Humidifier Buyers Guide: What You Need To Know

A humidifier can be quite a useful device to have in your home especially during the winter season. This device is capable of providing relief from a range of health conditions including allergy by getting rid of dry air in your home.

If you live in an area like the Midwest where summers are warm and winter gets bitterly cold you need to be prepared to deal with the changes in humidity. As temperatures fall the humidity levels of indoor and outdoor air fall quickly.

Replacing the lost moisture helps relieve a number of uncomfortable situations like dry skin, increased allergy symptoms and even a greater susceptibility to illness. On the other end of the spectrum is too much humidity in the air. Over humidification creates ideal conditions for mold growth, airborne bacteria and dust mite reproduction.

This guide will help you get the balance between high and low humidity in your home. However, all humidifiers are not created equal. We developed this guide to help save you time when researching different types of humidifiers. Choosing the right type the first time around will also save you money.

One of the first things you need to understand about humidifiers is that there are five different types of these devices available in the market. Take a look at the different features of each below.

Central Humidifiers

These devices are meant to be installed directly into a building’s heating or cooling system. They are most suitable when you want your entire home to experience the same humidity levels. They are quite easy to operate but they are the most expensive type available. They are safer compared to the other humidifier types.

Steam Humidifiers

Heat is the main feature of these humidifiers. Water is first heated to create water vapor which is then spread around the room. Steam humidifiers are quite inexpensive. However, they tend to consume a great deal of energy since the water needs to be heated first, resulting in higher utility bills. Moreover, the heat involved makes them less safe, especially for children. There is always the risk of burns.

Impeller Humidifiers

The technology behind these humidifiers is a rotating disk. The disc rotates at high speeds causing water to be thrown into a diffuser for spreading around the room. The lack of heat involved makes them a safer choice to steam humidifiers. They are affordable but they can be used in a single room only.

Evaporative Humidifiers

These humidifiers make use of a wick or filter. A fan blows air onto the wick which is dipped into water. As a result, the water evaporates and spreads around the space. They are meant to be used in a single room. Since the rate of evaporation is directly related to the humidity level, these humidifiers are capable of self-regulation.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

There is metal diaphragm in these devices which vibrate at ultrasonic frequencies. They spread fine water droplets into the air. They tend to operate silently, one of their main features. These devices carry the risk of white dust which can exacerbate breathing problems like asthma.

Select According To Room Size

When using a humidifier, you must remember that the ideal humidity level is between 30% and 50%. Excessive humidity is just as bad as low humidity. Therefore, you need to check that the humidifier you are buying is capable of maintaining the right level throughout the space where it will be used.

For this, you need to check the size of the humidifier. This, in turn, will be determined by the size of the room it will be placed in.

  • Small and Medium Humidifiers

Small humidifiers are suitable for rooms with a maximum area of 300 sq. ft. while medium ones are better for those between 300 sq. ft. and 499 sq. ft.  In both cases, the best options would be portable or tabletop humidifiers. They are the least expensive of the options. However, they will need to be refilled frequently due to the smaller size of the reservoirs.

  • Large Humidifiers

These humidifiers are suitable for rooms with a size up to 999 sq. ft. from a minimum of 500 sq. ft. For these rooms, you need console models which are bigger than tabletop humidifiers. However, they are still portable. You can find ultrasonic humidifiers at this level to be a good choice.

  • Extra Large Humidifiers

If you have a space that exceeds 1,000 sq. ft. then you need really big humidifiers. Ultrasonic console humidifiers are excellent choices as they can operate quietly. Their reservoirs are large enough to require few refills. However, they are difficult to move from one place to another.

Features Your Humidifier Needs

When choosing humidifiers, it is a good idea to check out the features they offer. The presence of the following features can be beneficial in the long run.

  • The Ease of Cleaning

It is essential to clean out the humidifier on a regular basis. This can avoid the risk of diseases being spread by the device. As such, you should find out how easy it is to clean the device. The reservoir should be detachable easily. You should be able to use household cleaning products and disinfectants to clean out the humidifier.

  • The Ease of Use

Unless the humidifier is too large, it should not be too difficult to move around. More importantly, it should be easy to use. The reservoir must be designed in a way that makes it easy to fill it up. More importantly, the various parts should have replacements that can be found with little effort. In case you have chosen evaporative humidifiers, the wicks and filters must be affordable. The controls must be user-friendly.

  • Timer and Humidistat

These features can help you maintain the right humidity level in the space. As such, check if the humidifier has them. A humidistat prevents the humidity from exceeding a predefined level while the timer can shut off the operation after a predefined period.

Buying a humidifier requires a careful analysis of the options available to you. You should check and ensure that you are getting all the features you deem necessary within the budget specified.

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