Humidifier Buying Guide
Humidifiers can be used to improve indoor air quality in your home or office by adjusting the amount of humidity and moisture in the air to a comfortable level. By restoring moisture levels to a room, humidifiers relieve the irritation of dry nose, lips, and skin. They can also help you sleep more comfortably. Humidifiers also help relieve inconveniences brought on by winter heating, such as peeling wallpaper, cracks in paint and furniture, guitars and other wood instruments.
Types of Humidifiers
Cool Mist Evaporative Humidifiers
A cool mist evaporative humidifier adds moisture into the air using the principles of natural evaporation, which is the cleanest method of humidification. A filter in the base of the humidifier and absorbs water. Then a fan blows dry room air through the filter, causing the water in the filter to evaporate into the room, thereby adding moisture into the air. Most filters should be replaced approximately every 6-8 weeks.
Warm Mist Humidifiers
Warm mist humidifiers boils the water in the humidifier and disperses steam into the air. Warm mist steam humidifiers are quieter than cool mist evaporative humidifiers since they do not use a fan. The heat boils the water into a pure steam, which rises into the air without the minerals. Mineral content from the water is collected in the humidifier and can be removed with periodic cleaning. A warm mist humidifier will help make the room feel warmer, which makes it ideal if you live in a colder climate.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are very affordable and easy to run. All you need to do is to fill the tank with water, switch it on, and let it work. It uses the power of sound waves to vibrate an "ultrasonic" frequency causing water in the humidifier to mist an ultra-fine vapor. The vapor mist is released into the air using a quiet fan. Minerals that are collected in the water will be in released in the mist. Many ultrasonic humidifiers use demineralization cartridges, which is used to trap these minerals before they are released into the air.
These portable models are generally the least costly humidifying option and are good for single room needs, but their small tank requires frequent refills. For areas up to 500 sq. ft. depending on the model.
Although larger than tabletops, consoles can be moved from room to room. Typically free-standing and floor-positioned, console humidifiers generate a lot of moist air. Since a console can humidify more than one room, it allows more options for unobtrusive placement wherever an electric outlet is available. A console's larger tank needs less frequent refills, but can be more cumbersome to handle. For areas 700-2,900 sq. ft. depending on the model.
Whole House Humidifiers
Whole house humidifiers tap into your home’s air ducts and are plumbed into its water supply to create and disperse mist throughout your home. It should be cleaned annually and closed down for the summer when humidity is not needed.