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Product Reviews - Humidifier

Crane Adorable Ultrasonic Cold Mist Humidifiers

April 1, 2016 • By

Crane Animal Humidifiers

If you’re looking for a humidifier for your child’s room, this adorable range of humidifiers will excite and delight your child. Coming in a range of different shapes, including animals such as pandas, pigs, dragons, tigers, frogs, penguins and elephants, these humidifiers are designed specifically with your child in mind.

Allowing your child to get a good night’s sleep is essential for both you and them. These disguised humidifiers will help comfort your child through the night and ease their cold symptoms, dry throats, dry skin and more. These aren’t the most powerful humidifiers on the market, nor the most sophisticated, but for peace of mind and a healthy child, they do a great job.

The Basics

The Crane Animal Humidifiers range offers several different animals. You can choose from a pig, a dragon, a panda, an elephant, a penguin, a tiger and a frog, so whatever your child’s favorite animal happens to be, you can probably find a shape that will suit them. The mist is emitted from the animal’s ears. These humidifiers are ultrasonic, which means they use a vibrating plate that runs at a high frequency and breaks the water in the tank to vapor. Unlike other types of humidifiers, this process is virtually silent and so your child will have no trouble sleeping through the night. It also means that, unlike warm mist humidifiers, there are not any health and safety issues related to boiling water or burns.

These humidifiers come with a 1 gallon tank that offer a 2.1 gallon output. This makes them suitable for smaller rooms of up to 250 square feet. They also have a demineralization filter cartridge that helps to reduce white dust, which can be bothersome for both adults and children.

The real plus points of these humidifiers are that they cater to the needs of children. Their simple, safe design is perfect for a child’s room. They’re quick and easy to set up and very easy to adjust using the big knob at the front of the unit. These humidifiers can usually run for around 12 hours and feature an auto off function so you don’t have to worry about getting up in the middle of the night to refill it.

Obviously if you are looking for a humidifier for a larger room or a main living space this is not the humidifier for you as it’s not powerful nor sophisticated. Indeed, you should be sure not to set the humidifier to emit too much humidity because without an internal humidistat it cannot control the level of humidity in the room. Too much humidity is also a bad thing, so be sure to keep your eye on it.

The Verdict

Perfect for a child, this humidifier scores high on price, reliability, design and ease of use. It’s obviously not one for a large space or if you want to spruce up your room’s design with a sophisticated humidifier, but if you want to ensure your child has a good night’s sleep this will be the humidifier for you.

For many children, dry air can be a problem, especially during winter months, and so the purchase of a child-friendly humidifier is a great idea to ease some of the symptoms that children can suffer from during winter.

 


Product Reviews - Humidifier

PowerPure 3000 Ultrasonic Humidifier

April 1, 2016 • By

P4-HU-PP60-175

PowerPure 3000 Ultrasonic Humidifier

The PowerPure 3000 is comfortably one of the best ultrasonic humidifiers on the market, and leads the way in our Top 10 Ultrasonic Humidifiers countdown. Little wonder, since the model excels in almost every area.

The Basics

It is a welcome addition to any room with its sleek, jet black appearance. It can also emit either warm mist or cold mist, eliminating the need to choose between the two and meaning you get the best of both worlds. So, if you’re looking for relief from cold or flu symptoms, you can turn your PowerPure 3000 Ultrasonic Humidifier to its warm mist settings and get all the benefits of a regular warm mist humidifier. Similarly, if you’re looking for relief from allergies, or you simply want to keep a healthy balance of moisture in your room generally, you will benefit from the cold mist option.

Another fantastic aspect of this humidifier is its range. It can fill large rooms comfortably (up to 700 square feet) and, best of all, without making noise.

The PowerPure 3000 Ultrasonic Humidifier features a remote control which allows you to set your desired humidity levels in the room, while the LCD display screen lets you know the relative humidity levels and temperature. You can also set it on a timer. To save money on maintenance, the PowerPure 3000 Ultrasonic Humidifier boasts a permanent ceramic filter that cleans the water in your tank. For safety there is an auto shut off feature, so when water levels are low the humidifier will turn off.

The Verdict

Thanks to its design, the PowerPure 3000 easily blends in and looks great in any room. It can humidify large rooms comfortably and operates almost silently, so it is perfect for anyone looking to purchase a humidifier for their living room, master bedroom or any other large room.

The PowerPure 3000 Ultrasonic Humidifier is an extremely high quality humidifier. We believe it is one of the best on the market, and for all the features you get it is also extremely good value. The high quality production values mean it is economical to run and easy to maintain. If you have children, you will love the safety features of this humidifier, too.

All in all, if you are looking for a humidifier that can help you get healthier, live happier and will look great in your home, this could definitely be the humidifier you are looking for.

 


Product Reviews - Humidifier

Vornado Evap2 Vortex Evaporative Humidifier

April 1, 2016 • By

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Vornado Ultra3 Ultrasonic Humidifier    

The Evap2 comes with an impressive five-year warranty. When set on high, the fan on this evaporative humidifier is quite loud. The Evap2 puts lots of moisture in the air and has a built-in humidistat, which is useful when setting humidity levels.

The Basics

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 and works well in rooms up to 600 square feet. It can be set to run continuously, or the unit’s built-in humidistat can regulate the humidity levels in the room, turning the unit on and off as needed. On the highest setting, the fan on the Evap2 is louder than the other humidifiers on our lineup.

Because the Vornado is an evaporative humidifier, it does not disperse the fine white dust that ultrasonic humidifiers expel when used with mineral-laden water. The Vornado also does not function as a warm-mist humidifier; instead, it works only as a cool-mist humidifier as it does not contain internal heaters to produce hot water or steam. That is good news for parents since it makes this humidifier safer for children and a good humidifier for baby than some other models. Warm-mist humidifiers can pose a safety risk if a child gets too close or tips over the humidifier.

Because you can run the Vornado Evap2 as a fan as well as a humidifier, it does not have an automatic shut-off feature. Instead, when it is out of water, the stand-alone fan remains on with less risk of overheating.

The sleek black and blue Vornado Evap2 is compact considering the amount of moist air it produces. It has well-lit display buttons that allow you to operate the controls in the dark. If you have it next to your bed at night, you do not have to turn on an overhead light to make adjustments.

The Evap2 room humidifier comes with an impressive five-year warranty, which is the longest warranty of any humidifier we reviewed. If you encounter problems, you can check the device’s product manual on the company’s website. You also have access to a toll-free phone number or email support if you need help setting up, using or cleaning the device.

The Verdict

The Vornado Evap2 is a full-featured, evaporative-style humidifier that pushes out moist air with a powerful fan. Because it moves the moistened air out into the room so effectively, you can place it on surfaces like hardwood floors without the concern of damp spots collecting under the path of the mist.

The high-speed fan also makes the unit noisy, and the lowest speed is the best option for sleeping. While it does not have an automatic shut-off feature, the unit moves safely from humidifier to fan mode when the water runs out. Safe, effective and clean, this is a good humidifier to keep your air humid.


Product Reviews - Dehumidifiers

Frigidaire FAD504DWD Energy Star 50-pint Dehumidifier

April 1, 2016 • By

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If you are looking to remove excess moisture in your home without breaking the bank, then consider investing in a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers curb the growth of mold and mildew that tend to grow in places such as basements, bathrooms and other damp areas of your home.

The medium-sized Frigidaire FAD504DWD 50 Pint dehumidifier has been rated one of the top 50 pint dehumidifiers in its class and for good reason. It manages to stay low in price without sacrificing much in features and reliability.

The Basics

The Frigidaire FAD504DWD dehumidifier functionality is exceptional. It is also one of the most inexpensive in its class.

One of the best features about this dehumidifier is that it is easily adjustable and very versatile. The humidity level can be set in 5% increments as well as go up to 85% Relative Humidity (RH) and as low as 35% RH.

It also has a timer which can be set on a delayed start or stop. The timer can also be set to half hour increments for up to 10 hours or at one hour increments from 10 to 24 hours. The standard operating temperature ranges from 41 to 96 degrees which is a great feature and means that the FAD504DWD can be used in a number of different climates.

If you are looking for a unit that removes moisture in the air as quickly as possible, then this dehumidifier may not be the best option as it is too small to do so. However, it did prove to work efficiently in removing excess moisture in smaller rooms.

The size of this dehumidifier also has its benefits as it is easy to transport compared to other dehumidifiers that remove moisture at a faster rate. Compared to other dehumidifiers in its class, the Frigidaire Dehumidifier was one of the lightest medium capacity dehumidifiers.

In terms of aesthetics, I found this dehumidifier rather appealing compared to other dehumidifiers in the market. The cream color is versatile and can go unnoticed in similarly neutral surroundings like a bathroom. The noise level of the FAD504DWD is a lot less appealing though, so watch out for that.

One of the most problematic extra expenses of a dehumidifier is that it uses a lot of electricity – leaving you with a higher than usual bill to pay. At 50% humidity, it drew up to 460 W of power. The size of the dehumidifier plays a role in the amount of power it uses and this one fits the range for what is to be expected from machines of this size.

The Verdict

Apart from not having a defrost mode, I found this dehumidifier to be very versatile and reliable. It has well-functioning features but falls short on energy-saving and a slightly below-average moisture removal rate. It is important to consider the noise level from this machine as well, since it has been acknowledged as being quite loud. This could, understandably, be a deal-breaker for some people.


Product Reviews - Humidifier

April 1, 2016 • By

aprilaire-model-350-humidifier

Aprilaire 350 – Self Contained Humidifier

I only have a small house so I wasn’t looking for a humidifier that was extremely powerful, just one that I knew could provide my home with a good level of humidity and one that wouldn’t be too difficult to install. Fortunately for me, with the Aprilaire 350 I found what I was looking for.

Since we got the Aprilaire humidifier I’ve noticed a big difference in my home. The humidifier we had before was, firstly, difficult to maintain and I frequently had to change parts and clean it. With the Aprilaire 350 I’ve not had to do this so much, which is great.

Before I bought the Aprilaire 350 I was having some trouble sleeping and was snoring a lot, so my aim was to eliminate this and get a good night’s sleep.

The Basics

Like the Aprilaire Model 360 Humidifier, the Aprilaire Model 350 Humidifier is designed for homes with radiators or baseboard heating systems, rather than homes with forced air heating. It is the most basic of the Aprilaire models, but will help you achieve comfort throughout your home provided you are living in a small to medium sized place of up to 3000 square meters, like me. This humidifier also requires water, electricity and access to a drain to run, and so will be ideally placed in a closet or laundry room.

Once the humidifier is placed in the closet (or elsewhere), you face the backend to this room where it will connect up to everything it needs. The frontend will be facing into your home and provide the house with good, healthy air.

As I mentioned before, the Aprilaire Model 350 Humidifier’s 0.50 gallons per hour evaporative capacity is not the most powerful on the market, but for the cost it works fine and, despite being low on the list, is still a trusty option if you’re looking for a humidifier.

Aside from the ease of installation and upkeep, one thing I really appreciate about the Aprilaire 350 is the fact that it comes with a 5 year warranty. I’m not exactly gifted when it comes to work around the house, and so if it were to break I wouldn’t really know what to do. It’s important to note that this warranty is only applicable if you have an expert install the unit for you.

The Aprilaire 350 is fairly quiet. Since I have it in my hallway I rarely notice the noise, though perhaps in your bedroom or living room it would be a different story. In any case, since it isn’t so powerful, the fans aren’t too loud.

The verdict

People looking for a powerful humidifier will want to look elsewhere. This will not manage to push air throughout a large home, but there’s no doubting it is a good, trusty humidifier that does the job in a smaller house. Since I got the Aprilaire 350 I’ve been much more comfortable in my home, and have enjoyed some great, undisturbed sleep!


Product Reviews - Humidifier

Aprilaire 500M – Bypass Humidifier 12 GPD with Manual Humidistat

April 1, 2016 • By

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Aprilaire 500M – Bypass Humidifier 12 GPD with Manual Humidistat

Almost immediately after installing the Aprilaire 500m I noticed a distinct difference around the house. This unit is excellent value and was absolutely superbly. My home is around 1100 square feet, and this humidifier has had no trouble making the whole place a little more comfortable. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, this unit can work in homes of up to 3000 square feet.

Installation was very straightforward and took very little time at all. I got a professional to install the unit, since otherwise the warranty that comes with Aprilaire products is not valid. He assured me, however,  that it was a simple process and could have been done by myself.

Previously, I have owned portable humidifier around my house. My hope was that with a whole home humidifier it would work out more economical in the long run, since I would not have to consistently replace parts. I also like the fact that I do not have to refill the unit daily or worry too much about mold and bacteria buildup.

The Basics

Aprilaire Happy making products to enhance the comfort of your home  for over 50 years, and the name is well known in the industry. That fills me with confidence when I decided to go ahead and purchase one of their products. Compared to other humidifiers by the same company, this one is slightly more economical and does not have quite the range of, say, the 700M.  That’s fine if you have a smaller home, like me.

 

The Aprilaire Model 500 is great value, costing around $160. It comes with a built-in bypass damper, meaning there are less parts to install than in other Aprilaire Model units. It comes with fully automatic control, though you can also choose to modify settings and run it manually, if you would prefer. This humidifier has a .50 gallons per hour evaporation rate, which is perfect for a home that is not too big.

The great thing about this humidifier is that microbial growth is prevented. the dream through technology in the humidifier leave no standing water once the humidifier turns off. That means all the water that goes into the humidifier either evaporates or goes down the drain. Since, that for, the water does not stay around for an extended period of time it is extremely unlikely that mold can grow.

 

Another bonus is that you will only have to attend to the unit annually, which, as I mentioned, was a big problem for me when I used to own portable ultrasonic humidifiers. I was often forget, and this would lead to microbial build up inside the unit.

The Verdict

I think you can’t really go wrong when purchasing an Aprilaire humidifier, and the 500M is an economical and reliable unit that has being a great addition to my home. It is cheaper than some of the other products, which is fine if you are not looking for something complicated or more powerful.


Humidifiers

How to Maintain and Clean Your Humidifier

March 23, 2016 • By

How to Maintain and Clean Your Humidifier

Whether you’ve been using a humidifier for a few days or for years, knowing how to maintain and clean it is just as important as the health benefits that come along with it. Because a humidifier is water-based, it is prone to start growing mildew and mold if it is not cleaned or maintained. That means you’ll probably start breathing in disgusting air filled with mildew and mold which could end up being detrimental to your health and have you end up in the hospital with “humidifier lung”. This completely defeats the entire purpose of even having a humidifier in the first place.

By maintaining and cleaning your humidifier, you’ll not only get rid of all gunk but you’ll also reap the following benefits which include:

  • Relieving colds, coughs, and the flu
  • Preventing allergy, sinusitis, nose bleeding, and hay fever symptoms
  • Relieving and preventing dry, scratchy skin, and lips
  • Reducing static electricity
  • Preserving your voice
  • Improving the air quality at your home
  • Reducing asthma attacks
  • Helping babies sleep peacefully
  • Reducing snoring
  • Preventing breakout
  • Moisturizing your skin
  • Preserving indoor plants

Cleaning

Cleaning Manual

Every humidifier should come with an instruction manual that includes instructions on cleaning the appliance. It is advisable to always refer to the cleaning instructions for any appliance before attempting to do it yourself. If your humidifier is still under warranty, then it is very important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Daily Cleaning

Choose a specific time during the day – after work, before you go to bed or in the morning after breakfast – and clean your humidifier. A daily cleaning will keep all the mineral deposits (or gunk) from building up in the appliance and will also prevent the minerals from being spread in the air. A daily cleaning is fairly simple to do – just empty and refill the humidifier with clean distilled water every single day.

Weekly Cleaning

You need to do a proper cleaning and disinfect your humidifier at least once a week. To do so you need to follow two different processes. The first is cleaning your dehumidifier. Here is a step by step breakdown on how to do so:

  • Unplug your humidifier.
  • Remove the filter and rinse with cool water underneath the faucet. Do not use any kind of cleaning product on your humidifier’s filters as chemicals can cause permanent damage.
  • Allow to drip dry on a clean towel.
  • Remove the water tank.
  • Pour equal parts vinegar and warm water into an empty spray bottle.
  • Let the solution set for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Then using an old toothbrush, cloth or sponge to scrub off any leftover mineral content. Remove any residue or build-up by gently scrubbing with the soft bristle brush or toothbrush.
  • Repeat the scrubbing process a second time on areas that need it.
  • Pour straight vinegar into the base of the humidifier and let it set for 45 minutes to an hour. Using the same cleaning tool as before, scrub the base to remove any foreign materials.
  • Rinse thoroughly, and wait to dry.

Now that the cleaning part is done, you can move onto step two which is disinfecting your humidifier. Here is how you do so:

  • Fill the water tank with clean water and add one teaspoon of bleach to every gallon of water. Alternatively, you can use 3% hydrogen peroxide instead.
  • Gently swish the solution to cover the tank evenly and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly.

Once you’ve both cleaned and disinfected your humidifier, you can put it back together, fill the tank with cool water and resume regular use.

What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Humidifier?

If you do not clean your humidifier regularly or don’t clean it properly, you can cause this incredible appliance to become a breeding ground for mold, bacteria and germs.  Dirty humidifiers can be particularly problematic for people with asthma and allergies as well as cause lung-infections and flu-like symptoms in healthy people that do not suffer from respiratory problems.

If you’ve bought your humidifier to improve your health then don’t slack off on keeping it clean. A bacteria-filled humidifier will leave you no better off, but extremely sick. It is truly worth the time you have available to just clean your humidifier.

Maintenance
All humidifiers, regardless of their type, carry a risk of bacteria and mold growth. This may be the result of two things:

  • Failing to clean the humidifier components and not change the water regularly.
  • Filling the humidifier with mineral-rich tap water. When bacteria and mold grow inside a humidifier, traces of them can be released into the air you breathe. Additionally, the high mineral content of tap water can cause a dirty film (the gunk) to build up inside the water reservoir.

What Happens If You Don’t Maintain Your Humidifier?

Here are a few of the serious health issues that can occur when you don’t maintain your humidifier:

  • If you have allergies or an existing asthma condition, regularly inhalation of the high mineral content of tap water can aggravate your symptoms or cause a full-on attack.
  • A more serious side effect is an illness called humidifier lung – also known as humidifier fever or, by its medical name, hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This lung condition develops when you inhale vapors contaminated with certain strains of bacteria. Temporary symptoms of humidifier lung include cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, body aches, lung inflammation and general malaise. These symptoms will typically subside when the cause is corrected. However, if you continue to breathe contaminated air day after day, you may develop chronic symptoms such as weight loss, loss of appetite, respiratory infections, lung scarring and lung disease.

Tips for Avoiding Bacteria and Mold Growth

To help prevent this horrific illness, study up on how to properly maintain your humidifier and follow these easy maintenance tips:

  • As mentioned above, it is very important to change your humidifier water daily. Stagnant water is a desirable breeding ground for mold spores and bacteria. Simply empty and wipe down your humidifier’s water tank every day and constantly refill it with clean fresh water.
  • Use distilled or demineralized water to fill your humidifier as this type of water has less mineral content than normal tap water. When used, these water types make your humidifier less likely to expel white mineral dust into your indoor air  and make it less likely for that dust to invade your lungs.
  • Clean your humidifier thoroughly every few days or at least once a week. Use a soft-bristled brush (or a toothbrush) and vinegar (or bleach) when cleaning the inside of your humidifier’s water tank. Wipe down the exterior with a clean, damp cloth. Wait for all components to dry completely before filling with fresh water and turning on.

Bleach or Vinegar as a Cleaning Agent

Some cleaning manuals from the manufacturer will advise that you use bleach instead of vinegar which is perfectly OK. Both vinegar and bleach do the same job but vinegar is  healthier. If you have allergies, not using bleach but rather a natural cleaner like vinegar can be better for your health. This applies to asthma suffered too as well as those who have multiple chemical sensitivities. Harsh chemical cleaners can often leave odors and residues that may irritate symptoms.

Using natural white vinegar is an excellent alternative option for bleach and doubles as a disinfectant and deodorizer to eliminate mineral buildup and disinfect surfaces.

Tips

  • If your filter is not made of plastic or cannot withstand chemicals, skip the vinegar and bleach soakings during the cleaning process. Simply rinse and soak the filter in clean water to clean it.
  • Check your owner’s manual for cleaning guidelines. If it differs from the instructions here, follow those provided by the manufacturer.
  • To avoid lime build up in the future and keep away bacteria, fill the humidifier with distilled or demineralized water. Regular tap water contains minerals that leave a build-up which can feed bacteria growth.
  • Many filters are designed to be tossed and replaced. If yours is old and rugged, do yourself a favor and replace it.
  • To sanitize the inside of your humidifier, wipe it down with hydrogen peroxide (3%). Allow it to air dry completely before use. Even though this is a chemical, it is very mild – perfect for cleaning your humidifier.

Avoiding a Future Mold Problem

Now that your humidifier is clean, try to use distilled water if possible instead of tap water. Distilled water has a lower mineral content. Because you bought the humidifier to remain as healthy as possible, you should know how to quickly check the humidity level in your home. If you see condensation on your windows, the humidity level in your house is most likely too high and a great place for mold and bacteria to grow.

Cleaning your humidifier is not only about cleaning it but also about your health. If you don’t want to have serious health problems in the future then get into the habit of doing a daily cleaning of your humidifier and a weekly cleaning and disinfection while still maintaining your appliance.


Humidifiers

Should You Buy a Warm Mist or Cool Mist Humidifier?

March 23, 2016 • By

Difference-Between-Warm-Cool-Mist-HumidifierShould You Buy a Warm Mist or Cool Mist Humidifier?

When the winter months hit, we are all often left feeling chilly and turning up the temperature. Yes, this helps to keep us warm, but it also completely dries up the air in our homes – leaving us with dry skin, chapped lips, a sore throat or congested sinuses. To relieve this problem, just run a humidifier in your home to add much needed moisture back into the air.

When purchasing a humidifier, you’ll be presented with two different types of this appliance — warm mist and cool mist. The easiest way to choose which one is best for you is to decide on what type of air is easiest for you to breathe in.

Even though both are humidifiers, both types have their own way of operating, own set of benefits and who they are best for. To make a more informed choice when purchasing your humidifier, here is a breakdown of both cold and warm humidifiers; how they work and the pros and cons each of them have:

Warm Mist Humidifier

The best way to know whether a warm mist humidifier is for you is to be thinking about how you breathe in a sauna or steam room. If you feel claustrophobic and struggle to breathe, you should avoid this type of humidifier. But if you inhale well in these steamy conditions, then a warm mist is the best option for you.

How It Works?

As the name suggests, this appliance releases warm mists. The warm mist humidifier does this by heating up the water inside of it and releasing a warm mist or hot steam into the air. The water is heated up by an internal heating element that boils the water – turning it into steam. The humidifier then releases an invisible warm mist into the air.

Pros

  • If you live in a cold climate, using a warm mist humidifier will help make the room feel warmer than it actually is.
  • Because of a warm mist humidifier boils that water that is released into the air, it is considered healthier than a cold mist humidifier. The boiling process kills waterborne bacteria and mold and prevents them from being released into the air. Therefore, you’ll only be breathing in a pure, clean mineral free moisture output.
  • Another benefit of this type of humidifier is that it doesn’t have an internal fan – making it extremely quiet compared to cool mist humidifiers.
  • Unlike the cool mist humidifier, this humidifier has no wick filter so there is no need to replace it.
  • Some warm mist humidifiers even have a medicine cup in the appliance that disperses a soothing vapor through the room. This is especially helpful for newborn babies with asthma or congestion symptoms.

Cons

  • Adding warm, moist air into a room can encourage the growth of mold which is why people that suffer from allergies would be better off using a cool mist humidifier.
  • Warm mist humidifiers are a little more difficult to clean too since mineral deposits are often left behind during the boiling process.
  • Because there is a heating element in the humidifier, it has a higher power consumption than other humidifiers.
  • The heating element and warm water that it produces may also cause a risk with small children or pets who accidentally tip it over or get to close to the dispersing area.
  • Unfortunately, a warm mist humidifier can only be used for small rooms; otherwise, it becomes ineffective.

Best For

Warm mist humidifiers are not as well-suited for large areas. They are best used in smaller areas like bedrooms and offices. However, many people have found these humidifiers to be more comfortable for use during cold winter months.

Safety

Safety is a huge issue when it comes to using a warm mist humidifier as it uses heating elements to raise the temperature of the water in the tank. The water in the tank reaches boiling point and poses a potential danger to children and pets. Warm mist humidifiers aren’t advised for homes with children as they present very real and potential burn risks.

Cold Mist Humidifier

Allergy or asthma sufferers will have an easier time breathing with a cool mist humidifier. By extracting any impurities from the air, these humidifiers will allow you breathe in the cleanest air possible.

How It Works?

Untreated dry air enters the system around the side and back of the humidifier. The dry air passes through the saturated wick filter that sits in the base of the humidifier and absorbs water. A fan then blows dry room air through the saturated wick filter causing the water in the filter to evaporate into the room. This, in turn, adds moisture into the air.  The wick filter also traps any impurities that may be in the water – ensuring that the moisturized air is completely pure, clean and free of any minerals or impurities.

Pros

  • Because the water is not heated before it is dispersed, these humidifiers typically use less electricity and are more cost efficient.
  • Cool mist humidifiers are also the better option if you have young children and pets in your home as they do not use boiling water.
  • The wick filter also ensures a pure and clean mineral-free moisture output.
  • Cool mist humidifiers are the best option for adding moisture to large areas or even entire houses as the fans can be powerful enough to cover large areas with a single humidifier.
  • It also brings down the overall temperature of the room – making you feel cooler during the warm summer months.

Cons

  • Cool mist humidifiers tend to make more noise than warm mist units. Since these devices use fans to blanket your room with moisture, they can be slightly noisier than warm mist humidifiers.
  • Even though during the summer months a cool mist humidifier can be refreshing as it lowers the temperature of a room, in the winter months it can cause the air to be slightly chillier.
  • The wick filter inside the cool mist humidifier needs to constantly be replaced as bacteria and mold can grow on it. Most wick filters should be replaced approximately every 2 months although some models have cleanable, reusable filters.

Best For:

Many parents opt for cool mist humidifiers to avoid hot water accidents in children’s nurseries, bedrooms or other living spaces. If you have children or mischievous pets, this type of humidifier might be the best option as the vapor won’t burn the skin when touched. Cool mist humidifiers are also ideal to add moisture into larger spaces as the fans help the air to move.

Things to Remember When Running a Humidifier:

Keep Your Humidifier Clean

No matter which model of humidifier you are using, it is extremely important to keep your humidifier clean.

In cool mist humidifiers, this means replacing the wick filter and ensuring you clean the water tanks with vinegar. Warm mist humidifiers have a higher chance of mineral deposits left behind in the humidifier, but these can also be simply removed by using vinegar. Make sure to also read your user manual and follow its specific maintenance and cleaning instructions, especially if your humidifier is still under warranty.

Use a Hygrometer

When running a humidifier, you’ll also want to use a hygrometer. This simple device measures how much humidity is in the air. Make sure that your humidity level does not go above 50 percent since that will encourage the growth of mold spores, bacteria and dust mites. A humidity of 35 to 45 percent is optimal.


Getting Started

12 Reasons to Own a Humidifier

March 23, 2016 • By

12 Reasons to Own a Humidifier

Working to add moisture back into the air of your home, especially during cold and dry months, a humidifier offers homeowners numerous health, home and beauty benefits. From preventing colds and nose bleeds to moisturizing your skin and even reducing snoring; humidifiers instantly improve your health, allow your skin to glow and help you sleep better. However, the benefits don’t end with you. Adding a humidifier to your home also prevents your wooden furniture from chipping and cracking and keeps your plants hydrated.

How Much Humidification Do You Need?

Before we answer this question, let’s first establish three simple ways to manage your humidifier use in general to promote safety and hygiene:

  • Before you start humidifying your home, always make sure that the moisture (water) you use is pure and clean.
  • Using regular tap water is ok, but using water that is bottled is usually better.
  • Also, always make sure that your humidifier is clean and disinfected for the best use.

Now for the question; as a humidifier owner it is always important to remember to monitor moisture levels in your home. Determining the ideal moisture level comes down to following these basic principles:

  • Always remember that while dry air can be uncomfortable, too much moisture in the air encourages growth of various organisms including mold and dust mites. To keep your home comfortably humid without encouraging dust mite and mold growth, keep your indoor humidity levels between 40 and 50 percent. (This is especially important for people with allergies!)
  • During the cold and dry winter months, you should turn the humidity up. During the warmer summer months, it needs to be lowered.
  • Some humidifiers come with a built-in hygrometer or humidity gauge that will help you sufficiently manage the humidity in your home, so make use of this feature if it is available.

In terms of your health, maintaining the correct level of humidity in your home is an important component for those suffering from allergies and asthma. During the winter, when dry air tends to be more problematic, asthma and allergy sufferers can greatly benefit from environmental control of indoor humidity levels.

Monitoring moisture levels in your home and regular maintenance of your humidifier can ensure you get all of the benefits of moistened air without any of the risks. With benefits to your skin, health and home, getting a humidifier will only give you and your family a better standard of living.

If you still aren’t quite sold on getting this beneficial appliance, then take a look at these 14 reasons why it is important to own a humidifier:

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.

Using a humidifier helps prevent the spread of airborne viruses. A study has shown that raising the indoor humidity level to at least 43 percent has a dramatic effect on up to approximately 85 percent of airborne viruses. It leaves them virtually ineffective. As a result of the study’s findings, researchers are now contemplating increasing the humidity levels in hospitals across the USA as an extra method for protecting doctors, nurses and visitors from getting sick.

Moisture has the ability to prevent the movement of germs as they combine with it. When the airborne germs combine with moisture they become too heavy to float around in the air, and instantly stop and drop. This reaction helps prevent the spread of many illnesses and is one of the main benefits of a humidifier which simply increases the overall humidity levels in a room or in a home.

They Treat Illness

If you are already sick, air moisturized with a humidifier can help soothe the symptoms of colds or flu. One of the main benefits of having a humidifier when you’re already sick is that it relieves sinusitis and congestion. When the air is too dry your sinuses don’t drain and function correctly, leaving you feeling blocked up and in pain. According to some in the medical field, using a humidifier and adding moisture into the air is generally good for the health of your sinus.

Another irritation that a humidifier soothes is the onset of allergies. People who suffer from bad allergies such as hay fever specifically use a humidifier to purify the air getting rid of anything that might irritate their nose, eyes or skin. However, sinusitis, congestion and allergy relief are not the only health benefits that this device has. It also helps with various other aches and pains.

A few other symptoms that a humidifier relieves include the following:

  • Soothes dry and irritated nasal passages
  • Soothes throat and bronchial tubes
  • Helps you breathe when you have a chest, nose or throat infection
  • Helps you get to sleep easier

Humidifiers Help You Heal Faster

Humidifiers don’t only treat your illness and relieve your symptoms, but they also allow you to heal faster. As mentioned above, a humidifier keeps your nasal passages lubricated which helps speed up your body’s healing process. Whether it be a cold, asthma or allergies, a humidifier keeps your nasal passages lubricated. This helps speed up the healing process when you’re under the weather.

No More Nose Bleeds

Use of a humidifier can effectively crush this annoying issue!

It is essential to have your nasal passages moist and lubricated (with water, of course!) in order to prevent nosebleeds. If you or a family member experience regular nosebleeds due to dry climate, it is worth giving a humidifier a try. Many people have found that owning a humidifier makes an outrageous difference in preventing nosebleeds.

Humidifiers Reduce Snoring

If your partner snores – leaving you awake until the early hours of the morning, then getting a humidifier will not only reduce their snoring, but will also allow you to have a good night’s rest.

Snoring is caused by low moisture levels in your nose and soft palate. Thus, staying hydrated throughout the night can be a big help. Yes, this can be done by drinking plenty of water, but that would lead to numerous toilet breaks throughout the night and these would, yet again, disturb your sleep. 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.

Humidifiers Preserve Your Voice

Humidifiers have become a popular device in the voice preservation community. Numerous singers make use of humidifiers to preserve their singing voices. Your vocal cords need to be supple and well lubricated in order to vibrate and produce the best sound. Dehydration, viruses and eating the wrong types of food can cause you to lose your singing (and sometimes, even your speaking) voice. By keeping the air moist in your room (especially while you sleep), you can re-hydrate your vocal chords. Hydrated vocal chords not only aid you in getting your voice back, they also maintain your voice.

They 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. It helps to soothe and moisturize your dry skin. With immediate results, you’ll notice that when you wake up in the morning your skin will be looking suppler and your hands and lips won’t feel dry and dehydrated.

Humidifiers Help Reduce the Appearance of Wrinkles

Besides keeping your skin moisturized, a humidifier also prevents wrinkles. Once wrinkles appear on your face or body, it is nearly impossible to get rid of them unless you get surgery. Prevention is better than a cure. Thus, 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.

They Help to Prevent Breakouts

As mentioned above, a humidifier has many benefits for your skin. Another one to add to this list is preventing 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.

Humidifiers Help Babies Sleep Easier & Feel More Comfortable

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.

Creating Warmth

A humidifier not only fights dry skin and keeps you healthy during the winter months, but also keeps your home feeling warm. It has nothing to do with turning your humidifier heat up, but rather it adds moisture into the air – making it feel warmer. For example, air with a temperature of 70 degrees and 10 percent humidity will make the air feel like it is 67 degrees. If you turn up the humidity to 50 percent, then the air will feel like it is 69 degrees.

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.

They Help 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. If you do not have the correct humidity inside your home for indoor plants, it will become apparent when leaves get brown at the tips or your plants die altogether.

Humidifiers Control Static Electricity

Ever spent half the day trying to get your hair flat in a static filled environment or watch your pets jolt because of static electricity? Well, this is a sure-fire way to determine that winter is coming and the air in your home is getting drier. 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. Even though the chance of electric shock causing any significant damage is minimal (unless you happen to have your computer taken apart at the time) it is still an issue to take seriously. In the case of your computer being taken partially apart, the risk can be quite significant and you could end up with a dead motherboard or other less obvious forms of damage.

Whether you’re trying to remain healthy, get your voice back, prevent breakouts or prevent wrinkles, getting a humidifier will have you and your entire family not only feeling, but looking much better than you ever have before. Owning a humidifier can have many more indirect effects on you as your children and partner will be able to sleep better without any snoring. Plus, your wooden furniture and flooring as well as your indoor plants will be preserved and have a longer lifespan. No matter where you live, getting a humidifier will work wonders for your home and your health.

 


Getting Started

Can a Dehumidifier Help After a Flood?

March 23, 2016 • By

Can a Dehumidifier Help After a Flood?

As a homeowner, having your home flooded can be a complete and utter nightmare. From panic and disbelief to trying to figure out how to dry out your home as well as how you’re going to pay for it all, homeowners are left with damaged homes – paying large sums of money to have it fixed and feeling awfully stressed out. Caused by anything from torrential rain, a burst geyser, a flash flood, a hurricane or broken water main, these types of eventualities are often unexpected and extremely dangerous. After the panic of trying to save as much from your flooded area has died down and realization that your home has been flooded has settled in, it is time to think about fixing the problem.

Whether it is your basement, a room in your home or even part of your office space that is flooded, it is important for you to know what steps to take to dry the flooded areas out. With days (sometimes weeks) of repair work to be done, it can cost a homeowner hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars.  If you are not covered by insurance you will be responsible for forking out the cash. Getting a professional in to do a mammoth job like this one can be very expensive and force you to have your home invaded by numerous strangers. Because of all the above reasons, many home or office owners prefer restoring their flooded area themselves.

Getting your place together after a flood can be rough, but, unless you like the idea of swimming in a soggy bed of mildew-covered carpeting or slipping around on moldy floors, then you will need to find a way to get it dry quickly. A natural dry-out is possible, but this often takes weeks (even months) to completely dry out a room. Unfortunately, this process could potentially cause more serious problems like the formation of odors, mildew, dust mites, mold, allergies, and asthma as well. But there is a way for you to dry out areas or rooms of your home or office space without professional help that is not only cost effective, but also efficient. This process will include dehumidifying your flooded area to restore it to its original state.

The initial process of getting your home ready to be dried out with a dehumidifier is very important. By following these seven simple steps, you’ll soon have an area ready for drying out.

Step 1 – Protect Yourself

The water that flooded your area could be swimming with all manner of nasties. It could be boiling water from a geyser or water filled with various bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella or Hepatitis (yes, even hepatitis!). Thus, it is important to protect yourself by wearing gloves and waterproof boots. It might also be useful to keep a pair of goggles and a face mask close by – just in case they are needed.

Step 2 – Do a Flood Safety Inspection

It is important to check for hazardous conditions in the flooded area of your home and if any are found they need to be immediately dealt with. Hazardous conditions include the following:

  • Structural damage – Large bodies of water can easily move and break the heaviest of objects – making accidents like a bookshelf falling on you happen very easily. Be aware of your surroundings and proceed with caution through the flooded area.
  • Electrical hazards – Even if your flooded area only has an inch of standing water, remember that water conducts electricity. Do not head into a flooded room without switching off the electricity or else you might get electrocuted.
  • Pathogenic bacteria
  • Mold and mildew

You will also need to inspect the space and determine to what extent the water has actually migrated into your home by using a moisture meter. You can often find an inexpensive version of a moisture meter at your local hardware store that does exactly the same thing as the professional ones.

Step 3 – Determining the Cause of the Flood

Flooding can be caused by anything from natural disasters to man-made errors. It is important to identify the problem as one or the other and then take action accordingly. Unlike natural disasters, man made errors that cause flooding can usually quickly be stopped by doing the following:

  • Broken pipe or burst geyser:  turn off the water at the shut-off valve.
  • Backup from a blocked drain: do your best to unblock the drain by renting an auger or removing any visible blockages.
  • Water main breaks: call your local municipality office and report it immediately.

Step 4 – Open up The Windows & Doors

As mentioned above, opening your windows and doors won’t completely dry out your flooded area, but it will allow fresh air in. It may also get rid of any odors that may occur.

Step 5 – Move or Elevate Building Contents

Once you’ve done your flood safety inspection, you can move onto moving or elevating any building content which might get permanently damaged. Once the area is free of any or most content, you can then start to remove as much water as possible via pumps. When the water is at a level that the pumps can no longer reach, vacuum the rest of the water up with a portable extraction unit. You can rent a portable extraction unit at industrial equipment rental store or purchase a wet and dry vacuum at your local hardware store.

Step 6 – Remove the Carpet Padding & Dispose

Carpet padding is the most difficult to dry. Professional water damage restorers have specialized equipment to save most of the carpet padding, but you are fixing a flooded area of your home by yourself so you’ll just need to remove it and dispose of it. If you don’t remove the carpet padding, and continue onward with these steps, what will happen in a few days is that your carpet will feel dry, but the pad will still be wet which can cause more problems.

Start in the corner of the flooded area and, using a pair of needle nose pliers, grab a piece of the carpet and gently pull up. This will disengage the carpeting from the tackless strip holding it down. Pull the carpeting back as far as you can and then cut out the water soaked padding. Do this from all four corners until you have removed all of the padding.

Step 7 – Disinfect the Flooded Basement

Before you can start disinfecting the flooded area you need to get pine oil and bleach. Make sure that you dilute the bleach with water and that you have the proper dilution rate for disinfecting which can be found on the packaging. Use a pump sprayer to apply the bleach mixture to all hard surfaces – including the floors and up on the walls. It is important to use the bleach mixture to the height that the moisture meter indicates is wet.

Do not apply the bleach solution to the carpeting, but rather have it professionally cleaned once the carpet has dried. Pine oil is a phenolic disinfectant that is mildly antiseptic and is relatively inexpensive as well as widely available. Use your purchased pine oil on all non-porous household items. This will help prevent the growth of mold.

Dehumidifying Your Flooded Area

Now that your flooded area has been prepared for the dehumidifying process, you can finally dry it out by creating an artificially dry environment. The drier the air in your flooded area, the faster it will dry. To achieve this you’ll need a dehumidifier which can be rented from an industrial equipment rental store or bought on Amazon. Combined with the dehumidifier, we suggest using an air mover (a special fan) which will pull moisture out of your dry walls, carpeting and framing material.

What Does a Dehumidifier Do to the Flooded Area?

Once an air mover has extracted all the moisture from the drywall, carpets and framing material, the dehumidifier can be put to use. A dehumidifier pulls in the warm moisture over a cold coil which causes the water vapor in the air to condense. The condensed water is then collected in a tray or pumped away (depending on your dehumidifier model and make).

Problems can occur if you have too much or too little air movement and not enough dehumidification. If water damaged structures have too much air and too little dehumidification, there is the possibility of secondary damage happening. Secondary damage is the result of extremely high relative humidity which can cause the following:

  • damage of books
  • damage of electrical instruments
  • warped doors, drawers and ceilings
  • peeling wallpaper and corroded metal

The same can be said for the reverse situation when you use too little air movement. This can prolong the drying process. The longer the water is present, the higher the probability that there will be damage to structural elements such as:

  • sheet rock disintegrating
  • framework warping
  • carpet backing rotting

How to Get the Best Results

For the best results from drying out the flooded area, you’ll need approximately one air mover for every ten linear feet of wet walls. You will also need a dehumidifier capable of handling the amount of water that the air movers are going to put in the air.

 

Small Flooded Areas

If you already have a dehumidifier and the flooded area is fairly small, you can use the outside air as a natural dehumidifier.  By watching the local weather forecast or using a weather app on your smartphone, you can figure out a day with relatively low humidity. On that day you can open up all of your windows and then shut the windows if the humidity rises. This is called an “Open Drying System”.

 

Large Flooded Areas

If you’re dealing with a large area, you may have to go to your local rental store and rent a large commercial grade dehumidifier as the “Open Drying System” won’t work. You can also buy your own dehumidifier from Amazon like the “Ebac Kompact Dehumidifier” with a Built-in Pump which is compact in size, but packs all the punch of a larger, industrial dehumidifier. It is also designed for anyone who needs a dehumidifier that can be easily moved and is perfect for anyone who is  doing a DIY flood restoration, clean up or removal of moisture from a basement.

What Happens If I Don’t Dehumidify A Flooded Area?

Dehumidifiers are essential to use in a flooded area. Without using it you can get a serious mold problem. Mold can start breeding after just a day or two and cause secondary damage. It is therefore important to act as quickly as possible if your home has been flooded. Mold  can cause a number of health issues including breathing difficulty and is particularly dangerous for people with allergies and respiratory problems. It can also cause sneezing, stuffy nose, cough, postnasal drip irritated eyes, irritated nose and irritated throat.

If you haven’t dehumidified your flooded area, you’ll soon notice small black spots that are mold spores growing on the walls. Quickly, you’ll also start finding mold on your clothing, furniture and other linens such as curtains or bed sheets that are left in the area.

Other secondary problems start occurring from all the moisture that is still trapped in the walls, furnishings and other items in the flooded area as well as the moisture that is in the air. If you don’t dehumidify a flooded area, the following secondary problems may occur:

  • Odors that can accompany mold and mildew in your home. You will start smelling a rotten smell that is often caused by mildew.
  • Water stains on the walls or ceilings remain and don’t disappear.
  • Damp conditions that are favorable to microorganisms.
  • Metal surfaces become unpaintable.
  • Electronic equipment malfunctioning.
  • Damaged goods, building parts and furniture.  Your wooden furniture and flooring will start rotting away.
  • The air in the flooded area will constantly feel humid and unpleasant.

Whether you’ve had some plumbing problems or there’s been a flash flood through your neighborhood, getting a dehumidifier to help resolve flooding in your home or business is the best way to dry-out your flooded area. By following the seven steps before dehumidifying and using your dehumidifier in conjunction with an air mover, you’ll quickly have your home or business back to its original state in no time.