Monday, October 27, 2008

Humidifiers - A Short Review

I always felt the climate in the winter as being dryer than in the summer. And the ventilated warm air coming through the heating system makes it even dryer. I use the humidifiers more often in the winter that I do in the summer. The National Institutes of Health recommends the use of humidifiers to help relieve congestion from the flu, common cold, and sinus infections. However, the humidifiers can also help alleviate the symptoms of dry and itchy skin, dry eyes, eczema, dry nasal passages, cracked lips and nosebleeds due to dry air, allergies or even asthma. I made a search thinking that maybe I need to change the humidifiers I have and although I decided that what I already have works very well for my family I will still make a short review of what I found.
Either you chose a portable or a whole-house humidifier, the main difference comes truly when choosing between a warm air and a cool air humidifier.

Warm Air Humidifiers
Cool Air Humidifiers
The water is boiled before it enters the air.
Advantages: the boiling kills the bacteria and the mold from the water.
Disadvantages: they present a burn risk and fire hazard issues.
Don’t boil the water (they just vaporize it),
Advantages: they are more
energy efficient;
they don’t have the burn risk and fire hazard issues
like the warm mist models so they can safely be used around children.
Disadvantages: they make more noise;
sometimes require changing the filter.
Warm mist
- creates steam that cools before leaving the machine. This may reduce the risk of burns.
Vaporizer/Steam - the water is boiled and sent out as a steam.

Ultrasonic humidifiers- use the ultrasonic sound waves to vibrate the water and produce the moisture. They are probably the most efficient ones.
Impeller humidifiers - use high-speed rotating disk to produce the moisture.
Evaporative humidifiers - use a fan to blow air through a wet wick. It is the most noisy because of the sound of the fan.

Based on the advantages and disadvantages of each combined with your needs, it is probably a good idea to get an humidifier. There are many descriptions coming with the humidifiers like "germ free operation", "Cleans as it Humidifies", etc, but I think they are not worth the money unless someone has respiratory problems and the doctor recommended it. The prices vary considerably based on such characteristics. The main thing is to clean it often to impede the forming of mold and the spreading of bacteria.

In my house we use cool air ultrasonic personal humidifier in each bedroom and it works perfect; however, at night I turn off the air heating system and I use electric oil heater which does not make the air so dry as the air heating system does.

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