Do you want your living space to be comfortable and breathable all year round?
We breathe air all the time, so it’s essential that is clean and fresh. People suffering from breathing diseases like bronchitis, asthma, etc., find it difficult to breathe in changing weather conditions. And these problems have become more acute with time as the pollution levels have hiked.
People deserve to relax at the end of the day, considering how hard they work to make a living. That’s where air humidifiers come into the picture. These handy devices moisten the air with their humid mist and provide respite from breathing difficulties and nasal congestion.
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If you have decided to invest in a humidifier, you’ve landed at the right place. Choosing a model in the perfect size can be tricky, but our elaborate guide will help you with that. What’s more, we’ll try to cover various other features too, so that you get a firm grip on the topic.
What Size Humidifiers Do I Need?
Table of Contents
One of the most important factors while choosing a humidifier is its operating system. There are four basic types of humidifiers depending on the mechanical methods of functioning. Let’s look at them one by one:
1. Ultrasonic Humidifiers
Staying true to its name, an ultrasonic humidifier has two ceramic plates vibrating at ultrasonic frequencies. If you are a light sleeper and get disturbed by the slightest of noises, then this type is ideal for you.
Ultrasonic humidifiers have a whisper-quiet operation with minimal noise production (the noise level is as low as 30 decibels in some models). However, they release very fine white dust while operating that settles on the different surfaces of the room. This might trigger allergic reactions for some people, so you need to be careful about that.
2. Evaporative Humidifiers
These types of humidifiers employ motor-driven fans for blowing air through a wet filter, wick, or belt. The air evaporates the water in its path and sends out moisture into the room.
The most striking feature of an evaporative humidifier is its ability to self-regulate. It can assess the room’s atmosphere and adjust the humidity levels accordingly.
Additionally, these humidifiers produce cool mist exclusively and function quietly. Well, not as quiet as the ultrasonic ones but they are still fairly noiseless.
The downside is that they may lead to bacteria and mold growth, thereby requiring frequent cleaning.
3. Steam Vaporizers
These electrically operated devices release steam into the room by a water heating mechanism. Boiling the water kills all the harmful bacteria present in it because of which the steam is pure and free from disease-causing microorganisms.
Steam humidifiers are the most affordable because of their design, but unfortunately, they aren’t as safe to use as the others. You’ll need to be cautious, especially if there are kids or pets at home because there is a risk of accidents if the vaporizer tips over.
4. Impeller Humidifiers
Impeller humidifiers are a popular choice among users because of their affordability and simple technology. You will find that it has a pretty interesting mechanism, whereby the water is flung onto a rotating disc and broken into tiny droplets that enter the room’s air.
Since these models have rotating discs, they produce a little mechanical sound which might come across as disturbing. Additionally, you’ll have to regularly clean them, change the filters, and use only demineralized or distilled water to prevent mold growth.
Warm Mist Humidifiers Vs. Cool Mist Humidifier
You get to choose whether you want your room’s environment to be warm or cool because humidifiers come in both designs.
A cool-mist humidifier is perfect for hot summer days and maintains a cozy atmosphere in the room. They are excellent for bedrooms, proving safe, comfortable, and delivering sound sleep. Speaking of safe, they reduce the instances of kitchen fires with their cooling technology.
On the other hand, warm-mist humidifiers produce a warm and steamy mist that increases the temperature of the room. They are excellent for use in the fall and winter months, especially for those with asthma or breathing problems.
Now, let us discuss the pros and cons of both types in detail:
A. Warm Mist Humidifier
- Quiet functioning because of the absence of fans
- Produces a high moisture saturation level
- Perfect for treating cold and congestion
- Treats dry nasal passageway and itchy throat
- Works excellently with medicated products
- Can be used for essential oil diffusion
- Consume a lot of energy during operation
- Requires frequent cleaning
- Cheap models can lead to fires
B. Cool Mist Humidifier
- Much more energy-efficient than the warm mist type
- Large coverage area
- Ultra-quiet operation with low noise levels
- No fire hazard, in fact, reduced chances of fire breakouts
- Well-suited for bedrooms and kitchens
- Don’t help much with nasal congestion or colds
- Can’t be used with medicinal products
Moving on, there are options available on the market that offer the quality of both warm and cold mist humidifiers in one unit. If you cannot decide which type to go for or want the best of both worlds, we suggest choosing these models.
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Humidifiers Buying Guide
1. Size And Capacity
Alright! We know you’ve been wondering, “Hmph, what size humidifiers do I need?” and we are going to address your query right away. Let’s get to our today’s hot topic.
Humidifiers come in various sizes, so it can be a little challenging to pick an appropriate one. They can be put into different categories depending upon the water tank size, humidifying capacity per day, square footage of the moisturizing area, etc.
We’ll elaborate on these parameters one by one:
2. Model Size
Humidifiers come in a wide range of sizes, so you can conveniently choose one that best suits your needs. Some are compact and portable, while some are large units with electrical chords.
If you want a humidifier for a small room that lies in the range of 800 to 1,000 square feet, a small portable one will do the job efficiently. Vicks offers efficient and lightweight designs of this size.
What’s the point in buying an excessively large model if you just want to humidify a small area. Some people like using it while doing specific tasks only, like work out or meditation. In these cases, compact steam vaporizers are perfect.
A medium or large humidifier can weigh 2 to 5 ounces and moisten the air in an area of 1,000 square feet to 3,000 square feet. Levoit and Pure Enrichment provide the best models in this range at a fair price. This type of large coverage range is enough to humidify the whole house, and that’s why these large ones are known as whole-house humidifiers.
3. Tank Size
The tank size is one of the most crucial factors in deciding the overall size of a humidifier. A large tank humidifier does not need frequent refilling and has a long operation period. It can also cover the larger square footage of the area it is kept in.
Some models have as little as 250 ml water holding capacity and can be charged using a USB plug-in. These aren’t much help, just temporary fixes for certain situations.
A reservoir with a two-gallon capacity can effectively humidify a standard size room. Medium-sized models can hold up to six gallons of water and are suitable for larger rooms like living rooms or basements.
Large consoles are capable of storing around six to twelve gallons of water and are essentially whole-house humidifiers. You can simply put one of these in one corner of your home, and you’ll be done.
Additionally, tanks can either be transparent or hidden inside the unit. The see-through ones conveniently allow you to keep a check on the water level at all times. You don’t need to go through the hassle of opening the unit to check whether it needs a refill with these.
Furthermore, some models that do not have a transparent water reservoir have an indicating light that blinks when the water level is low. Therefore, if you don’t want to check the water level all the time manually, go for these models.
4. Operation Period
The operation period is the time for which a humidifier can modify the humidity levels of a room without any interruptions. This is again affected by the tank size and water holding capacity of the device.
Models with smaller tanks can only run for twelve hours continuously, while those with medium to larger ones can operate for three to fours days on end without any interruptions. If you want to moderate the humidity level only during the night for comfortable sleeping, then spending money on a model with long operability is simply a waste.
However, people who have chronic breathing difficulties or are more prone to allergens need to keep the air moist at all times. If you find yourself in that boat, we recommend buying a humidifier that can function for longer hours.
5. Coverage Area In Square Feet
The best way to determine what size humidifier to go for is by paying attention to its coverage area. Each model mentions the space it is capable of covering in the product description. Smaller and portable ones typically cover up to 800 square feet area which is good enough for a standard-sized room.
Moreover, medium humidifying devices work well in rooms as large as 2,000 square feet efficiently, but if you want to cover an area up to 3,800 square feet, only large ones can cater to your needs. But be prepared to see a hike in your electricity bill with these, especially if you’re going for a warm mist design.
Know Your Needs
It is very important to have a clear picture of your expectations before actually buying a humidifier. We highly recommend measuring the room you want to place your device in. Knowing the accurate measurements is pivotal because humidifiers have a drastic effect on the room’s atmosphere.
You’ll naturally be inclined towards buying a large-sized model, but that might not be the best option for you. If you keep it in a smaller room, the high humidity will condense the surfaces like windows, tabletops, mirrors, and, most dreadfully, electronic gadgets.
Prolonged excessive humid conditions can spoil electric appliances and promote mold and bacterial growth, and you would want to avoid that. That’s why it is crucial to stick to your needful size. Go for large consoles only if your home is spacey with an open-concept layout.
Apart from the size, choose whether you want a cool-mist, a warm-mist humidifier, or a combination of both. A warm-mist humidifier will be better suited if you have some chronic illness and often go through nasal congestion and cold-like symptoms. You’ll most likely want to invest in a model that gives all-around coverage across your home. Hence, a medium to large-sized humidifier with a four to six-gallon tank will be ideal for you.
Furthermore, if you have trouble sleeping, experience sinus or snoring issues, and wish to buy a humidifier just for your bedroom, a cold-mist model in standard size will do the job. You can also use it in your workout space to create a comfortable vibe.
Humidifiers are simple devices that moderate the humidity level in a living space.
For the convenience of users, humidifying devices are available in a wide variety of specializations and sizes. That’s why it can be a little tricky to pick the right unit that will fit in with all your needs.
In today’s guide, we discussed the key factors you need to evaluate while making a purchase. For instance, it is important to stick to the size of your room while deciding on the humidifier’s size.
Also, consider other essential parameters like the water reservoir size, operation period, coverage area, and the amount of mist produced per hour. We hope our guide was helpful and gave some important insights that’ll aid you while deciding on the type of humidifier.
One final tip: humidifiers are excellent devices for creating a breathable atmosphere in homes but should be used with great caution, especially the warm-mist producing models. We’ll see you next time with another handy guide! Goodbye and take care.
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