Dry, itchy eyes? Sore throat? Asthma? You may need a humidifier. If it's wintertime, you run your heat to stay warm. But if have any of these symptoms, you probably need a home humidifier. Homes need to maintain a 30% to 50% humidity level for not only the health of that people that live there, but also for the health of your home.
Low humidity affects your health and home
When it gets cold, we need heat. Unfortunately, the heat not only keeps us warm and toasty, it also dries and removes humidity from the air. This causes many health problems for you and your family by drying out nasal passages, eyes, throats, and skin but it dries out your home too. Homes benefit from humidifiers by reducing static electricity, preventing peeling wallpaper, cracks and furniture and paint for excess drying.
If you feel you, your family and even your home can benefit from a humidifier for home use, here are some helpful tips for buying the best model.
Understanding different types of humidifiers
There are four different types of humidifiers for home use and each has their own pros and cons.
The least expensive humidifiers on the market are warm-mist humidifiers. These humidifiers function by boiling water to make steam, cooling it slightly and blowing it by fan into the room. You may remember this type of humidifier from your childhood days when you were sick with a cold.
Warm-mist humidifiers tend to warm the air in the room, which is great during wintertime if you live in a cold climate - not so great if you live in warmer parts of the country. Another drawback with this type of humidifier is that the water reaches a boiling point when the humidifier is working. This could pose a dangerous situation if you have small children or grandchildren in the home and something you should consider before purchasing.
Warm-mist humidifiers also tend to irritate those with asthma. So if you or anyone in your family suffers with asthma, this isn't the model for you.
Cool-mist humidifiers disperse cool water into the air by using a spinning disk. These home humidifiers are also know as impeller models because of the spinning disk. There are several cool-mist humidifiers on the market but none tends to get high ratings due to the fact that they can spread microorganisms into the air increasing your chance of getting sick.
These humidifiers also spray out dissolved minerals leaving a white dust on furniture. You can solve the problem of white dust by using only demineralized water, but this tends to be expensive.
These humidifiers are similar to cool-mist models but they don't use an impeller to disperse the water into the air. Instead, they use high-frequency sound vibration. Ultrasonic humidifiers also come with demineralization filter to help with the "white dust" problem but it doesn't completely eliminate the problem.
Evaporative humidifiers are another choice if you're looking for an inexpensive humidifier. This model operates using a wick and a fan. The wick soaks up water and a fan blows onto the wick dispersing the water into the air. Unlike cool-mist humidifiers that have the possibility of blowing microorganisms into to air, the wick in evaporative humidifiers traps any microorganisms and keeps them in the humidifier.
This means that you do need to change the filter and clean the humidifier regularly, but it is effective in raising the humidity in your home and keeps the air microorganism-free.
Buying the best humidifier for your home
A humidifier plays an important part in keeping your family healthy. If your family suffers because of low humidity in your home, buying a humidifier is a good idea. To buy the best humidifier, weigh the pros and cons of each type of humidifier listed above. Find one that suits your needs, take cost, size and features into consideration and purchase the humidifier that's right for your family.