Your Guide To Humidifiers

Dry Air Affects Your Health and Home

Humidifiers are needed in many parts of the world to combat dry air and some of its negative effects. Dry air is especially a problem in colder climates where winter’s cold winds can suck all moisture out of the air. Dry winter air can have a relative humidity level as low as 15%, making it drier than the air in most of the world’s deserts. Because people are water-based creatures, we require a certain level of humidity for basic comfort.

Many people require humidified air to make their breathing easier, to alleviate allergies and help with other health issues. Many of the benefits associated with humidifiers are underappreciated.

Unwanted or unanticipated dehumidification also affects other things in our homes, including the wood in our furniture and floors. Ever notice that hardwood is more “creaky” during winter? Dry air can stress the plaster walls of old homes and crack the plaster of your drywall joints.

What you’ll find in the Guide to Humidifiers
There are many different kinds of humidifiers. Throughout the pages of our guide we take you through the basics of each of these kinds of humidifiers, explaining what to look for and how to purchase a humidifier that best suits your needs. You’ll find advice on portable and apartment humidifiers, basement humidification and cool mist vs. warm mist (among many other issues).

We also profile many of the leading manufacturers, brands and models of humidifiers, such as Bemis, Honeywell, CPAP and Hunter

Atmospheric Moisturizing 101: Intro to Humidifiers
There are many different ways of humidifying your home, of course. You can hang a towel over your furnace vent. You can set bowls of water in the corners of all your rooms. These are perfectly healthy ways to deal with dry air, but of course, it is more common to buy a mechanical humidifier.

The four most popular technologies used in mechanical humidifiers:

  • Steamers or vaporizers, commonly used when children fall ill, add extra moisture into the air that will help them breathe easier and aid in their healing.
  • Impellers use a rotating disk to fling water at a diffuser that “spreads” the water through the air. These tend to wet the floor around the humidifier unit, but they are also relatively inexpensive.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers use a vibrating metal diaphragm to create tiny water droplets. These are virtually silent, of course; but they produce a thin, cool fog.
Wick or evaporative systems use a thin wick to draw water out of a reservoir, to humidify the air. A small fan blows over the wick to spread the humidity into the air. This type of humidifier effectively “shuts off” via saturation - once the air is humidified, the wick stops drawing water from the reservoir.

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