How to Choose a Humidifier
Dry air can lead to dry skin, nosebleeds, skin allergies and other uncomfortable side effects.
The best way to combat dry winter air in your home is to increase the humidity in your home through the use of a humidifier. But there’s more to choosing a humidifier than just purchasing the first one you see! Make sure your investment is worthwhile: consider these questions to ask yourself before choosing a humidifier.
How much space am I humidifying?
Before making your purchase, you should consider how much space you will need to humidify.
Do you need to increase the humidity in just one room, or throughout your entire home? If you need to add moisture to all the rooms in your home, a whole house humidifier may be your best option.
If, however, you want to increase the humidity in just one or a few rooms in your home – such as a living room or bedroom – then a room humidifier (also known as a tabletop humidifier) will get the job done.
What type of humidifier do I want?
Humidifiers come in two different varieties: warm mist and cool mist.
These function in slightly different ways, but they both work by adding moisture to the air, with the difference being in the temperature of the mist that they emit.
The choice between warm or cool mist comes down completely to personal preference, so choose whichever option is best for you and your family.
What features do I need?
After you’ve figured out whether you need a whole house humidifier or a portable one, you’ll want to decide what kind of features you want included with your new humidifier. Consider the following options:
- Humidistat: a humidistat is a device that helps to control the level of humidity – choosing a humidifier with a humidistat built into the device will help maintain the right humiditiy levels (between 30 to 50, but no more.)
- Timer: some tabletop humidifiers come equipped with a timer that allows you to program your device to turn on at a set time – these need to be dried thoroughly between each use, however, as the water in the tank can become a breeding ground for microbes.
- Automatic Shut down: a humidifier without an automatic shut down feature must be turned off manually every time the water runs out. If you forget to turn off your humidifier, the motor could end up burning out, which poses a fire hazard.
How much noise can I tolerate?
While every humidifier makes a certain amount of noise as its running, some humidifiers are much more noisy than others, so it’s wise to consider the noise factor when considering your purchase.
If you’re sensitive to noise, and loud appliances tend to disturb you, choose a humidifier that’s labelled as “quiet” and produces as little noise as possible.
How often do I want to do maintenance?
Like noise levels, maintenance is another factor that differs between humidifiers. Some are more high-maintenance and others, requiring you to fill them with water, rinse them out, and clean and change their filters regularly.
If you prefer a more low-maintenance option, choose a device that doesn’t require frequent cleaning and filter-changes.
What is my budget?
When calculating your budget, remember to factor in the operating and maintenance costs, as these differ from one device to the next. As a general rule, you should look for a device with the most capacity and features that falls within your maximum budget.