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Our customers often ask us whether they should choose a warm or a cool mist humidifier. To simplify the answer, our years of experience (along with doctor and allergist recommendations) have proven that a cool-mist humidifier is best used to combat allergies while a warm-mist humidifier offers relief for those with asthma, a cold, the flu or respiratory infection. Other symptoms such as dry skin, swollen nasal passages, sinus headaches, and asthma will also be relieved while in a well humidified room. As a first step, our product experts recommend placing one of our virtually-silent ultrasonic humidifiers in each of your bedrooms for improved sleep. Many of our ultrasonic humidifiers deliver both warm and cool mist with the touch of a button. Larger, fan-based humidifiers are recommended for humidifying larger, open areas of your home.
For a quiet bedroom we recommend our PowerPure humidifiers and our Air-O-Swiss humidifiers
Our newest PowerPure AP03 is both a humidifier and HEPA air purifier in one
For a large areas we recommend our AIRCARE humidifiers and our Brune Humidifier
For a soothing steam humidifier, you might consider our Air-O-Swiss S450 Steam Humidifier
In our testing of home humidifiers, we have found that they often humidify an area less than what is stated by the manufacturer. The AllergyBuyersClub product review group tests and published information about each humidifier to ensure that you are getting a high quality machine that will be appropriate for the location you intend on using it.
- While humidifiers will definitely add moisture to the air, you may not be able to reach the humidity level that you want to achieve i.e. 30 to 40% with a small capacity humidifier, so again buy larger.
- Humidity over 50% encourages dust mites, while higher humidity levels encourage mold spore growth, so you will want to control the amount of moist air your humidifier puts out.
- The level of humidity that you can achieve is dependent on the outdoor humidity, so extremely dry climates require the use of more powerful humidifiers.
- All humidifiers have some level of “gurgling” sound when the water in the tanks is drawn into the base of the units, and the noise can be disconcerting if you are not expecting it.
- Decide on area that you wish to be covered. Cool mist humidifiers will cover a larger area, but since they are noisier, consider placing them out of earshot such as in the living room.
- Digital hygrometers provide you with a rough estimate versus an exact measurement. They give you an indication of the level of room humidity, and the best humidifiers will automatically shut off when the required humidity is reached. Remember, over-humidification can lead to mold, dust mite and bacteria growth.
- None of our humidifiers produce mineral dust which is potentially harmful to your health. But if you are using a water softener you should not use a ultrasonic humidifier unless you are prepared to use distilled water.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers are much quieter than cool mists. PowerPure, humidifiers, Air-O-Swiss humidifiers, pureguardian humidifiers; and Stadler Form humidifiers are all known to be exceptionally quiet.
- Using hard water from a well (or other source) with a humidifier will often require more frequent filter changes.
- All humidifiers have some maintenance costs associated with them and expect to pay between $30 to $50 for annual filter and other replacement costs except for the PowerPure humidifiers and pureguardian humidifiers that don't have any filters. Otherwise, accept that you will find yourself throwing cheap humidifiers away after one season’s use. This is why we sell high quality humidifiers that will last for years of daily use.
- Most humidifiers are filled from the faucet. Ultimately the shape and size of the water tank determines which humidifier is easier to fit under the faucet. Often, we find it easier to fill humidifiers with larger tanks in the bathtub.
Humidifier Maintenance Tips
The remarks below are oriented towards our selection of home humidifiers.
- Always maintain your humidifier properly, because if you do not do so, bacteria and fungi can grow in the water tank and be dispersed into the air. Children, the elderly and those with allergies are particularly susceptible to these kinds of problems. The easiest way to figure out whether you might be having a problem with your humidifier is to look for any greenish scum or hard scale deposits in the humidifier’s tank. This is your first clue that your humidifier is in need of maintenance.
- White dust is a potentially hazardous by-product of using a humidifier because the white dust particles are small enough to penetrate the lungs. This is where using a mineral cartridge for your humidifier is a wise preventative measure.
- Clean your humidifier on a daily basis which is easy to do before you refill the tank with water. The best humidifiers now come apart so you can give them a sanitizing wash in your dishwasher or rinse out with vinegar and hot water. Diluted bleach or hydrogen peroxide are other good sanitizing agents.
- For best results, you will find that particularly with ultrasonic humidifiers, manufacturers recommend using distilled water. By doing so, you avoid all the problems of potentially hazardous minerals being dispersed into your air in the form of very fine particles. Tap water, bottled water and well water have minerals in them even if they are filtered, although the filtration will have taken out most of the hazardous minerals.
- Always clean and dry your humidifier at the end of the humidification season. Do not store a dirty humidifier.
- Buy a humidifier with a hygrometer or an external one to make sure that you are not over humidifying your home which can cause mold and dust mites to grow.
- Most humidifiers do best on raised surfaces and you do not want to put a humidifier on a carpeted surface so its feel damp to the touch. That is the way for mold to grow.