Make your home cooler, healthier, and pleasant smelling with these handy gizmos By Sylvia Ong
Whether a family member has sinus issues, asthma, eczema, or just can’t stand the smell of damp laundry, there are plenty of household gadgets that can remedy the situation. Here are some suggestions that are sure to help.
Humidifiers release moisture to combat dry air which can be caused by turning on the air-conditioner. They help to relieve itchy skin, blocked sinuses, sore throats and a dry mouth due to a lack of saliva. “If you spend most of your time in an air-conditioned space, a humidifier is a fair option to restore some of the moisture in the air and alleviate any ailments induced by the cold and dry air,” says Dr Ong Kian Chung, a respiratory specialist from Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
“Do empty, clean and air-dry the humidifier every time, to prevent mould and bacteria growth in the machine,” reminds Dr Ong.
The OSIM uMist Dream puffs out extremely fine mist for eight hours to hydrate your eyes, skin, throat and nasal passages as you sleep in an air-conditioned room. At $99.90, from OSIM outlets.
The Novita Humidifier NH800 lets you add in essential oil blend and enjoy aromatherapy as it replenishes the moisture in the air. At $199, from major electronic stores.
Humid air holds on to heat more stubbornly than dry air, so a dehumidifier can help cool down the temperature in your home – plus remove musty smells from damp laundry. But more importantly, a dehumidifier does present health benefits even though it does not remove pollutants like volatile organic compounds and particulate matter.
“Having a dehumidifier helps reduce mould and bacteria concentration levels that can trigger allergic reactions like sneezing, running or stuffy nose or a cough,” says Dr Ong, “These can also trigger an attack for those suffering from asthma, or in worst case scenario, cause lung tissues to become inflamed.”
The Novita LaundryFresh Dehumidifier ND319 doubles up as a laundry drying device to eliminate unpleasant odour from the air or garment and dry them at the same time. It also releases negative ions to break down germs in the air. At $599, from major department stores.
The EuropAce 3-In-1 Dehumidifier 12L EDH 3121S comes with air purifier and laundry modes. It has a 2.5 L water tank capacity and an LCD screen to reflect real-time humidity levels in your home. At $399, from major department stores.
In Singapore, up to 36 species of moulds have been found in homes. These can trigger rhinitis and cause asthma. Purifiers clean air by passing it through a series of filters before circulating it again. They may help people with asthma and allergies by reducing airborne bacteria and capturing dirt. The World Health Organization has linked indoor air pollution to stroke and acute lower respiratory infections.
“I’ve noticed an increase in the number of patients, young and old, coming into my clinic with chronic and acute respiratory issues in recent years, even in non-haze seasons. Contrary to popular belief, it does not take conspicuous air pollution such as haze to trigger allergic reponses,” says Dr Ong.
Dr Ong shares that frequent or persistent allergic responses signal that there could be an on-going problem with the home environment. “Indoor pollutants are as harmful as haze, and they include bacteria, mould, volatile organic compounds and fine particulate matter that can come from the kitchen, bed mattresses, and bathroom,” he says.
The Dyson Pure Cool Link boasts a 360 deg Glass HEPA filter to trap up to 99.95 percent of harmful ultrafine particles as small as 0.1 microns including tobacco smoke. At $1,099, from major electronic stores.
The Hitachi Air Purifier EPA9000 comes with a “Skin Moisturizing Mode” that raises the room humidity to about 60 percent so you wake up to soft, supple skin while it wipes out 99 per cent of particles down to the size of 0.1 microns. At $1,199, from major electronic stores.
The BioCair BC-65 releases fine, dry mist from super oxidised water to destroy up to 99.999 percent of airborne pathogens such as HFMD, within 60 seconds. Turn it on for an hour a day to disinfect the kids’ bedroom. At 193, from Isetan.
The Novita PuriClean Air Purifier NAP610 releases negative ions to rid airborne virus, mould and allergens. It also uses up to 50 percent less energy and has a longer life expectancy. At $599, from major department stores.
The Philips Air Purifier 3000 Series AC3256/30 removes irritants like pollen and pet hair in the air. Its new Aerasense technology shows up the real time PMI reading on a LED display. At $799, from major electronic stores.