Humidifiers are an easy way to increase the humidity levels in your home. They are also helpful in reducing airborne bacteria and viruses. Typically, people choose to buy single-room humidifiers. Bedrooms, offices, playrooms, and living rooms are popular locations for humidifiers. But with so many options to choose from, it may be difficult to sort out what sets one humidifier apart from another.
Read on for three things to consider when purchasing a humidifier.
Ultrasonic vs. Evaporative
There are two different types of humidifiers. Ultrasonic humidifiers use vibration to send water droplets into the air. Evaporation turns the water into a vapor either with or without heat and then sends the water vapor into the air. Typically, you will get more moisture in the air with water droplets from ultrasonic humidifiers. However, it is possible to get too much humidity from an ultrasonic humidifier. This can lead to mold and mildew. It is important to ensure that your ultrasonic humidifier has a humidistat. The humidistat monitors the humidity of the air and can auto-shutoff your humidifier once the humidity reaches a certain point. This feature may also be available on evaporative humidifiers.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are quieter, safer, and easier to use than evaporative humidifiers. They also consume very little electricity. You do not have to replace a filter in the unit, and they are easier to keep clean. Because the ultrasonic humidifiers push out the entire water droplet, minerals found in tap water are still present in the water droplets produced by ultrasonic humidifiers. This keeps the unit cleaner, but it is important to use distilled water in your ultrasonic humidifier. Cleaning the unit to prevent the buildup of bacteria and mold is still important.
With evaporative humidifiers, minerals in the water are removed before the vapor is pushed into the air. Those minerals build up in the unit and need to be cleaned regularly. Many evaporative humidifiers use a heating element to create water vapor. Heating elements need to be replaced and can cause dangerous situations with small children and pets. Evaporative humidifiers that produce cool mist do so by pushing the water through a filter and using a fan to push the vapor into the air. This is often noisier than an ultrasonic unit due to the fan running.
When choosing a humidifier, you want to consider the size of the tank. If you are looking for long run times and/or continuous use, you will want to purchase a unit with a larger tank. The flip side of a larger tank is a larger unit. You need to consider how much space the unit will take up and what space you have allotted for it in the room. Many people like to put humidifiers near their beds to help keep the air they are breathing at night moist. However, if you are opting for a large unit, your bedside table may not have sufficient space, especially if you keep other items on it, like your phone. You also want to consider how much space the humidifier will cover. Depending on the square footage of your room, you may need a larger humidifier. Most humidifiers will tell you the square footage they cover and how many hours they can operate based on the size of the tank.
There are additional features you may want to consider for your humidifier as well. Do you want to be able to add essential oils to your humidifier? Some ultrasonic humidifiers can support this while others cannot. You do not want to add essential oils to a humidifier that is not designed for them. You never want to use essential oils with an evaporative humidifier because anything in the water is pulled through the wicking filter before the water is turned to vapor. At the least, you would find yourself having to change the filter much more frequently, at worst, it could damage the unit.
Adding essential oils to your water is a great way to get additional health benefits both night and day. Oils like peppermint and eucalyptus can be used to relieve congestion. If you are using your humidifier in your office, you can add oils like spearmint, rosemary, lemon, or geranium to increase focus and energy. You will also want to consider whether or not the unit you are purchasing has been made with appropriate considerations for safety and whether or not it comes with a warranty or replacement policy, as well as what the warranty or policy covers. Now that you know what to look for when you buy an ultrasonic humidifier or an evaporative humidifier, consider the pros and cons of each unit and what benefits you are looking for with putting a humidifier in your room.