Consumer Guide To Humidification
Humidifiers – love them or hate them? First of all, let me begin by saying that we’re great fans of increasing humidification in winter months, especially for those of us who are in the frozen north and have to live indoors all winter! However, as a company, we’ve had a love-hate relationship with humidifiers, since many of them started to have reliability issues in years past. Our challenge was to find a humidifier that does the job but without the prior drawbacks or reliability problems.
We recommend that indoor humidity levels in winter be around 30 to 40%. Wintry, cold air holds less moisture, and when it’s heated indoors it becomes even drier — setting the stage for itchy skin, sinus attacks, dry eyes and the like.
The good news is that humidifier technology has been improving over the last decade, and humidifiers are now easier to maintain and don’t spew out the white mineral dust which caused respiratory problems. In fact, now some humidifiers are super quiet and some don’t make the common gurgling sounds. However, we did find however that there’s a universal tendency for manufacturers to exaggerate the square footage that is covered by their humidifiers. We’ve adjusted our technical specification charts on our website to reflect what we believe to be the accurate square foot coverage.
Here are some benefits of a humidifier for your home:
- Humidifiers reduce the possibility of winter infection by keeping nasal passages moist and allowing the nose and throat to work to expel any particles that were suspended in the air.
- Dry, aching sinuses receive a great deal of relief from a humidified bedroom.
- Sleep with a snoring partner? Humidifiers relieve the intensity and noise level of the snoring.
- Cold symptoms are greatly relieved by using a humidifier in your bedroom at night.
- Dry, itchy skin is prevented, and chapped lips are relieved with humidifiers
- Unpleasant static electricity shocks are reduced by humidifiers
- Valuable wood furniture, wood flooring and musical instruments can be protected from cracking and warping.
Things to keep in mind when choosing a humidifier:
- Home humidifiers usually cover an area less than the manufacturer states, so buy a larger size humidifier than you think you need.
- Humidifiers will definitely add moisture to the air, but you may not be able to reach the humidity level that you want to achieve (30 to 40%) with a small capacity humidifier
- Humidity over 50% encourages dust mites, and even higher humidity levels encourages increased allergen growth.
- The level of humidity that you can achieve is often dependent on the outdoor humidity.
None of our humidifiers produce any white mineral dust which can be a by-product of some other brands. The exception to that statement is our favorite ultrasonic humidifier, the PowerPure 5000 Warm & Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier will disperse white dust if softened water is used.
Humidifier features to consider:
- All humidifiers have some level of “gurgling” or “bubbling” sound when the water in the tanks is drawn into the base of the units, and the noise can be surprising if you’re not expecting it.
- Decide on area that you wish to be covered. Cool mist humidifiers will cover a larger area, but since they’re noisier, consider placing them out of earshot.
- Digital humidistats in humidifiers are not very precise, but they do give you an indication of the level of room humidity, and the best humidifiers will automatically shut off when the required humidity is reached. Remember, over-humidification can lead to mold, dust mite and bacteria growth.
- Warm mist humidifiers are usually quieter than cool mists. The Power Pure ultrasonic humidifiers are exceptionally quiet.
- Hard water presents a problem for all humidifiers, and you should expect the filters to need changing more often. On the other hand, softened water can still be used in cool mist humidifiers. Using distilled water is fine but only if you have a free source; otherwise it adds to the running costs.
- The Boneco by Air-O-Swiss humidifiers are also very highly rated ultrasonic humidifiers that are ultra-quiet and self cleaning; however you do need to replace filters annually.