Choose The Right Humidifier For Your Home – During the winter heating months in colder climates your home will need extra moisture. A humidifier replaces moisture that is lost from heating your home. The proper humidity is essential for your maximum comfort. Not enough humidity can cause itchy dry skin, stuffy noses, static build up, frizzy hair and a chilly feeling. The proper humidity is a personal thing. It is best to start around 60% and adjust up or down until you find the best comfort level for your needs.
So, what kind of humidifier are you going to buy? There are several things you need to know first before purchasing a unit. How much space are you adding moisture to? If you want to do your whole house and have hot air heat, we recommend having a whole house humidifier installed by a heating contractor. This type will connect to your water line and automatically add moisture to the heated air within your furnace.
If you only need to moisturize a few rooms or you do not have hot air heat, then a stand alone unit is required. There are 4 types available: evaporative, ultrasonic, steam, and cool mist. Here is what each type is good for.
Several gallons of water are stored in a tank in the unit. Water is pumped through a wicking material (should be anti-bacterial coated) and a fan quietly blows through the wet wicking material evaporating the water and adding humidity to the air. This type uses the least amount of electricity and provides 1-2 days before needing a tank refill. Larger console units of this type can allow you to go more days between refills. There is also a UV light option on some units that kills airborne viruses or bacteria that pass through.
Ultrasonic units use sound vibrations to add moisture to the air. The draw back of this type of humidifier is that it leaves a white dust on every surface in your home. The white dust is minerals naturally occurring in your water. It is a real pain to clean up. If you want to prevent the dust you can buy distilled water which is inconvenient and expensive.
Heater type units literally boil water into steam. They cost the most to run. No white dust is left behind because steam is pure water. A build-up of minerals are left behind on the heating element. These minerals can cause popping noises and inefficient operation. Removing the mineral deposits can be done by soaking the heater part in white vinegar weekly.
Cool Mist (impeller):
They are the least expensive units. They work by spinning the water into tiny droplets and blowing them into the air. For a few days use they are ok. Excess water can build up around the unit from unevaporated droplets so do not place it on wooden furniture.