A humidifier is an appliance that helps to increase humidity in your home and make the air less dry. Dry air can cause several problems such as chapped skin, nose bleeds, skin allergies, ruined wood furniture, etc; all of which can effectively be taken care of by a humidifier. However, you cannot simply go out and buy the first one that you come across. There are several factors that need to be considered while choosing a humidifier. These are:
1) Size of the unit: The size of the humidifier will be determined by the size of the area that you wish to humidify. If you want to add humidity to specific areas in your home, you should go in for portable humidifiers or room humidifiers.
However, if you want the comforts of properly humidified air in your entire home, you should choose a whole house humidifier. In addition to the area of your home, you will also need to consider how well insulated the area is. Rooms that have complete insulation can do with a smaller sized humidifier, whereas areas that do not have very good insulation may need a larger unit.
2) Cool Mist v/s Warm Mist Humidifier: Before you settle on a specific humidifier, you need to choose between cool mist and warm mist humidifiers. As the names suggest, a cool mist humidifier adds humidity to your indoor air by spraying a cool mist. Such a unit is great for those who live in areas with a warm climate.
On the other hand, a warm mist humidifier is one which moistens air by spraying a warm mist. This type of humidifier is ideal if you live in cooler climes. People who live where it is naturally hot sure do not want to go in for a warm mist humidifier! Also, if you need a humidifier for a child’s room, a warm mist unit is better than a cool mist one.
3) Humidstat: A humidstat is a device that helps to control the humidity levels in your home. Keeping humidity at levels of 45%-50% is ideal as this helps to solve all problems created by dry air. If humidity increases to more than 50%, the air serves as a breeding ground for dust mites, mold spores etc as they get adequate moisture for survival. Hence it
becomes necessary to maintain relative humidity, which can easily be done with a humidstat. Thus, you should choose a humidifier with a built-in automatic humidstat so that you do not have to worry about over humidifying your home.
As a humidstat helps to control humidity, it shuts off the humidifier when relative humidity is achieved. This also helps to lower your electricity bills.
4) Mineral Dust: With some humidifiers you will notice that after a few hours of keeping the unit running, you can see a thin white film of dust on your furniture etc. This is known as mineral dust and can have negative health effects. Thus, you should ensure that the humidifier that you choose does not disperse any kind of mineral dust.
5) Automatic Shut Down: Humidifiers that do not have an automatic shut down option can be a fire hazard if not shut down manually when the water runs out. If the motor is left running for any length of time, and if it burns down, you could have a serious problem on your hands. Thus, while choosing a humidifier, make sure that it has automatic shut off.
6) Cleaning and Maintenance: Some humidifiers need to be filled with water and rinsed out daily or every second day. Such frequent cleaning is quite a chore and may cause you great inconvenience. The filters of such humidifiers also need to be cleaned and changed regularly, thus adding to your cleaning efforts and maintenance costs. So, while picking out a humidifier, make sure that it is easy and convenient to clean (in keeping with your schedule) and that it does not have very high maintenance costs. Buying a humidifier with filters that never need to be changed may be the way to go for those who do not have too much spare time.
7) Level of Noise: Although all humidifiers are bound to make some noise, there are some units that can be extremely noisy. But noisy is a relative concept and differs from person to person. However, if you are very sensitive to noise and find that noisy appliances disturb you a great deal, then the sound level of your humidifier could be a concern for you.
Thus, you should check out how noisy a humidifier can get before you choose to buy it.
8) Cost: This again differs from person to person. Within your budget, you should try and look for a humidifier that has the maximum capacity and added features. But while considering cost, you not only have to account for the initial buying price of the humidifier, but also its operating and maintenance costs.
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Lukas Rathswohl is the publisher of All About Humidifiers, the one resource you need when looking for the perfect humidifier for your home. Go to All
About Humidifiers and get your home's air quality under control!
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