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Choosing a Humidifier

There are several different types of humidifiers from which to choose that vary in size and method of humidification. All humidifiers add moisture to the air. Choosing which one is right for you is really a matter of personal preference.

Warm or Cool Mist






Warm mist humidifiers boil the water to emit a cooled steam, so room temperature may rise slightly.






Cool mist humidifiers use a fan to blow moisture into the room, which helps keep the room temperature stable.

Filter or Filter Free





Humidifiers that require a wicking filter produce invisible cool moisture that has been filtered. These wicking filters capture minerals from the water, helping to reduce white dust. The filters may need to be replaced more frequently in areas with hard water. Generally, filters will last 30-60 days, depending on water quality and frequency of use.


Filter free humidifiers are convenient and don’t require replacement filters. However, whatever minerals are in the water may come out in the mist. This is known as white dust and is common in areas with hard water. Also, mineral build-up inside the humidifier may cause it to run less efficiently if it is not cleaned regularly.


Location and Room Size







Choose a location that will be easy to access water for filling. Think about the sound level and the brightness of lights if using in a bedroom. Select the right size humidifier for your room to avoid under or over-humidification.


Cleanability







Look for easy wipe surfaces, dishwasher safe parts and the ability to clean inside the tank. Here are some tips for keeping your humidifier clean.


Features






Think about what features are important to you. Power settings, humidistat and timer are some of the features you may find when looking for a humidifier. 
  • Power settings – These control the fan speed or moisture output. The higher the control, the faster the moisture enters the room. 
  • Humidistat – Regulates a set humidity level. With a humidistat, you set your desired humidity level. When the set level is reached, the humidifier turns off. When the room drops below the set level, it turns back on.
  • Timer – This can be set to turn the humidifier off after a set amount of time.


Sound Level







Sound is subjective. Some people like “white noise” and others prefer quiet operation. 
  • Filtered Cool Moisture - You may hear the fan blowing moisture off the filter. 
  • Filter Free Cool Mist - You may hear the sound of water dripping as is falls into the reservoir. You may also hear the hum of a small fan that directs mist into the air. 
  • Warm Mist – You may hear the sound of water gurgling as it boils.


Traditional or Top Fill







Traditional fill humidifiers have a removable water tank that can be carried to a sink or tub to refill. When the cap is secured, an air tight chamber is created in the tank. A plunger in the base of the humidifier releases the water into the reservoir and regulates the water level. Be sure to look for a humidifier that has a water tank with a wide opening so it is easy to fill and clean.






Top fill humidifiers are easy to fill at the humidifier with a pitcher. These humidifiers have a water reservoir or a removable water tank that is open on the top for refilling. Some models give you the option of filling either at the humidifier or carrying the tank to the sink. A pump or float system regulates the flow of the water and the water level. These humidifiers have large openings that are easy to fill and clean.