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.
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.