What is a humidifier?
A humidifier is a device that increases indoor air humidity. In some places, especially during cold months, humidifiers are almost essential to avoid health and other related issues caused by too dry indoor air. Humidifiers come in many different sizes from portable point-of-use single room humidifiers to whole-house humidifiers that provide humidity to the entire house and are often connected to a home’s HVAC system. They are generally divided in two different types: cool mist humidifiers and warm mist humidifiers.
What type of humidifier should i get?
When acquiring a humidifier for your home you need to first assess your specific needs and choose a humidifier based on those needs. Do you need to humidify your whole house, what is your budget, do you have small children who can hurt themselves with the warm mist humidifier. These are all questions you need to be asking yourself when choosing the right one. There are many different types to choose from. Most common ones are vaporizers, evaporators, impellers and ultrasonic humidifiers. What ever type you go for, keeping the humidifiers properly cleaned is a priority. Always adhere to manufacturer guidelines and maintain your unit properly.
Types of humidifiers:
Also known as warm mist humidifiers, produce mist by boiling water. The boiling process kills any bacteria in the water so they are better for your health because they don’t spread bacteria around with the steam. Some warm mist humidifiers also make it possible to add a medicated inhalant to the steam vapor which can be a big thing depending on your situation and symptoms caused by the dry air. Vaporizers tend to be quiet compared to cool mist humidifiers which is a plus, but they do consume more energy because of the energy requirements of the heating process. Warm mist humidifiers are more comfortable to use in cold climates. Another thing to consider with vaporizers is safety. Especially around small children the boiling hot water can be a risk factor if not properly monitored.
- Can be healthier
- Well suited for cold weather
- Higher energy cost
- Heat may be a safety issue
A very good example of a steam humidifiers found on Amazon is the Vornado Element Steam Humidifer. It comes with excellent customer reviews and many essential features.
- 5 year warranty!
- Covers an area up to 1000 sq.
- Auto shut-off
- Digital display
- 3 different stem settings (cool/warm/hot)
- Covered heat element and other safety features
- Aromatherapy ready with a removable essential oils cup
Evaporators are self regulating in a way. The system uses a sheet of paper or cloth or something similar to draw water from the tank. A fan then aids in evaporating the water from the sheet into the air. It’s harder to evaporate water from the wick when the relative humidity of the air is higher and that is why they release more when the air is dry and less when the humidity levels are higher. Evaporation removes heat from the air and as a result the air will be cooler when it comes out of the humidifier than when it went in. That makes evaporators cool mist humidifiers. The wick should be replaced or cleaned regularly, depending on the model, to avoid bacterial build-up because impurities from the water are left behind in the filter.
- A bit noisier due to the fan
One of the best selling evaporative humidifiers on Amazon is the Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier. Definitely a good option to consider.
- Quieter than many other evaporative models
- Dishwasher safe parts
- 3 year limited warranty
Impellers don’t require filters or fans. They work by flinging water at a diffuser which then breaks the water into fine droplets that can be disbursed into the air. You should use water low in minerals, preferably distilled water with impellers to avoid depositing mineral impurities from the water to surfaces around the device. These can be seen as a kind of dust.
- Low energy cost
- Doesn’t filter out any impurities from the water
- Need to clean the tank often
They come as both warm and cool mist version and they disperse water into the air with the help of high frequency vibrations. Some high-end ultrasonic units have antibacterial features built in and a cartridge that filters minerals out of the water. You should use distilled water with units without the mineral filter feature. Ultrasonic humidifiers usually have a lower energy cost than some other models and are silent.
- Low energy cost
- Depending on the model might require distilled water
One of the best new ultrasonic humidifiers on Amazon is the TaoTronics Warm&Cool Mist Humidifier. It comes with all the best features.
- Easy to fill and clean
- Individualized mist settings
- Built-in permanent filter. No white dust!
- Built-in hygrometer to auto detect environment humidity
If you need some more information on the ideal home humidity level and how it affects your home and your health..