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What does a humidifier do?

Humidifiers are units that provide air with more moisture. Even though there are different type and makes of humidifiers, they all do the same thing:  increase the level of humidity.

Humidifiers reduce many of the nasty effects of cold weather. A humidifier can help you feel much more comfortable around the house during the bitter months of winter and even after winter ends the conditions in your home can be greatly improved by introducing a humidifier into your home. In hotter climates, too, a humidifier can help your home since the heat can cause air to be dry.

When should you use a humidifier?

You should use a humidifier whenever excessively low humidity occurs in order to achieve a healthier balance of moisture in a room or building. Moisture in a room is essential for staying healthy and can help alleviate dry skin, chapped lips, cough symptoms and more. Most homes will suffer from an imbalance of moisture, especially during winter months, and so most people can benefit from purchasing a humidifier for their home.

How does a humidifier work?

Different humidifiers work in slightly different ways and with different technology, but all basically work in the same essential way. A humidifier pushes moisture into the air, increasing the levels of humidity in the air and improving the conditions in rooms and buildings for those people in them.

TYPES OF HUMIDIFIERS

Evaporative Humidifiers


The simplest type of humidifier is an evaporative humidifier (also known as a wick humidifier). This type of humidifier consists of just three major parts: a fan, a wick and a reservoir.

An evaporative humidifier will suck air into the unit using its internal fan. This air will then pass along a water-saturated wick filter which has absorbed water from the reservoir. Once this process has taken place and the air is moist, it will then be pushed back out into the room to circulate and give the room a better balance of humidity in the air.

Advantages of an Evaporative Humidifier:

Cost efficient
Easy to use
Covers large areas relatively easily

Our favourite evaporative humidifiers

Vornado Ultra3 Ultrasonic
Humidifier

The Vornado Evap2 is an evaporative humidifier that operates by pulling dry air into the device, moving the air through a large, wet, porous wick and then using a powerful fan to expel the resulting moisturized air. The Evap2 can convert two gallons of water into mist every 24 hours. It also works well in rooms of up to 600 square feet.

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EssickAir® 13 Gallon Evaporative Console Humidifier

The EssickAir 4DTS-300 Humidifier boasts a dual 2.75 gallon water tank and a strong 9 speed fan. The unit can put out 13 gallons of moisture per day. It boasts easy to use, digital controls and lights that signal to you when you should refill the tank and check the filter for cleaning. Both very useful features. There is also an auto off feature that means when the tank runs out the unit will turn off.

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Ultrasonic Humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers forgo the use of a fan in favor of an ultrasonic vibrating diaphragm. This diaphragm vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency. The water that is stored in the unit is then disrupted and broken up by the fans powerful, supersonic movements. This then creates extremely fine water droplets that leave the humidifier (usually by a tiny fan) as an invisible mist. The humid air is then pushed around the room to create a much healthier balance of humidity.

Advantages of an Ultrasonic Humidifier

Quiet
Uses very little electricity
Do not need replacement filters

Our favourite ultrasonic humidifiers

PuraSense Ultrasonic Humidifier

The PuraSense Ultrasonic Humidifier is not just a simple humidifier; it also features an essential oil tray which was one of the main selling points for me. Not all humidifiers have this feature, especially in such a low price bracket. Due to it not being one of the main features of the humidifier, it can easily be overlooked. At the bottom of the humidifier there is a little tray which slips out and allows you to place your chosen essential oil onto the sponge.

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Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

The modern, simplistic design of the Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier makes it a tasteful addition to any room in your home. As a finalist in the 2011 International Housewares Design Awards, this humidifier seemed like the perfect fit for my home.

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Warm Mist Humidifier


Another type of
humidifier is the warm mist humidifier (also know as a vaporizer or a steam humidifier). A warm mist humidifier is useful when you want to stay warm during cold months. They heat the water in the reservoir to boiling until it vaporizes. The heat moves the moisturized air around the room, meaning the warmth of the room is maintained and the level of moisture improved. On top of this, if you’re feeling under the weather you can add a medicated inhalant to the steam vapor in order to help reduce the impact of your cough.

Advantages of a Warm Mist Humidifier

Durable
Keeps room warm
No mineral build up

Caution

Warm mist humidifiers do come with potential risks for children thanks to the risk of burning themselves on the device, and the change in atmosphere could cause some unexpected discomfort for a child.

Our favourite warm mist humidifiers

Honeywell Filter Free Warm Moisture Humidifier

Having built a name for themselves as one of the most reputable brands in electronics, Honeywell have recently released a filter-free warm moisture humidifier.  The sleek, modern design available in black is the perfect humidifier for a medium sized room. Its small size makes it easy to transport and place on a desk at home or in the office.

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Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

The Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier with Auto Shut–Off comes with two comfort settings which can be changed according to the level of moisture you need in the room or the strength at which the Vicks VapoRub needs to be released. The mist which is released is up to 95% bacteria-free which is ideal for those who are recovering from a cold and hoping to keep all harmful bacteria at bay.

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Cool Mist Humidifier

A cool mist humidifier (also known as an impeller humidifier) gives out room temperature air, meaning unlike the warm mist humidifier, it can be used all-year round. This humidifier has a rotating disc that shoots water at a diffuser. This diffuser then breaks the water into miniscule droplets that will float into the air.

Advantages of a Cold Mist Humidifier

Safer for children an
Cost efficient
Can be used all year round

Our favourite cool mist humidifiers

ReMEDies Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

If durability, versatility and design are anything to go by, then the ReMEDies Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier rightfully holds its position as one of the better humidifiers in its price range. If you are willing to spend just a bit more for this three-in-one humidifier, you will not be disappointed by the quality of this product.

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The Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier

Designed to humidify much larger spaces, The Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier provides relief for the discomfort caused by dry air conditions. It can service an area of up to 1,900 square feet and is perfect for areas such as the lounge, dining room or larger bedrooms.  As with most Honeywell products, this humidifier has lasted for a number of years and has a commendable client relations service.

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Health

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Humidifiers Keep You Healthy – Ever feel all bunged up in cold or dry weather? Well, that is because of a lack of moisture in the air. Humidity allows the tiny hairs in your nose to move and do their job of filtering out bacteria and viruses which cause colds and the flu. By adding moisture to your home, you are allowing those tiny hairs to do their job, and keeping yourself healthy. Try the The Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier.

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Humidifiers Reduce Snoring – Snoring is caused by low moisture levels in your nose and soft palate. Moisture can also be added to the air with a humidifier. By adding this moisture, you fight off the dryness that leads to snoring – leaving both you and your partner happy.

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Treats Illness If you are already sick, air moisturized with a humidifier can help soothe the symptoms of colds or flu. When the air is too dry your sinuses don’t drain and function correctly, leaving you feeling blocked up and in pain. Try the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier.

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No More Nosebleeds –It is essential to have your nasal passages moist and lubricated (with water, of course!) in order to prevent nosebleeds. Try the TaoTronics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier.

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Helps You Heal Faster – Humidifiers don’t only treat your illness and relieve your symptoms, but they also allow you to heal faster.

Beauty

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Moisturize Your Skin – Blasting the heat throughout your home during the winter months dries out the air. This can leave your skin looking and feeling tight, dry and itchy (especially around areas like your hands). Dry air also causes chapped lips more often and more easily in winter which can often feel painful. By sleeping with your humidifier on at night, you can add moisture to the air. Try the PuraSense Ultrasonic Humidifier.

Find out what the top humidifiers are for dry skin.

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Help Reduce the Appearance of Wrinkles – Making sure that the wrinkles do not show up in the first place is the best way to treat them. The drier your skin is, the more prominent your wrinkles become. A humidifier helps fill the room with nourishing, moisturizing steam that can smooth out your skin and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

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Help to Prevent Breakouts – When you strip the oils from your face with a cleanser, your skin is forced to produce even more oil to compensate which can result in a nasty breakout. Similarly, when the air dries out the sensitive skin on your face, your oil production kicks up and may cause blemishes. Keeping the correct humidity levels in your home helps banish acne and soothes dry skin. Combine the use of the humidifier with applying moisturizer specific to your skin type to further improve your skin and keep it looking amazing as well as breakout-free.

Children

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Sleep Easier – If you have a have a baby or toddler in your home, then setting up a humidifier in their room will help them sleep and feel better. Babies tend to be more comfortable and sleep better in a humidified environment. The best part is that a comfortable, sleeping baby provides a restful night for everyone in the house. Try the Crane Adorable Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier.

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Breathe Easily – Providing moisture to the air in your baby’s room is one way to make sure your child is more comfortable, especially if you can tell that he or she is fighting a cold. The moisture provided by a humidifier can help in loosening congestion. During the times of sickness, the heated air in our homes, especially during winter, can make your baby’s nose burn. This often leads to endless crying until the issue is resolve by putting on the humidifier. Try the SPT Polar Bear Ultrasonic Humidifier.

Home

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Humidifiers Help to Protect Furnishings – If you have wooden furniture and flooring, you should definitely have a humidifier. Too much moisture or dryness can be an enemy to your wood furniture – causing various problems. Too much moisture often leads to mildew while too little moisture causes dryness. Dryness in furniture can cause it to lose its natural luster and develop weakened joints. Maintaining a consistent temperature in your home by using a humidifier can help to establish the perfect balance for your furniture to remain preserved and beautiful all year round. Try the Aprilaire Model 600 Humidifier.

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Helps to Hydrate Your Indoor Plants

Many species of indoor plants originally come from tropical climates with high humidity. With many homes drying out during the winter months, indoor air does not offer adequate humidity for these plants to thrive.  Try the Essick Air® AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Pedestal-Style Evaporative Humidifier.

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Humidifiers Control Static Electricity 

The dry air in your home not only causes your socks to stick to your pants and shirts, but also causes static electricity. With a humidifier, you can simply lessen the potential for static electricity throughout the year and almost completely control it by keeping the humidity from dropping. Added static electricity in your home can be annoying, but it can also be a real danger to your electronic equipment – including your computer.

Daily and Weekly Upkeep

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Some products require you to empty them daily and, as mentioned, that can be a little frustrating. If you do have a humidifier that requires daily emptying, you should be sure that the process itself is relatively straightforward and simple. If this is the case, you will not be too put out. For an easy to maintain humidifier try the Honeywell Filter Free Warm Moisture Humidifier.

 

 

Output Strength

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The output strength of a humidifier dictates how well the unit can keep humidity levels at the required level in a given space. Obviously weaker models will be unable to maintain healthy humidity levels in larger spaces. If you are looking to sill only a small space, you may not need to invest in a large humidifier with a lot of output strength, and so can save a little money. Try the Aprilaire 400 Humidifier from Bypass.

 

 

Reservoir Capacity
31J6ofOWbwL._SY300_If you are looking to run your humidifier throughout the night or during long periods of time, the tank’s capacity is extremely important. Units with smaller tanks will require you to refill it regularly in order for the balance of humidity to be maintained. For this reason you may prefer to find a humidifier with a larger tank. Try the Aprilaire 360 Humidifier.

 

 

Duration

Duration will depend upon both the reservoir’s capacity and your own choice of setting for the humidifier. The duration of a model with a large tank is likely to be longer and will run throughout the night, for example, without you needing to refill it. However, if you select the highest mist output setting, the unit will of course use more water and, therefore, your duration time will be decreased.

Noise Levels

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If you’re a light sleeper or you’re looking to place your humidifier in a child’s room or your living room, noise will play a huge factor in which humidifier you choose. Try the Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier.