing depression.  (adapted from the Mayo Clinic Health Info)

Oxygen Therapy is an Important Part of COPD Treatment


While oxygen therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may make some patients feel isolated or embarrassed, it offers a number of benefits and plays a crucial role in treating severe COPD.

“When the patient progresses to the point where the oxygen level in their blood drops, then they need oxygen,” says Norman Edelman, MD, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association and a professor of medicine at Stony Brook University. “Once you need it, if you take it 24/7 then you’ll have the best results. It’s one of the few things that’s actually been shown to prolong life.”

COPD Treatment: Benefits of Oxygen


In addition to helping you live longer, using oxygen for 15 or more hours a day can have the following benefits:


  • Improving the health of your blood
  • Make physical activity easier
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Improve your mental function.


Who Should Use Oxygen Therapy?


Oxygen therapy is recommended for use in patients whose COPD is considered stage IV or “very severe” based on the amount of oxygen in the blood or the presence of other health concerns such as pulmonary hypertension or congestive heart failure.

A doctor may prescribe supplemental oxygen before you reach this stage, however, and some people can benefit from using oxygen only during exercise, daily activities, or while sleeping. Your doctor will tell you how much oxygen you need (usually more than 89 percent) and when you should use it.

There are some mild side effects to oxygen therapy, including a reduced sense of smell and taste as well as cosmetic concerns related to the cords that attach the mask or nasal prongs to the face.

COPD Treatment: How Oxygen is Delivered


There are several options for oxygen delivery.  You will have a source of oxygen (a tank, cylinder or oxygen concentrator) with a flexible cord that delivers oxygen to the nose by way of prongs (called a nasal cannula) or a mask.


“The easiest thing to use is an oxygen concentrator, which is an electrically driven device that concentrates oxygen in the air,” says Dr. Edelman. “But if you live in a place where electricity is not reliable, this is not a good option.” Many oxygen tanks are portable and rechargeable, so they don’t need constant access to electricity.

Perceived Downsides of Oxygen Therapy

Unfortunately, nearly half of patients feel that using an oxygen tank is bulky and embarrassing. They may not comply with their doctor’s recommendations for continuous use despite the known positive benefits of oxygen therapy. Instead, they may use oxygen for relief of COPD symptoms — although data suggest that as COPD gets worse, patients use their oxygen more often.

Many people avoid using their oxygen therapy when they are attending social or group activities outside of the house, although they may keep a backup supply of oxygen in the car in case they need it.

Some people only use oxygen at night, although studies have shown that using oxygen day and night reduces your risk of death by half compared with people who only use oxygen at night.

If you have concerns about when and where you can use oxygen as prescribed, talk to your doctor. Some patients worry that they might become addicted to oxygen (not true) or that they can no longer travel (also not true).

Your physician is the best person to respond to these concerns and help you determine whether and how oxygen can be part of your COPD treatment.


Suggested Reading:

The COPD Solution – A Proven 12-Week Program for Living and Breathing Better with Chronic Lung Disease



Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.





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Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

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All About Portable Oxygen

<a href="">Invacare Platinum 10 Oxygen Concentrator - IRC10LX</a><IMG border=0 width=1 height=1 src="" > <a href="">Invacare Platinum 10 Oxygen Concentrator - IRC10LX</a><IMG border=0 width=1 height=1 src="" >

If you have chronic lung disease, some areas in your lungs are damaged. These damaged areas act as blockages, preventing oxygen from moving into your bloodstream. You are unable to capture enough oxygen during a breath for your body to thrive. You likely experience difficulties breathing, sleeping and performing daily activities.

See related post: Oxygen Therapy Helps COPD Sufferers.


<a href="">Invacare Xpo2 Portable Oxygen Concentrator & Accessories - XPO160</a><IMG border=0 width=1 height=1 src="" >

Oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen available to your bloodstream in each breath. The increased oxygen concentration eases the capture of enough oxygen by your bloodstream to supply your body. This therapy helps you breathe more comfortably, so you can enjoy your daily activities.


What are the types of oxygen supply systems?

The oxygen supply based on how much oxygen is needed, and how active the individual is. Oxygen can be supplied the following 3 ways:

  • Compressed oxygen  holds oxygen in a metal cylinder (tank) under pressure. The tank can be set to release only the amount of oxygen you need as you breathe. Compressed oxygen tanks are heavy, and are meant to be used when you stay mostly in one place. You may need help to move or secure it. Smaller tanks and wheeled carts are available to help you move with ease, or when you travel.


The Responsive Respiratory M6 Oxygen Cylinder  comes in brushed aluminum finish with clear coat-protective finish, which is lighter than steel cylinder. This cylinder designed with 5 year hydrostatic test capacity and its filling pressure is 2200 psi. These oxygen cylinders are shipped empty. This item is a case of 6


  • Liquid oxygen is kept chilled inside a small, insulated case. The liquid warms and becomes a breathable gas when you need to breathe in. Liquid oxygen cases are smaller and easy to carry around. You can refill your small liquid oxygen case from a big tank kept in your home. Your oxygen delivery service will fill your large tank every 1 to 2 weeks.

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  • An oxygen concentrator  is an electric machine that stores oxygen from the air. This machine is heavy and may come with a wheeled cart to help you move it from room to room.


Below is a video showing how to use an Oxygen Concentrator

What’s the difference between a “portable” oxygen tank and a portable oxygen concentrator?

Portable Oxygen Tank vs Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Invacare Xpo2 Portable Oxygen Concentrator  & Accessories
This lightweight, versatile and reliable oxygen concentrator has pulse settings from 1-5 to help meet the varying needs of those with respiratory ailments. FAA Approved for air-travel to make mobility, travel and independence easy.

You are probably aware that both devices deliver medical oxygen to those that require it. But the methods of delivery, as well as the device specifications, tend to differ beyond that.

The main difference between the two is in the way in which oxygen is provided.

Oxygen tanks have a finite amount of oxygen compressed within them, inhaled by the user until it runs out. Oxygen concentrators filter and generate medical grade oxygen, at an infinite supply so long as the battery that powers this mechanism has life.

An oxygen concentrator is akin to an air conditioning unit: it takes air in from one system, modifies it, and delivers it in its new state. But instead of cooling the air, oxygen concentrators compress and purify the air, removing nitrogen or other agents that complicate breathing. The new oxygen is then delivered via A nasal cannula in the desired flow setting to enhance the user’s breathing.

Tanks accomplish the same end through different means. All of the oxygen that a tank will ever have is already compressed within it. That supply is gradually reduced until the tank runs out and needs to be refilled or replaced.

That difference also highlights the dosage methods used by each type of device. All oxygen tanks deliver oxygen on Continuous Flow. With oxygen concentrators, it tends to vary by device, as some of the more portable options operate on pulse-dose delivery.

There are several other attributes that separate oxygen concentrators from oxygen tanks. Oxygen concentrators offer several advantages over oxygen systems that rely on cylinders and tanks. These advantages include:

  1. Consistency – Whereas oxygen tanks can run out of oxygen, an oxygen concentrator will never run out of oxygen as long as it has air available and a supply of power. An oxygen concentrator extracts oxygen from the air itself, making the supply unlimited and readily available.
  1. Safety – An oxygen tank could begin to leak, creating an atmosphere that includes oxygen enriched air. Air saturated with oxygen increases the risk of a fire. If a fire ignites under these circumstances, it is harder to extinguish because oxygen induced fires burn hotter than many other kinds of fires. Pulse dose oxygen concentrators simply create oxygen as needed, eliminating the concern of leaks, and therefore the concern of flammability.
  1. Size – An oxygen concentrator is designed for convenience. Oxygen tanks are generally both bulky and heavy while a portable oxygen concentrator can weigh less than 5 pounds. This makes a concentrator the perfect choice for those who want portability.
  1. Cost is another factor to consider. While each device will be priced differently, it is important to remember that when buying oxygen concentrators, the price will be largely upfront. For oxygen tanks, costs will be incurred over time in the form of new oxygen tanks purchased periodically as needed.

An oxygen concentrator is a great choice for any of the above reasons, but it is important for individuals to consider having a backup supply of oxygen in a tank available for use, as well as additional fully charged batteries in case of a power outage.

Do I want to rely on battery life or oxygen supply? What size device am I looking for? What are my intended uses for my medical oxygen? These are all questions that any medical oxygen user should be asking when deciding between a portable oxygen concentrator and an oxygen tank. It’s a decision that will affect one’s lifestyle moving forward.

In the end, it’s about deciding what offers the best chance for better breathing.

What are the types of oxygen breathing devices?

Each device is connected to the oxygen supply with tubing. The tubing should be long enough to let you move around your house. You may need a humidifier to moisten the oxygen. This may prevent dryness in your nose, mouth, and throat. Ask your caregiver if you need a humidifier, and how to attach it to your oxygen supply.

  •  A nasal cannula  is a 2-pronged plastic tube that fits inside your nostrils. Place one prong in each nostril. Loop the tubing around your ears, or attach it to your eyeglasses to keep it in place. Make sure your cannula fits you well and is comfortable.

  •  oxygen mask is attached to a plastic tube and covers your nose and mouth. It is usually held in place by an elastic strap that wraps around the back of your head. You can use an oxygen mask if you need a lot of oxygen. Your caregiver may tell you to use a nasal cannula during the day, and a  mask at night. A mask may help if your nose is dry or stuffy.



  • Transtracheal oxygen is given through a small, flexible catheter inserted into an opening in your trachea (windpipe). A necklace holds the catheter in place.

<a href="">Invacare Xpo2 Portable Oxygen Concentrator & Accessories - XPO160</a><IMG border=0 width=1 height=1 src="" >


How do I use oxygen safely?

<a href="">Invacare Platinum 10 Oxygen Concentrator - IRC10LX</a><IMG border=0 width=1 height=1 src="" >

  • Do not use oxygen around heat or flame. Compressed oxygen can catch on fire. Keep the oxygen container 5 feet away from open flames or heaters, such as candles or hot water heaters. Do not use anything flammable, such as cleaning fluids, gasoline, or aerosol sprays near your oxygen. Keep a fire extinguisher and a phone close by in case of a fire. Tell your fire department that you have oxygen in your home if you need to call them for help.
  • Do not smoke while you are using oxygen. Do not let anyone smoke around you.

<a href="">Invacare Xpo2 Portable Oxygen Concentrator & Accessories - XPO160</a><IMG border=0 width=1 height=1 src="" >

  • Do not change the flow of your oxygen unless your caregiver tells you to. Turn your oxygen container or concentrator off when you are not using your oxygen.
  • Do not drink alcohol or take sedatives while you use oxygen. These may slow your breathing.
  • Put signs on all the doors of your house to let visitors and emergency workers know that oxygen is in use. Tell your electric company that you have electrical medical equipment. They will put you on a priority list to fix your power quickly if it goes out.
  • Follow instructions for use and maintenance of your oxygen equipment. <a href="">Invacare Xpo2 Portable Oxygen Concentrator & Accessories - XPO160</a><IMG border=0 width=1 height=1 src="" >Keep oxygen containers secured in an upright position. Oxygen containers may become damaged if they fall over. An oxygen container may cause serious injury if it breaks.


How do I clean my oxygen supplies?

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  • Wash or replace equipment parts as directed. Wash your nasal prongs with soap and water twice a week. Replace your nasal prongs every 2 weeks. Replace your tubing every 2 months, or when it becomes stiff. Change the tubing if moisture appears on the inside of the tube. Moisture can make bacteria grow, and cause infections.  Change the cannula and tubing after you have a cold or the flu.
  • Ask your caregiver how to clean your oxygen mask or transtracheal catheter. Replace the oxygen mask every 2 weeks.
  • Disinfect the buttons and outside of your oxygen concentrator. Clean your air filter at least once a week with soap and water. Let it air dry. Replace the filter at least once a week. Ask your oxygen supply company to service your concentrator at least once a year. Ask your caregiver if you have any questions about how to clean the air filter.
  • Wash your humidifier bottle with soap and warm water between each refill. Rinse and air dry the bottle before you refill it with distilled water. Do not use tap water. Disinfect the outside of the bottle and cap once the inside of the bottle has been washed.


What are some general tips for oxygen use?


  • Keep a backup oxygen supply in case of an emergency. Always keep a backup oxygen tank that does not run on electricity in case there is a power failure. Oxygen may leak out of your container. Ask your caregiver if your supply has a tool to reduce wasted oxygen.
  • Use gauze or water-based lubricants to help soothe your skin. Oxygen may dry out your skin, mouth, or throat. Place gauze on top of your ears or under the tubing on your cheeks if they become sore. Use water-based lubricants on your lips and nostrils if they become dry or sore. Do not use oil-based lubricants. They may be flammable.
  • Order new oxygen well before your current supply runs out. Your oxygen company may not deliver on holidays. Ask your caregiver for help planning your oxygen needs when you travel.
  • Keep the phone number of your oxygen supply company handy. Place it in an area that you see every day, such as on your fridge. Contact them if you have any problems with your supplies.


When should I contact my caregiver?


Contact your caregiver if:

  • The oxygen tubes create sores on your skin, or make you bleed.
  • You have trouble sleeping because you cannot breathe well.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


When should I seek immediate care?


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Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have a headache, your heart is beating fast, and you are shaking.
  • Your breathing is shallow or slow, or more difficult than usual for you.
  • Your breathing becomes fast, or it hurts to inhale.
  • You have sudden chest pain.
  • You feel anxious or cannot sit still.
  • Your fingernails or lips turn blue.
  • You are tired, confused, cannot think clearly, or faint.


If you need to use oxygen at home, and are looking for portable oxygen for a loved one, I recommend  Medical Supply Depot.  They have been in business since 2005, and are trusted with the accounts of some of the best-known hospitals in the US.   They offer a wide variety of affordably priced oxygen equipment, and other home medical equipment.


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