Humidifiers: Adding Comfort To Your Home
Today’s homes typically have many appliances, which all aim to add to the comfort levels of those who live in the house. Air conditioners are used to make the air cooler, purifiers are used to make the air fit for breathing, and various other devices find a place in the modern home. One such device, which although not yet very popular, but which has great benefits, is a humidifier.
What Are Humidifiers?
A humidifier is an appliance that increases the humidity of the air through addition of moisture to the air, in a regulated manner. But why does any home require a humidifier?
Read on to know why. When the air in your home becomes too dry, it can lead to many problems. Dry air offers a favorable environment to various bacteria and germs, which thrive in such conditions. Such germs are responsible for many health problems including nose bleeds, dry nose, itchy throat, and scaly skin.
Thus, by putting a humidifier in your home, and increasing the humidity in the air, you can alleviate all these problems. Dry air can be a problem in summers and winters. In summers, because of the high temperatures, air tends to be dry. Whereas in winters, because of winter heating, air becomes very dry. Hence, humidifiers can be used throughout the year.
Types of Humidifiers
There is not just one basic type of humidifier, but different kinds classified according to the technology used in making them. Here are some of the main types:
Steam humidifiers: Also known as vaporizers, these work by boiling the water in the device and releasing it as steam. Such humidifiers also do not tend to have the problem of releasing microorganisms in the air, which can be a concern with other types of humidifiers.
Warm mist humidifiers: These are similar to vaporizers but do not expel the steam instantly. The water is allowed to chill a little bit before it is released into the air as a warm mist.
Cool mist humidifiers: Such humidifiers do not have any boiling action on the water, but only spray it out in the air as a cool mist. With these humidifiers, there may be a concern of releasing some microorganisms into the air along with the cool mist.
Evaporative humidifiers: These humidifiers contain a fan, which operates behind a wet pad or wet filter, thus releasing humid air from the humidifier.
Ultrasonic humidifiers: Such devices have a mechanism in them, which causes vibrations, because of which the water is broken down into humid vapor and released into the air.
All the above typesare available from leading makers of humidifiers namely, Hunter, Holmes, Aprilaire, Honeywell, Bemis, Duracraft, and Venta.
How To Buy Home Humidifiers
Most people are aware of the effects of bad outdoor air, but not many people are conscious of the fact that indoor air quality is fast becoming much worse than outdoor air. Due to heating systems and insulation of homes, the air in homes is becoming drier every day.
If your indoor air is too dry, it can lead to many problems, ill health being just one of them. Thus, there is a growing need for home humidifiers, which can combat the problem of dry indoor air expertly.
Choosing Humidifiers For The Home
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are choosing humidifiers for the home.
Types of home humidifiers: Home humidifiers are available in various types. If you want a humidifier for your entire home, you should choose a whole house humidifier.
Such humidifiers are integrated into your air ventilation systems so that they can moisturize the full air in your home. Multi-room humidifiers are great for those who want to put a humidifier in a specific location. With a portable humidifier, you can move it from room to room, thus enabling you to humidify different areas at different times.
Size of the home humidifier: Your choice of home humidifier will depend on the size of your home or the size of the room where you wish to install the device. All humidifiers have a maximum capacity that allows them to humidify spaces that are a particular size. If you place a humidifier with a low capacity in a very big room, the air may not get moistened sufficiently. Thus, you should measure your area before looking for a humidifier.
Ease of use: Try and find a home humidifier that is easy to maintain and clean. The water tanks should not be too difficult to carry and you should be able to refill them easily. The humidifier should also be able to contain minerals in the water efficiently and not disperse white mineral dust into the air.
By choosing a humidifier from leading brands of home humidifiers such as Bemis, Hunter, Holmes, Aprilaire etc, you can be assured of getting a quality product.
Understanding The Need For House Humidifiers
A humidifier is a great device that can benefit you in many ways. With a humidifier, either a house humidifier or a commercial humidifier, you can make indoor air more humid and can thus ease all kinds of discomforts that are associated with dry air.
A humidifier can be used effectively in homes as well as in your work place. Many industries and businesses make use of humidifiers as they help to increase humidity, which in turn leads to a rise in production capacity, and also enhances the quality and finish of many products.
Although humidifiers can thus be used at your workplace, in this article we will focus on house humidifiers and see how you can benefit from putting a house humidifier in your home.
Comforts Of A House Humidifier
A whole house humidifier is generally one of two types. You can go in for either a whole house humidifier that gets mounted with your furnace, or you can get a larger capacity home humidifier that has the ability to humidify your entire home.
The furnace house humidifiers are ones that are typically integrated with your ventilation systems. As they are attached to your heating or cooling systems, the humid air can travel to all areas of your home, thus increasing comfort levels everywhere.
Some people feel that such a whole house humidifier may be quite difficult to clean and maintain. Although that may not necessarily be true, if you do want an easier-to-clean appliance, you should go in for a big home humidifier that does not mount to your furnace, but still has enough capacity to make your total indoor air humid.
Benefits Of Whole House Humidifiers
With such a humidifier, you can finally get rid of health problems such as scratchy throat, dry lips, cracked skin etc, all of which can result from very dry air. In addition to your health, you can also see the benefits in terms of no more peeling wallpaper, no more cracks in furniture, and no more spoilt paint. Thus, as is evident from all the above, it is certainly to your advantage to get a whole house humidifier for your home today!
Central Humidifiers: Cleaner Air For The Whole House
A humidifier is a household piece of equipment that increases the level of water vapor, or moisture, in a room. In winters, the furnace, in addition to heating up your home also dries it up. For a comfortable environment a variety of humidifiers are available to add moisture to the dry winter air.
In addition to portable, console and other types of humidifiers there are central humidifiers as well. A central humidifier is attached to the home’s central heating system. They are usually mounted on the hot or cold air ducts of your furnace.
Unlike other humidifiers, like the console type or the portable type, where you have to periodically replenish the water reservoir, the central humidifier is connected directly to the home’s plumbing, doing away with the need to replenish water.
Connected to the furnace, these are the most economical systems. Moisture is controlled with a humidistat and fed directly into the warm airflow.
Central Humidifier Types
Generally there are three types of central humidifiers:
The bypass type with drain supplies hot air through it to the humidifier mounted on the return air duct. The supply duct provides hot air to the home and the return duct draws the cool air to be heated. The excess water drains through a tube into the floor drain.
The bypass type without drain operates similarly to the previous type. Only, the excess water does not drain but is used to moisten the revolving element through which the air passes.
The spray type injects the mist directly into the ducts.
Instead of using individual humidifiers in various rooms, the use of central humidifiers is a very effective way to deal with the dry-home syndrome.
The Benefits Of Air Humidifiers
An air humidifier is a machine that adds moisture to the air where it is placed and increases the humidity in that area. An optimum level of humidity in your home can help to increase your comfort levels and also take care of many problems around the house. Let us take a look at some of the benefits of air humidifiers.
Air Humidifier Benefits
Dry air can cause a host of health problems. An itchy throat, a dry nose, bleeding through the nose, etc, can all be attributed to dry air. As dry air is conducive to the growth of many disease causing bacteria and viruses,
If you have any of these health problems, and the air in your home is too dry, these illnesses can be compounded and may take days to be cured. By using an air humidifier and increasing the moisture content in the air and making it more humid, you can thus ease uncomfortable symptoms and alleviate such health concerns.
Another major concern with dry air is that of flaky skin. Dry air tends to rob the moisture from your skin, thus leaving it very dry. In such a condition, your skin flakes easily and you will also get those ugly white lines at the slightest touch or scratch.
What do you do when your skin becomes too dry? You use a moisturizer, don’t you? Well, an air humidifier works in much the same way. By making the air around you moist, air humidifiers help to solve the problems faced because of very dry skin.
Apart from the above mentioned health problems, an air humidifier can also benefit you in other ways. Due to winter heating, the air in homes is quite hot.
This hot air robs the environment of its moisture content and also absorbs air from everything around it such as furniture, paint, house plants etc. Because of this, you notice cracks in the paint, dried plants, and shriveling furniture; all of which can be stopped by increasing the humidity of your indoor air.
Thus, by simply using an air humidifier, you can take care of all these inconveniences.
The Importance Of Humidifier Filters
An air humidifier helps to increase the humidity levels in your indoor air by dispersing moisture into the air. A humidifier contains many parts and mechanisms, which are important for the efficient working of the machine. One such part, which we will focus on in this article, is a humidifier filter.
Certain types of humidifiers; especially cool mist humidifiers, ultrasonic humidifiers, and evaporative humidifiers, contain humidifier filters in them. Cool mist humidifiers have a fan which forces air through a moisturized humidifier filter, which is then released into the air.
Even in the case of ultrasonic humidifiers, vibrations help to break up the water into droplets, which then passes through a filter before exiting the humidifier. Thus, many humidifiers use filters in this manner.
Humidifier filters also serve another purpose. In addition to moisturizing the air, these filters also help to trap mineral particles and microorganisms. The water that is used in humidifiers, regardless of whether it is hard or soft water, contains certain minerals and microorganisms, which can be released into the air along with the moisture.
Such mineral particles and other substances present in the water can be harmful to your health and cause allergies in people. Thus, humidifier filters help in blocking the entry of such harmful matter into the air.
As a humidifier filter performs important tasks, it is essential that you not use the filters more than their recommended life. If you continue to use a humidifier filter even after it has outlived its usefulness, it will not trap mineral particles efficiently, which will ultimately result in many health concerns.
When buying any humidifier, you will generally be advised as to how often to change your humidifier’s filter. Most wick filters (those which are present in console and cool mist humidifiers) need to be changed every 6-8 weeks.
Water purification filters (which are generally contained in warm mist and ultrasonic humidifiers), have a slightly longer life and can be replaced every 2-4 months. A general rule of thumb is that if you see your filter becoming brown in color, or if you notice white dust settling on surfaces, then it is time to replace your humidifier filters.
Tips On Cleaning Humidifiers
We use humidifiers in our homes to increase the moisture in the room. Excessive moisture encourages the growth of microorganisms such as, bacteria and mold in our homes. Cleaning humidifiers regularly is very important, as breathing these pollutants is a health hazard.
Manufacturer’s instructions on the methods of cleaning and use of humidifier cleaners should be followed. It is advisable to empty out the left over water after every use, and clean and disinfect the reservoir. Cool mist humidifiers do not boil water and so bacteria are not killed.
Rather, they accumulate and multiply in stagnant water. Restarting the humidifier with this water will cause bacteria to infect the air in your home. Cleaning humidifiers is essential for their efficient and continued performance.
Care and Maintenance Of Humidifiers
For the upkeep of humidifiers, there are certain daily and weekly cleaning procedures. This will ensure there are no bacteria built-up. Usually, the filters are required to be changed two to three times a season. This, of course, depends on the quality of the water used as well as the mineral content of the water. Cleaning humidifiers involve:
Daily Humidifier Cleaning
- Remove the reservoir from the unit.
- Remove the wick filter and rinse under running water to remove sediment or dirt.
- Drain water from the reservoir, thoroughly rinse, and wipe it clean.
- Put the parts back and refill the reservoir.
Weekly Cleaning of Humidifiers
- Clean, as you would do on a daily basis.
- Add the recommended humidifier cleaner or 250 ml of undiluted white vinegar to the reservoir. Let it remain for about 20 minutes swishing every once in a while to wet all surfaces.
- Using a soft brush, clean all inside surfaces of the base with vinegar. This will remove the scale.
- Flush the base with clean water to remove scale.
Vaporizers and Humidifiers: Adding Moisture To The Air
For comfortable living, moisture is essential. Heating systems in winter and air conditioners in summers deprive the surrounding indoor air of natural moisture. This lack of moisture leads to irritation and itching of skin and eyes. Lungs and the respiratory tract too require moisture to function effectively and stay healthy.
Vaporizers and humidifiers are devices used to add moisture in the surrounding air. Simply put, a humidifier adds cool mist to make the air moist and the vaporizer uses hot mist to moisten the air. There are many types of vaporizers and humidifiers and they come in different sizes.
Some are portable and tabletop models while others are fixed to your air conditioners and hot air furnaces. Humidifiers would be cool mist, impeller types or ultra sound types. Vaporizers would be steam type or warm mist type. People normally use the terms vaporizers and humidifiers synonymously.
Vaporizers vs. Humidifiers
The basic difference between vaporizers and humidifiers is that the former heats water to disperse hot steam whereas the latter disperses cool mist into the air. Both are helpful in reducing the congestions, coughing and colds. Pediatricians, in general, recommend humidifiers simply for the fact that hot mist may harm the children.
Humidifiers may encourage growth of mold and bacteria in water reservoirs, which may be unhealthy on inhalation. Cool mist may further aggravate your child’s asthma. Water that is boiled for vaporizing will not harbor any bacteria.
Also, warm air holds moisture better than cool air. Many people find warm air much soothing in comparison. Vaporizers do not have any moving parts but a heating element. Small portable or tabletop vaporizers usually have an aromatizer for adding herbs, or similar additives. Generally speaking there is hardly any difference between vaporizers and humidifiers. The choice is entirely yours.
Humidifier Cleaners For Optimum Performance
Users should refer to instruction manuals for efficient decontamination. Additionally, as a safety precaution, all humidifiers must be switched off and unplugged prior to cleaning. In general, tank reservoirs in humidifiers should be cleaned on a weekly basis and more regularly if hard water is used in the tanks.
Hard water contains higher concentration of minerals, such as calcium and most of the time tap water is considered hard water as well. Accumulation of these minerals will be present in the form of ‘white dust’ or in the appearance of discolorations after a period of usage. As these minerals build up in filters humidifier performance will be affected.
Therefore, it is important to use the right kind of humidifier cleaners such as mineral-loosening cleaning solutions like Holmes Cleanse Clean or Bionaire Clean Away. Otherwise, filters and pads will need to be replaced with new ones which could be quite costly in the long run.
Standing water within the humidifier or the evaporator pads may be a cause for concern as they can become a breeding ground for bacteria. These bacteria would then be circulated into the atmosphere when mist or vapor is released into the air.
Conditions such as this would require Microban, an antimicrobial agent which can be used on wick filters and humidifier reservoirs to prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms.
In addition to that, chlorine water (1 teaspoon chlorine/gallon water) can be prepared as a home-made antibacterial humidifier cleaner solution. This solution should be used to soak and rinse humidifier parts as some bacteria may grow better in warm and humid conditions.
Hydrogen peroxide solutions (3%) can also be used to bleach their humidifiers monthly for further bacterial disinfection.
All About Steam Humidifiers, aka Vaporizers
Residential Steam Humidifiers
A residential steam humidifier such as the Honeywell’s clean steam humidifier model HE 440A comes with its own water filtration system, essential to prevent residue from building-up in its reservoirs or worse still, on its heating elements.
Honeywell’s two-stage filtration unit removes particulates and invisible dissolved solids from the water prior to heating. This reduces the need for regular maintenance by users. Also, an optional filter change indicator, the AirWatch can be used to keep track of the filter changes.
For safety purposes, the Honeywell clean steam humidifier comes with low water level shut-off switches and built-in switch protection to prevent overflow and thermal cut-off. The Dri-Steem range of humidifiers, which are produced for commercial purposes, come in many models.
One of these models is the Dri-steem Humidifier or Steam-to-Steam Humidifier which creates free from chemical humidification steam from normal boiler steam. This happens when the boiler steam is circulated within a heat exchanger and then transferred to clean water, thus boiling it into the steam phase and therefore creating clean steam.
Other dri-steam humidifiers include the Vaporstream Electric humidifier which is industrial grade and can be used with any form of water: tap, de-ionized, softened or RO water. With its Vapor-logic3 controller with temperature sensors and data reports, this steam humidifier is extremely easy to use and is most ideal for busy owners.
An Overview Of Furnace Humidifiers
The Need For Humidity
When the air in your home is too dry, it provides a conducive atmosphere for bacteria and virus to thrive, because of which you can get health problems such as allergies, asthma, dry skin and hair etc. In addition to this, dry air can also harm your fixtures and flooring as it tends to suck out the moisture from the wood, leaving it warped and deformed. But now, help is at hand in the form of humidifiers, including furnace humidifiers.
A Furnace Humidifier: What Is It?
If you want to put a humidifier in your home, you can either get a whole house humidifier or individual room humidifiers. A whole house humidifier is one which is usually attached to your heating and cooling systems, thus providing humid air through vents and ducts to all parts of your house.
A furnace humidifier is a type of whole house humidifier. Furnace humidifiers are those which mount onto the furnace in your home. These humidifiers can either be flow through furnace humidifiers, or forced hot air furnace systems.
Both these types of devices can effectively increase the humidity of the air in your home, thus easing all the problems as mentioned previously. Because of innovations in technology and increased understanding of humidifier systems, you can now get furnace humidifiers that can practically run themselves.
Such humidifiers are connected to the water supply in your home and thus do not require constant re-filling. They are very easy to maintain and once you install such units (a job that requires just a couple of hours); you can rest easy in the increased comfort levels in your house.
Baby Humidifiers: Fresh, Clean Air For Your Baby
Humidifiers restore a balanced, healthier, more comfortable range of moisture content in your homes. It is more so important with a baby in your home. Baby humidifiers provide clean fresh air, daily, to your baby.
These safe and silent devices filter out bacteria, dust, pollen, smoke and unpleasant odors from your child’s nursery. They help your baby breathe easily and sleep in comfort. When selecting a humidifier for your baby’s nursery, look for the ones recommended by pediatricians.
Dry air in the room may cause your baby to develop dry skin, swollen nasal passages, etc. It may not allow your child to breathe well. Baby humidifiers improve air quality and moisture in the environment of the nursery, helping your child to breathe comfortably. Both, the warm and cool mist humidifiers can help alleviate the humidity of a room.
Baby Humidifier Overview
Baby humidifiers, designed for nurseries, are portable and usually placed on the nightstands. They produce a light mist by ultrasonic technology. They also have ionizers producing anions – negative ions – that are natural cleansers.
The anions combine with the positive ions of dust, dander, bacteria, pollen, mold, smoke, chemical vapors, and other allergens. This way they provide your baby with clean fresh air to breathe. Baby humidifiers need to be extra silent for your baby to have an undisturbed sleep.
Some models are made of clear plastic allowing you to monitor the water quantity in the reservoir. A variable control allows you to monitor the mist outflow, thereby regulating humidity levels. Different models allow different run times between water refilling.
Some have filters with antimicrobial protection. Some baby humidifiers come with a night-light and an aromatizer for herbs or menthol, which works as an air freshener. For the comfort and health of your baby, ensure that you install a baby humidifier in the nursery.
Buying A Cool Mist Humidifier
Cool Mist Humidifiers: What Are They?
The simplest explanation of a cool mist humidifier is that it releases a spray of cool mist into indoor air. It can do that in one of two ways. Some cool mist humidifiers have a moisturized or wet pad, behind which there is a fan.
This fan helps to push air through the wet pad, thus resulting in humid air entering the room. Some cool mist humidifiers contain rotating disks, which help to break up the water in the unit into cool water vapor, which is then passed into the indoor air, thereby increasing its moisture content.
Cool mist humidifiers are great for use in places where it is very hot. With high outdoor temperatures, you sure do not want to make your indoor air hot too! Thus, by buying a cool mist humidifier, you can ensure increased humidity as well as cooler temperatures. Here are some things that you should bear in mind when choosing a cool mist humidifier.
- Whole house or room humidifier: If dry air is a problem in your entire home, you should go in for a whole house cool mist humidifier. On the other hand, if you want to use a humidifier for a particular area in your house, then you should look to buy a portable or multi-room cool mist humidifier.
- Size of the humidifier: The size of the cool mist humidifier can only be determined by knowing the area of the room you wish to place it in. Most cool mist humidifiers have the capacity to humidify rooms up to a particular area. Thus, the only way to ensure proper humidification is to buy a correctly sized cool mist humidifier.
Console Humidifiers For Larger Spaces
Console humidifiers are similar to evaporative humidifiers. A Humidifier is a household device that increases the level of water vapor – or moisture – in a room, is a piece of equipment that gives relief from dry environment.
Humidifiers increase humidity when the air is dry and decrease moisture output when humidity is high, by naturally regulating moisture output. Dry environment causes irritation of skin and nasal passages, chapped lips, parched throat and itchy eyes.
Console humidifiers use the same technology as an evaporative humidifier. However, these units will humidify the whole house. Usually, evaporative humidifiers will humidify a single room. Console models are larger units and are designed for floor use.
They are the best choice if you need to humidify several rooms or a small apartment. Usually enclosed in a cabinet, these humidifiers are used to control humidity in several rooms or an apartment.
Console humidifiers – An Overview
These humidifiers use the cool mist or evaporative technology. Water in a reservoir is drawn into the filter in a wicking action. A fan blows the water in the filter, which emerges in a form of mist. These types of humidifiers will slightly cool the air and so are useful in the hot climates.
Filters are required to be cleaned regularly and changed about two to three times every season, depending on the usage. Failure to clean the filters will lead to growth of mold and mildew. When not in use, it is advisable to drain all the water from the reservoir, as stagnant water encourages breeding of bacteria.
Check whether the size of the console humidifier you have selected is appropriate for the area you want to humidify. High humidity can cause as much problem as low humidity. Recommended humidity levels would ideally be between 30 to 50 percent.
CPAP Humidifiers For A Better Night’s Sleep
CPAP Humidifier Types
This is where the best CPAP humidifiers come into the picture to help alleviate dryness and banish sleepless nights. There are two types of CPAP humidifiers available: the passover and the heated humidifiers.
- Passover humidifiers work by allowing air to pass over the water surface within the humidifier in order to gain humidity before going through the tubing into the nasal mask, thus creating instant humidification.
- Alternatively, the CPAP heated humidifier warms up the air flow to a pre-set temperature before passing through the nasal mask. CPAP heated humidifiers are more suited for people with sinuses and nasal dryness than passovers, as heat is added into the equation. It is a fact that warm air is capable of carrying more moisture than cold air and thus works better in humidifying nasal pathways.
Some of the best CPAP humidifiers feature extraordinary systems by increasing humidifying effectiveness and tackling irritation problems faced by CPAP patients. The Velocity II CPAP Heated Humidifier uses a vortex-creating system to increase the interaction between water and air by prolonging contact time between the two phases.
This flow pattern will increase humidity output even at low heat settings and allows little room for back-pressure to occur. One of the best CPAP humidifiers around is the Fisher&Paykel HC150 Heater Humidifier which completely diminishes the problem of annoying gurgling noises through their patented Ambient Tracking system.
This system automatically adjusts the temperature of its heating plate according to room temperature changes, thus minimizing condensation and maximizing the desired effect of humidification.
Decorative Humidifiers For Better Air And A More Beautiful Home
Humidifiers are devices that increase the level of water vapor, or moisture, in a room. Humidifiers restore a home’s relative humidity to a balanced, healthier, more comfortable range. They eliminate the dry air that irritates and inflames the respiratory passages in the nose and throat. Humidifiers are classified as steam, cool mist, warm mist, or ultrasonic humidifiers, among others.
Decorative humidifiers are usually the mist type humidifiers. They are small portable units that can be put anywhere, on tables, as stand-alone units or on decorative stands. They are so designed that they blend, aesthetically, with any surrounding, in living rooms, in bedrooms, in offices and some are so small as to be used as a personal device.
Decorative Humidifier Overview
These humidifiers look more like lovely decorative pieces than humidifiers. They produce mist through ultrasonic means and also generate anions – ions with negative charge – through a process of ionizing.
The anions are released into the room and attract the positively charged atoms of dust, dander, bacteria, pollen, mold, smoke, chemical vapors, and other allergens. Using the technology of ultrasonic atomization, it converts the clean water into mist and along with anions, mist is released into the room for humidification.
Some decorative humidifier models come with soft colorful lights that change colors every few seconds, creating a sense of fantasy. Water is converted ultrasonically into mist and along with anions are released into the environment.
The submersed waterproof colorful lamps lend a hypnotic and mysterious aura to the rising mist before it is dispersed for humidification. Some humidifiers have an aromatizer for adding herbs, menthol and similar additives to add to the soothing atmosphere.
This also works wonderfully as an air freshener. Decorative humidifiers, with their soft colorful look and soothing atmosphere help de-stress your environment with their diffused lighting and aesthetics.
Evaporative Humidifiers – Add Moisture To Your Environment
- Steam humidifiers. Also known as vaporizers, they release steam by boiling water.
- Warm mist humidifiers. Similar to vaporizers but allow the steam to cool down and release as warm mist.
- Evaporative or cool mist humidifiers. These have a fan that blows moisture into the room as cool mist.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers. These have a mechanism to break water into humid vapors, through vibration, and release the vapors into the air.
- Impeller humidifiers. These have a rotating disc that throws the water onto a diffuser that breaks it into fine droplets, which float into the air.
Evaporative Humidifiers – An Overview
These are the most common of all the humidifiers. They consist of a reservoir, a wick and a fan. A reservoir is a tank, common to all humidifiers, containing water, which is filled before humidification. Depending on the model, the reservoirs are of different shape and size.
The wick is a filter that absorbs the water from the reservoir. Water from the filter is evaporated by the blowing of the fan on it. Water evaporation is dependant on the relative humidity of the room. Lower the humidity, higher the evaporation and vice-versa.
Depending on usage, filters are changed every three months. Evaporative humidifiers come with a humidistat that controls and regulates humidity in the room. The fine atomized mist does not overly soak everything and does not leave traces of mist on the windows. The humidifier’s automatic humidistat prevents the room from being over humidified. Over humidification can lead to growth of mold.
Germ Free Humidifiers: Protect Your Home From Germs
Humidifiers prevent dryness and irritation of skin caused by lack of moisture in the indoor environment, and most of them breed and spread bacteria throughout your home. The use of germ free humidifiers is one way to humidify your home and protect your family from bacteria, molds, and spores. They safeguard your health and provide better air and comfortable home environment to those suffering from allergy, asthma and sinus. Both, warm mist and cool mist germ free humidifiers are available.
Germ Free Humidifier Overview
Warm mist germ free humidifiers use a dual process that includes ultraviolet light (to sterilize water) and vaporizing (to create mist) to deliver germ-free mist to your homes. The ultraviolet light is an effective way of killing germs instantaneously and is more efficient than just plain boiling.
The germ free water is then vaporized as mist. This warm mist lends a soothing atmosphere to your room relieving symptoms of colds, allergies, other respiratory conditions, soothing dry lips, parched throat, and chapped skin.
Cool mist germ free humidifiers use the process of ultra violet light to sterilize water, effectively getting rid of germs in the reservoir. A filter then absorbs the water and is evaporated by blowing of the fan on it. The fine atomized mist blows all over the room making your living environment comfortable.
Water evaporation is dependant on the relative humidity of the room. All these humidifiers come with automatic humidistats to regulate humidity. The choice of cool mist or warm mist germ free humidifier depends on your requirements, but is ideal for those who are concerned about germ-free and bacteria-free environment.
The humidifiers need to be cleaned regularly. The filters are changed, depending on usage, 2 – 3 times a season. The ultra violet light bulb needs to be changed every 1 – 2 years.
Industrial Humidifiers For Commercial Buildings
Like normal humidifiers, industrial humidifiers add moisture to warm, circulating air but in a larger context. They are used in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems of commercial buildings, and have a variety of commercial and industrial applications.
Textile units, plastic industry, printing plants, semiconductor manufacturing units, computer rooms, laboratories, just to name a few, all use industrial humidifiers for their various applications like reducing static electricity, reducing buildup of dust on sensitive parts etc. These humidifiers can use de-ionized, de-mineralized, softened, or untreated ground water.
Industrial Humidifier Overview
Conventional steam humidifiers boil water, using electrical or gas-fired heaters, and release steam into the air. The three basic types of steam humidifiers are the live steam, liquid-to-steam and the steam-to-steam systems of industrial humidifiers.
Humidifiers with ultrasonic devices create micro droplets of water and in some systems special nozzles are used to discharge a mist of atomized water along with compressed air. Industrial humidifiers vary in terms of features.
Features include, among others, an integral control panel, remote controls, self-contained water demineralization or cleaning, built-in diagnostics, temperature sensors, and so on. To increase output capacity, different modules can be linked together.
Industrial humidifiers can be free standing, portable, wall or ceiling mounted or fixed to existing air handling systems. Remote humidifying systems use steam piped in from another location. Another type of industrial humidifier is the centrifugal type, which has various industrial applications in greenhouses, mushroom cultivation, vegetables cultivation, tobacco industry and residences, to name a few.
These humidifiers are connected directly to cold water supply and deliver mist where required. These come with an option of humidistats to control humidification. These humidifiers negate the need of compressors, pumps, nozzles, drainage pipes, high maintenance and heavy power consumption. Depending on your application and requirement there is a multitude of industrial humidifiers available.
Personal Humidifiers: Portable and Lightweight
Personal Humidifier Examples
A good example is the Kaz cool mist ultrasonic humidifier which is ultra quiet, easy to clean, does not require the use of a filter also does not pose any threats of mold growth problems.
This 4-lb personal humidifier which is perfectly designed for the traveler comes with stylish features for easier packing into small bags, a water bottle adaptor which can fit a 2-liter bottle for more convenient use (in place of its bigger blue tank), and a capacity to support 10 hour operations.
Therefore, this humidifier which comes with a 1-year warranty is a good choice for those with respiratory sicknesses. For a more personalized effect, the tanks are available in blue, green or purple. Another personal portable humidifier which is even smaller is the MiniAire Humidifier, which weighs just less than 1 lb and can easily fit right on your palm!
It works by alleviating dryness from small rooms like an office and therefore makes for a perfect gift. The MiniAire Humidifier is also equipped with a DC adaptor for vehicle use just by simply plugging it into the car’s cigarette lighter.
Aptly named, this personal portable humidifier targets your immediate breathing zone for a more personal and effective relief. Its ionic water filter which contains antibacterial features requires minimal maintenance.
However, users are advised to wash the filter in the dishwasher every three days in order to maintain year-long quality. To sum it all up, this personal has an automated shut-off feature that works to protect its electrical circuits and ultrasonic vibrating parts. Finally, its exteriors which are made from ABS plastic give it a corrosion resistant advantage.
Portable Humidifiers – Humidification On The Go
Many people use portable humidifiers to increase moisture levels in the air inside their homes. The moisture addition to dry air helps relieve the physical discomforts of dry nose, throat, lips, and skin. These humidifiers are a safe product to use provided they are regularly cleaned and disinfected.
Other wise people suffering from asthma, other respiratory problems and allergies could face increased breathing difficulties. Portable cool mist humidifiers are usually small and can be used anywhere.
Small tabletop models are efficient in both size and moisture output. Some have a moisture output of around 3 gallons per day and can humidify about 700 square feet area. Larger portable units with up to 9 gallons moisture output, covering larger areas up to 3200 square feet are mounted on castors for easy mobility.
Some come with a humidistat for automatic control of humidity at the desired level. Models without humidistat have to be turned on and off manually.
Caring for Portable Humidifiers
Like all other humidifiers, portable units need to be regularly cleaned too. It is advisable to empty out the left over water after every use, and clean and disinfect the reservoir. Cool mist humidifiers do not boil water and so bacteria are not killed. Rather, they accumulate and multiply in stagnant water. Restarting the humidifier with this water will cause bacteria to infect the air in your home.
Things to do when using portable humidifiers:
- Daily empty and wash the reservoir with soapy water.
- Rinse under running water taking care water does not get into the motor.
- Fill reservoir up to the appropriate level.
- On a weekly basis empty and wash the reservoir with soapy water.
- After rinsing, add 2 cups white vinegar and enough water to the reservoir to enable the humidifier to create a mist.
- Run the humidifier, in a well-ventilated area, for 30 minutes.
- Rinse the reservoir again.
- Run the humidifier for a few minutes on tap water.
- Remove this water and refill the reservoir up to the appropriate level.
You can use tap or distilled water in your humidifier, though the latter is preferred. Use of water with low mineral content will prevent build-up of scale and dispersal of minerals into the air. Various portable cool mists, vaporizing or ultrasonic humidifiers are on the market. Portable humidifiers are economical, operate noiselessly, and are easy to use.
Room Purifiers: Fight Dryness and Health Problems
Room humidifiers provide relief from an extremely dry environment as well as help to prevent health complications such as irritated eyes, over-dried throats, bacterial infections or even dry skin. Apart from that, they are also useful to generate a healthier growing condition for your house plants or even to damage in wood furniture and internal house structures.
No matter the reason, room humidifiers are fast becoming a necessity. It has been estimated that a humidity level of 40% to 50% is enough for comfort within the house without creating an environment that is induces microorganism breeding.
Room Humidifier Types
There are many different types of room humidifiers in the current market.
- Permanent or installed units have to be built-in with furnaces and equipped with ductworks in order for air to be regulated throughout the house.
- Portable room humidifiers on the other hand, can be placed on top of tables or on the floors to produce moisture for smaller rooms like the bedroom or offices.
Generally, room humidifiers are differentiated by their ‘output’ and ‘capacity’; the output is rated in 24-hour periods and is an indicator of how big an area the humidifier is capable of humidifying. Alternatively, the capacity level indicates the volume of water which the humidifier is capable of holding before refills in the tanks are needed or the next humidification cycle.
There are several main technologies used in room air humidifiers today:
- evaporative – which utilizes the natural process of evaporation to induce cool moisture, which is then filtered before being fanned out into the room;
- ultrasonic – humidifiers which utilizes ultrasonic sound to induce vibrations in the water ultimately breaking up the water and creating cool invisible mists;
- vaporizer or steam – these boil water and send the steam into the air to humidify dry and cold rooms;
- and finally the impeller – which utilizes motor powered centrifugal forces to spin moisture into the air to form cool mists.
Each type of has its pros and cons in terms of usage, maintenance, care and convenience, but they all serve a single purpose of providing moisture into the air and making life more comfortable for the household.
Maintenance of Room Humidifiers
Proper maintenance comes in the form of cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting humidifier tanks and filters to prevent bacterial and mold growth. Filters should be changed every 2 to 4 months depending on each brand.
Cleaning is also essential in clearing mineral sediments or ‘white dust’ that comes from hard water. Latest room humidifier designs are equipped with ionic antibacterial features that appeal much to the customers. Other important features would include automatic shut-off mechanisms, which may soon become more of a necessary safety element rather than just another attribute.
The Advantages Of A Warm Mist Humidifier
Warm Mist Humidifiers Explained
Those who want to purchase a humidifier for their home, can choose from different technologies used in humidifies, the main ones being cool mist humidifiers, vaporizers, evaporative humidifiers, ultrasonic humidifiers, and warm mist humidifiers.
A warm mist humidifier is one where the unit has a mechanism, whereby the water in the humidifier is brought to a boil. Once the water has boiled, it is left to become slightly cooler, after which the warm water is released into the air as a warm mist, thus the name warm mist humidifier. A vaporizer is a kind of warm mist humidifier, with the only difference being that in a vaporizer, the water is not allowed to cool, and the steam from the boiled water is immediately released into the indoor air.
Benefits Of A Warm Mist Humidifier
- As the water used in a warm mist humidifier is boiled, this ensures that all the germs and bacteria present in the water are destroyed. As a result, only the cleanest water, and consequently moisture, is let into the indoor air in your home, thus ensuring that you breathe in air that is pure and properly humidified.
- When the weather outside is too cold, a warm-mist humidifier holds double benefits. In addition to increasing the humidity of the dry winter air, such a humidifier also helps to increase the temperature of the air slightly, thus giving you added warmth and comfort.
- Warm mist humidifiers are typically less noisy than cool mist ones and are hence perfect for those who desire silently functioning appliances.
Ultrasonic Humidifiers Explained
An Ultra Sonic Humidifier: What Is It?
In an ultra sonic humidifier, there is a mechanism because of which ultrasonic vibrations are created in the unit. These vibrations are so strong that they help to break the water in the humidifier into tiny droplets, usually so small that the water is converted into a fine mist.
This mist is then released into the air, thus increasing its humidity levels. Ultra sonic humidifiers are available as either whole house humidifiers, portable humidifiers or console humidifiers. You can choose one depending on whether you want to humidify your full house or just some portion of it.
Pros Of An Ultrasonic Humidifier
- As these humidifiers use vibrations of very high frequency, it is believed that along with the water, even harmful microorganisms are broken up and thus rendered harmless. As a result, the air that enters your home is free from pollutants and safe to breathe.
- Ultra sonic humidifiers do not make the water hot and the mist that is released is cool. Thus, such humidifiers are generally more comfortable that warm mist ones when the weather is very hot.
- Most ultra sonic humidifiers have humidifier filters which help to trap the minerals and dir present in water, hence making the air cleaner and reducing the occurrence of white dust.
Cons Of Ultra Sonic Humidifiers
- Such humidifiers may produce white dust if the filter is not cleaned regularly and replaced when required. Although this can be a big problem, it can easily be taken care of by maintaining your filter properly.