Dry air hurts our health and can worsen the manifestations of allergies, cause coughing or breathing difficulties. It can also cause cracked lips, dry skin, or nasal and oral mucosa irritation, which is especially dangerous for asthmatics. The ideal humidity in the room should be between 40 and 50%. Air quality directly impacts our health and performance, and humidifiers are optimal helpers who can reliably monitor the air quality in the room.
How to choose the ideal humidifier?
Before purchasing an air humidifier, it is essential to decide what you want to use the appliance for and in what environment. Asthmatics welcome a different device than allergy sufferers, and you will use a completely different model at home for growing tropical plants. It would help if you were interested in performance about room size or overall efficiency. We can refer you to our article How to choose an air humidifier that will give you more information. The total cost, which is the sum of the purchase price, electricity, filters/cassettes, other fragrant essences, oils, etc., is also worth comparing. Based on all these criteria, you should come to the choice of a specific device. Another critical parameter when buying can be the noise of the purchased appliance. Fortunately, humidifiers are quieter devices and have an average noise range from 20 to 40 dB. The noise level of ultrasonic humidifiers is then between 20 and 30 dB, and for most steam humidifiers, we can talk on average about 30 dB, which corresponds to relatively soft fizz.
Three basic types of humidifiers
On the market, we can find the three most basic types of humidifiers:
- Ultrasonic humidifiers – ultrasonic humidifiers use ultrasound when converting water into steam. It breaks individual drops of water into smaller ones and drains them into the room in the form of cold mist and fog. Ultrasonic humidifiers work quickly with low electricity consumption and low noise. In order not to be inducted, it is important to use distilled water. Ultrasonic humidifiers require thorough cleaning and regular replacement of filters.
- Natural evaporation humidifiers – these types of humidifiers take advantage of the natural cold evaporation of water, which is absorbed into the air in the form of tiny droplets. In general, this is a slower but economical method of humidification. Only the fan that removes moisture from the appliance consumes electricity during the humidification process. Humidifiers with natural evaporation can be divided into disc humidifiers (they contain two rotary discs that drive water and accelerate evaporation) and humidifiers with filter cartridges (using filter cartridges that absorb water and moisture is subsequently operated further). In general, these are slightly noisier devices and humidifiers with even a tiny filter.
- Steam humidifiers – they use water heating and so-called hot evaporation. The water is heated, evaporated, and disinfected at the same time by high temperature. It’s the quickest and most hygienic way to moisturize the air. However, it takes a lot of energy to heat the heating spiral, which increases the consumption and noise of the device, which has its advantages and disadvantages. In addition, the outgoing steam has a high temperature, and children, in particular, are at risk of scalding. In summer, hot steam can, in addition, immensely unpleasantly increase the temperature in the room.
From the perspective of comfort and maintenance of the appliance, it is essential to pay attention to the size of the tank and its filling possibilities when choosing an air humidifier and the need for maintenance. The self-cleaning function can make it very easy for you to worry about the appliance. Another critical parameter is energy consumption. Steam humidifiers have the largest, while the smallest humidifiers with natural water evaporation. An important feature is also the possibility of filtration. If you have an allergist at home, this is an ideal way not to harm him and, at the same time, ensure sufficiently humidified air in the room.
Won’t the humidifier hurt asthmatics or allergy sufferers?
Asthmatics can be very easy to live in humidified air. Allergy sufferer’s wet mood improves breathing and helps reduce skin problems. However, it should be noted that humidifiers swirly dust in the room, and microorganisms, mites, or mold tend to settle in the water, which, together with moisture, are released into the air. Therefore, instead of helping you, the humidifier can, on the contrary, harm you. By moving the fan, allergens will then spread throughout the room and can provoke unwanted allergic reactions. Therefore, the following rules should be observed:
- Keep the humidity in the room to a maximum of 45 %. If this value can be set to hygrostat, you do not need to check the humidifier settings so often.
- Another thing worth following when buying an appliance is the possibility of filtration. Steam humidifiers are good in that the water in the evaporator heats up to boiling, and the microorganisms contained therein are destroyed.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers and natural evaporator humidifiers have a filter through which mites and dust do not pass. However, moisture largely settles on the filter, and there is an increased risk that the filter could begin to mold on its own. Along with steam things through it, mold pieces with potential allergens could get into the room. However, this can be eliminated by frequent and reasonable device maintenance, regular replacement of filters, and distilled water instead of conventional tap water.
- It is undoubtedly a good idea to consult your attending physician or allergist before buying an air humidifier, who will also advise you and give you appropriate recommendations.
Special features of humidifiers
Some models of humidifiers also have several unique and intelligent functions that you will surely appreciate in the home.
Although they are unnecessary for life, working with the appliance will make it easier and more effective. The most common functions include ionizer, automatic stop and timer, hygrostat, remote control, self-cleaning, treatment, and other tasks that you can read in detail in our following article.
What’s worked for you? Please share your tips and recommendations for buying a good humidifier with us, which can help others choose an appliance appropriately? We look forward to your insights and photos on our Facebook page.