Adding a humidifier to your home may be necessary for some circumstances, but how are you supposed to know when you should be using one? A humidifier can make you feel more comfortable in your home, helping to alleviate dry skin, some cold symptoms, and respiratory symptoms.
Here’s how to tell when you may need to add a humidifier into your home.
Symptoms of Low Humidity
If you’re experiencing symptoms related to low humidity levels, you may want to invest in a humidifier for your home. Dry air can lead to a variety of different symptoms, such as:
- Dry skin
- Itchy eyes
- Irritated nasal passages
- Bloody nose
- Itchy throat
- Aggravated symptoms of the common cold or other respiratory issues
If you raise the humidity levels in your home, you may notice a drop in these symptoms or total improvement overall. You’ll need to raise your humidity level quite a bit, a marginal rise won’t have the same benefits or effects on your symptoms.
How to Measure Humidity Levels
In a home environment, your humidity levels should be anywhere between 30 and 50 percent, although the best percentage is stated to be 35% by multiple sources. Anywhere below 30% is considered to be uncomfortably dry while levels that are higher than 50% can promote mold and bacterial growth. You may find that your symptoms are also aggravated by a humidity level that’s too high.
You can measure humidity by purchasing a hygrometer. With the use of a hygrometer and your humidifier, you should be able to achieve optimal humidity levels without your house.
Options for Adding Humidity
There are many different types of humidifiers that you can purchase for your home, including:
- Cool mist humidifiers
- Whole-house humidifiers
- Electric vaporizers
- Impeller humidifiers
Depending on what you’re using your humidifier for, you may want to choose a different type. For example, if you want to raise the humidity in your entire house, a whole-house humidifier would be more useful. If you want to raise the humidity in one room, if someone is sick, you might want to try a cool-mist humidifier.
Humidifiers that have large tanks are also often better for large spaces, as they tend to fill rooms much faster and for much longer periods of time. A small room would do just fine with a small tank, so you don’t over-humidify your room on accident.
Think About Your Home
When purchasing a humidifier, you also want to keep your home in mind. If you have wood floors, they may shrink up during the dry months, so you might want to invest in a humidifier for your home that will keep your floors looking nice and new all year round.
You also want to keep in mind that humidity can do some damage, so keep it away from expensive art and pictures that you don’t want to get damaged.
You can also use humidity to help your plants survive longer. Using humidity with your plants can allow them to live longer and become more vibrant and green.
Choosing a Humidifier
There are so many different humidifiers on the market that it might be hard for you to choose which one you want for your home, but there are a few things you can keep in mind that will help you choose.
Keep in mind the size of the room you want to humidify, how long you want the humidifier to be able to run, and how often you want to have to refill it. Are you looking for a fancier option with settings and timers, or would a constant stream be just fine?
No matter what, we hope you find the humidifier that fits your needs so you can enjoy its many benefits.
Types of Humidifiers And its Pros and Cons
There are five different types of portable room humidifiers: warm mist, vaporizers, cold mist, and ultrasonic. Users of each type can weigh the pros and cons of each to choose the one that best suits their needs and those of their house and family.
Cool Mist Humidifiers
To add moisture to the air, cool mist humidifiers release a cool vapor. They use an easy-to-clean filter to catch water pollutants. These humidifiers are best used in warmer climates and throughout those times of the year.
Having a cold mist humidifier in your bedroom, office, or other living area has several advantages. There are many kinds available because they are the most widely used type of humidifier. Numerous varieties of mist humidifiers also make use of evaporative and ultrasonic technology. The first step is to become familiar with the terminology.
- Evaporative cool mist humidifiers – The space is filled with an ultra-fine mist produced by evaporative cool mist humidifiers. A wick filter is blown over by a fan inside the appliance, allowing the ambient air to absorb the moisture and raise the humidity level.
- Ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers – High-frequency vibration technology is used by ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers to disperse water droplets all throughout the space. The moisture is released as a thin, cool mist and the vibration is silent.
The humidity can be raised in larger places with the help of cool mist humidifiers. When it comes to changing and maintaining the humidity level in larger bedrooms, open living spaces, and common areas, these units are often more effective than warm mist humidifiers.
A cool mist humidifier uses no heating element, making it an excellent choice for a nursery or kid’s room. With the use of an evaporative or ultrasonic cool mist humidifier, curious hands can avoid burn-related injuries.
When purchasing this kind of unit, it’s important to take the volume level and required maintenance into consideration. Some units may make more noise than others because these devices use a fan to spread the cool vapors. To prevent the development of mold and germs, you should also routinely clean or replace the wick filter (follow the directions in the user manual that came with your appliance).
- Emit cool vapor, safer for children and pets
- Easy cleaning and little maintenance required
- Filter out waterborne impurities
- Can add inhalants, making them good for cold and flu sufferers
- Cost effective
- Helpful for asthma and allergy sufferers
- Bacterial contamination can occur
- Mineral dust may accumulate from water filtration
- Operating noise
In order to add water droplets to the air, an ultrasonic humidifier uses a metallic diaphragm that vibrates at high frequencies. They are excellent for usage overnight and in locations where you don’t want to generate noise because they consume very little energy and make no noise when functioning.
- Extremely energy efficient
- No operating noise
- No hot surfaces, eliminating the burn risk
- Easy to clean, little maintenance required
- Good choice for asthma and allergy sufferers
- Bacterial contamination may occur
- Mineral dust accumulates
- More expensive than other options
An evaporative humidifier doesn’t heat water to produce humidity; instead, it works much like a cool mist evaporator. It is a wick humidifier that circulates humidity using a fan. For families with kids and dogs, they are perfect because they don’t produce heat.
- No hot surfaces, safe for children and pets
- Easy cleaning, low maintenance
- Good choice to treat asthma and allergies
- Operating noise from the system fan
- Bacterial contamination
- Mineral dust accumulation
Warm Mist Humidifiers
A warm mist humidifier provides comforting relief on chilly winter days or when your family is suffering from severe congestion. A warm mist device can be a fantastic choice, depending on the type of environment you wish to increase humidity in.
During the colder months, warm mist humidifiers are frequently used to treat colds and the flu. They warm the water to produce vapor, which is then cooled before being discharged. Since the water is heated, bacterial contamination is less likely to occur in these systems.
As a result of the water being boiled before the vapor is emitted, warm mist humidifiers provide cleaner air that is typically devoid of germs or mold spores. It’s an excellent alternative for homes looking to improve the quality of their indoor air because the dangerous particles are destroyed before the mist leaves the device.
A warm mist device is also an excellent choice if you’re searching for a humidifier that is incredibly silent. Since there isn’t an internal fan, the system runs almost completely silently.
The dry winter air can be relieved with the help of a warm mist humidifier. Particularly in smaller places, the mist fosters a comfortable atmosphere.
The size of the desired room and the cleaning process should be taken into consideration when choosing a humidifier that emits warm mist. Small to medium-sized areas are ideal for warm mist humidifiers. In large rooms, they perform less well. Additionally, compared to cold mist systems, the boiling process might result in mineral deposits that make routine cleaning a little more challenging.
- Reduced risk of bacterial contamination due to heat
- Reduced mineral dust accumulation
- Can add inhalants to treat colds and the flu
- Quiet operation
- Risk of burns, not suitable for use around children
- Low energy efficiency
- More difficult to clean
Either heated mist or cool mist can come from a vaporizer. They can contain inhalants, making them a popular option for treating the flu and cold. They are a fantastic option for all budgets because they are often relatively affordable.
- Bacterial contamination is less likely
- Less mineral dust accumulation
- Inhalants can be added to treat colds and the flu
- Low operating noise
- Heavy energy consumption
- Burn risk
- Harder to clean
- Not for use near children
Tips for Keeping Your Humidifier Clean
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to keep humidifiers free of dangerous mold and germs. Also useful are the following guidelines for using portable humidifiers:
- Use distilled or demineralized water – The minerals in tap water might cause deposits inside your humidifier that encourage the growth of bacteria. These minerals frequently show up as white dust on your furniture after being released into the air. You might also breathe in some minerals that have been dispersed in the air. Water that has been distilled or demineralized contains significantly fewer minerals than tap water. Use demineralization filters or cartridges if advised to do so by the manufacturer.
- Change humidifier water often – Do not let deposits or film form within your humidifiers. If at all feasible, empty the tanks, dry the inside surfaces, and fill them back up with fresh water every day, especially if you’re using cool-mist or ultrasonic humidifiers. Unplug the device first.
- Clean humidifiers every 3 days – Before cleaning the humidifier, unplug it. Use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, which is sold in pharmacies, to remove any mineral buildup or film from the humidifier’s tank or other components. Utilizing disinfectants such as chlorine bleach is advised by some manufacturers.
- Always rinse the tank after cleaning – This can prevent dangerous substances from dispersing into the air and being inhaled.
- Change humidifier filters regularly – Change the humidifier’s filter if one is present at least as frequently as the manufacturer advises, and more frequently if it’s dirty. Additionally, you should frequently replace the filters in your central heating and cooling system.
- Keep the area around humidifiers dry – Turn down the humidifier or use it less frequently if the environment surrounding it becomes damp or wet, including the windows, flooring, draperies, or tablecloths.
- Prepare humidifiers for storage – Before storing humidifiers, drain and clean them. When you remove them from storage to utilize them, clean them once more. All used filters, cassettes, and cartridges should be thrown away.
- Follow instructions for central humidifiers – Read the maintenance instructions or consult your heating and cooling specialist if your central heating and cooling system includes a humidifier.
- Consider replacing old humidifiers – Humidifiers can accumulate deposits over time that are challenging or impossible to clean and promote the development of microorganisms.
Depending on your specific needs and circumstances, you could need a humidifier. A humidifier can offer several advantages if you encounter dry indoor air or live in a dry area, including the reduction of respiratory issues, enhancement of skin and hair health, and prevention of dryness and irritation of the eyes and throat. However, a humidifier might not be necessary or could be harmful if you live in a humid environment or have a medical condition that calls for low humidity levels.