Humidifiers - Home, Office, Bedroom & Babies Room
A humidifier can help with problems caused by dry air such as dry skin, swollen nasal passages, sinus headaches, and asthma. We believe that humidifiers should be quiet, reliable, not disperse white dust, and the water tank be protected from breeding bacteria. We prefer humidifiers which have digital controls so that you can precisely set the desired humidity level. Choose ultrasonic humidifiers if quiet operation is the most important to you. Do not forget to take a portable humidifier with you while traveling, and they make a great gift. Air washer humidifiers are very durable and also give you some level of air purification of larger dust, pollen or pet hair. Cool mist evaporative humidifiers are best for hard water areas although they are slightly noisier.
All humidifiers need to be cleaned regularly and we carry a good selection of parts and accessories good for all brands that we carry.
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In our testing of home humidifiers, we have found that they usually cover an area less than is stated by the manufacturer, so buy a larger size humidifier than you think you need.
1. 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.
2. Humidity over 50% encourages dust mites, and even higher humidity levels encourage mold spore growth, so you will want to control the amount of moist air your humidifier puts out.
3. The level of humidity that you can achieve is dependent on the outdoor humidity, so extremely dry climates will require the use of more powerful humidifiers.
4. 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. So be warned.
5. 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 next to your bedroom.
6. Digital hygrometers in humidifiers are not very precise, but they do give you an indication of 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.
7. 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.
8. Ultrasonic humidifiers are much quieter than cool mists. Air O Swiss humidifiers, Pure Guardian and Stadler Form are exceptionally quiet.
9. Hard water presents a problem for all humidifiers, and you should expect the filters to need changing more often.
10. 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 Pure Guardian humidifiers that don’t have any filters. Otherwise, throw cheap humidifiers away after one season’s use. You do not want to run a dirty humidifier. We prefer to sell ones that will last for years and this explains why our brand selection is limited. We used to sell a number of other manufacturers brands of humidifiers but stopped doing so because of reliability problems.
11. Most humidifiers are filled from the faucet. However, but the shape of the tank determines which humidifier is easier to fit under the faucet or some humidifiers are a top fill design which we wish was more often available.
Humidifier Maintenance Tips
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Always clean and dry your humidifier at the end of the humidification season. Do not store a dirty humidifier.
6. 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.
7. 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.