Your Ultimate Guide In Choosing A Humidifier For Your Home
Home Humidifier System
Your Ultimate Guide in Choosing a Humidifier for Your Home
What is a humidifier?
A humidifier is a staple home appliance especially during the winter season where the air temperature outside drops significantly. The reduction in temperature results to dry air, which inevitably causes dry nasal passages as well. Humidifiers act to increase the water vapor in the atmosphere, thus keeping the circulating air moist at certain levels.
Why do you need a humidifier?
There are many advantages of using humidifiers at home. Most families use it to relieve congested and stuffy noses or soothe dry and itchy skin. Furthermore, these devices keep our nasal passages moist, which results in faster healing of allergies or cold. A well-lubricated sinus also prevents nosebleeds and alleviates snoring. Additionally, it also keeps the moisture in our lips, which prevents cracking. Air moisture also protects wood furniture from unnecessary cracking or warping. With all these benefits, the use of humidifiers indeed has grown popular especially in countries with extreme winters.
How to choose the best humidifier for your home?
While having a humidifier at home can be helpful in many ways, it is essential to consider several things before buying one. There are literally hundreds of humidifiers available in the market, and choosing the best one for your home can be confusing. Below is a guide on how to find the best humidifier.
Know the types of humidifiers
There are two main types of humidifiers - warm mist and cool mist. Both of them basically function the same, which is to add moisture to the circulating air. The primary difference between the two is the process they use to moisten the air.
Warm mist humidifiers use a heating process to boil the water and then emit the steam into the air. This results in a warm, comfortable, and moist air in the room. In general, warm mist humidifiers are considered healthier because the process of producing the mist essentially kills waterborne bacteria. This prevents them from being released into the circulating air. Also, warm mist types do not produce as much noise as their cool mist counterpart because they do not have an internal fan. They are also sometimes referred to as vaporizers, as they release vapor from the boiling water.
However, warm mist humidifiers typically are not recommended for humidifying large areas. They are also more tasking to clean, as mineral deposits can be formed during the boiling process. Also, these types are generally unsafe for rooms with children as they can get really hot and the boiling water may spill.
Cool mist humidifier, on the other hand, produces invisible mist either via evaporative or ultrasonic technology. Evaporative humidifiers use an internal fan to release air over a moist wick. The ultrasonic type, in contrary, uses a vibrating nebulizer to create a cool mist that is released into the air. Most people prefer cool mist humidifiers because they can work even with large areas. These types also generally use lesser energy. Evaporative humidifiers, in particular, produce a lot of noise when in use because of the presence of the fan. Thus, they are typically not recommended for use in bedrooms or nursery. Ultrasonic humidifiers, however, are considered as the quietest type, thus, it is usually used in bedrooms. Cool mist humidifiers also release a slightly cooler steam than warm mist models.
Consider the size
When choosing a humidifier for your home, consider the size of both the humidifier and the area you will
use it in. It is common that these devices cover a smaller area than what is stated by the manufacturer, thus, it is always safer to buy a humidifier that is larger than what you need.
A small humidifier can effectively work in rooms up to 300 square feet, while medium-sized ones are recommended for areas up to 499 square feet. Normally, small and medium-sized humidifiers are portable and can be conveniently placed on tabletops. One downside is that they also have smaller tanks, thus requiring frequent refills. Console models, which are larger than tabletop models, can be used in rooms up to 999 square feet. For areas more than 1000 square feet, extra large ultrasonic console models are recommended.
Generally, humidifiers require very little maintenance. Maintenance procedures for warm mist humidifiers normally include regular cleaning of the water tank to make sure that bacteria and molds are not settling inside the device. When bacteria are present in the water tank, it can be released to the circulating air, resulting in pollution. Misting outlets must also be checked frequently for any blockage. For evaporative cool mist types, the wick filter must regularly be replaced to ensure the emission of clean and moist air to the environment.
Overall, whichever type of humidifier you have, you must clean it regularly to prevent the build-up of bacteria. Consumer Reports did a testing on 34 different types of humidifiers, including evaporative, ultrasonic, and vaporizer. The results revealed that after three days of continuous use, all models except the evaporative type did emit bacteria in the air. Having said this, the evaporative models also showed a very minimal amount of bacterial build up inside the device.
The testing affirms that humidifiers do promote settling of bacteria. While some do not necessarily release these bacteria to the air we breathe, it is still essential to keep your humidifiers clean all the time. Surprisingly, many people admit to not cleaning their units every day, and some even report to cleaning theirs only once or twice a month.
Upon considering the type, size, and maintenance requirement of a humidifier model, you must also look at its price. The best humidifier for your home is the one that can give you the most value for your money. This does not mean that you should go straight to the cheapest model, but at least consider the features alongside its price.
So... now what?
So which humidifier is the best for you? Honestly, choosing among the many models available boils down to your personal preference. When choosing one for your home, consider your ideal setting and how each type and size can work for you given their advantages and disadvantages. The use of a humidifier in your home can greatly benefit you and your loved ones, especially in the cold season.