Heating systems and forced-air systems in particular lead to dry air, which can cause several problems for sufferers of allergy. Dry air can irritate nasal passages, leading to irritation in the sinus passages, increased mucus levels leading to problems for people with asthma, dry skin issues or eczema etc. Make sure that the humidity in your home is at optimum levels to avoid these problems.
A humidifier can help maintain humidity levels in the home and let you breathe and sleep easier, if you are prone to allergies. A small humidifier in the nursery can also help your baby sleep better at night, and further prevent the spread of germs and colds in the flu season. Be sure to adjust the unit to maintain the most comfortable humidity levels.
Ideal humidity levels
Healthy air should ideally have humidity levels between 25 percent to 55 percent relative humidity. You can use a hygrometer - a humidity and temperature gauge - to check the relative humidity in your home. While humidity of less than 25 percent is not healthy, humidity above 55 percent is equally unhealthy, and can encourage the growth of bacteria, mold, dust mites and fungi.
Humidifiers usually have an in-built hygrometer to tell you the room humidity level and letting you adjust the levels you want. When buying a humidifier, be prepared with the knowledge of how each type of humidifier works, and you can find the best model for you more easily.Table of Contents
Buying a humidifier
There are many different kinds of humidifiers available in the market today, using different technologies to add moisture to the air in your home. Your HVAC system may have a humidifier connected to it for maintaining the moisture levels across your home.
But a portable small humidifier is the most popular and very effective type, giving you plenty of control over air quality in any room you place it in. When browsing units to buy, don't get confused by the terms "ultrasonic", "evaporative", "warm mist", "cool mist" and others typically used to classify humidifiers - below we break down the different types you are likely to encounter in your search for the perfect humidifier for you.small humidifier TOP
Types of humidifiers
Most humidifiers are categorized as warm mist or cool mist humidifiers, which work differently. But ultimately do the same things - add moisture to the air. Ultrasonic and evaporative humidifiers are types of cool or warm mist humidifiers. Choosing between the different types eventually comes down to personal preference.
The size of the model you choose will also depend on the size of the room you will be placing it in, your budget, how many times a day you want to refill the water etc. However, there are certain advantages and disadvantages of warm mist and cool mist humidifiers that you should take note of.
Warm Mist Humidifiers
In a warm mist humidifier, a heating element is used to boil water and release warm steam into the air. It is ideally used in cold climates, since they can make you feel warmer. Any mineral in the water is left behind in the unit, and clean, mineral-free moist air is released. The benefits of a small humidifier releasing warm air include:
· Nearly silent operation
· Pure, mineral-free moisture released
· No replacement of wick filters needed, unlike cool mist humidifiers
· Some units come with pads to absorb minerals left behind in the unit, making it easier to clean the unit
· Some units come with medicinal cups to help release soothing vapors as wellsmall humidifier
However, you should note that warm mist humidifiers -
· Have a higher power consumption because the element must be heated
· Are limited to small humidifier types, meant for small rooms
· Should be kept out of reach of children, to avoid burns should the unit tip over
Cool mist evaporative humidifiers
There are many types of cool mist humidifiers, and the evaporative type is most common. This type uses natural evaporation to add moisture to the air, making it the cleanest humidification method. A wicking filter at the base absorbs water and a fan circulates the air in the room through the wick. The air picks up moisture and is filtered into the room. The wick traps impurities and minerals in the air and releases clean air. The benefits of this type include -
· Low power consumption
· Clean output through wick filter
· Powerful fans that can cover large areas
However, you should note some cons.
· The fans can make more noise than other types of humidifiers.
· Wick filters need to be replaced every two months.
· Mold and bacteria may grow on the wick filter, but can be combated with a bacteria treatment solution in the water.small humidifier TOP
Cool or warm mist Ultrasonic Small Humidifier
Ideal for small rooms, ultrasonic humidifiers use a vibrating metal diaphragm at frequencies higher than the speed of sound, to break water into a very fine mist. This mist is released into the air with a very quiet fan. The advantages of this type include -
· Extremely quiet operation
· No need to replace wick filters
· Low power consumption if you are using cool mist types
· Some units come with additional heating elements to make the vapor warmer and trapping more warmth in the room for comfort
· Many units come with demineralization cartridges to trap minerals from the water before release
There is a disadvantage of ultrasonic humidifiers. The demineralization cartridges don't work fully, and distilled water needs to be used if you see white dust on the surface of the unit. Replacing the cartridge often is beneficial if you find white dust.TOP
Warm Mist Vaporizer
Warm mist vaporizers are simple, inexpensive variants of the warm mist humidifier. These are small humidifiers that have a simple on/off switch, no controls for moisture output or filters that have to be replaced. They are quiet and offer pure, clean air free of minerals, but use more power like warm mist humidifiers.
Cool Mist Impeller Humidifier
Another type of small humidifier, the cool mist impeller uses a high speed disc that rotates to spin water through a diffuser, which breaks it down into a fine visible mist. These are quiet models requiring no filter replacement. However the mist released may contain minerals and any other impurities in the water leading to a film of white dust on furniture and other surfaces. It is therefore recommended that impeller humidifiers are used with distilled water.
There are a few other technologies and features to consider when purchasing a humidifier in addition to type of operation. Look for UV Germ Free technology that kills 99.9 percent bacteria with UV lights or easy to fill Top-Fill Humidifiers to offer healthier air or greater convenience when you purchase a small humidifier.TOP
When looking for a humidifier that is the best for your needs, consider the size of your room as well as the humidification technology you prefer. Remember that warm mist humidifiers can trap heat and make rooms warmer in cold climates, while cool mist humidifiers may have the opposite effect. Also note that all models will have to be cleaned regularly to prevent the growth of fungi, bacteria and mold.