It is also extremely important for most people to use a humidifier, especially in the winter. I prefer a hot mist vaporizer, as long as there isn't any reason not to use one, such as someone around who might get burned. It should preferably be placed at your bedside every night, to thin out the mucus. Short of a vaporizer, breathing in steam on a regular basis by boiling water can be used but is not as satisfactory. We use a special apparatus in the office called a Rhinotherm. This machine blows out a heated mist through a nozzle which patients can then breathe in their nose. Many patients find it helpful. It is expensive though and therefore not well suited for home use. Items such as a personal steamer may be helpful. In patients who are allergic, we like to keep the humidity less than 50 % to prevent mold and dust mite growth. ( See the allergy section for more information.) You can obtain a humidity gauge from a hardware store.
Vaporizers need to be cleaned on a regular basis, to prevent mold accumulation. Hot mist vaporizers are typically less of a problem than cool mist, since the water is boiled before it comes out of the vaporizer.