Types of Humidifiers
There are several types of humidifiers, and where you are going to place one is important to evaluate, as it can affect the kind that you need to buy. Some units are designed for use in one room, while others can be installed in the duct work or furnace system to keep the humidity levels even throughout the entire house.
Whole House Humidifiers
These units are commonly referred to as “central humidifiers” and are designed to be installed in new or existing furnace systems. These convenient models are capable of keeping the entire house comfortable, and will automatically put moisture back into the air when the levels drop. A thermostat is also installed on the wall so you can easily control the moisture levels in your home. Once the wall thermostat is set, the humidifier will take care of the rest. With the added moisture the air in the house will feel warm and comfortable, which is always an advantage when you live in a colder climate.
Designed to be portable, this type of humidifier uses ultrasonic vibrations to keep moisture in the air. The vibrations release a fine mist that helps keep the humidity at a comfortable level in a room. These compact devices are also extremely quiet since the sound wave technology used is above the human level of hearing, which makes this type of humidifier an excellent choice for the bedroom. Since the unit is also portable it can easily travel with you so you can stay comfortable in hotels, or when you are staying with friends or relatives.
This type of humidifier uses a rotating disk to produce a cool mist, which is released into the air. Designed for portability, these models are great for use in almost any room and can be easily packed for traveling.
Similar to models that use ultrasonic technology, an evaporative humidifier is also portable and great for use in one room. This type of humidifier uses a fan which moves the air through a belt, filter or even a wet wick which works to keep humidity levels even and comfortable. These humidifiers are louder than ultrasonic models due to the noise made by the spinning fan. While this might not make this type of humidifier ideal for use in the bedroom, it is great for the living room, study or den.
Using a filter to prevent minerals commonly found in hard water and micro-organisms from getting into the air, these humidifiers are ideal for use in larger rooms. While the units are relatively inexpensive there is some maintenance required to keep them operating properly. The filters and wicks do need to be cleaned due to the mold and mineral deposits that can build up over time.
While this type of humidifier should not be used around pets or small children due to the potential risk of serious burns, it is portable and extremely effective at keeping moisture levels in a room at a comfortable level. The unit runs off of electricity which could affect where it can be used, and it does need to be kept full of water for it to function properly. The unit will heat the water up until steam is released which helps to add moisture to the air. Not only can the hot water cause potential burns, these types of humidifiers are powered by electricity which can limit where it can be used.
If someone has asthma or if there are small children around, this type of humidifier is probably not the best choice. The hot water can cause serious burns and the steam can irritate nasal passages. These models are inexpensive to use, but will also raise the temperature of the room when the warm steam is released. This can result in higher cooling bills, especially in the summertime. Vaporizers can also be used to help relieve stuffy noses and congestion due to winter colds, and some are even designed specifically for this.
Which humidifier is right for you?