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Thread: How optimizing indoor humidity can help stop the spread of Covid and flu

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    How optimizing indoor humidity can help stop the spread of Covid and flu

    Relatively high indoor humidity is bad for viruses like COVID and the flu.

    How optimizing indoor humidity can help stop the spread of Covid and flu

    ***

    As everyone knows, sicknesses like flu are seasonal in countries with temperate climates such as the United States: Illness peaks in winter and nearly disappears in summer. Over the years, the explanations for why this is so have included theories about the virus-killing powers of sunlight, immune-boosting doses of vitamin D in summer and, during the school year, the many exposures to infections in the classroom. But one of the factors that is looking to be increasingly important is low indoor relative humidity.


    In winter, we heat our homes. As air warms, it still contains the same amount of water as before, but, because warmer air can hold more water, it feels drier and the relative humidity is lower. If the outside air is zero degrees Celsius, for example, with a relative humidity of around 60 percent (normal for winters in the northern US), heating that air to 20 degrees C would send the relative humidity down to 20 percent. That will feel uncomfortable — most people prefer a relative humidity of around 30 percent to 60 percent. But more importantly, there’s increasing evidence that humidity at or above 40 percent is healthier, both because it helps the body to fight off infection and because it limits viral transmission.


    Studies have shown that increasing the relative humidity is good for our nasal passages, for example, helping them to build up mucus to defend us against agents of disease. Low humidity, on the other hand, has been found to encourage the evaporation of large, virus-containing droplets that are spewed out when we speak. This evaporation leads to smaller and more insidious droplets — smaller droplets are lighter and can stay aloft for longer, travel further through the air, and penetrate deeper into the lungs. Viruses have also been found to decay faster at higher humidity. As the evidence for these effects has mounted, some have called for us to harness their power against illness: In 2020, for example, researchers wrote a piece in the Washington Post encouraging people to keep indoor relative humidity above 40 percent in the fight against Covid-19.
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    Mini Me's Avatar Senior Member
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    I recently bought a 'ultrasonic humidifier" It is ultra sonic because it puts out a fine mist like a fog.I suffer from chronic DRY MOUTH, along with my emphsema. The humidity here has been very low like 20-25% even at night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mini Me View Post
    I recently bought a 'ultrasonic humidifier" It is ultra sonic because it puts out a fine mist like a fog.I suffer from chronic DRY MOUTH, along with my emphsema. The humidity here has been very low like 20-25% even at night.
    Hope it helps.

    Ultrasonic humidifier that puts out a fine mist sounds like a humidifier. I hope you don't pay extra for the marketing flare.
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    Cool mist humidifiers, such as the ultrasonic, can easily grow mold and bacteria in the reservoir, and disperse it into the air of your home. They require the use of distilled water, and you must be diligent about keeping them clean.

    I use Honeywell warm mist humidifiers for this reason. They have a heating element which kills germs and releases the water in the form of steam. I used to have an evaporative humidifier, which is also a cool mist design. It had a UV light in the reservoir to kill mold and bacteria, but keeping it clean was a hassle.
    Never Again!

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    DYI...

    5. Use Ice To Cool The Room Further

    Similar to the wet towel trick, ice is another expert-approved way to cool your room effectively.
    To do so, Beatrice explains that you should place a bowl of ice in front of your fan. 'The air will circulate through the ice, and as it does, it will pick up the cold temperature of the ice,' she says. This, in turn, will cool your space. 'Additionally, the evaporating water from the melted ice will help to add humidity to the air, which can also help to cool things down.'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mini Me View Post
    I recently bought a 'ultrasonic humidifier" It is ultra sonic because it puts out a fine mist like a fog.I suffer from chronic DRY MOUTH, along with my emphsema. The humidity here has been very low like 20-25% even at night.
    Humidity here is usually pushing 60%. Even on cooler days you feel uncomfortable and hot late on the afternoon when humidity ramps up
    the difference between my
    delusions of granduer and yours is that mine arent delusions

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