Your home is a haven for the whole family, including the pets. Purchase gadgets that enhance comfort and safeguard your health. One of the must-have accessories is a humidifier.
Numerous studies have proved that by moistening the dry indoor air, the humidifier helps cushion one from cracked lips, dry sinuses, and a bloody nose. It can also help to combat common respiratory conditions such as bronchitis.
To enjoy all these benefits, you need to purchase the best humidifier, either online or offline. Like any other purchase, there are several factors that you need to put into consideration to get value for money.
Here is a guide to help you choose the best humidifier.
Basic Operating Design
Humidifiers have four different and basic operating designs. Each has a unique mechanical system to increase the level of humidity in the air. Below is an overview of the operational designs.
- Impeller humidifier: It uses a rotating disc connected to a motor to supply water into the diffuser. The diffusers break down the water into minute droplets that are blown into the air.
- Evaporative humidifier: It has a fan that blows the air through a wet wick filter that in turn evaporates the water and distribute the moisture into the atmosphere in the form of mist. Unlike the impeller model, this one is quieter and cheaper.
- Steam vaporizer: It’s powered by electricity and converts water into steam vapor that is blown into the indoor air. This model is the best option if you have children as it’s safe and power-efficient.
- Ultrasonic humidifier: It is fitted with two ceramic plates set to vibrate at a specific ultrasonic frequency. The only downside is that during the vibration process, dust particles are blown into the air. Therefore, it can result in severe allergic reactions.
Size and Capacity
Different models have varying sizes and capacities. The best models have a compact design that makes them portable and user-friendly. One of the factors that determine the size is the water holding tank capacity. How much water will it blow into the indoor spaces per day or square footage?
The large models have tanks that can hold up to 6 gallons of water at a go and can blow moisture equivalent to 12 gallons of water per day. This kind of humidifier is ideal for large spaces, but if you intend to install it in one room, go for the smaller models.
Check the packaging or the user’s manual to know the capacity before purchasing to avoid inconveniences later. Even though a large tank makes the humidifier bigger, it is convenient to use as you don’t have to refill it frequently.
It is also important to note that if you install a large-capacity unit in a small room, condensation will occur on the inside surfaces of windows. This phenomenon will result in the growth of mildew, mold, and bacteria. Consult widely and check reviews posted online by other customers to make the right decision.
Like any other home appliance, it is recommendable to purchase a humidifier that is user-friendly. The conventional models have a simple control feature with three or two different fan speeds. Some also have a digital hygrometer to help you know the moisture level in the room’s atmosphere.
Choose one with a simple control feature, a digital hygrometer, and a humidistat. The two will enable you to achieve and maintain optimal moisture levels. Such digital controls will make the gadget more valuable and convenient to use as you won’t have to adjust the settings manually repeatedly.
Runtime refers to the amount of time that the humidifier can run without been refilled. The size of the water tank/reservoir is one of the primary factors that determine runtime. Ideally, a humidifier fitted with 2-gallon water can run for 12 hours or more on a low setting.
Note that runtime will drop significantly if you always run the unit on a high setting or if the indoor air is constantly dry.
Handling and Maintenance
The design of the humidifier has a direct impact on its handling and maintenance. Check if the water tank is easy to detach from the unit for cleaning or replacement purposes. The evaporative models have wick filters that need to be changed frequently- check if the filters are readily available in the market and affordable.
If they live in an area with a limited supply of soft water, ensure that you only refill the tank with distilled water. Otherwise, the hard water will result in accumulation of mineral deposits inside the humidifier, thereby compromising its efficiency and functionalism.
The traditional models are very noisy and inefficient compared to the new models. When shopping, look for one that does not produce a lot of noise, especially if you intend to use it in the bedroom. That said, the “silent models” are not entirely silent; most of them produce a faint sound that can soothe you to sleep after a long day.
Safety and Warranty
The best humidifier has safety features that protect you from injuries and promote the gadget’s longevity. One common safety feature is the digital hygrometer sensor that shuts off the unit when the desired air humidity level is achieved. There are also models with UV light feature that kills bacteria in the water before it’s distributed into the air in the form of mist.
Most manufacturers offer a one-year warranty for all replaceable parts. Check the warranty document to know which parts and maintenances are covered.
These seven tips will help you purchase the right humidifier. The many options in the market can make the selection process confusing, though. No need to worry; here is an informative buying guide by House Weather that reviews all the top-rated humidifiers for baby (what can be safer and more effective?) brands on the market to point you in the right direction. The information in each of the reviews was verified multiple times before publishing so its accurate.