When the temperatures outside fall and you turn up the heat, the humidity levels inside your home will quickly drop from comfortable to not-so-comfortable. The right clean humidifier can help prevent or relieve cases of dry skin.
While this is true, excessive moisture is not a good thing, either. Over humidification can promote the growth of bacteria, dust mites, and mold. It is important to find the right balance.
The ideal humidity level for a home is between 30% and 50%. In colder locations, during the heating season, it should range between 30% and 40% to help prevent window condensation.
However, with so many models available, how can you choose the right humidifier for your home? Keep reading to learn more about the different humidifiers available and find advice on how to choose one that is right for the size of your room.
Types of Clean Humidifiers
You can find console (floor model) and tabletop humidifiers in cool mist, warm mist, and dual mist options. The dual mist humidifiers can produce both warm and cool mist.
Learn more about each of these here.
Cool Mist Humidifiers
Most humidifiers are cool mist. If you have a cold, cool mist humidifiers can help to shrink swelling in your nasal passages, which makes it easier to breathe.
There are two main types of cool mist humidifiers that are most desirable. These include ultrasonic humidifiers and evaporative humidifiers.
An evaporative model uses a fan, which blows the air through a wet wick. As the air cools it picks up moisture from the wick.
With ultrasonic humidifiers, the device uses a nebulizer. This is a small vibrating diaphragm, which is what creates the cool mist. Since there is no fan, most ultrasonic methods operate more quietly than others.
While warm and cool mist humidifiers are the most common options, there are several others to consider, too. Learn more about all the options here.
Warm Mist Humidifiers
A warm mist humidifier is also called a steam vaporizer. This is usually the most affordable option.
This type of humidifier users a heating element to boil the water in the tank and create the warm mist. While this is beneficial, it also means they will use more energy than the cool mist models.
While this is true, when temperatures drop, it may be more appealing to have a warm mist humidifier running, than the cool mist one. While this is true, warm mist models will make breaking more difficult, so you should not try to use them for relieving cold symptoms.
This type of cool mist humidifier will add humidity to your room and help to clean the air. Water, along with rotating discs in the humidifier, will retain and remove any airborne impurities. This type of humidifier can remove large pollen and dust particles all while returning properly humidified and clean air to the room where it is being used.
An air washer only produces cool mist. While this is true, it is a robust style humidifier that is extremely reliable and able to cover a much larger area than the other options listed here. An air washer will not have any issues with mineral dust, but they will require regular maintenance, so keep this mind.
You should also remember that an air washer can remove larger allergen particles out of the air only. They will not remove the sub-micron particles that can penetrate your lungs.
This item uses a heating element in the humidifier to heat the water before sending it into the air. An advantage of this humidifier is that by heating the water in the tank, organic compounds and bacteria are destroyed.
Warm vs. Cool Mist Humidifier
You have the important decision of choosing if you need a warm or cool mist humidifier. To do this, consider the pros and cons of these devices.
Benefits of cool mist humidifiers include:
- They are affordable
- Easy to maintain and operate
- Can humidify larger rooms or areas
These benefits make them appealing, but it is important to know what the cons of these are, too. Some of the cons of cool mist humidifiers include:
- A bit louder than the warm mist units because of the fan
- The water evaporation rate is directly related to the level of humidity in the room
With these devices, as the humidity in the room goes up, the rate that the water evaporates inside the unit will be decreased.
There are a few benefits offered by the warm mist humidifiers that may make them a more appealing option. Some of these benefits include:
- Quieter when turned on
- Mist evaporates faster in the air
- Create more comfortable spaces when it is cold outside
- Require much less cleaning and maintenance
- No limit to the humidity you can add to the air
If you want to increase humidity levels in the home over 45%, this humidifier is the best option.
What Humidifier is Right for the Size of Your Room?
To figure out the right humidifier size for your home or room, you should measure the square footage first of the room it will be used in. For example, there are personal humidifiers that can be used for spaces of 25 square feet, and larger humidifiers that can be sued for rooms of 1,000 square feet or more.
For small to medium-sized rooms, a tabletop humidifier is the most affordable option. The only downside is that their small tanks must be refilled often.
For bigger spaces, a console model is a better option because they can generate much more moist air. Also, these have larger water tanks, which means fewer refills are necessary. However, due to the size and weight when they are full, it is often difficult to move them from one location to another.
Shopping for a Humidifier: What to Consider
When you are ready to buy a humidifier, you may find all the options somewhat overwhelming. While this is true, there are a few tips that can help.
Consider Where the Humidifier Will Go
You may want to avoid having to do all the work of figuring out what humidifier is right for your room and just choose the largest one available. This is not a smart move.
If you do this, you may wind up with too much moisture in the air. As mentioned above, this can result in the growth of mold and dust mites. It may also trigger allergic reactions. It is a good idea to choose a humidifier that offers the moisture output needed.
Consider How Easy the Humidifier Is to Use
It is important to choose a humidifier that is easy to move. This is true, regardless of if it is a floor or a tabletop model.
If you choose an evaporative humidifier, make sure the wick is simple and economical to replace. How often you must replace the wick varies according to the model and how much you use the humidifier.
It is also smart to look for a humidifier that features user-friendly controls along with clearly visible displays of the humidity levels and the settings.
Many humidifiers have a humidistat that will shut the unit off when it reaches a certain humidity level. While most humidifiers are designed to work in larger rooms, there are some that will be enough for smaller spaces.
If you choose a humidifier that does not have a humidistat, then consider buying a hygrometer. These are relatively inexpensive and can effectively measure and monitor the humidity levels in your room.
How Much Cleaning is Needed for the Humidifier?
Some humidifiers are easier to clean than others. It’s a good idea to look into what you must do to clean a humidifier before you purchase it.
In most cases, you must drain any remaining water, rinse the reservoir, and dry the humidifier each day. It’s also a good idea to follow the instructions from the manufacturer.
Remember, bacteria are going to grow in a moist environment. This means you must clean and dry the unit daily to keep this from happening. If you fail to do this, the humidifier may release bacteria from the standing water into the air.
If this happens, you may begin to experience flu-like symptoms. This is especially true for people who suffer from allergies or asthma. This makes it clear why cleaning your humidifier is so important.
Buying a Humidifier: Keep This in Mind
A home humidifier is typically going to cover a much smaller area than what the manufacturer has stated. What this means is that you need to purchase a bigger humidifier than what you think you need.
While all humidifiers are going to add moisture to the air, you may not be able to reach the humidity level desired (i.e., 30% to 40%) if you choose a properly sized unit. There are many factors that are going to affect the humidity levels you can reach.
If you are using the humidifier for a certain room and you leave the door open, you may discover the moisture being added to the air moves to other parts of the house. How fast it moves a room will depend on how dry other areas of your home are.
The reason for this is because the air is always trying to equalize itself. It will circulate from higher areas of vapor pressure (i.e., high humidity) to lower vapor pressure (lower humidity levels). What this means is that if the adjoining rooms have humidity levels that are higher, more of the moisture will remain in the room.
However, if other parts of the house are dry, more of the moisture being provided by the humidifier is going to leave the room to help equalize the humidity in the rest of your home. Leaving the door closed or open will have a significant impact on the leaves you are able to achieve and maintain.
The Right Humidifier for Your Needs
Finding the right humidifier may seem challenging, but it does not have to be. There is one option that stands out from the rest – the Ultrasonic humidifier. With this system in place, you can easily transform your indoor space into a healthy and comfortable environment thanks to the cool mist produced.
There are many benefits offered by this unit. It does not require a filter, is sleek, economical, and can work in rooms that are up to 500 square feet big. This is much larger than what the average humidifier can handle.
This humidifier is recommended by doctors and parents and it can help combat issues like airborne viruses (which is especially important now with the COVID-19 virus), along with bacteria, dry skin, insomnia, and it may even help to improve your respiratory function.
Some people choose to use their humidifiers for aromatherapy, as well, by adding essential oils into the tank. That being said, a humidifier is not an essential oil diffuser, so you should check manufacturer instructions before doing so.
Finding the Right Humidifier: Now You Know
As you can see, there are an array of factors to consider when choosing a clean humidifier. Be sure to keep the information here in mind to find a humidifier that will fit your needs and provide you with the desired benefits.
If you are ready to make a purchase, but want more information, feel free to contact us. Our team can help provide you with the information and resources you need to choose the humidifier that best suits your home’s and family’s needs.
We also have an array of other products that can help to make your home healthier and more comfortable. Be sure to browse our website to learn about the other products we have to offer.