Humidifier vs. Air Purifier: A Comparison

Humidifier vs. Air Purifier

It is essential to ensure that the air in your home or office is clean and breathable. Clean air helps keep you and the people around you healthy. There are different aspects of air quality to consider and different actions to take if you want to improve any of these aspects. Humidifiers influence the amount of humidity in the air while air purifiers seek to reduce the number or concentration of indoor air pollutants.

This article explains the different aspects of air quality that humidifiers and air purifiers influence. We talk about how maintaining humidity levels affects the human body. The section focusing on air purifiers has definitions and examples of indoor air pollutants, their sources or causes and how to minimize your exposure to them.

Humidifiers

The primary function of a humidifier is to increase the humidity levels of indoor air. This is done by adding water vapor or water droplets to the environment. By increasing the humidity, the harmful effects of dry air can be avoided.

One of the ways the human body loses moisture are through respiration, ore breathing, when you exhale. There is nothing to do about this one, it is just part of being a human.

Another way moisture leaves the human body is through the mucous membranes, specifically in your nose and throat. These membranes keep the tissues hydrated and help protect them from invading bacteria and viruses. Without this protective layer, your nasal passages and airways becomes dry and painful.

Your body will take water and other components to continuously produce mucous to keep your nose and throat protected. However, if the air you breathe is too dry your body cannot produce mucous fast enough. When this happens the membrane protecting the tissues in your airways becomes drier than normal.

This dry condition leads to a whole host of problems including increased colds, sinus infections and even nosebleeds. A less serious but no less annoying problem is louder and more frequent snoring.

By increasing the humidity levels of the environment, all of these issues can be avoided. In terms of health, it can reduce cough and dry skin. It can also provide relief to asthma patients by decreasing the intensity of attacks. People who suffer from eczema often use humidifiers to help manage their symptoms as well.

Do You Need a Humidifier?

A humidifier is exactly what you need if you or an occupant of your home suffers from one or more of the conditions listed below. Of course, if you are having real trouble seeking medical attention is always the safest route. Many people that suffer from eczema use humidifiers to supplement the advice and directions their doctor gives them. The same thing goes for sore throats. No amount of humidity will cure you of strep throat. Properly humidified air can only make your throat feel better.

What can humidifiers help with?

    • Sinus pressure or stuffy nose from a cold
    • Frequent nosebleeds that are caused by dry or cracked nasal passages
    • Dry skin, eyes or hair
    • Excessive snoring
    • Persistent asthma attacks
    • Sore throats
    • Allergy flare ups

Other Humidifier Issues

The next sections of this article deal with special considerations when using a humidifier. If you want to skip ahead to the air purifier section then click here! Otherwise, keep reading to learn more about controlling the humidity levels in your home.

Wooden Fixtures

In addition to these health issues, dry air can also cause wood to crack. Wooden fixtures and furniture need moisture in them as well. The only way they can maintain moisture levels is by being in an environment that is properly humidified.

As moisture leaves wooden fixtures they will shrink and oftentimes crack. An easy way to visualize this is letting your kitchen sponge dry out. It gets smaller and curls. (This does not happen with a synthetic sponge.)

While wood is not as receptive to water as a kitchen sponge is, your fixtures will need to be exposed to reasonably humidified air to keep them from cracking and releasing formaldehyde into the air. The general range for humidity in a residential home is 40 to 60% relative humidity.

Not all wooden fixtures will release this harmful indoor air pollutant. The main source of formaldehyde from wooden fixtures are the planks used in hardwood floors.

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Humidifiers, Bacteria and Viruses

The EPA regularly conducts a Community Water System Survey. In the last survey took place in 2006 and it indicates not all community water systems treat their water.

It is reasonable to assume there are unwanted contaminants in your drinking water. (Remember Flint, Michigan?) Adding bacteria and other pathogens to the air you breathe is not helpful, especially during cold and flu season. If you use a humidifier be sure you take steps to ensure you are using clean the water. This can mean using filtered or distilled water. Alternatively you can use a humidifier bacteriostat solution or other means to keep bacteria from multiplying in your humidifier reservoir.

There are also humidifiers that comes equipped with ultraviolet lights designed to destroy bacteria, viruses and molds that may be present in water. The two top models on the market today are the Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier and the Vicks V3900 Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier.

Check out this article that provides an in-depth review of the Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier. Alternatively, check out either of these products on Amazon by clicking the links below.

Air Purifiers

Unlike humidifiers, these devices are used for getting rid of contaminants such as dust from the air. Air purifiers are extremely beneficial for people who suffer from asthma or allergies. In fact, doctors and healthcare professionals often recommend patients to use air purifiers to decrease the frequency and intensity of those conditions.

Both asthma and allergies are the result of airborne particles. As such, the removal of these particulates can provide considerable relief to the patients. Some of these particulates can pollutants and contaminants that are dangerous for those patients. An air purifier can redirect the air in a room to pass through filters with can capture the particulates and remove them from the room.

Air purifiers can also have another benefit. They can clear a room of smoke, pet dander and unwanted odors. Smoke, as caused by cigarettes, can result in the formation of an undesirable smell in the room. Some purifiers are capable of getting rid of the smell so that people can breathe more easily inside the room. The dangerous chemicals in the smoke can also be eliminated.

However, air purifiers need to more maintenance and cleaning as compared to humidifiers. Frequent cleaning is essential to keeping the purifier functioning efficiently. Additionally, these devices produce a considerable amount of ions. Most purifiers are effective at only one of their functions. They can either clear out dust effectively or eliminate the smells. Only a few can do both efficiently.

Do You Need an Air Purifier?

Quite a few situations exist for which an air purifier can be very helpful. We list a few of them below.

Please be aware that some people are very sensitive to dust mites. It may be impossible to reduce the number of dust mites enough to eliminate symptoms of a dust mite allergy.

  • Your room has smells – a purifier with an active carbon filter will be the most helpful in this situation
  • Allergy flare-ups
  • You have recently got your room painted, varnished or disinfected
  • You often need to get rid of cooking smells in a hurry
  • There is a dust mite problem
  • You or one of your home’s occupants has a severe chest condition like COPD or emphysema
  • Pet hair or dander is causing sneezing and watery eyes

In the case of paints, disinfectants and varnishes, the products tend to contain toxic particles and volatile organic compounds. These can be quite dangerous. As such, you need to make sure that you are getting an air purifier which is designed to eliminate these particulates from the air.

In the case of serious chest conditions, you need to ensure that the air purifier is capable of getting rid of smoke, pollen and dust. These particulates can increase the symptoms and problems of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and more.

Indoor Air Pollutants

There are two general types of air pollutants, gaseous and particulate. Oftentimes, the most immediate solution to built up indoor air pollutants is to simply ventilate the room by opening the window. If weather conditions do not permit this an air purifier is the next best solution. When smoke or allergens are the problem the outside air quality will determine whether or not opening the window is the best way to make your air more breathable.

Alternatively, it may be the most practical to remove the source of air pollution. For example, if someone is smoking inside they could smoke outdoors. The allergens pets produce, dander and hair, are much more difficult to entirely remove from your home. If you have an indoor pet an air purifier is the most practical way to deal with the allergens they produce.

Air purifiers built to reduce gaseous pollutants must have a filter containing a sorbent. The most common example of this is an active carbon filter. HEPA filters are designed to manage particulates. In the next section we list several examples of pollutants from both categories.

Examples of Gaseous Indoor Air Pollutants

  • Fumes from common household cleaners like bleach and ammonia
  • Fumes from paint and nail polish
  • Gaseous emissions from wooden furnishings – for an in-depth explanation, see the section about wooden furnishing in the humidifier portion of this article.
  • Carbon monoxide – air purifiers do not capture this dangerous chemical
  • Radon – another pollutant that cannot be managed by an air purifier. We discuss radon in more detail further down the page.
  • Smoke – this intentionally appears in both the gaseous and particulate categories

Examples of Particulate Indoor Air Pollutants

  • Pollen
  • Pet dander and hair
  • Dust mites – air purifiers can reduce the number of dust mites in your home. However, it may be impossible to remove enough dust mites to eliminate allergic reactions to dust mites. Some people are very sensitive to the allergens dust mites produce.
  • Airborne bacteria, viruses and mold
  • Airborne particles generated by cooking
  • Smoke – this intentionally appears in both the gaseous and particulate categories

The images below are all clickable links that will take you to the product listing on Amazon.com. Once you are there you can explore other product listings as well. These images include a selection of the top air purifiers on the market today. They all feature HEPA filters for particulate air pollutants and active carbon filters for gaseous air pollutants.

Radon

Radon is a very specific kind of indoor air pollutant. It falls into the gaseous pollutant category. Radon is a radioactive gas that enters homes through small cracks in the basement. Most newer homes are built with radon resistance features. If you live in an older home or are unsure if your home was constructed with radon resistant features you can get some peace of mind by using an at home radon testing kits.

Radon is an important indoor air pollutant to manage. While dust and allergens are irritating, radon is cancerous. One way to remove radon from the basement of a home is by using a radon mitigation system. They generally consist of extra duct work and a specially designed fan. Using an air purifier is not a recommended method to manage radon and its decay products.

In-Duct Air Purifier

In-duct air purifiers are a very specific addition to whole home air purification systems. Normally the ventilation system in a home contains a HEPA air filter that is part of the furnace. This is a nearly universal feature of the heating and cooling systems in homes. However, these filters are not part of an in-duct air purifier.

In-duct air purifiers belong in the ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) cleaners. They use ultraviolet light to help destroy viruses, bacteria and mold spores. They can help eliminate airborne pathogens in your home. However, UGVI cleaners are not a substitute for a filter designed to remove particulates from the circulating air in your home.

Do I need to clean my air ducts?

Did you know the EPA recommends getting your air ducts cleaned? They say you should especially do this if the following conditions are present:

  • There is visible mold growth in your ventilation ducts
  • Ducts are clogged with excessive dust or debris, such as pet hair
  • Insects or rodents have made a home in your ductwork

Other circumstances that may require you to get your air ducts cleaned include:

  • Recent renovations to your home – this can generate a ton of dust no matter how carefully you or the renovator worked. This can also be the case if your home was newly built. There is a lot of interior work that goes on after the ductwork is already installed.
  • There are multiple pets in your home, or just one that sheds more fur than usual – for example in the springtime when the weather warms up
  • This is one of the first things you should to when you move in to a new home. Make sure to place this as a high priority on your list if the previous owners smoked or owned pets.
  • If someone in your home is severely allergic to mold, pollen and other indoor air pollutants, make air duct cleaning part of your allergy symptom management plan.

Below is a list of Amazon Home Services that can help you maintain indoor air quality. Be sure to check if the service is available in the area where you live.

Best Air Purifier on the market

The Choice

Ultimately, both of these devices have their own limitations. Both of them require cleaning and maintenance on a regular basis. There are quite a few types of humidifiers and air purifiers in the market. The choice will ultimately depend on your specific requirements and aims.

You may even contact a healthcare professional to advice you on the kind of device that you require. The conditions of your home can also affect your choice. In some cases, your existing medical conditions will also affect your selection between humidifier vs air purifier.

Both humidifiers and air purifiers are beneficial in ensuring that the air you breathe inside your home is of a high quality. As such, it is a good idea to research all the options open to you thoroughly before you make your choice. A little effort now can help you considerably in the long run.

Do Humidifiers Help with Snoring and Their Other Features

Do Humidifiers Help with Snoring and Their Other Features

For most people, snoring is condition that they have to leave with. Snoring does not just affect the quality of sleep experienced by the person. It can also affect the partner. There are several techniques which are known to be effective in the reduction of snoring or its frequency. Humidifiers are useful devices which are often recommended as one such treatment. As such, you might be wondering, ‘do humidifiers help with snoring?’

Do Humidifiers Help With Snoring?

The main function of humidifiers is to increase the humidity levels and thereby reduce the dryness of the air in an indoor environment. Now, snoring is not typically linked with dryness in the tissues of the throat or nose. Instead, one of the probable causes of snoring is dry mouth rather than dry air. Be that as it may, there are a few ways in which dry air can compound snoring.

Dry air has a greater chance of being laden with allergens and dust. These particulates can cause snoring. By increasing the humidity levels, the moisture can cause the particulates to stick to the various surfaces of the room such as the ground. As a result, much of the particulates are removed from the air, decreasing the likelihood or intensity of snoring.

There is another way in which dry air can affect snoring. The dryness of the air may stimulate the production of more mucous. Excessive mucous will result in nasal congestion. Irritation of the tissues in the throat and nose can lead to them being inflamed. This increases the constriction of the nasal airways which are already narrow. Constrictions in the airways are one of the major reasons for snoring.

In short, it is possible to see an improvement in snoring if you use humidifiers. Check out our review of the best humidifier for your room here. This is a real opportunity to improve your quality of life quickly and easily.

Will Humidifiers Cure Snoring?

A humidifier can certainly be helpful with snoring and a few other health conditions. However, it will be incapable of curing your snoring habits as dry air is not the cause for this condition.

You need to understand that dry air and snoring are by no means directly related. The human nose has evolved to humidify the air you breathe in. In fact, it is one of the main functions of the nose. This evolution has certainly been successful.

Snoring almost always occurs when the nasal airways are obstructed. There can be quite a few reasons for this, including developmental reasons. Snoring can also be the result of health factors such as weight gain. Lifestyle factors such as smoking can also be a reason.

Especially relevant reasons for obstructed airways are allergies and mucous buildup. We do know that reducing the allergens in your air and maintaining proper humidity levels can help with both of these.

Why does my dog snore?

Dogs, and cats for that matter, snore for many of the same reasons humans do. If your dog is snoring at the onset of winter, there’s a good chance that their snoring is a result of dry air. Dogs and cats can also get inflamed sinuses and produce extra mucous in their nasal passages.

A humidifier should provide the relief you need from your pet’s snoring. The air in your home needs to have the right humidity levels to keep every member of your family comfortable.

An inexpensive hygrometer can tell you right away if dry air is the culprit. ThermoPro has several digital hygrometers that measure the humidity and temperature. Checking your home’s humidity first may save you from having to make an expensive and time consuming trip.

Of course, if you aren’t sure why your dog is snoring it is always best to consult your veterinarian.

The Other Benefits of Using Humidifier

While a humidifier might not be able to cure snoring habits, it can still be a useful addition to your home. There are several other benefits that you can enjoy.

Reduced Infection Risks

Bacteria and viruses find it harder to travel around in moist air. As such, a humidifier can be quite helpful in preventing or reducing the occurrence of flus and other similar diseases.

Improved Skin Health

Dry air can adversely affect your skin by taking away its moisture content. As a result, you can suffer from dull and dry skin, flaking and signs of aging. These issues are particularly common in cold environments. It is possible to avoid them with the use of a humidifier.

Faster Recovery

Dryness can also make it harder to recover from respiratory diseases such as sinus infections, the flu or colds. By adding moisture to the air, a humidifier can decrease the time your need to recover from these conditions. It will ensure that your throat and nasal passages are moist, aiding in the healing process. You can also find relief from symptoms such as sneezing and coughing.

Improved Sinuses

Dry air can affect the sinuses and make it more susceptible to infections by viruses and bacteria. Even if infections do not happen, a dry sinus can be quite uncomfortable. A humidifier helps in avoiding all of these issues.

Protect Wooden Pieces

Wood is easily affected by dry air. Dry air can cause wooden furniture, doors, moldings and other wood furnishings to crack and split. This not only ruins their beauty but can also make them unsuitable for use. Therefore, it makes sense to use a humidifier to preserve and protect wooden pieces from these kinds of damages.

Decrease in Heating Bills

During winter, you may end up spending a lot of money in heating your home. A humidifier can be useful here as well. There are humidifiers available that can spray warm mists. Additionally, moist air tends to feel warmer than dry air. This way, you need to reduce the heater less, decreasing your bills.

Houseplants Care

Dry air can affect the houseplants as well. It dries out the soil and causes the leaves to droop. These plants need a proper humidity level to prosper and a humidifier can help with that. By maintaining the health of your houseplants, you can improve the quality of indoor air as well.

Why do we snore?

As we covered in this article, humans, cats and dogs snore for a number of reasons. You can certainly get a humidifier to help reduce your snoring. However, you shouldn’t expect it to cure you completely. The device will be helpful in other aspects of your home and health making it a good choice even if it can’t cure snoring.

Are Humidifiers Good For Allergies?

Are Humidifiers Good For Allergies

Allergies are a difficult health condition. They can rarely be cured completely. At most, you can control their frequency and intensity while hoping that they do not flare up suddenly. They greatly impact the quality of life you lead. If you are allergic to pollen, dust mites, dust and other similar things, you will have to pay attention to the air quality that you breathe in. Humidifiers can be of help in these situations.

Are Humidifiers Good For Allergies?

The short answer is yes. Humidifiers can certainly make it easier for you if you are prone to allergies. Humidity can play a major role in the treatment and even the development of allergies. The proper humidity level can be of considerable help with your allergies.

Dry Air and Allergies

You will have surely noticed that your allergies act up when the air around you is dry. This is because dry air can irritate the nasal passages. The irritation and the dry air can even lead to sinus infections. In a bid to overcome the dryness in the air, the body may start producing more mucous. However, excessive mucous can be quite dangerous especially if you suffer from asthma along with allergies.

How Humidifiers Help?

Humidifiers can help you with your allergies in several ways. It can reduce the number of dust mites that you are exposed to. Dust mites are responsible for causing allergies because of the enzymes that they produced. These enzymes are transported via air, resulting in the flaring up of allergies. One of the most effective ways of reducing dust mite levels is by maintaining a relative humidity level below 50%.

An example of a humidifier that measures the relative humidity automatically is the HoMedics UHE-WM85. This model comes with a huge variety of other options as well. Another option would be to use a hygrometer like the one pictured here to ensure that your home has proper humidity levels. These devices are rather small and easy to move around to check different rooms in your home.

Ensuring the right level of humidity in your home keeps your nasal passages free from mucus as well. Clear nasal passages ensure that your body can get rid of any allergens that you are exposed to as quickly as possible. The humidity of the air can also reduce the irritation caused by particulates thanks to the extra moisture.

How to Use the Humidifier Correctly?

While humidifiers can be quite helpful with your allergies, they need to be used in the right manner. For starters, they are not devices that you can forget about once turned on. You need them to work in an effective and efficient manner. As such, you need to check on a few things.

One of the first things you need to do is to keep the humidifiers out of the reach of children, especially if they operate using heat. Such devices can cause burns if not handled correctly.

It is important to ensure that the device does not increase the humidity too much. The moisture level in the indoor environment should be somewhere between 30% and 50% for the best effects on your allergies. Excessive humidity can be a problem as we shall see later.

You must always ensure that the water being used by the humidifier is clean. In fact, it will be preferable to use distilled water. After all, the water is going to be dispelled across the entire room.

You should not let water remain stagnant in the humidifier’s reservoir or else it might become the breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. These are major allergens and they will be spread around the room as soon as the humidifier is turned on. To be on the safe side, always change the water every day. Drain the water that remains before replacing it.

Cleaning the Humidifier

Humidifiers must be cleaned regularly to avoid compounding the issues faced by those with allergies or asthma.

  • Always wash and dry the humidifier’s reservoir after each use.
  • You should use a disinfectant to clean the device once a week at the very least. Choose a disinfectant that has been recommended by the device’s manufacturer.
  • Vinegar can be used for cleaning hard water residue.
  • If your humidifier was in storage, clean it once before use.
  • Always follow the guidelines of the manufacturer with respect to cleaning.
  • Make sure that the water is changed every day.

Precautions with Humidifier Use

There are a few things you must note when using the humidifier. First of all, you must understand that the humidity levels indoors should not be too high. High humidity can end up triggering allergies instead of providing relief.

Dust mite problems can be exacerbated if the humidity levels are high. These pests tend to thrive at high humidity of 70% to 80%. Another result of high humidity is the proliferation of mildew and mold. These are also major allergens. If you use your humidifier too much, it can result in an increase of these allergens, causing your symptoms to flare up.

As a result, it is vital to keep the humidity at the ideal level. This way, you can get relief from your allergy symptoms and even asthma. At the same time, issues such as mold, dust mites and dryness will not be a problem.

Humidifiers are excellent options for those suffering from allergies. Apart from reducing the symptoms, they can improve the health of nasal passages. However, the devices need to be maintained properly and used correctly to get the most benefits out of them.

When Should Humidifiers Be Used and Other Facts

When Should Humidifiers Be Used and Other Facts

Humidifiers can be a useful addition to your home. Their main function is to combat dryness in the air. This can be beneficial in a number of ways. Before you go ahead and buy one, it is a good idea to understand when humidifiers should be used.

When Should Humidifiers Be Used?

Humidifiers are meant to be used when your home experiences dry air inside. As a result, it can be quite beneficial for homes in hot dry climates. In other regions, it can be an advantage during the winter season.

During winter, indoor air tends to be dry. The usage of indoor heating ends up exacerbating the dryness further. This dryness can be harmful in a number of ways. It can adversely affect your respiratory system. Existing respiratory conditions can be worsened as a result. Your will also experience dryness in your nasal passages among other things.

Learning about the effects of humidifiers is a good idea as it will help you known when they should be used.

What is the difference between humidity and relative humidity?

Two different terms may come up when talking about humidity. ‘Humidity’ and ‘relative humidity’ – they mean the same thing there’s no difference between them. People talk about the humidity being 40 or 50%. That number means there’s 40 of 50% of the water in the air that the air could possibly hold. These numbers are measuring the same thing that your meteorologist talks about in their weather report.

A hygrometer is an instrument that measures relative humidity. If you’re unsure of whether or not you need a humidifier, a portable hygrometer is an inexpensive way to test the humidity in your home or office.

The Impact on Your Health

It has been noted that higher humidity levels can have a positive impact on your health, especially in terms of respiratory troubles such as the common cold. This is due to the fact that airborne viruses tend to lose their effectiveness in high humidity. As a result, you are reducing your risks of catching these diseases if you use a humidifier.

Apart from reducing the likelihood of suffering from the cold or the flu, humidifiers can also be of help when you do catch them. Diseases like the cold tend to cause a lot of congestion in the nasal cavity. The mucus becomes thicker and drier as well which affects their flow.

Ultimately, the sinuses are unable to drain properly resulting in the formation of clogs in the nasal passages. A lot of symptoms are exacerbated this way such as painful sinuses, nasal passage irritation, stuffy nose and sore throat.

Humidifiers eliminate the dryness in the air that you breathe in. As such, it becomes easier for the air to pass down the nasal passageways without causing any irritation. For this reason, it becomes easier to recover from those diseases. After all, your nasal passages will have the proper level of mucous.

It is also possible to find relief from the various allergy symptoms with these devices. They can reduce the particulates floating around in the air and reduce the irritation of your nasal cavity. There are also humidifiers available which are specially designed to help those with allergy and asthma.

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Avoid Skin and Hair Dryness

The dryness of the winter season tends to drain the moisture present in your skin. For this reason, you see an increase in wrinkles and the formation of cracks. By creating a humid atmosphere inside the home, you keep your skin moist and less likely to experience the above issues.

In the same way, your hair can be affected by the dryness of the atmosphere. Your hair needs moisture for its flexibility. By taking it away, your hair becomes brittle and dull. Even your scalp is affected like the rest of the skin. It becomes itchy and even flaky.

Reduced Utility Bills

One of the surprising ways a humidifier can help you out is by decreasing the money you spend on heating your home. The fact is that an increase in the humidity level can increase the warmth that you feel. In fact, lower humidity levels can decrease the warmth up to 5 degrees. Therefore, extremely dry air with 10% humidity at a temperature of 70 degrees might actually feel as if it were only 65 degrees.

In the same way, a humidity level of 50% will feel a lot warmer to you. For example, a temperature of 67 degrees at 50% humidity might actually feel like 70 degrees. You can use this principle to reduce the usage of the heater. As a humidifier’s energy consumption is far lower than a heater, it will be more cost-effective option for you. Additionally, some humidifiers produce warm mists which can keep you warmer for long.

Safeguard Your Home

Your home can also be affected by dry air. One of the most important of these effects is on wooden items such as floorboards, doors, furniture and other wood furnishings. Dry air causes wood to shrink, split and even crack. Even the structural aspects of the home such as moldings can be affected.

According to the Woodworking Network, “As of Friday, June 1, it is illegal to manufacture or import composite wood products in the U.S. if they contain excessive amounts of formaldehyde.” This is an important step in protecting the air in your home from gaseous indoor air pollutants.

Fluctuating humidity levels can encourage formaldehyde to diffuse out of wooden fixtures and into the air. The highest levels of formaldehyde emissions come from hotter and more humid conditions. This makes it especially important to measure the levels of humidity in your home with a hygrometer or to use a humidifier with a built in hygrometer.

Either of these solutions will give data on the humidity levels in the air. As a general rule staying between 40% and 60% is the best range to be in. Keeping relative humidity levels below 60% will reduce the number of dust mites and mold spores in your home. Additionally, staying above 40% helps to avoid excess moisture loss from your body that can lead to dry skin and even nosebleeds.

Paper tends to desiccate if the air is too dry and ruin it completely. You may notice this effect on your wallpapers. If you have books and other important, they can also be affected by the dry air.

Dry air can also result in the buildup of static electricity. You can experience shocks when you touch carpets and your pet’s fur. Static electricity can destroy electronics as well. A humidifier can help in avoiding all of these issues.

There are many reasons to use humidifiers. Keep in mind that you should choose the right humidifiers based on your requirements and budget.

Humidifiers Pros and Cons: Things You Need to Know

Humidifiers Pros and Cons

Humidity is the amount of water vapor that is present in the atmosphere. Humidifiers are devices which can help in increasing it. Studies have suggested that humidity level should remain in between 30-50 percent. Humidifiers are required during the winter when the humidity in the atmosphere is pretty low and the heating system is used that leads to dry out.

Humidifiers Pros and Cons

There are different types of humidifiers in the market and they have some common pros and cons irrespective of the brand or model. Here are common pros and cons that a humidifier has to offer.

Pros

Humidifiers certainly have a number of benefits as you can see below.

  • Prevents the Spread of Airborne Viruses

According to the recent study, the increase in the humidity level can have a dramatic effect on the airborne viruses and makes them ineffective. This is the reason it is used by hospitals to protect the doctors, visitors, and nurses from getting sick.

Moisture can prevent the germs from moving since they combine with moisture and drop down. This happens because particles become too heavy and is unable to float. Using a humidifier will help in preventing diseases such as influenza.

  • Prevents Dry Skin

A majority of the human body is made up of water and dry conditions can pull out the moisture. This, in turn, can cause dry skin, bloodshot eyes, and chapped lips. Our body requires certain level of moisture in order to function properly. Lips and eyes might show signs of irritation if you do not hydrate it properly.

  • Keeps the Home Warmer

It has been seen that humidified air can make you feel warmer than dry air. This is because if there is more water in the air then the sweat will evaporate at a slower rate. This will cause you to feel warm. Thus, you will be able to save some money on the heating bills. Since it will help in maintaining a warm temperature, you can lower the thermostats. Hence, you can save money, as well as energy.

  • Relieves Allergy Symptoms

Modern day humidifiers are great for alleviating the symptom of various allergies. The old humidifiers used to increase too much humidity into the air and this encourages the spread of dust mites.

However, with the new models, you have the option of lowering the levels of humidity. Thus, you can create an environment which is free of these dust mites. People suffering from allergies usually tend to feel more comfortable in a heightened humidity as it helps in soothing the nasal passages and the tissues in the throat.

  • Prevents Wooden Damages

Dry air can cause damage to the wooden furniture. This can lead to cracks. Doors or windows which are made of wood can incur a change in size. Thus, it will become difficult to open or close them. The legs of chairs might also begin to wobble if the joints become loose.

The wood is affected since it requires a constant level of moisture to maintain its features. If you are able to use the humidifier properly, you will be able to prevent the damages caused to the wood.

  • Prevents Static

Static electricity increases in the months of winter. This electricity can prove to be annoying when associated with frizzy or laundry hair. As a matter of fact, it can also build up static and thereby cause damage to the sensitive electronics. It can cause sparks that can damage flammable dust and gas. Properly humidified can limit or prevent problems that can arise from static.

  • Prevents Snoring

If you have the habit of breathing in through the mouth, it can prevent dryness in your mouth from setting in. This is particularly true if you breathe in through the mouth. If you use a humidifier for adding moisture to the air, it will help in soothing the tissue at the back of the throat. This can prevent snoring. Moreover, if you run the humidifier throughout the day, it will keep your throat moist and can prevent irritation that is associated with snoring.

Cons

In spite of the benefits, these devices do have a number of faults

  • Difficult to Maintain

A humidifier has to be maintained on a regular basis. It has to be refilled and cleaned from time to time to make sure that it is in a perfect working condition. Modern families lack time, especially if every member is studying or working. Maintaining the humidifier can be pretty demanding if you are short of time.

  • Causes Noise

Every humidifier produces noise, only some are more offensive than the others. The ultrasonic models are the quietest ones.

  • Leads to Condensation

If you fail to leave the humidifier running for a long period of time or do not set it to the right setting then it might high or low humidity in your home. This can lead to condensation that encourages the growth of bacteria, molds, mites, and dust mites. This, in turn, can cause asthma problems.

  • Risk of Burns

A warm mist humidifier boils water and thereafter disperses the stream into the air. You might be scaled by the stream output.  The humidifier poses risk of burn, especially if you have small children in the house.

However, the humidifier that you choose will depend on your home and preference. Also, make sure that you choose a humidifier than you can easily clean.

How to Use a Humidifier Effectively

How to Use Humidifier Effectively

A humidifier can be an invaluable addition to any home. It can help get rid of dry air, which is a source of a number of health issues. A humidifier can also help in protecting the damage caused by dry air on wooden furnishings and paper products. However, you need to know how to use humidifier properly to derive the benefits it can provide.

How to Use Humidifier

In order to use a humidifier correctly, you need to understand, first, what type it is. There are five types of humidifiers and each of them is meant to be used in a different way even though the ultimate aim is the same. The operation tends to differ among models and manufacturers as well.

To start, you should go through the manual. Each humidifier tends to have its own settings and operation instructions. These details can be found in the manual that the manufacturer provides with the device. Since the instructions can vary among different devices, you should read the manual for the humidifier you bought.

The Different Types of Humidifiers

Understanding the way the different types of humidifiers work can help you with their operations.

These devices are meant to humidify the entire building. As such, they are integrated into the heating, cooling or HVAC system of the building. Operating them is as easy as a pressing a button.

They come in several styles including: under duct humidifiers, steam humidifiers and evaporative humidifiers. While this type of humidifier does come with a higher initial cost, they require much less maintenance and interaction than smaller humidifiers designed to treat a single room.

Often times their maintenance schedule is quarterly or semi annual and only requires replacing a filter. Central humidifiers are installed with dedicated water lines which means you will not need to fill the humidifier yourself because the process is fully automated.

  • Impeller Humidifiers

These make use of discs to disperse water droplets and increase humidity. They can also be operated easily but they work in a single room only.

  • Evaporator Humidifiers

These devices make use of filters or wicks and fans for adding moisture to the environment. The filters and wicks need to be taken care of for proper operation.

  • Steam Humidifiers

They work by heating up water and releasing the vapor into the room. They must be handled with care due to the heat. Additionally, their water reservoirs must be cleaned.

Steam humidifiers come in all sizes from a personal use steam humidifier to humidifiers large enough to humidify an entire house. The most popular are steam humidifiers capable of treating a single room.

They operate at high frequencies and are quite safe. This type of humidifier uses a mechanical vibration to agitate the water. It turns the water in the reservoir into a mist that diffuses into the surrounding air. Their water reservoir needs proper care to prevent issues from cropping up.

We recommend using either filtered or distilled water in any ultrasonic humidifier. One major complain that users continually have is the white dust that these humidifiers can generate. The dust is minerals present in the water that are propelled into the air once the mist is formed. These minerals then settle on nearby surfaces.

Filtered or distilled water will have much lower levels if any minerals at all. Additionally, there are ultrasonic humidifiers that come with a built in water filter.

Using the Humidifier

The following steps illustrate the ways in which you can use a humidifier. Remember that these are just basic steps and the actual process might vary depending on the make and model of your humidifier.

  • Assembly

Some humidifiers need to be assembled before they can be used. In such cases, refer to the manual provided. Follow the instructions to assemble the various parts of the device. Usually, this involves attaching various parts to the main body. It is a relatively easy process. In some models, you can also make adjustments to certain settings such as the diameter of the mist opening.

  • Cleaning the Reservoir

Before your use the humidifier, you need to clean the water reservoir. Detach the reservoir from the humidifier. You may want to refer to the manual to check if there are any products that you should not be using to clean the reservoir. Generally, mild soap solutions are perfectly suitable for cleaning process.

It is essential to get rid of any residue left in the reservoir after manufacturing. After all, you do not want to breathe in the compounds when using the device. Ensure that you get rid of all soap suds. Dry out the reservoir completely before use.

  • Filling the Reservoir

You should always use distilled water in the humidifier. Tap water can have additives and chemicals. They can damage the operation of the humidifier. However, it is more important to ensure that you are not breathing in those compounds. The reservoir should have a water line marked on to it. Do not fill up the container beyond this point.

Some humidifiers make use of a filter. If this is the case, you may need to add it after filling up the water.

  • Placing Portable Humidifiers

For portable humidifiers, the placement requires careful consideration. Generally, the device should be on a raised and level surface. It should be kept away from the walls with a distance of 12 inches at least.

Remember that you should never place the humidifier close to other objects such as curtains or paper. It should not be kept inside shelves as well. The device is going to produce a lot of moisture and this can damage anything that is placed close to it.

Some humidifiers have a rotatable mist outlet. It is important to ensure the mist outlet is not pointed at the wall or another object. The mist leaving the humidifier will collect on a surface that is too close before it is able to diffuse into the air. The best option here is to air the mist outlet into the center of the room.

  • Operating the Humidifier

Once everything is ready, you can turn on the humidifier. Plug the device in and power it up. Once it turns on, adjust the settings as per your preferences. The exact range of settings available can vary between models. If you are confused about the function of a specific knob or button, refer to the manual. One of the things that you must adjust is the humidity level. The recommended limits are between 30% and 50%.

It is important to clean the humidifier at least once every week if you are using it daily. This prevents the buildup of bacteria and fungi. If the manufacturer allows it, you should be using disinfectants for cleaning the device.

Operating a humidifier is not very difficult. However, to use it properly, you must understand how it works and its different features. Once you do, you will be able to use the device effectively.

Humidifier Buyers Guide: What You Need To Know

Humidifier Buyers Guide

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.

2017 Review: GermGuardian Mini Air Purifiers

Mini Air Purifiers

It’s been a while since we’ve done a review of the Guardian Technologies line up. We did touch on the features of their wifi enabled air purifier here, and some of their other products a while back. Today the focus is some of their mini air purifiers. All three products ditch the standard combination carbon/true HEPA filter in favor of a single UV-C light bulb to sanitize the air and remove unwanted odors. Let’s take a look and see how three of the Germ Guardian team’s smallest players compare…

GermGuardian GG1000 Pluggable UV-C Air Sanitizer and Odor Reducer

First up we have an air purifier that plugs directly into the wall, the GermGuardian GG1000. This convenient feature makes for a pretty long list of possible applications: next to the garbage, near the cat litter box, above the diaper bin… you get the idea. The GermGuardian GG1000 turns places you don’t want to go into places that aren’t so bad anymore.

Pros:

Small size and no features to set up or configure make this product one of the easiest to use in the Guardian Technologies product line.

Since there is only a single UV-C light bulb, there are no filters to replace. Similar to the GermGuardian true HEPA filters it follows a 6 to 8 month manufacturer recommended replacement timeline.

Cons:

While only having to replace the light bulb was a pro, the lack of a true HEPA filter is a downfall for the GG1000. Because of its small size, there isn’t really a way to get a HEPA filter into the product. Be aware that you’re trading convenience for some functionality you would expect from other Guardian Technologies air purifiers.

Summary:

This product can be installed wherever you have an outlet, providing powerful and highly focused air purification. The GermGuardian GG1000 is a solid product that can put the finishing touches on your quest for fresh air throughout your whole home. This product uses the same LB1000 replacement bulb as the next purifier we review, the GermGuardian GG1100 Elite. Skip over to Amazon now, or continue reading to learn more about GermGuardian’s other space conscious solutions.

GermGuardian GG1100 Elite Pluggable UV-C Air Sanitizer and Odor Reducer

As we mentioned before, the GG1100 and GG1000 both use the same replacement bulb. The main differences we’ll encounter here are aesthetic in nature. With the exact same replacement bulb, the choice here comes down to style. Compared to the silver, cylindrical GG1000, the GermGuardian GG1100 presents a lower profile rectangle shape available in black and white.

Pros:

The updated GG1100 Elite Pluggable offers two more options to match your home décor while keeping your air clean. The black and white versions both offer the same performance as the aforementioned silver colored GG1000.

The black fits in with earth tone colors and southwest themed rooms.

The white blends in seamlessly in a nearly all white beach house decorating style and also with the wildly popular teal and coral color schemes.

Cons:

Definitely a step in the right direction with optional colors. However, the stark black and white will still leave some buyers struggling to blend their air purification appliances with their existing furniture pieces and wall colors.

Summary:

The GermGuardian GG1100 takes the same great options the GG1000 and repackages them in a more modern style. Since it ships with one bulb already you may want to order a second to be stocked up for about a year. In the final review today we more away from wall mounted models and review GermGuardian’s compact tabletop air purifier, the GermGuardian GG3000BCA.

 

GermGuardian GG3000BCA UV-C Air Sanitizer and Deodorizer

The last model we visit today is a compact unit that stands on its own while relying on a cord that plugs into the wall outlet. The pluggable units we just reviewed use a UV-C light bulb to purify the surrounding air. The GG3000BCA also sheds the HEPA/carbon filter used in most GermGuardian air purifiers. The GG3000BCA does use a different replacement bulb, the EV9LBL.

Pros:

This model conserves space and also leaves your outlets readily accessible for other appliances. Its small enough that it can easily share an end table with a lamp or speakers from your home entertainment system. Other applications include desktops and kitchen countertops near the toaster or microwave where cooking smells originate.

It has the strongest fan of all the GermGuardian compact air purifiers reviewed in this article.

Cons:

The GG3000BCA has the space conscious benefits of being a compact air purifier. However, does not use a true HEPA filter to capture particulates and remove them from the air.

Summary:

The GG3000BCA is the giant in the compact air purifier section. It does offer higher power that some areas of your home may need to deal with. While lacking some of the better air purification mechanisms of their other products, the GG3000BCA offers a lot of flexibility if space is a concern.

 

Today we revisited the GermGuardian product offering to give you an update on some of the new air purifiers on the market. All three purifiers: GG1000, GG1100 and GG3000BCA are available on Amazon, use replacement UV-C bulbs and do not require filters. The main advantage here is cost saving although it does lose the true HEPA designation most buyers expect in an air purifier.

The Best Wifi Enabled Air Purifier

Wifi Enabled Air Purifiers use modern technology to combat the age old problem of keeping your home clean. It’s easy to forget about airing out your home to keep your air quality high. Some days it’s not even practical, rain, heat, cold are all reasons to keep your windows closed. Don’t let bad weather keep you from experiencing clean air all year round. Some of the models we review today even include special features to filter germs, hopefully making your home a safe haven during cold and flu season! Adding wifi functionality to your air purification regimen gives you the power to control you air and your energy bill at the touch of a button. Today we review three wifi enabled air purifiers to highlight some unique features and show some of the special functionalities of each model.

Philips Air Purifier 2000i

The Philips Air Purifier 2000i automatically monitors the air quality in your home and adjusts its fan speed to increase or decrease output. This way the purifier is there when you need it, remove irritating allergens and reduces energy usage when the air is clean. The color coded ring on the front of the unit reports air quality in a simple and easy to read way. Buyers can use the Air Matters app to control their purifier from anywhere and track air quality on the go.

Pros:

The Air Matters app helps you track indoor and outdoor allergen levels and offers tips on how to reduce your exposure and gives filter replacement alerts.

Uses a true HEPA filter as the main filter, there is also an active carbon filter that provides extra odor removal.

Rated to provide superior air quality for rooms up to 277 square feet, possible applications include large rooms and homes with open floor plans.

EnergyStar certification lets you know you’re keeping your air clean and energy bills low.

Cons:

Based on 12 hours of use a day, the main filter needs to be replaced every 12 months and the active carbon filter every 6 months

Summary:

The Philips Air Purifier 2000i is a solid contender in the wifi enabled air purifier area. It’s large effective area and EnergyStar certification are unique in today’s line up. Keep reading to see where the rest of the contenders stack up, or click the link to see what other buyers have to say about it on Amazon. We have included a search bar in the ad below to help you find relevant products based on the content of this page.


The GermGuardian CDAP4500BCA by Guardian Technologies is working hard on becoming an Amazon sweetheart. All wifi enabled air purifiers come with a companion app to help you monitor and control your air quality wherever you are. Guardian Technologies took the extra step to make their app compatible with Amazon Alexa and includes voice control.

Pros:

Only uses one filter, the FLT4825, instead of separate HEPA and active carbon filters. This makes changing filters a literal breeze…

Additionally treats air with UV-C light to sanitize a wide variety of bacteria, viruses and mold spores.

Cons:

Filter must be replaced every 6 to 8 months depending on use.

GermGuardian products are not eligible for shipping outside the United States.

Summary:

The GermGuardian CDAP4500BCA separates itself from the pack with Amazon Alexa voice command compatibility. It also uses a UV-C light to help prevent the spread of airborne bacteria, viruses and molds. NISPIRA does make an aftermarket filter that is cheaper than the one Guardian Technologies makes. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK – Guardian Technologies advises that their filters must be used in their products in order to maintain product performance and warranty. The GermGuardian FLT4825 GENUINE True HEPA Replacement Filter is a best seller item on Amazon and it fits this air purifier – use it! Guardian Technologies makes this purifier with a 3 year limited warranty.


Continue scrolling to see our last wifi enabled air purifier or take the self-guided tour by clicking through to Amazon.

 

Holmes Smart Wifi-Enabled WeMo True-HEPA Premium Air Purifier, WAP532

The Holmes WAP532 uses the WeMo app or a manual mode to control it’s functions. The WeMo gives buyers an easy to use interface. Auto mode does a great job of cleaning up your home’s air and then conserving energy by powering down as the air quality goes up.

Pros:

This unit has the lowest price point of any of the wifi enabled air purifiers we’ve reviewed today.

Features a full suite of basic functions, simple and effective true HEPA filtration system that does what you need it to.

Filter replacement alerts are indicated on the purifier itself and in the WeMo app

Cons:

Does not have fancy or flashy features. This may also be a pro depending on what you’re looking for!

Summary:

The Holmes WAP532 is a simple and straightforward wifi enabled air purifier. Sporting throwback woodgrain panels tells you everything you need to know – this is a simple and dependable piece of machinery. It ships with two replacement filters right off the bat. You should be a good while before you need to order replacement filters. The Holmes AER1 Allergen Remover True HEPA Filter, HAPF300AH-U4R is compatible with this air purifier. Buyers frequently purchased them together.

And the best wifi enabled air purifier is…

Today we reviewed three wifi enabled air purifiers that all featured a range of strengths and features. The Philips Air Purifier 2000i and the GermGuardian CDAP4500BCA both bring some unique features and functionality to the table. Guardian Technologies is the only company fully dedicated to air quality products. Phillips and Holmes both make a wide variety of quality home furnishings and appliances.

All the units feature sensors to increase and decrease output as conditions dictate. However, the Phillips 2000i unit is the only one that advertised EnergyStar certification. The air quality sensor is a handy feature that is functional with no need for set up or programming. This feature can quickly get you started on the path to breathing cleaner, healthier air. This would be the best wifi enabled air purifier if energy usage is one of your main concerns.

The GermGuardian CDAP4500BCA is the only purifier reviewed that has an ultraviolet light. The light further purifies the air that passes through the appliance. The extra level of sanitation is what sets the GermGuardian apart from the others.

The Holmes WAP532 gets straight to the point with easy to use options while leaving out some of the higher end functions. This is the simplest wifi enabled air purifier we reviewed today. It does work with WeMo, which in turn works with Amazon Alexa. The WAP532 is simple but can still fit seamlessly into a high tech home.

All of these products have great reviews on Amazon and are solid choices for various reasons. Hopefully the information here will help inform you and make the right decision about the best wifi enabled air purifier for your smart home.

Different Types of Humidifiers

Different Types of Humidifiers

A Brief Overview of the Different Types of Humidifiers

There are many different types of humidifiers with a lot of different uses and features. They all have some similarities to each other. Humidifiers are electric appliances that generate steam or water mist and discharge it into the atmosphere within the room where the gadget is located. They can also do this through the entire home when a strong whole-house in-line humidifier is installed in the ductwork of the home. Most humidifiers with a unique style, features, and built-in humidistat are highly demanded and hence expensive.

The best models are characterized by low noise, maintenance reminders, ease of cleaning, adjustable-output humidity, ease of filling, automatic shut off, antibacterial features and a hygrometer or humidistat to monitor the moisture of the room. Humidifiers are either classified as warm-mist or cool-mist depending on their function within the area of installation. They are sold in compact personal, floor console, portable or whole-house models.

Cool Mist Humidifiers vs Warm Mist Humidifiers

A cool mist humidifier functions well in places where the inhabitants struggle with hard water. The process of cool mist is efficient since it prevents hard water from building up on the filter portion and wick of the machine. The cool mist assembly is also effective in trapping the minerals contained in the hard water, preventing them from permeating the air where they can be inhaled as people breathe. These humidifiers are ideal for kids since they are less prone to burn risk, which is a risk with hot vapor humidifiers.

Cool Mist Humidifier Advantages and Drawbacks

Pros

  • They make a cool vapor which is safer for children and pets compared to a warm mist or steam humidifier
  • Easy cleaning and little maintenance required
  • Most come with a filter that removes waterborne impurities
  • Depending on the model you may be able to add inhalants like essential oils, making them helpful for when you have a cold or flu

Cons

  • Because they do not use any heat, bacterial contamination can occur. We recommend keeping humidifier bacteriostat on hand
  • Mineral dust may accumulate on nearby surfaces if you use unfiltered water and the humidifier does not have a filter in it
  • Operating noise can be louder than warm mist humidifiers

Warm mist humidifiers are the best models in areas with soft water. They moisten the air by releasing warm, wet vapor to the atmosphere. Most people prefer their impeccable comfort and uniform humidification that mitigates the effect of cold symptoms, sore throat, and congestion. However, they get clogged with the minerals that occur naturally in harder water making them dirty. Becoming familiar with when and how to clean your humidifier can prevent clogs from affecting your humidifier. A water softener can also offer a perfect remedy to this defect. Warm mist humidifiers actually boil the water and release warm vapor as steam, which ensures that spores and bacteria are killed. Therefore, they make for a more comfortable and healthier night’s sleep.

Warm Mist Humidifier Advantages and Drawbacks

Pros

  • There is a reduced risk of bacterial contamination due to heat
  • Mineral dust accumulation is much less common
  • Fewer models come with this option but it is still possible to find one that allows adding inhalants to help manage symptoms of colds and the flu
  • Quiet operation

Cons

  • There is a risk of burns if the humidifier is spilled, use caution when around children
  • Low energy efficiency
  • Can be more difficult to clean, be sure to check for reviews

Different Types of Humidifiers

Within the cool mist and warm mist humidifier categories there are other distinct types that provide more specific functions and modes of operation. There are different types of humidifiers with distinct features, although they serve almost the same purpose. The main types include portable, industrial, and forced-air humidifiers among other types.

Industrial Humidifiers

Industrial humidifiers are installed in big buildings to maintain a specific level of humidity so as to preserve material properties, prevent static electricity buildup and ensure a healthy and comfortable living or working environment. Industries such as printing, paper, packaging, plastic, electrostatic, textiles, pharmaceuticals and automotive manufacturing are prone to static problems. Scientists recommend a range of 45-55% relative humidity.

If humidity falls below 45% relative humidity, the occurrence of friction causes static buildup and sparks that can damage Information Technology equipment. Paper and printer manufacturing firms use humidifiers to curb shrinkage and paper curl while art museums use them to preserve sensitive works of art. These humidifiers are also ideal for hospital operating rooms, cold storage rooms, and semiconductor manufacturing firms.

Portable Humidifiers

Portable humidifiers come in different sizes and ranges from small tabletop humidifiers to large floor-mounted units. Smaller personal humidifiers are great for traveling. Some people also use them to help prevent bloody noses caused by dry air. They require manual refilling with water on a periodic basis. The main categories of portable humidifiers include evaporative and ultrasonic humidifiers. Although these models all humidify a room efficiently, they are distinct and have significant differences in moisture production with minimal trade-offs. These differences are evident in their features and operation noise.

Most types of humidifiers you see in your home are portable to one degree or another. Later on we talk about furnace humidifiers and under duct humidifiers. These are found in residences but are not portable.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers are the most energy-efficient among all humidifiers. They contain a water reservoir and oscillating plates. The plates vibrate at an ultrasonic frequency, transforming water into a fine mist, which is then blown out by use of a fan. One of its downfalls is that it produces white dust as a by-product, which can be problematic for people who experience asthma. Nevertheless, some newer models use advanced technology that prevent the occurrence of white dust.

Evaporative Humidifiers

Evaporative humidifiers blow water using a fan that releases moisture into the air. These appliances are great for your home since they maintain hygiene, use lower amounts of electricity and operate silently. They are ideal for bedrooms, study rooms or places that require minimal noises. There are two main models of evaporative humidifiers, which can be distinguished by their system. One model uses the porous filter while the other uses rotating discs. The model that uses a porous filter can be polluted easily by dust or other fine matter in the air. On the other hand, the model containing the rotating discs is made using hardened plastic that makes them firm and easy to clean.

Even more types of humidifiers…

Other portable humidifiers include vaporizers and impeller humidifiers.

A vaporizer, which is also known as a warm mist humidifier or steam humidifier, works by boiling water and then releasing the steam and moisture into the air. It is advisable to add a medicated inhalant to the vaporizer to curb coughing spells. They are hygienic appliances since steam does not convey microorganisms or mineral impurities to the water held in the reservoir. This vaporizer consumes a lot of energy, as it requires boiling water, which raises the utility bills. Its heat source should be well designed to prevent overheating or leaking.

Impeller humidifiers are a type of cool-mist humidifiers. They fling water at a diffuser using a spinning disc. The disc splits the incoming water into fine droplets that float in the air. If the water used is not kept scrupulously clean, dissolved minerals and microorganisms can be sent into the air. They can settle on nearby household items as white dust.

Permanently Installed Humidifiers

Forced-air humidifiers are normally installed in buildings with a forced-air furnace. They are efficient in protecting wooden items and antiques as well as other furnishings that might be damaged by overly dry air. If bypass humidifiers are connected between the cold and heated air return ducts, some heated air will bypass via the humidifier and go back to the furnace. The pressure difference that exists between the ducts enhances this connection.

The different types of humidifiers that use a forced-air mechanism include drums, disc wheels, bypass flow-through, and spray mist.

Drums style (bypass) contains a pipe that is used to supply water to the reservoir or pan, which is attached to the furnace. The reservoir’s water level is controlled using a float valve. The wick is comprised of a foam pad attached to a small motor and mounted on a drum. The air that enters the drum is forced out through its sides. When the hygrostat detects a decrease in humidity, the motor is restarted making the drum spin swiftly through the pan containing water. This ensures that the foam pad does not dry out. The drum-style humidifier should be used with furnace air filters that are rated as high quality to prevent mold buildup.

A disc wheel style (bypass) has a lot of similarities to the drum style humidifiers. However, the foam drum is replaced with several plastic discs that have small grooves on both sides. This indicates that the evaporative surface area is large, regardless of space. Unlike the drum, the disc wheel doesn’t require periodic replacement.

Bypass flow-through (bypass or biscuit style) delivers water to an electrically controlled valve situated at the top of the appliance using a pipe. Air is passed through the “biscuit” (aluminum or pad) that is identical to a very coarse steel wool. The biscuit is coated with matte ceramic to increase the surface area. When the hygrostat detects a decrease in humidity, the valve is opened and water sprays the biscuit. Evaporation of water from the pad takes place when the biscuit is subjected to hot air. This releases the vapor into the atmosphere.

Under Duct Humidifier

An under duct humidifier can be either a bypass flow through humidifier or a drum style humidifier. The under duct humidifier gets its name from how it is installed into your home’s ventilation system. This type of humidifier is installed by cutting a square piece out of the underside of the duct work that forces warm air into your living area. Then, the tub is attached to the opening in the duct work with either the drum or biscuit inside. When warm air moves through the duct it will pass by the under duct humidifier and pick up extra moisture via evaporation. As the warm air comes out of your vents it brings the extra moisture with it.

The spray mist type is fitted with a small tube or pipe, which delivers water to an electrically controlled valve. The air supplied is sprayed with water mist, causing the flow of air to push the mist into the premises.

Other types of humidifiers include the centrifugal atomizer, non-bypass flow-through, and steam designs. The introduction of new humidifier models such as whole house console humidifiers, top-fill humidifiers, and UV germ-free humidifiers has revolutionized the humidifier market due to their high demand.

Humidifier Wrap Up

Humidifiers are efficient in improving the air quality and comfort.  They do this by moisturizing the dry air in the home or work place. This has a positive impact on the home inhabitants and the general home environment. The moisturized air curbs the occurrence of coughs, chapped lips and static electricity.

Low humidity air can also lead to the cracking of wooden musical instruments or furniture caused by extremely dry air. On the other end of the spectrum, excessive moisture in the air incubates mildew and helps dust mites reproduce. Both of these can be hazardous to human health.

It is recommendable to maintain a balance of home moisture by controlling the amount of the home’s humidity. This problem is evident during winter in cold climates. People in this situation may struggle to keep the air in their homes properly humidified and also keep excess condensation off their windows. Some humidifiers have built in humidistats that can measure the humidity in the air as they are producing moisture. Once the humidity is at the correct level, the humidifier will automatically shut itself off until the humidity drops again. A dehumidifier can lower the level of humidity in your home if need be. This appliance is also ideal in eliminating musty odors.

This article strives to identify and give brief overviews on a wide range of different types of humidifiers. For further reading try any of the links below.

Personal Humidifier

Wifi Enabled Air Purifiers for your Smart Home

Filterless Humidifiers