How Do Humidifiers Work?

The winter months can be difficult on a person’s sinuses. Indoor heating tends to lower humidity people need in order to be comfortable, especially when they sleep. Low humidity can cause your skin to dry out as well as the mucous membranes in your nose. To stay healthy, you should set up a humidifier to keep the level of humidity in the air at a certain level. They can definitely make sleeping a lot more tolerable. But how do humidifiers work? Here’s some tips.

Why Use A Humidifier?

A moderate level of humidity can keep the air from drying to the point where it begins to cause damage. When the air is extremely dry it can damage furniture, electronics, and even your health. By using a humidifier, the humidity in the air can be adjusted to a level that you find comfortable and that fits your ideal situation. Higher humidity also helps to lower your electric bill. If the room is at 40% humidity instead of a drier 20% then the air will feel warmer and you won’t have to turn the heat up so high, thus saving some money.

Types Of Humidifiers

There are several types of humidifiers that use different processes for increases humidity in a room. They can do this through evaporation, steam, cool mist, warm mist, and ultrasonic.

  • Evaporation – Evaporative units have a fan inside them that blows air through a moist pad. Once the air gets moist it then gets blown back out into the room. Evaporative units do not produce a spray into the air which is less likely to spread germs and bacteria into the air, unlike a cool mist humidifier. However, you need to keep the pads cleaned regularly or bacteria and mold can grow on them, thus creating a health problem.
  • Steam – These humidifiers are sometimes called vaporizers. They work by boiling water and send it into the surrounding air as steam. They are a lot safer because the boiling process tends to kill off all germs and bacteria. Vaporizers also do not put out what is referred to as ‘white dust’ which is the minerals in water. When the water boils and converts to steam, it leaves all minerals behind in the tank.
  • Warm mist – These humidifiers act exactly like vaporizers. They boil the water which turns into steam. However, the steam is slightly cooled before it gets pumped out into the room. This results in a mist of warm droplets instead of steam.
  • Cool mist – These humidifiers break up water into tiny droplets which is sprayed in the air as a cool mist. It is important to keep the tank cleaned. Since the water is not boiled like other humidifiers, it may contain bacteria and harmful microorganisms if not sanitized.
  • Ultrasonic – An ultrasonic humidifier is similar to a stereo speaker. It uses a metal diaphragm which vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency to create droplets of water. The nice thing about ultrasonic humidifiers is that they don’t usually make any noise.

How Humidifiers Work

No matter what type you use, you will have to fill the tank with water. Turn the machine on and it immediately starts raising the room’s level of humidity. The water in the tank will eventually get used up and will need to be refilled. Regular cleaning is required to prevent mineral build-up in some models as well as to prevent bacteria and germs from collecting inside it.