A humidifier is a device that increases humidity (moisture) in a single room or in your entire home. Point-of-use humidifiers are commonly used to humidify a single room, while whole-house or furnace humidifiers connect to your home’s HVAC system, providing humidity to the entire house.
Humidity plays a key role in keeping your home comfortable at any temperature. Why is humidity important? During the cooling season, high humidity gives you that hot, sticky feeling everyone hates. Too humid air allows faster growth of bacteria, viruses, dust mites, mold, and mildew. High humidity can also cause painted surfaces to peel and woodwork to warp, buckle, and rot.
On the other hand, during the heating season, moisture evaporating from your skin makes you feel cooler than normal. Low humidity can also cause dry skin and nasal passages, growth of bacteria and viruses, static electricity, damaged woodwork, and more. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers minimize these problems by maintaining proper humidity levels, allowing you to feel more comfortable all year long.
Our experienced Comfort Consultants are trained in the benefits of indoor air quality products, including an innovative technology that can constantly control both temperature and humidity, day and night, in any season, even when there’s no need for heating or cooling. When your home’s humidity level is properly managed, you will be more comfortable at higher temperatures during the summer and lower temperatures during the winter. As a result, you can potentially save money on your cooling and heating costs.
The most expensive, but most effective in covering a large area are central humidifiers. These are built in the home’s ac/heating unit. If you are willing to pay for them, they will add humidity to an entire home easily. These also do not put off any steam, so there’s no risk for anyone in the home being burned! These are also the biggest humidifiers you can buy. When not in use, drain water and/or stop air flow to the humidifier. You also should replace the water panel once a year and clean drum and tray once a month if you have the drum style.
Steam vaporizers are electrically powered. They heat water and then cool it before expelling it into the air. These are the most inexpensive and portable humidifiers. You can purchase them at drugstores. This type can cause burns, so it’s not the most kid-friendly.
Evaporators blow moisture through a moistened filter. Fans power the unit and expel the humidity into the air from a single-unit system. These are more affordable than central humidifiers, but the downside is that they only work in one room at a time. They may also expel too much moisture into the air. This can be problematic for people with asthma, as it raises the likelihood for mold growth.
Impellers are the most common type of humidifier, also known as a cool mist humidifier. They have a rotating disc that sends water through a diffuser which in return, breaks the water droplets into smaller ones and disperse them into the air as a cool mist. These should be cleaned after each use on the inside and replace filter whenever you see that it is becoming discolored. People choose these humidifiers because of their price, cleanliness, low power usage, coverage of large rooms, and its ability to add mineral-free moisture to the air.
Ultrasonic humidifiers use a metal diaphragm vibrating at an ultrasonic frequency, much like a speaker. This creates water droplets that are then put in the air via a fan. These units tend to be virtually silent and usually create a cool fog. As with whole home humidifiers, you can get the “white dust” with these units, but if you use distilled, filtered, or bottled water, this is usually avoided. Also, these tend to require less maintenance and are rather easy to own and care for.
Humidifiers are often classified as console or portable/personal. Console units are meant to add moisture to the entire house. They’re often very large but usually have wheels so you can easily move them around. Console units are meant to add moisture to one room. Personal (or portable) humidifiers are the smallest and are the best choice if you need a humidifier while traveling.
Selecting the right humidifier for your home comes down to personal preference. Do you want a portable humidifier, or do you want one that impacts your entire home? Do you have children? If so, steam humidifiers probably aren’t right for you. Our Comfort Consultant will speak with you about your preferences and recommend the best option to meet your needs.
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