Humidifiers: Benefits, Uses, And Types
If you’re like most people, you probably didn’t give much thought to your home’s humidity levels until you started experiencing problems like dry skin, sinus congestion, and bloody noses. But believe it or not, the right humidity level is crucial for both your comfort and your health.
Luckily, adding a humidifier to your home is an easy way to ensure you’re getting the right amount of moisture in the air. In this blog post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about humidifiers so that you can choose the right one for your needs.
What is a humidifier?
A humidifier is an appliance that adds moisture to the air. The benefits of adding humidity to the air in your home are many, including relief from dry skin and sinus congestion reduction, along with static electricity in winter months.
Humidifier technology has advanced over the years to include features like automatic timers, sleep modes, and remote controls. These advanced features allow you to create a more comfortable environment without lifting a finger.
Benefits of Using A humidifier
As mentioned above, adding humidity to the air in your home can be beneficial for many reasons. Here is a look at some of the most common benefits:
Healthier skin and sinuses
Dry skin is unpleasant, but it’s also unhealthy. Dry skin can lead to uncomfortable rashes or even more severe conditions like eczema. The right humidity level can reduce dry skin and help you avoid these problems. It can also prevent dry sinuses, a disease that causes pain, discomfort, and fatigue in sufferers.
However, many people experience the opposite problem when using humidifiers: increased mucus production. If you have seriously congested sinuses, to begin with, you might actually want to decrease the humidity in your home rather than increase it.
Static electricity reduction
As anyone who has experienced a wintertime static shock knows, the air tends to be very dry and statically charged during the winter months.
This can lead to shocks and even damage to your sensitive electronic equipment. A humidifier helps reduce this problem by adding much-needed moisture to the air, reducing the likelihood of shock formation.
A humidity level that is too high or too low can lead to discomfort in your home. For example, if your home is kept too dry during winter, you may experience itchy skin and bloody noses due to dryness in the airways.
Conversely, if your home is kept too humid during summer, you may experience difficulty breathing due to excess moisture in the air.
When the humidity level in your home is just right, you’ll enjoy healthy skin and sinuses while being comfortable enough to sleep soundly at night.
Drier air requires your furnace to work harder to maintain the right temperature. While humid air doesn’t necessarily feel warmer, it makes your home less drafty and lowers your heating bill. You can use a 50 pints humidifier for lesser energy consumption.
Surface damage prevention
Many surfaces in your home are susceptible to moisture damage, including wood furniture, hardwood floors, and even some building materials like drywall. Too much moisture can lead to warping, buckling, peeling, and cracking on these surfaces.
Humidifiers help protect your home’s furnishings by adding moisture back into the air after it has evaporated off of flat surfaces like wood table tops. This helps maintain a consistent relative humidity which prevents furniture from being damaged during dry winter months.
Types of Humidifiers
Humidifiers are available in a variety of styles to suit every home. Whether you have multiple bedrooms or just one, there are humidifiers for your space.
We’ll get into the different types of humidifiers below so that you can find the best one for your needs.
Cool mist humidifier
This is the most common type of evaporative humidifier. The humidified air passes over a wick soaked in water and then blown into your home as a cool mist. Such humidifiers are suitable for people suffering from allergies or asthma.
Pros of Cool mist humidifiers
- Humidifies quickly
- It doesn’t require a filter
- Low maintenance required
- Extended run time, especially with large tanks
Cons of Cool mist humidifiers
- The noise the fan takes some getting used to.
- Smaller capacity tanks cause need to refill more often.
Warm mist humidifier
As you might imagine, warm mist humidifiers heat water to make your home’s humidity levels more comfortable for you. They use electricity to heat the water and emit steam into your room.
Pros of Warm mist humidifiers
- Humidifies faster than cool mist humidifiers
- The warm mist feels good for people with cold symptoms, like cold and flu symptoms.
- The large tank lasts longer than the cool mist counterpart.
- It is designed to be safer around children because it heats up rather than just blowing air around.
Cons of Warm mist humidifiers
- The water heats up to hot temperatures, sometimes as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This can cause accidental burns if the humidifier is not correctly maintained.
- The tank must be refilled often.
This style of humidifier produces a cool mist by vibrating water into vapor form. Such units are suitable for families with children and pets, as they do not emit any hot air or steam.
Moreover, ultrasonic humidifiers have a built-in auto shut-off feature that detects empty water tank. It will shut down automatically to prevent damage to the motor.
Pros of Ultrasonic humidifiers
- No hot mist to burn or scald anyone near it.
- Whisper-quiet operation
- Doesn’t emit any white dust into the air like cool mist humidifiers.
- Capable of humidifying the air in much larger spaces than room humidifiers.
- The advanced technology produces a consistent flow of cool mist into your home’s air.
- It puts out a mist that is as much as 30% more effective than that of other humidifiers.
- Has a longer run time than warm mist humidifiers.
Cons of Ultrasonic humidifiers
- Most models have a smaller capacity than other styles of humidifiers.
- Requires more maintenance, such as filling the tank more often.
- Requires regular cleaning to ensure it does not become a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
These humidifiers work by blowing air through a wick. The air is cooled when it makes contact with the wick but evaporates quickly.
This style of humidifier typically does not require a filter or demineralization cartridges. You may need to clean your evaporative humidifier every few days, depending on the size of your unit and the humidity level in your home.
Pros of Evaporative humidifiers
- Provides a consistent cool mist, which some people prefer.
- You can put it anywhere because it doesn’t need to be near an electrical outlet.
- Unlike cool mist humidifiers, most models do not require a filter or demineralization cartridges.
- It does not require as much maintenance as cool or warm mist humidifiers, but some people do find the need to clean it fairly often.
- It works well in smaller rooms and spaces.
Cons of Evaporative humidifiers
- It takes the longest to produce humidity because it runs so long.
- Some models are not effective in extremely cold or dry climates.
- It requires electricity, unlike cool mist humidifiers.
- Much more expensive to purchase than the cool or warm mist variety.
- It is much larger than cool or warm mist humidifiers, so it takes up more space.
Things to consider while buying a humidifier
Purchasing a humidifier can be an overwhelming process with so many different kinds and styles. To keep it easy, you should consider the following factors:
Number of rooms you need to humidify
Purchasing a small, personal humidifier may be fine for a bedroom or small home office. Families with multiple bedrooms will want to opt for larger units with high moisture output capabilities.
Before purchasing a humidifier, determine how often you will have to fill up the water tank. If it holds a large capacity of up to 2 gallons, then you won’t have to refill as often.
How loud is the unit?
Larger units tend to be louder because they move more significant amounts of air through them. If sound can be an issue in your home, choose an ultrasonic humidifier or purchase a unit with multiple speeds.
How much maintenance is required?
Some humidifiers require regular refilling and cleaning, while others do not. If you don’t want to spend too much time maintaining your unit, choose one that does not need to be cleaned as often or requires little to no filter replacement.
What level of humidity is best for you?
If your home is dry, opt for a humidifier that offers multiple humidity levels. You can also invest in an ionizer or purifier.
You probably don’t want a warm mist humidifier during the colder months. On the other hand, if it gets too hot in your home during the summer months, a cool or ultrasonic humidifier may come in handy to keep you from feeling so stuffy and sweaty.
What kind of coverage do you need?
If your bedroom or home office is on the smaller side, a unit with low moisture output may suffice. If you want to humidify a larger area like an entire living room, consider opting for a unit with higher humidity output and several settings and speeds.
Buying a humidifier can be a really tricky task since there are hundreds of choices available in the market. Moreover, there are various types of humidifiers for different purposes, and finding one that suits your needs can be difficult.
Therefore, we penned down an illustrative guide on humidifiers, that’ll help people to understand what to look for while buying one for themselves.
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