Types of Humidifiers

Luke Droume,

Low humidity (below 30%) causes discomfort such as cracked lips, dry skin, and excessive thirst (Optimum Humidity Levels for Any Home). The most comfortable for a human relative air humidity is 40-50% for room temperature. Air conditioning in summer and heating cold outdoor air in winter cause reducing humidity, it may drop less than 20% in a living room.

Dry air worsens the quality of sleep, increases irritability, causes drying and rapid aging of the skin. It is especially important to monitor the humidity in the apartment where the child lives: a number of doctors believe that for the health of the baby the humidity of the room should be at least 60%. To rise the humidity you can use special devices – humidifiers.

At the moment, there are three main groups of moisturizers on the market: ultrasonic, steam and traditional. Let’s talk about the difference between different types of devices.

Ultrasonic Air Humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifier

Products of this type convert water into cold water mist using ultrasonic vibration. The built-in fan directs steam to the room. The main disadvantage of ultrasonic humidifiers is that microdrops of water contain the same impurities that have been in the water. Hard water, rich in salts and impurities causes white dust on things and furniture. Salts also enter the lungs, which can provoke allergies, reducing the benefits of the humidifier.

Even filters provided by manufacturers are not always able to completely eliminate this problem. Replaceable filter cartridges need regular replacement, and this – serious additional costs. Of course, you can completely eliminate the problems by using distilled water, but it complicates and increases the cost of operation.

Steam humidifiers

Steam humidifiers use the simplest principle: they heat water, turn it into steam which then enters the room. The humidifiers works similar to electric kettle or boiler. Unlike other types of humidifiers, they are not completely safe, the hot steam can burn. The steam rises the temperature in the room. It’s not bad if the apartment is cold, but in the warm season additional heating is undesirable. Energy consumption of steam humidifiers is much higher than other types.

However, they have a number of advantages: the steam humidifier can raise humidity up to 100%, while the other types are limited to 60-80%. The steam from the device comes out clean, without salt impurities, so there will be no white coating on the furniture. Devices can also be used for inhalation and aromatherapy.

Traditional Evaporation Air Humidification

Classic humidifiers use a simple operating principle: the water from the tank drops on the evaporation element and the steam with the help of a fan goes into the room. Widespread opinion that traditional air humidifiers are more cumbersome and noisy in comparison with ultrasonic ones is not true. Modern top quality classic humidifiers have the same dimensions or slightly larger than ultrasonic ones for the same productivity. At the same time, traditional devices do not have the main disadvantage of ultrasonic: the steam does not contain salts in the air, there is no white dust. Operational costs are low, classical humidifiers do not need expensive demineralization filters or distilled water.

Impeller Humidifiers

An impeller humidifier has a rotating disc that sends water into a diffuser. The diffuser breaks waters into small droplets (fog-like mist) and sends the droplets into the air. The main advantage of the impeller devices is their ability to humidify large areas. But they can be noisy and use filters than need replacing at least once every season. The inside of a tank and humidifier should be wiped down to prevent the accumulation of bacteria and minerals. If you want to prolong unit’s life, it is important also clean it thoroughly at the end of each season.

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