Choosing the right humidifier can be very confusing. There are many variants of humidifiers with different features, sizes, advantages, and disadvantages. It is very important to choose the right humidifier for your needs.
There are four main types of humidifiers:
Evaporative humidifiers are the most common portable humidifier.
The wick is made of a porous material that absorbs water from the reservoir and provides a larger surface area for it to evaporate from. The fan is adjacent to the wick and blows air onto the wick to aid in the evaporation of the water. Evaporation from the wick is dependent on relative humidity. A room with low humidity will have a higher evaporation rate compared to a room with high humidity. Therefore, this type of humidifier is partially self-regulating; as the humidity of the room increases, the water vapor output naturally decreases.
These wicks become moldy if they are not dried out completely between fillings, and become saturated with mineral deposits over time. They regularly need rinsing or replacement; if this does not happen, air cannot pass through them, and humidifier stops humidifying the area it is in and the water in the tank remains at the same level.
An ultrasonic humidifier uses a ceramic diaphragm vibrating at an ultrasonic frequency to create water droplets that silently exit the humidifier in the form of cool fog. Usually the mist gets forced out by a tiny fan, while some ultra mini models have no fans. The models without fans are meant mainly for personal use. Ultrasonic humidifiers use a piezoelectric transducer to create a high frequency mechanical oscillation in a film of water. This forms an extremely fine mist of droplets about one micron in diameter, that is quickly evaporated into the air flow.
Unlike the humidifiers that boil water, these water droplets will contain any impurities that are in the reservoir, including minerals from hard water. Any pathogens growing in the stagnant tank will also be dispersed in the air. Ultrasonic humidifiers should be cleaned regularly to prevent bacterial contamination from being spread throughout the air.
The amount of minerals and other materials can be greatly reduced by using distilled water. Special disposable demineralization cartridges may also reduce the amount of airborne material, but the EPA warns, "the ability of these devices to remove minerals may vary widely. The mineral dust may have negative health effects. Wick humidifiers trap the mineral deposits in the wick; vaporizer types tend to collect minerals on or around the heating element and require regular cleaning with vinegar or citric acid to control buildup.
A vaporizer humidifier heats or boils water, releasing steam and moisture into the air. A medicated inhalant can also be added to the steam vapor to help reduce coughs. Vaporizers may be healthier than cool mist types of humidifiers because steam is less likely to convey mineral impurities or microorganisms from the standing water in the reservoir. However, boiling water requires significantly more energy than other techniques. The heat source in poorly designed humidifiers can overheat, causing the product to melt, leak, and start fires.
An impeller humidifier uses a rotating disc to fling water at a diffuser, which breaks the water into fine droplets that float into the air. The water supply must be kept scrupulously clean, or there is a risk of spreading bacteria or mold into the air. These types of humidifiers are usually noisier than others.
When choosing the right humidifier you must consider a variety of different factors such as:
Studies show that the ideal room humidity should range from 30% to 50%.
Make sure to choose the right size of humidifier which will be powerful enough to raise the room's humidity without over-working.
Here are some general guidelines for determining size needs:
Humidifiers can be used to:
There are many more different humidifier uses, choose the right humidifier that fulfills your needs in the must productive way.
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