Warm mist humidifiers work by boiling the water and releasing steam into the room. The water boiling process sterilizes any bacteria and prevents any minerals that might be in the water to be released in the room. Cool mist humidifiers, on the other hand, produce water vapor without boiling and sterilizing the water. If you are using a cool mist humidifier, it is recommended that you use distilled water instead of tap.
Warm mist humidifiers expel warm steam into the room and help ease sinus problems, coughing, cracked lips, and dry skin. Warm mist humidifiers will also help with eliminating any static electricity generated in your home which will make your home more comfortable, especially if you live in cold winter areas. Also, if you are using a humidifier, your wooden furniture will benefit by not cracking and warping. Plants will also enjoy the humidity in the room.
Most humidifiers have a digital humidistat that will turn off the humidifier automatically when the desired set level of humidity is reached. Keep in mind that the humidity level at your living area should not exceed 50%. Levels higher than 50% humidity can lead to dust mites and bacteria growth. It is recommended that you keep your humidifier out of the reach of children because the water boiling element can get hot and might cause burns if not handled properly.
Cleaning and maintenance of warm mist humidifiers
Humidifiers require cleaning at least once per week. Maintaining and cleaning your humidifier is required to prevent dispensing any bacteria in the air. You will enjoy your warm mist humidifier for a long time if you maintain it properly. Make sure that the unit is unplugged before any cleaning and also read the manufactures instructions carefully.
Depending on the model that you will purchase, some parts can be cleaned by running them through the dishwasher. Other parts will need to have the mineral build up on the heating element cleaned and the tank disinfected manually. To disinfect the tank, you have to soak it in a bleach and water mixture. It is highly recommended that you soak the tank once per week. Also, the heating element needs to be cleaned once a week to remove any build up, especially if you using tap water to fill the tank. To clean the heating element you need to soak it in vinegar. Calcium lime rust removal will also work. It is recommended using a toothbrush to gently remove any mineral build up that doesnâ€™t dissolve. Do not use any other tools to scrape the heating element. This could damage the unit. Follow these tips to ensure a long lasting warm mist humidifier.
Cool Mist Humidifiers
Cool mist humidifiers are excellent choices to use if you living in a dry warm environment. Unlike warm mist humidifiers, they don’t emit steam in house and therefore won’t feel warmer in the summer. Cool mist humidifiers don’t have a heating element which can cause burns if not handled properly making them much safer to use around small children. Cool mist humidifiers work by creating water vapor using a turning disk and fan which can make these units noisier compare to other models such as warm mist humidifiers.
Other than higher noise levels there are few other drawbacks with cool mist humidifiers. The biggest drawback is the use of tap water. If you use tap water, minerals in the water can disperse in the air and may cause health problems. It is highly recommended that you use distilled water to fill the water tank to help avoid these issues. Also, cold water could be a breeding ground for bacteria and you need to follow instructions in the manual carefully to properly clean and maintain your cool mist humidifier. The water tray should be cleaned each day after use. Another drawback is the filter which needs to be replaced approximately every 3 months depending on usage. If you don’t run the humidifier for a while, make sure you clean it thoroughly and dry out the filter before putting in storage. Otherwise the filter could get moldy before next use.
Whole House Humidifiers
Whole house humidifiers are a great solution to humidify your entire home. When choosing whole house humidifier systems, you no longer need a separate humidifier for each room. Many consumers purchase smaller units for each room. Smaller cool mist humidifiers, warm mist humidifiers, and ultrasonic humidifiers work well but they can be used only for one room in your house. Also, portable humidifier units require daily maintenance and cleaning and some require you to purchase filters.
There are two different types of whole house humidifier units. Console humidifiers and in- duct units. Console whole house humidifiers are large portable units that average 12 gallons of water output and 5 gallon tank capacity which can humidify an area of up to 2500 square feet. The downside of console units is that you will need to regularly maintain and clean it. You also have to continuously ad water as it vaporizes.
The most preferred whole house humidifier unit is an in-duct unit. This unit requires a forced hot air heating system installed in your home. In-duct units are installed directly in your existing heating and cooling system and require installation by a heating and cooling specialist. The in-duct whole house humidifier generates humidity when the forced air system is running and will save you money in your heating bill by making your living space feel warmer and much more comfortable. Generally you will lower your thermostat by a few degrees.
These humidifiers work by releasing vapor into your rooms through the ductwork. Most of them are equipped with digital humidifier control units to measure the humidity level in your home and outside temperatures. This unity will automatically shut off when optimal humidity level is reach. The humidity level in your house should not go above 50%. Higher levels of humidity can lead to bacteria and mold growth. For units that are not equipped with digital humidifier unit controls, it is recommended that you purchase a humidistat. Humidistat monitors humidity levels in your home and are relatively inexpensive. In-duct humidifier systems require almost no maintenance from the homeowner. These units are slightly more expensive than other types of humidifiers, but usually will be a better solution for your home in the long run and will continue to give you comfortable living space. Some of the benefits of having proper levels of humidity in your home are: preventing dry and itchy skin, reducing cases of upper respiratory problems, speeding recovery of common colds, preventing cracking in your wooden floors and any wooden furniture or house goods, and also by having a warmer, comfortable room that is generated by higher humidity.
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