Understanding Different Humidifiers, Their Benefits And Disadvantages

Understanding Different Humidifiers, Their Benefits And Disadvantages

Room humidifiers are basically portable units intended to provide a room with more moisture. If a person experiences sinus infections, allergies from dust, excessively dry skin or consistent symptoms of cold due to lack of moisture in the air, using a humidifier could be a good solution. Humidifiers ensure clean and healthy air quality by regulating moisture levels in the room, thus minimizing the concentration of dust, bacteria and other irritants.

Different Varieties Of Humidifiers

Today, there are countless models of humidifiers to choose from. Humidifiers are mainly classified into two types – warm mist and cool mist. In homes with children, it is better to avoid warm mist humidifiers since a child may get burnt from the hot steam emitted. Also, warm mist humidifiers consume more electricity as they have to heat the water to produce steam.

Cool mist humidifiers are considerable safer, but require more maintenance. These units require cleaning with soap and water everyday and changing the filter annually.

After deciding to purchase either of these, the next thing to consider is whether the humidifier should be ultrasonic, evaporative or steam-based. Here are the differences, benefits and disadvantages of each –

  • Ultrasonic humidifiers: These are among the cheapest yet most energy-efficient of all humidifiers. These units feature storage for water and oscillating plates. The vibrations of these plates transform water into a fine mist that is then blown out with a fan. The major problem of an ultrasonic humidifier is that it produces white dust as a by-product which can pose a serious threat for people with breathing problems. However, the newer and costlier versions of ultrasonic humidifiers feature advanced technology that eliminates the problem of white dust.
  • Evaporative humidifiers: These units work by releasing moisture into the air by blowing water with a fan. This is quite a hygienic choice since it does not pose the problem of dust being released into the room. In addition to being very energy-efficient, this system is noiseless so it can be comfortably used in bedrooms.

There are two kinds of evaporative humidifiers – one with porous filters and the other with rotating discs. When it comes to maintenance, the system with porous filter is less preferable since it can quickly get polluted with hair, skin, dust and other matter in the air and incur regular replacements. On the other hand, the rotating discs of the second group of humidifiers are made from hardened plastic, making them easy to clean and care for.

  • Steam-based humidifiers: The moisture released by steam humidifiers can easily be regulated according to the extent of dryness in a room. The humidity control provided by these units is exceptionally hygienic since steam kills off germs and releases sterile moisture. That makes a steam humidifier an excellent choice for controlling humidity in nurseries or for people with respiratory illness.
  • Maintaining a steam humidifier involves regular removal of lime scale that may build up within the system. Compared to other humidifiers, steam ones are considerably economical. However, steam humidifiers consume more power than other versions of humidifiers.

Choosing The Right One

When planning to buy a room humidifier, the main aspects to remember are its health risks, maintenance and cost factor. All kinds of humidifiers work well when used for the right purpose they have been designed for. However, depending on individual requirements, it is important to choose the one that performs best in the given conditions.

If a home or office experiences uncomfortable conditions resulting from lack of moisture, it would be a wise decision to get a humidifier – especially when considering its numerous advantages. Being surprisingly affordable nowadays, humidifiers are an effective option to improve the air quality and humidity control in a room.

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