How Humidifiers Work | Humidifier FAQ
Ever wondered how you could solve the problem of dry air during chilly winter season or hot summer days? If that has been a challenge to you, you need not to think more about it because we have a solution for you. All you really need to get is a humidifier. This handy device will solve the dry air problem and help improve the comfort levels in your home and office environment. Your primary concern, in this case, would be to gain a clear understanding on how humidifiers work. While at it, it would also be important for you to consider that there are many different types of humidifiers available in the market. This article will try and answer some important key among them being “how does humidifiers work?”
Humidifiers are a proven solution to dry air both in cold winters and in long hot summer days and nights. The problem of low humidity is prevalent in winter because of the fact that heaters are used to heat the air in houses and offices causing the air to lose its moisture content. Aside from that, during summers, houses that use air conditioners also face near similar problems of low humidity. Medical experts have shown that low humidity is bad for you and more so if you have kids in your house. Low humidity can cause discomfort, alleviate common cold symptoms and cause the drying up of your mucous membranes and lips. So, the best way to avoid these problems and ensure that you continue to enjoy your life in comfort and keep health risks away, you will need to learn how humidifiers work and then go a step further and get one for yourself.
When going out to shop for a humidifier, it is very important for you to have a basic knowledge of how humidifiers work. This knowledge is important because it will inform you on what to look for in a humidifier, what to expect from a humidifier, what is the best type of humidifier for you and what to expect from your purchase in terms of value. Understanding exactly how humidifiers work will also help you take good care of your humidifier after you have purchased it. To equip you with all the relevant information needed to understand how humidifiers work, we have come up with a list of some of the most frequently asked questions concerning humidifier.
Table of Contents
- Question: Do I really need a humidifier?
- Question: How humidifiers work and what is the best choice for me?
- Question: What is the recommended level of humidity that I need to maintain?
- Question: What is the best size of a humidifier for me?
- Question: What exactly is a humidifier capacity?
- Question: How to add water to your humidifier?
- Question: How often should you refill your humidifier?
- Question: What type of water is ideal for my humidifier?
- Question: Is it possible to set a timer on my humidifier?
- Question: How much energy do humidifiers consume?
- Parting shot
Question: Do I really need a humidifier?
The answer to this question is an emphatic “yes”. You really need a humidifier because it is a handy device which helps in making dry air moist thereby raising the comfort level for those living in the house. Typically, you are likely to experience some dryness in the air especially during cold winters and hot summers. Dry air is not good for you or for your loved ones because it comes closely followed with uncomfortable health symptoms that include:
- Dry sinus package.
- Dry scaly skin.
- Aggravated respiratory conditions.
- Sore scratchy throat.
- Cracked lips.
- Bloody nose.
In the process of time, low humidity can also undermine your home’s interior and infrastructure causing your furniture and wood floor to warp or split, paint and wall paper to peel off and uncomfortable static electricity can also build up as a result. Additionally, air that has very little humidity can easily cause some irreversible damages to your priced possession such as fine artwork, antics and music instruments. A humidifier can help you prevent these losses and understanding how humidifiers work will also help you understand how to shield your family and property from the adverse effects of low humidity.
A humidifier such as the vaporizer can be used to help in relieving and treating an ongoing respiratory or sinus condition e.g. asthma. They can also help your baby to breathe easier especially when they feel congested or become uncomfortable with the low levels of humidity year-round.
Question: How humidifiers work and what is the best choice for me?
No matter the type or size, all humidifiers typically function in the same way. Humidifiers function by forcing moisture into your indoor air. Different types of humidifiers accomplish this task in different ways. For instance, an evaporative humidifier uses an internal fan which it uses to pull air into the humidifier and blow this air across a water saturated wick where it picks or absorbs moisture. Once the air has absorbed enough air, the fan then blows it to your indoor air where it circulates and corrects the low humidity.
The type of humidifier you will choose will actually depend on your own preference and need. However, you must at the very least have some basic understanding of how humidifiers work. Such a knowledge will come in handy especially when making that all important purchase decision. Following this, you also need to decide on the kind of moisture you would wish to add to your indoor space. Typically, there are two types of moisture that humidifiers can add to an indoor space- cool mist and warm mist. Cool mist humidifiers are ideal for hot summers because they do help in bringing down the high temperatures that are a characteristic of summer. On the other hand, warm mist humidifiers are ideal for chilly winters as they are used to add warm moist air into indoor spaces thereby raising the temperatures while at the same time correcting the low humidity that is characteristic of most winters.
To help you further when trying to make that purchase decision it will be important for you to understand that cool mist humidifiers are the most common because they can be used all year-round especially when temperatures are fluctuating. Warm mist humidifiers are also ideal for those who face tough and extended winters. If you feel unable to decide between the warm and cold mist humidifiers, maybe you really don’t need to choose. You can just opt to but a humidifier that allows you to choose cool or warm mist depending on your need at the moment.
Question: What is the recommended level of humidity that I need to maintain?
The next step on understanding how humidifiers work is by getting to understand the optimum levels of humidity you need to maintain in your house or office. When using a humidifier to add moisture to the air, you will need to be very careful not to overdo it. Experts recommend a humidity reading of between 30% and 50%. Humidity readings above 50% are a health risk because they act as a breeding ground for dust mites, bacteria, mold and other pests. Humidity readings below 30% also pose health risk because it increases the likelihood of the spread of the common flu virus. When the air is too dry, your home and furniture can also take a beating as dry air can damage certain furnishings and the foundation of your home. To be on the safe side and ensure that you do not suffer from too much or too little humidity, experts advise that the humidity level should be maintained between 45% and 50%. You can monitor the levels of humidity by either having a standalone hygrometer or purchase a humidifier with an in-built hygrometer.
Question: What is the best size of a humidifier for me?
Well, the size of a humidifier that you will go for will mainly depend on the square foot of the room or building you wish to use the humidifier in. Lucky for you, most manufacturers enclose square foot coverage range as a part of the product specification. Prior to purchasing a humidifier, you should measure the floor area of the room you intend to humidify. Armed with such valuable information is important because this will guide you when shopping for an appropriate size of a humidifier.
It is worth noting that small table top humidifiers will be ideal for humidifying small spaces and single rooms. Mini consoles and large table top humidifiers will be ideal for medium to large sized spaces. In-duct and console whole house humidifiers will be appropriate for humidifying an entire house.
Question: What exactly is a humidifier capacity?
When discussing how humidifiers work, it would be imprudent not to mention that different humidifiers have different capacities. Humidifier capacity denotes the amount of maximum moisture output that a humidifier produces within 24 hours. Capacity is not the same as the water tank capacity. Normally, the size of the water tank is often less in size compared to the unit’s capacity. Typically, tabletop humidifiers have capacities that range between 1-4 gallons. Console humidifiers have the largest capacities and can run for long periods of time.
Question: How to add water to your humidifier?
You need to have clean water to ensure that your humidifier offers you top performance. As you learn on how humidifiers work, you will see that water is a key requirement in ensuring that the humidifier function at all. The manner in which you will add water will be determined by the positioning of the humidifier’s reservoir. Some humidifiers have the reservoir located at the top of the humidifier making it very easy to fill. Most console humidifiers lack a water reservoir but are instead supplied with water directly from the home’s water supply as and when needed.
Question: How often should you refill your humidifier?
Well, the answer to this question depends mainly on the frequency of use and the size of the water reservoir. Portable humidifiers will need to be refilled a minimum of one time per 24-hour cycle especially of you are planning on using it throughout the day and night. If your humidifier use is less frequent, then you won’t need to refill it every so often.
Question: What type of water is ideal for my humidifier?
When deciding on the type of water to use in your humidifier, you should give priority to the fact that the cleanness and safety of the water is very important. Clean water should be free from impurities-both visible and invisible, which can either clog the filter or pass to the air and pose a health hazard. You can also use hard water with your humidifier but, caution must be exercised because hard water has elevated levels of mineral deposits. You will require a humidifier that has a mineral cartridge to help in filtering minerals from the water before the moist is released to the air. For humidifiers that lack a mineral cartridge, it is highly recommended that you consider using distilled water, which is known to be free from minerals.
Question: Is it possible to set a timer on my humidifier?
Yes, this is possible. Many modern humidifiers came fitted with advanced digital controls that have programmable timers. Timers are important because they will help you set the time you wish the gadget to start functioning and when it should stop. This feature is important because it will not only help in saving energy but also help in preventing over-humidifying your house or office. Another variation is humidifiers with countdown timers that allow you to program a shut off time.
Question: How much energy do humidifiers consume?
Perhaps this is one of the most important questions you will need an answer to as you try to understand how humidifiers work. However, it is not possible to say how your humidifier will impact your monthly energy consumption. The answer to this question will greatly depend on a number of factors including the type of humidifier, the number of hours it runs, your electricity rate and the humidification speed settings. When determining the energy consumption of your humidifier, it would be useful for you to remember that cool mist humidifiers use less electricity to humidify larger areas than warm mist humidifiers.
It is our hope that the discussion above has answered some basic questions and helped you to understand how humidifiers work. The answers supplied to the questions can act as a guide especially when you are trying to understand how to choose an ideal humidifier to serve your purposes.