Everything You Need to Know About Humidifiers

We all know that our working and/or living space should have an optimal humidity level, though few of us actually follow that rule. We think that’s not something that we should think about, let alone spend our money on that. Well, if you want to catch a cold every once in a while, have a dry skin, irritated eyes, and much more, be our guest. In that case, you don't need a humidifier. BUT, if you want to make the most out of every single breath and are willing to invest in a good humidifier, this is the right article for you.

When humidity is kept at an optimal level, we are less likely to catch a cold (this is especially true for kids), and our skin will not be dry. Not only that, but the air will be healthier and cleaner. From benefits to buyers guide to tips, you’re about to learn all there is to learn about humidifiers. So, take a deep breath and keep on reading.

What is a humidifier?

We think that starting an article with explaining what a humidifier actually is, is a pretty smart idea. Probably, most of you aren't familiar with this device and the way it works. This handy device is designed for increasing humidity level in a room since it emits water vapor into space.

There are a few types of humidifiers that you will read about later on. For now, we want to explain to you why you need to buy one of these devices.

We all love statistics, don’t we? So, here are some numbers for you. According to research in 2013, humidity levels that were 43% or above, contributed to reducing airborne viruses. Thanks to that, flu infections were greatly reduced. Moreover, rooms, homes, and offices with low humidity level had 70% viruses that transmitted the disease. Pretty serious huh?

Benefits of a humidifier

But, if you still aren’t convinced that you should buy a humidifier, here are some reasons.

Comfortable sinuses

Know that dry feeling in your nose during the winter? The reason you experience it is due to low humidity level. When sinuses are dried out, your resistance to bacteria and viruses is greatly reduced, which is why you are more prone to catching a cold in the winter than in the summer. But with a humidifier, your sinuses will be in a good condition even during the winter.

Softer skin

It is not a secret that during the winter, our skin is dry and dull. Do you know why that is so? That's right – because of low humidity level. The dry air makes our skin dry and itchy and also increase aging. To avoid any of this happens, you need a humidifier. It will help your skin look healthier and be softer.

Fewer viruses and bacteria


In well-humidified rooms, these mean little creatures cannot transfer as fast and in a large number as they would if they are in the room with the cold and dry air.

You will heal much faster


In case you somehow manage to catch a cold, a humidifier will help you get well faster. But, how is that possible you ask? Well, because a humidifier will ensure your throat and nasal passages are moist, at the same time reducing other symptoms of a cold. Who would think a humidifier is so much useful huh?

Wood furnishings will be protected


It is not all about you, you know? Your furnishing also matter. When the air is dry, wood furniture may start to split. And that’s where a humidifier comes in handy. With this clever device in your home, your wood furniture will be in a mu7ch better condition, since the construction will be preserved.

Happy houseplants

Except for people and wood furniture, do you know who also loves humidifiers? Houseplants! You have probably noticed that in the winter your plant look sick and the soil is dry. Again, this is because of the air is dry. With a humidifier, your plants will look much healthier and will be happy.  

Better sleep


Does your partner snore? Well, it is time to change that. When the air is dry, our sinuses and throat are also dry. A humidifier ensures that the air is moist and are environment feels warmer, helping us sleep better.

What to consider when choosing a humidifier   

This section is all about choosing a good humidifier for your home or office.  Naturally, you first have to know what features to focus on in order to buy the right humidifier. With that in mind, here are the things to be aware of.

Types of Humidifiers

First and foremost, you should know that there are a few types of humidifiers. Here are quick explanations of them.

1. Steam

This is the most affordable humidifier, and as such is a good choice for people with a limited budget. This unit is also called “a vaporizer” due to the way it works. Namely, this type of a humidifier boils the water and then the hot steam is released into the air. This model uses the simplest technology for humidifying, which is why it can cost less than $20. It is easy to use, though it is not meant for kids’ room (due to the warm steam).

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Simple design and performance
  • Easy to use
Cons:
  • Uses the simplest technology so you shouldn’t expect anything more than the warm steam
  • Not to be used in kids’ room
2. Ultrasonic

This type of a humidifier works in such a way that it uses high-frequency vibrations in order to turn the water into a mist. Usually, this type offers the chance to choose between cool and warm mist, making it a good choice for all year round use. The unit comes with a replaceable cartridge that has to be changed in a few months, depending on what the manufacturer says. The best part is that it is whisper-quiet. However, it is much more expensive than steam humidifiers. The downside is that you have to clean it on a regular basis, otherwise the water will be stagnant. That leads to bacteria and mold growth.

Pros:
  • Perfect for all year round use
  • Quiet
  • Easy to use
  • Cool and warm steam
Cons:
  • Pricey
  • Has to be cleaned regularly
3. Evaporative/Wick system

An evaporative humidifier uses a paper, foam wick or a cloth for drawing the water out of the water tank, while the fan ensures the wick sends the moisture to the air. This unit comes with a water tank that needs to be filled every day, or even more often; depending on the humidity level in your home as well as on the size of a room. It is easy to clean and best models come with a warranty.
An evaporative humidifier is great for humidifying areas up to 1000sq.ft.but you have to find a place for it because it is rather bulky. Plus, this unit is far from quiet.

Pros:
  • Great for large areas
  • Powerful
  • Easy to clean
Cons:
  • Bulky
  • Noisy
4. Impeller

An impeller humidifier is the most common choice, due to its cool mist, affordable price, and a good performance. This unit uses a rotating disc for sending the water through a diffuser. The diffuser then breaks the water into small droplets that are sent into the air. This humidifier is designed for smaller areas and comes with a water tank. Run time is usually about 24 hours. An Impeller humidifier looks stylish and is perfect for offices. On top of all, it is a breeze to clean and use.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Perfect for offices
  • Stylish design
  • Easy to clean
Cons:
  • You have to refill the tank every day
Size

Next thing to consider is the size of a humidifier. In general, you can choose from three sizes, depending on what you need. Needless to say, each one comes with different area coverage and gallon dispersion rating.

Whole house humidifiers

As the name implies, these humidifiers are meant for humidifying the entire house (of course, your home needs to have open doorways). These humidifiers can humidify areas from 1700 – 2700 sq. ft.

Room humidifiers


Clearly, these models are designed for humidifying much smaller area, being the perfect choice for humidifying multi-room area or a single room. They are powerful enough for humidifying areas from 650-1200 sq. ft.

Tabletop humidifiers


Also called “portable humidifiers”, these units are ideal for a single room or a small office. They are the least expensive option, take up little space and can be easily stored in a suitcase.

Where would you place it?
Now that we talked about types and sizes, it is time to talk about the location. Meaning, before opting for a certain model, you should take its size and weight into account. This will help you find the place in your home for your humidifier. The last thing you want is to buy a humidifier only to realize that you don’t have the place for it.

Performance


Even though this may seem like a no-brainer, your humidifier should perform well. Meaning, you have to buy the unit that will be powerful enough to humidify the area you want and will work well all the time. Of course, you need to clean it regularly to keep it in a good condition.

Ease of use


You probably don't need a humidifier that is complicated to use.  In that case, look for the one that comes with various settings and features, such as auto shut off. However, if you don't want to spend a lot of money on a humidifier, buy the one that is cleverly designed, thus it is easy to fill and maintain.

Durability

When choosing a humidifier, choose the one that is well-built, if you can afford it. Cheaper models may not be well designed, and are usually made from cheaper materials. That being said, you have to keep it somewhere where no one can reach it, otherwise, someone may drop the unit. And if it is poorly made, it will get damaged or will break.

Ideally, your humidifier should be made from sturdy materials, so that it can last you for years to come.

Noise


Do you have a baby? Perhaps, you love silence in your bedroom and don’t want a noisy humidifier to intimidate that. Either way, you need to buy a quiet humidifier. In that case, look for an ultrasonic or cool mist humidifier as they operate silently.

However, if you are fine with a noisy humidifier, and want to humidify a large area, then go with an evaporative model.

Safety


Safety always comes first. This is especially true if you have kids and pets. As mentioned above, steam humidifiers aren’t a good choice if you have little ones or pets (or both). In fact, steam humidifiers can be very dangerous for your kids and pets. Your little one or your pet can accidentally tip the unit over. Since this humidifier boils water and creates the hot steam, tipping the unit over leads to burns.

Another thing related to safety is how often you clean your humidifier. If you don’t clean it every week, and in a proper way, bacteria and mold will grow rapidly. The worst part is that the humidifier will send them to the air you breathe in.

Design


Not all of us have a tendency to choose those items that will perfectly match their home’s interior. But, those of us who do will be happy to hear that humidifiers come in various shapes, sizes, and designs. So, you will be able to find a classic, elegant, or stylish humidifier for your living space.

Maintenance


Another thing to consider when buying a humidifier is how easy you can take care of it. Does the unit come with a cartridge? If yes, how often do you need to replace it? What about a water tank; how big it is? Also, how often should the unit be refilled? Best humidifiers come with a handy shut-off feature, so they will turn off when the water evaporates.

Also, can you clean a humidifier quickly and easily, or that part is complicated and time-consuming?

All of these questions will steer you in the right direction so that you know what to expect of a particular model.

Price and Warranty

Last but not least. Of course, your budget determines how the quality product you can buy. Our advice for you is to always choose trusted brands, and buy humidifiers with good ratings. However, you should not confuse a good quality with a high price. As always, some expensive models may be overrated, while those less expensive ones may be underrated. Because of that, make sure to read reviews as they will help you get a clearer picture of what the product has to offer.

As for the warranty, well, it is always good to have one. Of course, not all models come with a warranty. But, moderate quality products from trusted brands will come with at least 1-year warranty.

Tips for keeping a humidifier’s performance at a high level

In order to keep humidity at an optimal level, a humidifier needs to function properly. Otherwise, this unit can become the place where bacteria and mold freely grow. Because of that, you need to take special care about your humidifier. Here is how to do that.

Clean it on a regular basis


Over time, bacteria and mold start to build up in a humidifier. That being said, you will have to clean it at least once a week. A clean humidifier will be safe for your environment and will also perform at its best.

What about filters?


If your humidifier comes with a filter, you should change it every six months or so. Anyways, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how often you need to change the filter and how to change it. This process should not be complicated.

Don’t use tap water

Instead of using tap water, try using demineralized or distilled water. They contain fewer minerals, so they will make cleaning much easier. Plus, bacteria and mold will take much longer to build up.

Buy a hygrometer
The key to health is in balance. The same goes for humidifiers. Sometimes, you can over-humidify your office or your home, which is as bad as over-drying the room. What you need to do is buy a hygrometer. That way, you will keep humidity under control. Ideally, humidity level should be 45%.  

The Final Words


Well, that would be all from us. We came to an End of this quite long article, and now it is your turn. It is time for you to put this knowledge into practice and find the best humidifier for you and your loved ones. We know that this article helped you a lot, but you don’t have to thank us. We wanted to do a good deed and help you.

A good humidifier makes all the difference in your home, which you will soon find out on your own. So, keep in mind that a humidifier should be safe, perform well, easy to clean and use and ideally, it should come at a great price and with a warranty. However, you can buy the best humidifier possible, but if you don’t take proper care of it, it will be useless. Follow out tips for taking care of a humidifier and you will have your humidifier for years to come.