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Types of Humidifiers

Humidifier spreading steam

Dry indoor air can be a real nightmare. Dry sinuses, bloody noses, and cracked lips are just a few of the things you might have to deal with if the air in your home resembles that of the Sahara desert. One of the most popular solutions for this problem is purchasing a humidifier.

However, there are so many available options on the market that choosing the right one can be a real issue. After all, there are numerous things you need to decide on to find the perfect one. That said, considering them all can become really overwhelming.

The type of humidifier is one of those things. To help you make a decision, we prepared this article – below. You will find the most popular types of humidifiers so that you can make a fully informed decision when purchasing yours.

Warm Mist Humidifiers

Warm mist humidifiers create a soothing mist by heating the water up, producing vapor that is cooled and released into the air. Although not many people realize it, they are great for treating common cold or flu symptoms. They work best in colder climates.

Compared to cold mist humidifiers, which we will be talking about in a second, warm mist humidifiers tend to produce cleaner mist and are usually quieter during operation.

Keep in mind, however, that they also have their cons. For instance, they tend to need more frequent cleaning than other humidifiers, and the cleaning process tends to be more challenging. Another thing is that they are more suitable for covering smaller areas.

More importantly, this type of humidifier is a definite no-no if you have small children, as there is a risk that they might get burned by it – unless you can place it somewhere a child will have absolutely no access to.

Cold Mist Humidifiers

When it comes to cold mist humidifiers, they first make the water go through a filter that helps get rid of all impurities and minerals, and once it is all pure, it is turned into a cool mist released into the air.

Cold mist humidifiers are most suitable for warmer climates, as they add moisture to your house’s air without increasing the temperature. They are generally easier to clean, and they also tend to work better in larger areas when compared to, for example, warm mist humidifiers. However, they also make more noise, so if you’re someone for whom that’s an issue, you might want to consider another option – although some people find it soothing.

We have to say that you definitely shouldn’t forget about cleaning your humidifier regularly. If you don’t, bacteria can build up and contaminate it, and if that happens, it will be released into the air with the mist, potentially causing health issues. Cool mist humidifiers also require changing their filter to avoid mold build-up and mineral dust.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers produce mist via ultrasonic vibrations. They contain a metal diaphragm that vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency, creating water droplets that are then released into the air using a fan. Depending on your needs, you can opt for a cool or warm mist version. They tend to operate almost silently.

Regarding some cons of this type of humidifier, one we need to mention is the maintenance cost. Since ultrasonic humidifiers release the mist with everything that is present in water, they need to undergo a demineralization process.

Whole House Humidifier

There are two types of whole-house humidifiers. The first one is a free-standing humidifier, also known as a portable humidifier, that is not connected to your ductwork in any way, shape, or form. They work best for houses under 2500 square feet. The second type is an HVAC-installed humidifier, part of your ductwork.

Most whole-house humidifiers have automatic humidity control, which means that the only thing you need to do to have your home’s air be of perfect humidity is to use the right settings. For example, if you decide 30% humidity is what you want, your humidifier will pump out the moisture until it reaches 30% and then stop. Once the percentage falls, they will start pumping out moisture again. This can help you prevent mold and bacterial growth, typically when indoor humidity reaches above 50%.

The HVAC-installed humidifiers require almost no maintenance – all you need to do is change the filter (or an evaporator panel) once a year and give it a good wipe occasionally. Free-standing humidifiers require more care – ideally, they should be cleaned every two weeks. You should also add an antimicrobial agent to the basin, which should be regularly filled with water.

Finally, portable humidifiers have a very easy installation process – just place it where you want it to be, add water to the basin, plug it in, and set it to your desired settings.

Steam Vaporizer

The final type of humidifier we will discuss is a steam vaporizer. The way it works is it heats water, which is then cooled down before being let into the air. They are probably the most affordable option out of all humidifier types. Again, they are not the best option if you have children, as there’s a risk that your child might accidentally get burned.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right humidifier is not an easy decision. Just look at the aisle dedicated to them in any electronics store – there are so many to pick from. How can you make a choice? Well, we cannot tell you that, but we can help with deciding at least one aspect of your new humidifier: the type.

Different types of humidifiers will work best depending on your needs. For example, if you want to add moisture to your home’s air, then a whole-house humidifier will be the best option. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for something that will make the air in your home more breathable and slightly increase the temperature, then the warm mist humidifier will be a better investment. In the end, however, it all depends on what you need. And to learn more about humidifiers, don’t hesitate to look at our blog section.