Decision: What types of humidifiers are there. Which one is right for you?There are four different types of humidifiers:
– Steam humidifier – humidifier with ultrasound – evaporator – atomizer
Each is different in nature and therefore has different advantages and disadvantages. To find the right humidifier for you, we present here the individual variants and their functions in more detail.
How does a steam humidifier work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Electric steam humidifiers release the steam directly into the room air. Water vaporization can be produced by two different methods.
electrode principle: In the electrode principle, grid-shaped metal electrodes are immersed in the water tank, current flows directly through the water and evaporates it. Resistance steam humidifier: In the resistance steam humidifier, the water is heated according to the immersion heater principle. The steam quantity control is carried out by the water dosage with the heating control.
The advantages lie mainly in the high temperatures with which the water is heated. Bacteria and germs are reliably killed.
Due to the high humidification capacity steam humidifiers are also suitable for large rooms. However, this humidification performance can also become a disadvantage if the power is not properly regulated.
– Bacteria are killed – Also suitable for large rooms – Easy maintenance and cleaning
– Mold infestation in case of inaccurate regulation – Risk of scalding for children and pets – High power consumption – Risk of calcification in the water tank
In this case, there is a threat of excessive humidity, which can lead to mold growth, as well as damage to wallpaper and furniture. Furthermore, steam humidifiers should be operated with distilled water, otherwise the water tank can calcify very quickly.
The evaporators can also be dangerous for children and pets, as the hot steam can cause burns. Therefore, the device should be placed out of reach of children.
From an ecological point of view, steam humidifiers are not recommended, as they have an extremely high power consumption compared to other humidifiers.
How does a humidifier with ultrasound work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
As the name suggests, the ultrasonic humidifier works with an ultrasonic generator, which produces tones with a frequency of 1.8 megahertz. These sounds make the water vibrate, but they are not audible to the human ear.
Also, the human eye can not see the waves. The resulting drops are so small that they form a fine mist, which is released into the room air.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are usually so small that they can be hidden inconspicuously and space-saving in a well or in the sink. In addition, the resulting mist can be spectacularly staged with LED lights. Another advantage is the low power consumption. The barely perceptible operating noise.
– Devices are small and space-saving – Visual highlights – Low power consumption – Very quiet
– Increased risk of bacteria and viruses – Lowering of room temperature – Condensed water precipitation can damage furniture – Higher maintenance costs
A disadvantage is the increased release of bacteria and viruses. These are usually killed by ultrasound, but in case of lack of maintenance and cleaning they settle in the device and are distributed in the room. This is not only possible for allergy sufferers. Asthmatics be alarming. To limit the spread of germs, the humidifier must be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
If the device is not operated with distilled water, it must be decalcified regularly. During prolonged use, especially in the winter months, the cold mist can lower the temperature of the room and thus increase the need for heating.
Another disadvantage of the so-called atomizers is the high condensation around the device. Therefore, the device should be kept away from furniture. Wallpaper should be kept away.
How does an evaporator work – what are its advantages and disadvantages??
In an evaporator, cold or slightly heated water is distributed over a large area, which evaporates when room air passes by. Usually a plastic container is attached to a radiator for this purpose.
In the lower end of the water tank is a filter mat, which soaks up water. The evaporation is favored by the natural air turbulences of the radiator. The filter mat must be replaced regularly to avoid bacteria and mold, which can lead to contamination of the air in the room and thus to health problems.
– Low operating costs – no risk of over-humidification
– Filter mat must be replaced regularly – Increased risk of mold, bacteria, and viruses
The low operating costs are definitely an advantage. Apart from the occasional addition of water and the replacement of the filter mats, there are no other costs. Over-humidification can also be virtually ruled out, as evaporation naturally decreases at high humidity levels.
How does an atomizer work and what are its advantages and disadvantages??
Atomizers nebulize the water with the help of ultrasound or prere pumps with fine nozzles. The resulting small water droplets are released into the room air by a fan.
– Low energy consumption – work well with essential oils
– Possible lowering of the room temperature – Condensate precipitation can damage furniture and wallpaper – Risk of germs and bacteria – High maintenance effort
The advantages here are also low energy consumption. The disadvantages include the possible lowering of the room temperature due to the cool mist, condensate precipitation in the vicinity of the device and the resulting damage to furniture and wallpaper, as well as the health risk of germs and bacteria. Therefore, even atomizers should be cleaned and maintained regularly.
Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate humidifiers
In the following, we would like to show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate humidifiers. This should help you to decide whether a certain device is suitable for you or not.
The following characteristics are suitable as criteria:
– Technology used – Weight / dimensions – Size of water tank – Maximum running time – Volume – Ease of cleaning – Power level – Maximum room size
In the following you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them. This makes it easier to evaluate the different humidifiers.
The various technologies such as steam air, ultrasound, evaporator and evaporator, we have already gone into more detail above. However, we would like to reiterate that this is one of the most important criteria, as it has a significant impact on the result.
It is best to familiarize yourself once again with the advantages and disadvantages of the individual technologies and consider which of the points are most important for your humidifier.
First of all, you should think about how sensitive your environment is. If you want to use the device, for example, in a household with asthmatics or allergy sufferers, a steam humidifier is much more suitable, because it kills 99.9 percent of bacteria through the hot water.
Ultrasonic devices, on the other hand, are convincing due to their space-saving design, low power consumption and low operating noise.
To help you estimate approximately how much energy the various devices consume, we've put together a table here.
The energy consumption depends on the maximum output volume. At lower power levels, energy consumption can also be significantly lower than these values.
Depending on how often you want to use the humidifier and how large the room to be humidified is, a larger or smaller device should be preferred. The most space-saving are the evaporators and ultrasonic devices. Steam humidifiers, on the other hand, take up the most space.
Steam humidifiers are usually ca. 40 cm in size, while ultrasonic humidifiers with approx. 20 cm are significantly smaller and can, for example, simply be installed in the sink or disguised as an indoor fountain. Also, you should consider where you want to place the device and whether the device will fit in the intended place.
Size of water tank
The size of the water tank is also of great importance, as it determines, for example, the size of the room to be humidified and how long the humidifier can run without needing to be refilled.
The Beurer devices have a large water tank of approx. The Philips units have small water reservoirs and therefore need to be refilled more often, which is especially annoying if you want to use the unit all night.
Maximum running time
The duration of use also plays a major role in choosing the right humidifier. Here is the current humidity in the apartment to consider, as many users want to run the humidifier all night long.
With small water tanks, the runtime is naturally limited, which is why the usage time drops to five to six hours, which would be a disadvantage if you want the device to run all night long. Therefore, it is best to choose a device that has a maximum running time of ca. Can do 10 hours and turns itself off when the water tank is empty.
Since humidifiers are usually located in frequently used rooms such as bedrooms and children's rooms, the side noise of the devices may be very important, especially if you want to use the device at night.
The ultrasonic units and evaporators are the clear winners here, as they run very quietly and can therefore be placed in the children's room without disturbing the child's sleep. The steam humidifiers are somewhat louder and should therefore be placed in rooms that are not used for sleeping.
Ease of cleaning
The more often you want to use the humidifier, the more often you need to clean the device to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses and to keep the humidifier free of limescale.
Depending on the device, cleaning can be easier or more complicated. While the flow of the evaporator only needs to be renewed and the water changed regularly, it is necessary to disinfect and decalcify steam air devices and ultrasonic humidifiers on a regular basis.
If in doubt, it is of course wiser to buy a humidifier for a larger room.
Trivia: Facts worth knowing about humidifiers
Last but not least, let's deal with a few questions that may arise after buying your humidifier. We tell you here, for example, whether a humidifier helps with a cold and how long you can run a humidifier. Are humidifiers for babies. Suitable for children?Moms and dads know this: babies and small children are very susceptible to colds. Therefore humidifiers are quite advisable also for the children's room, if the room air is too dry.
Especially children struggle with respiratory infections in winter. Humidifiers can help here. Since in winter heating and fireplaces run permanently and ventilation times are shortened, the indoor climate deteriorates and germs and bacteria spread in the air.
A humidifier improves the indoor climate, because in a humid environment harmful particles and germs in the air are bound and sink to the ground. Steam humidifiers are best, as the high temperatures used to produce the steam prevent bacteria and germs from developing.
However, here it is especially important to clean the humidifier regularly, so that it does not release germs formed in it into the air. These can be more harmful to the child's health than a respiratory illness caused by a cold.
Does a humidifier help with colds?
It is often said that a humidifier is good for a cold. Moist mucous membranes fine cilia keep pathogens from entering our body. Dry heating air has exactly the opposite effect. Therefore, a humidifier should be used primarily as a preventive measure.
If the cold has broken out, even a humidifier can't do anything about it. However, it contributes to faster regeneration. Humidity helps against scratching in the throat and irritation of the cough. This can make the cold feel less bad and pass more quickly.
What oil is used for humidifiers?
For humidifiers, water-soluble oils are recommended to avoid sticking of the device.
To create an even more pleasant room climate, it is recommended to add a few drops of scented oil to the water of the humidifier. Already after a few minutes the oil is distributed in the room. Leaves a pleasant scent.
Experts recommend essential oils because synthetic substances often pose a health problem. In addition, essential oils have some positive side effects:
Bergamot oilThe essential oil of bergamot leaves a light scent in your room, reminiscent of citrus fruits. This essential oil has a calming effect on our psyche, but it also has a mood-lifting effect. Chamomile oilChamomile has been considered a medicinal plant since the Middle Ages. The scent has an anxiety-relieving and relaxing effect. In addition, it is also mood-lifting, making it a perfect scent after a long day's work. Pine needle oil: Pine needle oil has quite an aromatic scent and is reminiscent of a cold bath. This oil works particularly well against germs, but also expectorant. Thus it is beneficial for the entire respiratory tract. Lavender oilThe smell of lavender has a calming effect on the whole body, so it is perfect for use just before going to bed. Peppermint oilThe special feature of peppermint oil is the menthol it contains. This is responsible for the typical freshness. Peppermint oil has an invigorating and refreshing effect on us humans. It is also said that the smell increases the ability to concentrate.
But even with essential oils, asthmatics and allergy sufferers in particular should be careful, as fragrances in the air can exacerbate problems. Headaches, coughing and circulatory problems are signs of intolerance. The use of fragrances should then be stopped immediately.
How long can I run a humidifier?
The question of “how long to run a humidifier” is actually quite simple to answer: until the humidity is at the recommended 45 to 50 percent. It is recommended to turn on the device (in the bedroom) during the day, because the humidity rises at night through the air you breathe.
During the heating season, it can take a few hours for the humidifier to achieve a noticeable effect, because the humidity is then often only 30 percent – the ideal climate for viruses and bacteria that feel particularly at home on dry mucous membranes.
Can I build a humidifier myself?
Those who enjoy DIY and tinkering have the opportunity to build their own humidifier. This requires only a little skill. We have found a video for you, which gives you a construction manual.
However, you can not compare the homemade version with electric devices, because the regulation of humidification is too imprecise and hygiene can not be guaranteed. However, with an ultrasonic nebulizer, a plastic tube, a plastic container and a small fan, you can find various instructions on the Internet to improve your own indoor climate with little money.
How can I increase the humidity of the air in a natural way?
Those who do not want to spend money to increase the humidity can, for example, hang damp towels over the heater.
To increase the humidity of the air permanently, there are some tips. For example, plants such as real papyrus can provide relief. However, you need at least three plants per room to make a noticeable difference.
Shock ventilation ensures that the humidity can not escape and thus for a healthy indoor climate. If you leave the bathroom door open after showering or bathing, you make the best use of the moisture created to increase the humidity in the other rooms. Aquariums and indoor fountains can also provide relief.