Why do I Need a Humidifier?

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The chances are you’ve heard of a dehumidifier, a machine that removes excess moisture from the air in your home. But what if your air is too dry? This is where a humidifier comes in. A humidifier has a range of uses around the home, and is recommended in places like your baby’s room or for your house plants.

Benefits of a humidifier

Humidifiers help to rebalance the humidity levels in your home. The ideal levels of humidity within your home is between 30-50%, however simple things like your homes central heating or air con can cause low humidity.

Low humidity can result in health issues like dry skin, chapped lips, sore throat, irritated eyes, sinusitis, respiratory problems, and nosebleeds. It can also affect wood furniture and flooring, walls and wallpaper, photos, books, and even wine!

A humidifier helps to combat dry air to alleviate symptoms and improve everyday comfort.

Different types of humidifier

Put simply, a humidifier is a machine that you fill with water. This water is then turned into vapour and released into the room. However, there are 4 different types of humidifier: warm mist, cool mist, ultrasonic, and UV. What humidifier you should choose depends on what you want your humidifier for.

Cool mist humidifier

Cool mist or evaporative humidifiers release water using the evaporation. They work by drawing in ambient air and sending it over a water saturated filter or wick. This vaporises the moisture and then releases it into your room.

The main drawback of this type of humidifier is that any impurities in the water are diffused around the room, so it’s recommended that you choose a model with a washable filter or antimicrobial feature.

Warm mist humidifier

Warm mist humidifiers boil water and release it as a gentle steam. Because this water has been boiled it is free from any bacteria, meaning warm mist humidifiers don’t require any more filters. What’s more, warm air evaporates quicker, meaning you will feel the effects of the humidifier faster.

Warm mist humidifiers can also be used alongside essential oils when you add them to the diffuser. However, warm mist humidifiers should be used with caution around small children as they can cause injury due to the boiling water.

Ultrasonic humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers are the quietest models available. This makes them ideal for use in a nursery. High frequency soundwaves vibrate within the device and cause the water to burst into microscopic droplets that are then propelled into the air by a fan.

The disadvantage of ultrasonic humidifiers is that the minerals within the water are also released into the air. This can cause a thin white mineral film to be deposited all over the furniture in the room. It’s recommended to use a descaling filter or distilled water with an ultrasonic humidifier to avoid this.

UV humidifiers

UV humidifiers are recommended for people suffering from immunodeficiency disorders as they use UV rays to kill any bacteria present in the water. They are available in both warm and cool mist models. However, the downside of UV humidifiers is that UV lamps have a fairly short life, meaning they need to be replaced after just a few months.

Tips for choosing the right humidifier

When selecting a humidifier for your room, you need to pay attention to the following things:

Moisture capacity: different humidifiers have different tank sizes and moisture capacities. You should know how big the room is and compare this to what your chosen humidifier recommends.

Sound level: depending on where you want to use your humidifier you should consider how noisy it is when it’s running. The sound level will be measured in decibels (dB). Evaporative humidifiers tend to be the noisiest models, so if you’re a light sleeper or want to use it in the nursery consider a warm mist or ultrasonic humidifier.

Operating mode: If you’re looking to maintain humidity in your home, you should look at whether the humidifier you’ve chose has a manual or automatic function. Automatic means it will turn on based on the humidity levels in your home, whereas with a manual function you would have to be responsible for turning it on or off. You can also get humidifiers with a timer or programmer which will turn on and off at a set time or to a set schedule.

Automatic empty reservoir turn off: Running the machine on an empty tank can cause damage, so double check if the model you’re choosing has automatic shut-off, a warning light, or simply a clear reservoir for a visual check.

Essential oil diffusion: If you’re planning to use essential oils with your ultrasonic or warm mist humidifier you should ensure that your model comes with an essential oil diffuser.

Easy cleaning: Humidifiers are great machines, as long as they’re looked after. If a humidifier isn’t cleaned properly it can become a breeding ground for mould and bacteria, which can cause it to circulate these nasties throughout your home. Keeping your humidifier clean is simple! All you need to do is empty the reservoir and basin, fill the tank with undiluted white vinegar, and allow it to stand for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, empty the vinegar and scrub the area to remove any mineral deposits, rinse with water, and let it dry before putting it back together to run again.

Portability: If you’re only planning to use your humidifier in one room then a static model should be sufficient, however if you’re planning to move it, double check that your chosen model suits how portable you need it to be.