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Why buy a humidifer? Well, when you shut the windows and turn the heat on, you start to reduce the humidity in your home from the optimal level of 40-50 percent down to 20 percent. Dry air deprives your lungs and respiratory system of moisture, and makes you susceptible to illness and the common cold. Humidifiers help to combat this, moisturizing air and creating a healthier, more comfortable environment. Bionaire® Humidifiers offer Microban® Antimicrobial Product Protection-which is built into the humidifier to inhibit the growth of odour causing bacteria, mold and mildew that can affect key humidifier parts. It helps the humidifier stay cleaner between cleanings. You could also add essential oils such as eucalyptus which would help you breathe much easier if you had a bad cold. I purchased this humidifier and have found no problems with the effectiveness of the product. I would say it is very good at what it does. However the cleaning fluid and replacement filters are only available via the manufacturer (they are not for sale anywhere on the internet or in the shops) and at £9.99 for the cleaning fluid and £7.99 for the filter, you can pay for this item again within the first 12 months of owning it. The manufacturer recommends that you change the filter every 2-3 months and the cleaning fluid provided only lasted 5 months, so changing the filter every 3 months would cost you over £30 in a year. It is also fiddly to clean as you have to take the whole thing apart to clean it properly. Cleaning has to be done every week / fortnight depending on how often you use the product. It also runs very quietly.