Modern life is full of handy little inventions, quietly going about their business and keeping us satisfied in one way or another. It’s funny how we seem to take it all for granted, don’t you think? 

Look around you right now; chances are your room is surrounded by various devices designed to keep you entertained, relaxed, healthy, save you time, or inform you of something.

There has never been an easier time to be alive, really. Most of the problems we face daily are solvable with the simple click of a mouse and a debit card. 

You can add the trusty humidifier to the growing list of convenient modern inventions. It has filled homes and workspaces with comfortable, soothing, and ultimately healthier surroundings for half a century. 

But how do they work, exactly? As a simple, hassle-free device that requires only the addition of water and hitting a power button, a humidifier is just another thing in life that most of us give little thought to. We figured you might like a little heads-up on the finer workings of this amazing little invention and have put together a quick post explaining a few things.

So let’s do just that – starting with why we use them in the first place.

What Does a Humidifier Do?

If you are one of the many people who wake up each morning – especially in the winter months – with a blocked nose, congested airways, a horribly dry mouth, and the general feeling that you haven’t rested too great, you probably need a humidifier.

Most people who suffer from these irritating occurrences (and more) will usually try a whole host of things to improve their sleep environment before finally realizing a humidifier might help. Most of the time, it does. 

Humidifiers simply inject a little moisture into the air, helping to improve and clear nasal passages and reduce snoring by opening up airways, encouraging a much better night’s sleep.

Further Benefits

But there are many other reasons to use a humidifier, besides a great night’s sleep. Humidifiers reduce static electricity, so if you ever suffer frequent ‘zaps’ from random, everyday items of the home, the cause might be more electrically conductive dry air. They also reduce symptoms of allergies and have been known to push back against the misery of asthma attacks. They can also improve your skin hydration, serving as a real-time moisturizer.

Even your house plants will benefit from a humidifier by introducing a more natural environment to growth and leafy-green well-being.

How Do They Work?

So how do humidifiers work, exactly? What sort of scientific wizardry is taking in these useful little companions? The answer is pretty simple, to be honest. Like many incredible inventions, the mechanism and concept of a humidifier isn’t exactly rocket science, which is great because it makes this short article super easy to follow.

Different Humidifiers Available

First, you should know that not all humidifiers are created equally, with several types available. The most common types are steam, vapor, and ultrasonic humidifiers.


Evaporative humidifiers use a wick (or sometimes a filter) to soak water from a holding tank and then release it into the environment as a nice, cool, refreshing mist. The mist is usually made by a small fan that blows air through the water-absorbed wick, increasing the room’s humidity. Simple, really.


Conversely, Ultrasonic humidifiers depend on intense vibrations to break water down into small droplets that are released into the air, again as a nice refreshing mist. They are known for being quiet and usually quite small, which is more commonly used in bedrooms and small offices.


Steam vaporizers are a different premise, using heat to turn water into steam before ejecting a nice steady flow into the air around you. While these humidifiers are very safe to use, you might be better off deploying them in really small rooms and away from young children because they can cause injury if mishandled.

Either way, the end result is exactly the same – working quietly, without fuss or too much maintenance,  to add moisture to our surrounding air.


You might also have noticed a wide range of sizes available. Depending on where and how they will be utilized, humidifiers come in various sizes. 

The tiniest humidifiers are carry-on-size and designed to fit into compact spaces. They’re great if you have sensitive skin or are traveling to an area with very low humidity, and are a great option for travel or small rooms. 

Moving up a size, you then have humidifiers that can accommodate larger rooms, offices, and living spaces. These are the most typical, and you might benefit from having one or two medium to larger-sized humidifiers positioned in high-traffic areas. 

For consistent comfort throughout your home, the largest humidifiers, generally known as whole-house models, connect directly to your HVAC system.

Further options include impeller humidifiers, which use a combination of a fan and high speed to disperse water into tiny droplets instead of heat, resulting in a more fog-like effect.

Which One Is For You?

It depends on your specific needs, really. If you have children, you might want to avoid a steam humidifier and go for an ultrasonic, evaporative, or impeller humidifier. Those of you who suffer from blocked noses, asthma, or a snoring issue might want to go for a steam humidifier with the added benefit of killing airborne bacteria.

Either way, we hope this article explains how these wonderful little devices work. Remember, a well-hydrated room will make a remarkable difference to your sleep and daily comfort.

Questions? Feel free to reach out, and we will be happy to help navigate you to the best solution for your home!