Planning to buy a humidifier for cold dry air problems in your home this winter? Confused with so many options/types available on the market?
Worry not, in this detailed article as we will help you guide through various different types of humidifiers, how each of them works, how these benefits and what is the best option for you to buy…
But before we talk more about the best types of humidifiers for winter let’s quickly check about what are humidifiers and how it works?
- What is A Humidifier?
- 5 Different Types of Humidifiers
- Few Other Types for Your Home
- Which Humidifier Is Best For Winter?
- 5 Benefits of Using Humidifier In Cold Winters
- What Should Be The Ideal Humidifier Settings In Winter?
- Few Additional Tips for Getting Maximum Comfort In Winters
What is A Humidifier?
As the name itself explains, a humidifier is a piece of simple household equipment that increases and maintains the moisture levels inside a home or a particular room.
Although various types of humidifiers are now available in the market (with added features and benefits), the ultimate goal for all of them is to enhance the air quality by adding the needed humidity to the dry air.
Basically, a humidifier device includes three basic parts, which are common in all types of humidifiers. These are:
The wick in a humidifier absorbs and filters the water from the reservoir chamber.
When the humidifier is switched on, the wind from the fan blows on the wet wick (from the reservoir) which helps the water to evaporate easily.
5 Different Types of Humidifiers
Depending on the moisture type you need, humidifiers are basically categorized into two different types. These are:
- Cool mist humidifier
- Warm mist humidifier
Depending on the technology used to produce the mist, humidifiers are also categorized into three different types. These are:
- Ultrasonic humidifier
- Evaporative humidifier
- Impeller humidifier
1- Cool mist humidifier
Cool mist humidifier is one of the most chosen ones when it comes to buying a great humidifier for a kid’s room.
These work by emitting cool moisture into the air, through a built-in evaporative wick system, which is safe and effective to use.
Frequent cleaning and filter changing should be done with these devices to avoid bacteria growth.
And these create little noise than as compared to other humidifier types.
2- Warm mist humidifier
Also called vaporizers or steam humidifiers, these devices boil the water in the reservoir and release the produced steam into the room.
Unlike cool mist humidifiers, additional medicinal inhalants can be put into these devices for inhalation that can help relieve congestion in the chilling winter season.
Be ensured that careful handling is required while using these humidifiers because the boiling water in the device can put you at risk.
✓ Although the benefits of cool mist humidifiers are more it is often recommended to use steam humidifiers in certain conditions like severe allergies or cold problems.
Well, when you have decided between the type of mist you want its time to know about the technology used in these devices.
Based on the misting technology used humidifiers are categorized into these types:
3- Ultrasonic humidifier
This is the most advanced humidifier type which is equipped with the latest features.
High-frequency ultrasonic vibrations are used in these devices – to disperse the water vapor into the air.
The advanced technology and low power used in these devices make them most silent, kid-friendly and cost-effective.
Also, you need not worry about changing the filters in these humidifier types.
4- Evaporative humidifier
Evaporative humidifiers or Wick humidifiers are energy efficient and noiseless.
These releases water through a saturated pad or wick filter by an internal fan.
As the wick filter traps mineral dust and bacteria before the water is evaporated into the air, you need to change the wick filters every three to four months for better hygiene.
5- Impeller humidifier
This humidifier type uses a rotating disc to send the water through a diffuser and to generate fine droplets of cool moisture.
Many of the cool mist humidifiers in the market uses this technology for misting cool moisture into the dry air.
These are cheaper than evaporative humidifiers and can cover a larger area.
However, due to the risk of bacteria spreading in the air with the mist these units need to be cleaned after each use.
Also, the filters need to be changed every 4-6 months of usage for efficient working.
Few Other Types for Your Home
Portable room humidifiers (mentioned above) are the most common ones that are used by the majority of people around the globe.
However, depending on the capacity to humidify an area you can also choose to buy a whole-house humidifier or a console humidifier.
This is a furnace type humidifier (connected to your home’s HVAC system) which humidifies the entire house instead of a single room.
While making a choice between portable and whole-house humidifiers, you need to consider your needs, budget, space and a few other factors.
In addition to portable and whole-house humidifier types, there are few others like:
Remember, price should not be the major concern when choosing a well-branded humidifier for home & family.
Instead, look at the features and benefits of each to decide on which would best fit with your needs.
Keep in mind about the health of your family members and choose the best one for them that can offer greater relief for long.
Which Humidifier Is Best For Winter?
If you are wondering about which humidifier type is best for the winter season, let me tell you that there is no one type that fits all.
Based on your family’s need, the condition of a person (for whom you are buying a humidifier), the space you have in your living area, and the budget you have; you should carefully decide the one between the above types.
- If you want a good humidifier for baby room in winters, you should pick a cool-mist humidifier like Crane USA
- If you do not have small kids or pets at home, you should pick a warm mist humidifier for winters like Honeywell Filter free
- If you want to enjoy cool as well as warm mist whole year by paying bit extra price, you should pick a dual mist like Levoit
- If you want to humidify your whole house and have a good budget, you should pick a whole-house humidifier like Aprilaire
- If you want to get proper heating along with humidity, you should pick humidifier with a heater like Dr Infrared
- If you want to get humidity with wood stove fireplace without costing any electricity bills, you may pick a humidifier like Old Dutch
- If you want to enjoy the aromatherapy to soothe your senses, you should pick aroma diffuser with humidifier like URPOWER
5 Benefits of Using Humidifier In Cold Winters
For most of us, electric heaters are the most favorable devices to get relief from the severe cold atmosphere during winters.
But besides providing all the good warming conditions for our body, it also makes the air around us very dry.
On regular running (for more than an hour) the air inside your room becomes hot as well as dry which is sometimes unhealthy and hard to breathe.
Especially for babies, the dry air makes their nostrils very dry, making it too difficult for them to breathe after some time.
Adding a cool-mist humidifier is the only solution that helps them effectively.
1- Prevents Dry And Itchy Skin:
People suffering from dry skin problems can experience bouts of itching like in eczema along with another general discomfort if not controlled during the winter season.
If you are waking up early morning with cracked, dried and chapped lips along with dried patchy skin on your other body parts, you obviously need a humidifier in your home.
These symptoms usually occur due to low humidity levels and no doubt restoring the healthy levels of humidity inside the home can alleviate these issues.
2- Offer Good Health and Reduced Allergies:
During cold winter months, you like spending more time inside your home, but due to the sinking humidity, your body starts reacting to indoor allergens.
For this reason, winter can be a difficult time for many, especially for those with allergic symptoms like asthma, snoring, coughing, etc.
If you let the condition to continue, it can cause serious troubles. This is where proper humidification can help and can make big changes to your family’s health.
3- Makes You Feel Warmer and Comfortable:
The air you live in should include a certain amount of moisture so that your body feels comfortable and healthy.
But during the winters the air becomes too dry and is not very easy to live in.
Adding extra moisture in the air will, therefore, make you feel better and enjoy the season to its utmost.
Studies reveal that moistened air actually feels warmer than as compared to dry air.
This is due to the fact that – when there is more water in the surrounding air, your sweat evaporates slowly which makes you feel warmer.
This, in turn, helps you in saving a few bucks to your heating bills all through the chilling winter months as you can lower down your thermostats for making the room warm.
4- Prevents Static Electricity Problems:
Static electricity is more common in dry winter seasons which can be annoying most of the time.
You know how it feels when you have to deal with frizzy hairs, walking on dry wool carpets, touching of metal doorknobs, etc!
Not only this, but the increased static electricity can even prove risky for your electronic devices as it can develop spark that can prove disastrous with flammable gas or dust.
No doubt, using DIY humidifiers in your home can lower down the effects of static.
5- Makes Your Furniture and Plants Happier:
Cold dry winters can bring much damage to your wooden furniture if your home is not properly humidified.
As a matter of fact, porous wood items need proper humidity to maintain its look and size in dry winters.
Adding humidifiers can, therefore, help your furniture in maintaining its longevity.
Also, the indoor plants, wood floors, paint, wallpapers, etc in your home will thank you for adding a good humidifier when they get proper humidity.
What Should Be The Ideal Humidifier Settings In Winter?
To get the best advantage of your ultrasonic humidifier, your humidifier setting in winter (as well as in summer) should be set ideally according to the temperature.
While most of the humidifier models can be felt comfortable in between 30 percent and 50 percent humidity levels during summer, fall and spring; this may not be the best suitable setting of humidifier humidistat for winters.
And for this reason, as the temperature drops significantly in winter months you need to re-adjust these settings to enjoy the most comforting moisture levels.
In general, there are few basic guidelines you can follow to set a humidistat in the winter. These are:
|Outdoor Temperature||Indoor Relative Humidity|
|0 to -10 F||20%|
|0 to 10 F||25%|
|10 to 20 F||30%|
|20 to 30 F||35%|
Care that if you do not alter your humidistat settings in the winter, an increased level of humidity via your device can cause damaging condensation (like mold growth) in your property.
It is therefore advised to carefully track the indoor relative humidity levels using a hygrometer.
And as soon as you notice the condensation on your window sills or walls turn down the humidistat to 5 – 10 percent, according to your personal preference and recommendation.
Few Additional Tips for Getting Maximum Comfort In Winters
When it comes to getting maximum comfort from your room humidifier, you should care for a few additional things.
✓ It is best to use your humidifier unit in a living room or a bedroom where you spend most of your time.
As these rooms are used regularly by all your family members, a humidifier unit here can be regulated and adjusted in the best possible way to give the needed level of soothing moisture to the room.
✓ A humidifier works together with your heating unit to keep your body warm as well as humid during the cold winter climate.
One of the best things you can do is opt for a good heater humidifier combo unit which offers you the dual advantage of the heater as well as a humidifier.
This will ensure that your home environment remains at an optimum temperature and at right humidity levels without spending money on two different units (heater and humidifier).
✓ Also, note that humidifier filters become dirty after each usage and it becomes important for you to check these filters from time to time.
Dirty filters should be cleaned or completely replaced with the new filter which maintains the efficiency of your device.
As an alternative, you can also opt for a filterless humidifier device that requires no filters and are easy on maintenance.
Meen Smith is a nurse by profession who loves writing online, spending time with her family and caring for the elderly. She has already worked as an associate editor on various moms, babies, home appliances, kitchen, and healthy living blogs. In her spare time, she also enjoys drawing, reading/writing kindle eBooks and improving her skills a bit.