How long does a humidifier take to work

The time it takes a humidifier to work and make a telling impact on the relative humidity in the air depends on numerous factors. For this reason, putting a time frame on how long humidifiers take to work would be an error. Questions like; what is the mist output capacity of the unit? What speed is it running on? The humidifiers rated capacity in the area, and many more have to be taken into consideration.

All these parameters vary from one unit to another; therefore, the time it would take to make a telling impact depends on the product itself. Some humidifiers have enough capacity to humidify the air within a few hours, while others might require much time to achieve the same result.

Do humidifiers actually do anything?

Humidifiers increase the relative humidity in the air by adding moisture. Moisture is added by releasing mist into the air, therefore increasing the number of water droplets, which is a major determinant of the level of relative humidity.

Humidifiers have been tested by several experts and individuals around the world, and they do work. Even without the green light given by professionals, merely staying in a room with a humidifier running, clears all doubts. We have tried it, and you can do it too.

Humidifier’s efficiency depends on room sizing and humidifier capacity

How effective a humidifier would be, depends on the room sizing and humidifier capacity. It is important that you match the right humidifier with its rated room size, or else you could end up over humidifying the room or not even having an impact on the humidity at all. In a properly sized room, a humidifier should increase the relative humidity in a matter of hours.

The humidifier capacity is always indicated by its manufacturers in the product description area. Two values to look out for are the mist output rate per hour and its rated room size in square feet. Most times, the higher its rated room size, the more its mist output per hour would be.

How does a humidifier add moisture to a room?

A humidifier thrives on the idea of artificially adding water vapor to the air, therefore increasing the amount of moisture in it. The early days of humidification required you to either boil water or simply leave it to lay around till it evaporates, and some even grow a few plants around the home to also help with humidity. Several things were wrong with these processes; however, one was too slow, while the other could quickly get things out of hand.

This lead to the invention of a humidifier. Humidifiers simply break down water into tiny droplets and propel it into the air to increase its relative humidity. This process depends on the type of humidifier, some evaporates the water with the aid of a fan blowing through a filter, others heat it till evaporation, and another breaks water through ultrasonic vibrations. All their end products, however, is mist, and to increase humidity.

How do you know when a humidifier is working?

The best way to know when a humidifier is working is by checking its impact on the atmosphere’s relative humidity. Some humidifiers come with a hygrometer built-in, which helps you monitor humidity easily, while others don’t.

However, bear in mind that the hygrometer in most humidifiers are inaccurate, or are too close to the source of humidity (which is itself), therefore picks up wrong readings. We recommend you purchase an external device for accurately measuring relative humidity.

Types of humidifier and their respective effectiveness

There are five types of humidifiers that you can choose from depending on your need and how long the humidifier will take to work. They are;

  • Central/ whole-house humidifiers:

central or whole-house humidifiers are built directly into your house’s furnace or air-conditioning unit. They are the most effective types of humidifiers to add moisture to every part of the home, but also the most expensive. These are the best whole house humidifier or the best humidifier for 2000 sq. ft

  • Impeller humidifiers:

This type of humidifier is not very common. They create mist by spinning rotating disks at a very high speed. These units are cheap and suitable for small areas only. They are the least effective among all types of humidifiers.

  • Ultrasonic humidifiers:

Ultrasonic products are the quietest, and generates mist by breaking down water droplets with ultrasonic vibrations. They are very effective in increasing relative humidity and also safe to use.

  • Steam vaporizers:

steam vaporizers literally heats water up till it evaporates. At the right size, they are the next most effective after whole-house humidifiers, but can also cause burns due to the heat generated.

  • Evaporators:

This humidifier creates mist by blowing air through a wet filter. Air is blown by a fan, which also expels the mist into the air. The effectiveness of this type of humidifier depends on its grade and build; however, they are very effective in humidification.

Ranking effectiveness, the whole house humidifier is the most effective, followed by the steam vaporizer, then ultrasonic/ evaporator humidifier. Last on the list is the impeller humidifier.

So, how long will it take a humidifier to work and humidify a room?

This depends on the room size, kinds of objects in the room, how insulated the room is, and the capacity of the humidifier. Large-sized rooms normally take a longer time to be humidified, although this can be avoided by using a high capacity humidifier.

Rooms with numerous moisture absorbing surfaces like wood and other furniture would also slow down humidification because these surfaces would absorb moisture produced by the humidifier, therefore lessening its impact on relative humidity. After a while, the surfaces get up to speed, and humidification becomes much faster.

The capacity of a humidifier is perhaps the most important quality to consider in determining how long does it take a humidifier to work and humidify a room. Large or evenly matched (the right unit for the right room) products usually results in only a few hours of humidification needed. And for rooms with larger humidifiers than they are rated for, you can be sure to get an even quicker result.

Caution: Can you over humidify a room?

With the exception of an evaporative humidifier, it is possible to over humidify a room. When you allow a humidifier to keep running, even after the room is well humidified, it keeps running and increasing its moisture content until it goes beyond the safe point of 60%. This is called over humidification.

With sprinkled negligence and a little bit of carelessness, you can successfully over humidify your room; however, this is strongly not recommended by us, because it leaves you exposed to harmful microorganisms.


It is important that you purchase not only a good humidifier, but also one that is rated for your specific room size, so you should know how long does it take this humidifier to work. This feature could help singlehandedly ruin or validate your investment.

We recommend you purchase a unit that is slightly above your room size. Therefore any manufacturer’s exaggerations would not be to your loss. It is better to learn to tune down your humidifier, rather than running a unit that can never get the job done.

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