Humidifiers

Humidifiers: Five Types Of Humidifiers And Their Benefits

Humidifiers are electrical appliances that increase humidity (moisture) in a certain space. Basically, humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Low humidity usually occurs in hot, dry desert climates, or indoors in artificially heated spaces. The level of humidity drops especially in winter, when the indoor air becomes too dry, and can go as low as 10–20%. However, low humidity can also occur in arid climates during summer as a result of excessive air conditioning, which reduces moisture from the air. Such low levels can cause adverse health effects, as they cause mucous membranes like the lining of the nose and throat to dry out and can also cause respiratory problems. As a result, the risk of cold, flu and other infections is substantially increased as well. The low humidity also can cause shrinkage, loose joints or cracks in wooden furniture. Even books, papers, and artworks may get affected by low humidity, by shrinking, warping and becoming brittle.

Having said this, proper indoor humidity is crucial to your health. Therefore, one of the best methods to balance the levels of humidity in your room or house is using one or more quality vaporizers or humidifiers. One, however, has to be cautious in using humidifiers, as overusing them can promote the growth of dust mites and mold, and can also cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis (humidifier lung). This said, a relative humidity of 30-50% is considered to be the recommended levels for most homes. To monitor and control humidity levels, you can use a properly installed and located hygrostat or a well-informed and conscientious human operator.

Humidifiers
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Benefits of humidifiers

Using humidifiers will add moisture to the air and prevent or relieve dryness that can cause irritation in many parts of the body. However, there are many other benefits coming from using humidifiers, such as:

– Help you breath easier
– Help you loosen congestion
– Avoid colds and flu
– Prevent dry skin
– Keep your hair and scalp healthy
– Treat cracked lips
– Relieve bloody noses
– Alleviate sinus congestion/headache
– Relieve dry throat
– Relieve nose irritation
– Ease dry cough
– Treat irritated vocal cords

Humidifiers
Photo Credit: Flickr

Types of humidifiers

There are five main categories of humidifiers. Each of them functions in a different way but they all do what they were made for – lead to adequate moisture conditions in your home. The type of humidifier you choose, however, depends on your preferences and needs.

Humidifiers are often classified as console or portable/personal. Console units are often large and used to add moisture to the entire house. Usually, they come with wheels so you can easily move them around. You can use console units to add moisture to one room.

Personal (or portable) humidifiers, on the other hand, are the smallest and are the best pick if you need a humidifier while you are traveling.

Now, let’s move on to the main five types of humidifiers:

1. Evaporators
2. Central humidifiers
3. Impeller humidifiers
4. Steam vaporizers
5. Ultrasonic humidifiers

 

1. Evaporators

Evaporators use a fan to blow air through a moistened filter. They are an affordable option but may be problematic if they put too much moisture in the air. Excessive humidity can be problematic for people with asthma, as it raises the likelihood of mold growth.

 

2. Central humidifiers

Central humidifiers are the most expensive humidifiers, but they are the best choice if you want to add moisture to the entire house. Central humidifiers are built directly into your home’s air conditioning or heating unit.

The perk of using a central humidifier is that they don’t emit steam, as traditional humidifiers do. Therefore, they don’t carry a potential risk of burns from the steam.

 

3. Impeller humidifiers

This type of humidifiers work with the help of rotating disks that run at high speeds and are often less expensive. They are also among the most child-friendly devices, due to the cool mist they create cool mist and the safe-use they provide.

However, the disadvantage of using it is that they only work for single rooms. If you overuse them, they can potentially cause breathing problems for people with allergies and asthma.

 

4. Steam vaporizers

The fourth type of humidifiers are steam vaporizer. They are electrically powered; they heat water and then cool it before expelling it into the air. This type is the most inexpensive and portable one. If you want to use this type of humidifier, you can purchase it at drugstores.

The downside of it is that it can cause burns, so it’s not the most kid-friendly.

 

5. Ultrasonic humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers produce a cool mist with the help of ultrasonic vibration. Depending on their size, they can vary in price, and depending on your preference, there are both cool and warm mist versions available.

This type of humidifier is the perfect choice if you have children in your house.

 

As we mentioned before, overusing humidifiers can potentially worsen respiratory problems, therefore make sure to properly and correctly use them.

 

See also: Dry Coughing Treatment Methods You Should Know