Many types of humidifiers are available, each with a unique design and benefits. Regardless of the type of humidifier, it is used to create a higher level of moisture in a room. For people living with asthma, allergies, sinus infections, dry skin, and even symptoms that go hand in hand with the common cold due to a lack of moisture, humidifiers create a more comfortable and healthier environment.
Because moisture levels are carefully regulated by humidifiers, the air quality is cleaner and healthier. Ultimately, a humidifier reduces the concentration of bacteria, dust, and a host of other irritants. The biggest challenge comes from choosing the right product since there are multiple makes and models.
Overall, humidifiers are classified as warm mist or cool mist. Of the two, humidifiers that produce a cool mist are considered the safer option. The reason is that humidifiers that create a warm mist pose a burn risk, especially in a home with smaller children.
Warm mist humidifiers also require more electricity; therefore, they are more expensive to operate. The only real downside to cool mist humidifiers is that they require more maintenance, such as daily cleaning with soap and water and annual filter changes.
The next step after choosing between warm mist and cool mist humidifiers is to identify the right type for your needs.
- Ultrasonic – These humidifiers are the most cost- and energy-efficient options on the market. Ultrasonic humidifiers have a storage area for water, as well as oscillating plates. When the plates vibrate, water transforms into a very fine mist, which is then blown into the air with a fan. Although there are definite advantages, the one drawback is that ultrasonic humidifiers produce a white dust byproduct. For people with asthma, respiratory infections, and other breathing problems, this creates a serious risk. Anyone interested in ultrasonic humidifiers should purchase one of the newer models designed with advanced technology that eliminates the unwanted dust byproduct.
- Gas-Fired – Typically installed in larger buildings as a humidification system, gas-fired humidifiers are more affordable when compared to similar options. Although the initial installation is quite expensive, the long-term advantage is that operating on natural or propane gas is much cheaper than electricity. Gas-fired humidifiers are beneficial to everyone, particularly businesses located in parts of the country where energy rates are outrageously high.
- Evaporative – With these humidifiers, a fan blows water, which releases moisture into the air. Since there is no risk of a dust byproduct, this is an excellent hygienic choice of humidifier. These humidifiers are also energy efficient, and the systems provide noiseless operation.
- Steam-Based – Electric steam humidifiers are ideal when moisture needs to be regulated based on the level of dryness in a room. Designed with humidity control, steam-based humidifiers not only improve air quality; they are hygienic in that germs are killed and sterile moisture is released. For baby nurseries, healthcare facilities, nursing homes, and other places where people are struggling with respiratory illness, this humidifier is an outstanding solution.