What is a Humidifier?
A humidifier is an electrical device that increases the humidity or moisture level in the room.
Why does one need a Humidifier?
During winter, the atmospheric humidity levels can drop to uncomfortable levels.The house atmosphere can change from soothing and comfortable to dry and parched.A humidifier is therefore necessary to humidify the room and bring the moisture level up to a comfortable level.
What are the benefits of humidifiers?
A humidifier has the following benefits and is therefore a must-have appliance.
A humidifier can help you maintain the humidity at a comfortable level, thereby preventing you from physical discomfort, dry skin, and skin irritation.Dry air can cause several health-related issues such as: Cracked lips, allergies, sore throats, irritable skin, and worse, asthma.Humidifiers disperse pleasant mist into the air thereby maintaining humidity at an appropriate level.If the room has proper moisture content, it helpsto keep your nasal passages lubricated resulting is no more nosebleeds.The moisture emitted from the humidifier prevents parching of throats, which in turn decreases harsh, snoring sounds.
Humidifiers also help in protectingwooden furnishing and interiors of a household.Dry air can spoil the wallpaper by peeling it off.It also causes the wood in the house to crack.Repairing such damages can be expensive.
Dry air generates static electricity that can make your hair stand, your clothes stick to your body, or give you occasional shocks from static electricity.All these problems can be avoided by installing a humidifier in the indoor atmosphere and making the air more humid.
That being said, excess humidity is also not good.It is a breeding ground forbacteria and disease-spreading viruses.It is therefore necessary to have a healthy moisturelevel in the room and an important reason why you should buy your humidifier with careful consideration.
What are the different types of Humidifiers?
Depending on the way in which a humidifier adds moisture to the atmosphere, humidifiers can be classified into the following types:
Cool Mist humidifiers emit moisture at room temperature.They can span over large areas.They are more energy-efficient.Cool mist humidifiers can be further classified as Ultrasonic, Impeller, and Evaporative humidifiers.Evaporative humidifiers produce moisture by blowing air over a wet wick with the help of a fan.An Impeller producesmoisture with the help of a rotating disk.Ultrasonic models use a vibrating nebulizer.
Warm Mist humidifiers emit moisture that is slightly warm.They have an integrated heating coil that heats the water before dispersing it into the room.Because these humidifiers use electricity to boil water, they consume more energy than other humidifiers.The trade off here is the warm moisture is healthy, germ-free, and soothing, especially during winters.
Ultrasonic humidifiers can be either cool or warm mist type.They are noiseless and therefore, highly recommended.
Based on the size of the humidifiers, they can be further categorized as:
Tabletop humidifiers are low profile units that can be easily mounted on a counter or a table.
Console Humidifiers are large models that need to be placed on the floor.
In-duct humidifiers can humidify the entire house.They are mounted near the furnace and are directly connected to the water pipe.Thus, they ensure continuous supply of water and generate more moisture.
What to look for when buying a Humidifier?
When buying a humidifier consider the following factors:
Depending on whether you want a cool mist or warm, soothing vapors, you can choose the type of humidifier.Warm or cool humidifiers can be selected largely based on the temperature outdoors.Indoor humidity level should be in the range of 30% – 50%.However, in winters, the moisture level can go down to 10%.A furnace while heating the room can also remove moisture from the cold air even further.In such a situation, a warm mist from a humidifier will be more pleasant, while on the other hand, a cool mist will be soothing in hot summers.
You will need to measure the size of the room in square foot to help you in buying the perfect size of humidifier that can give optimum results.For more localized humidification of a small or medium sized room, a tabletop humidifier is an ideal choice.Tabletop humidifiers are portable, light in weight and can be taken from one place to another.Room humidifiers can function for a whole day without requiring a refill.
If you want to humidify the whole house or many rooms at a time, console or in-duct humidifiers will be best.A console humidifier is large in size and can humidify rooms as large as 3,000 square feet.Console humidifier comes in various designs and sizes.It is placed at the center of the house and can mystify the entire surrounding area.
Offices and home environments that generally face the problem of dry air need to be continuously humidified.The whole-house bypass humidifiers are a great choice in such cases.They work with a central air system and are connected to the water line to continually humidify the area.There is no additional task of refilling these humidifiers as they take water directly from the water line.
A humidifier, as all mechanical devices, makes some amount of noise.However, some models are noisier than the others.An Ultrasonic humidifier is the quietest of all types and ideal for use in bedrooms, living rooms, and offices that prefer silent environment.Ultrasonic humidifiers are quiet because they trade the usual fan for a vibrating nebulizer. Warm-mist, compact models make very little or no sound at all.The only thing that you can hear is the subdued boiling and hissing.
Humidifiers are generally low profile devices that require minimum maintenance.All you have to do to keep a humidifier properly functioning is keep it clean.A tabletop and a console humidifier are easy to clean.In case of evaporative humidifiers, the wick needs to be replaced, which may add to the maintenance cost.It is always better to buy a unit that has user-friendly controls and easily visible controls display.
Humidifiers don’t have to be the odd device out in your perfectly furnished home.You now can buy units that are designed to perfectly blend with the décor of the house.Choose a model that is most suitable to your room’s interiors.
The price of a humidifier varies depending upon the size and the type of a humidifier.Tabletop models are comparatively cheaper than the console and whole house units.Prices vary from Rs. 3000 to as much as Rs. 12,000.If you are not looking for something extravagant, a humble tabletop or an evaporizer can also do the job pretty well.
What brands are reliable and available in the market?
Some interesting humidifier brands to watch out for in India are:
Glossary of Terms:
Some advanced humidifiers come with a humidistat,which monitors the humidity level and shuts the device off when the moisture level reaches a preset level.A humidistat is important to prevent excess humidification.
A timer is used to set the humidifier such that it automatically switches on at a particular time.Tabletop and console models can switch on with the help of a timer such that the room is appropriately humidified by the time you reach home.
Humidifier filterscan be made of paper, clay-coated metal, or metal.The filter purifies water of impurities and minerals.Most humidifier filters have an antimicrobial coating that prevents the growth of bacteria, germs, and molds on the filter surface.Filters help in giving out clean and pure moisture.
Humidifier pad frames are drum-shaped frames that rotate and absorb water.Dry air passes through these pads and picks up moisture which is then dispersed throughout the room.
A humidifier coil is an integrated device that transfers heat to the air when placed inside an air handling unit or a duct.
A humidifier controller is an operating system that controls the operation of a device.