Our customers often ask us all the time, which type of humidifier is better; warm or a cool mist? To simplify the answer, our years of experience (along with doctor and allergist recommendations) have proven that a cool-mist is best used to combat allergies. Warm-mist offers the best 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 in each of your bedrooms for improved sleep. Many of our ultrasonics deliver both warm and cool mist with the touch of a button. Larger, fan-based are recommended for humidifying larger, open areas of your home. Air conditioning units have a tendency to dry out the air due to the process of chilling the air so using a humidifier will help to prevent humidity from dipping below 30%.
How to find the best humidifier?
In our testing, we have found that humidifiers often humidify an area less than what is stated by the manufacturer. Our product review group tests and published information about each product ensuring that you are getting a high-quality machine.
- Buy Larger - The ideal humidification of a room is 30 to 40%. Smaller units may not achieve the ideal level of humidity. Purchasing a unit rated for larger square footage then the intended room will allow you to fine-tune the humidity to the ideal levels.
- High Humidity is not good - Humidity over 50% encourages dust mites and can encourage the growth of mold spores. You will want to control the amount of moist air that your humidifier makes.
- Outside Humidity Matters - Unfortunately the level of humidity, you can achieve is dependent on the outdoor humidity, so extremely-dry climates require the use of more powerful units.
- Gurgling Happens - All have some level of “gurgling” sound when the water in the tank is drawn into the base of the unit, and this noise can be disconcerting if you are not expecting it.
- Location - Decide the area that you would like to humidify. Cool mist humidifiers will cover more area, but they are noisier, so consider placing them in a space that is out of hearing range.
- Hygrometers - Digital hygrometers provide a solid estimate rather than an exact measurement of humidity. They give you an indication of the level of room humidity and the best units will automatically shut off when the room reaches your desired humidity level. Remember, too much humidity can lead to mold, dust mites and the growth of bacteria.
- White Dust - None of our humidifiers produce mineral dust, which can be potentially harmful to your health. If you are using a water softener, you should not use an ultrasonic unless you use it with distilled water.
- Hard Water - Using hard water from a well will often require more-frequent filter changes.
- Maintenance Costs - Most have some maintenance costs associated with them. Expect to pay for annual filter and other replacement costs. Some units like the PowerPure or Pureguardian do not require filters. Not changing out the filter regularly you will find yourself throwing cheap humidifiers away after one season of use. This is why we only sell high-quality humidifiers that will last for years with daily use.
- Water Tank - Most are filled from the faucet. Ultimately the shape and size of the water tank determine which is easier to fit under the faucet. Often, we find it easier to fill units with larger tanks in the bathtub.
- Type - Ultrasonics are much quieter than cool mist. PowerPure, Boneco, Pureguardian and Stadler Form brands are all known to be exceptionally quiet.
How to maintain an air humidifier?
- Rinse our water tank regularly, to keep it clean. The easiest way to figure out whether you might be having a problem with your humidifier is to look for greenish scum or hard scale deposits within the 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 before you refill the tank with water. The best humidifiers come apart so you can give them a sanitizing wash in your dishwasher or rinse them out with vinegar and hot water. Diluted bleach or hydrogen peroxide are other good sanitizing agents.
- Distilled Water For the best results from ultrasonics, manufacturers recommend using distilled water. By doing so, you avoid all the problems of potentially hazardous minerals being dispersed into the air in the form of very fine particles. Tap water, bottled water, and well water have minerals in them, even if they are filtered.
- Storage - Always clean and dry your at the end of the humidification season. Do not store a dirty, wet unit, it will make the cleaning process harder when the unit is needed..