How to choose a humidifier, what are the humidifiers and which one suits you? We understand.
In addition to the method of air humidification, important criteria are the area of the room for which the device is designed, the volume of the tank and the rate of water flow (for example, 350 ml per hour). From the last two depends on the work time without topping up the water. It is good if the humidifier can work for at least 10-12 hours: you can sleep on a day off and have time to go to work and return from it on weekdays. As a rule, there is enough for a day a tank of water of 6-7 liters, for 12 hours - 3.5-4 liters.
Useful features - regardless of the type of humidifier
- Light indicator need topping up water. To notice such a signal is much easier than to determine the level of water by eye, there is more, that not all devices have transparent containers.
- Protection against working without water and auto shut-off when overturning. You can forget to pour water, the device can be accidentally touched and overturned by a child or pet - all this should be safe for your home, child, cat or dog.
- Indicator need to clean the device. Capacity, nozzles, filters - all this needs periodic cleaning.
- Not a function, but important: the design should be easy to carry. It is inconvenient to go "on the water" with a tank in an embrace, there must be a handle.
- If the humidifier can rotate around its axis and distribute steam in different directions, it is convenient.
- The presence of night mode. Especially important for devices with natural humidification, in which the fan makes noise, and for devices with bright light indicators and displays that do not glow in the night mode.
- Locking with a lid tightly closed, improper assembly, etc.
Easy to carry water tank
Nice, but optional features
Air cleaning. If filters are installed in the ultrasonic humidifier, then the manufacturer usually declares this function, if the filters are anti-bacterial, it says loudly. But still a humidifier is not an air cleaner, its action on air purification can only be auxiliary. In case of serious health problems - allergies, asthma - it is the air cleaner that is recommended, possibly with a moisture function. Filters need to be changed - an additional item of expenditure. All this does not apply to devices with the traditional method of humidification - there filters are an essential part of the design, and if they are anti-bacterial, all the better.
Aromatization of air. It is usually recommended to pour the flavoring into a special capsule through which the air is taken. You should not use flavors (as a rule, they have an oil base) in devices without such a thing, pouring them just into the water - spoil the device.
Ionization. It is believed that the enrichment of air with negatively charged particles - ions that have the property to attract and retain moisture, contributes to a better moistening of the air. Optimally, if ionization is disabled.
Backlight water. In this case, the humidifier can work as a night lamp. It is important that the backlight is turned off if necessary.
Types of humidifiers
Ultrasonic Air Humidifiers
This is perhaps the most common type of humidifiers now. The principle of their operation is as follows: the emitter (piezoceramic membrane) of the floor is vibrated with an ultrasonic frequency by the action of an alternating current. Water poured into the container, under the influence of ultrasonic vibrations on the surface is divided into tiny particles, which the fan pushes out. The steam produced by the ultrasonic humidifier is cold, sometimes referred to as water mist. Some models have a warm steam function. Ultrasonic humidifiers can be very simple and inexpensive, which does not prevent them from effectively humidifying the air, but can have various functions: for example, a steam separator (sometimes called English style: splitter) - a nozzle that divides the steam flow into two parts and directs them in different directions; ability to select the level of moisture; steam sterilization function. The built-in hygrometer is almost normal, when a certain level of humidity in the room is reached, the humidifier goes into sleep mode, and turns on again when it is necessary to “hit the park”. Expensive models are equipped with electronic displays, which display all the parameters of work. Note that it is better to additionally have a normal individual hygrometer - the built-in ones are not always sufficiently accurate.
Built-in hygrometer and thermometer
An interesting and sometimes necessary thing is a portable ultrasonic humidifier, in which there is no water tank, but there is a “plug” with a thread, into which a regular plastic bottle with water is screwed. You can even use a small one, just 0.5 liters. Such a device can be taken with you to work and humidify the air near the workplace, you can use it on a journey, take it to a dacha, etc.
Portable Ultrasonic Humidifier
Pluses ultrasonic humidifier:
- Noiseless (well, or very quiet operation: a steam ejection fan has very little power).
- The ability to regulate and control the level of humidity - built-in hygrometer. Comfortable for a person is the level of 40-50%. It is better if smooth adjustment of the humidity level is provided.
- Efficiency. If you do not use features such as "warm steam" or "steam sterilization", the energy consumption is very modest.
Disadvantages of an ultrasonic humidifier:
- If there is no hygrometer and hygrostat, then the ultrasonic humidifier can “overdo” and create an excess of moisture.
- In most models, you can use only purified demineralized water. That is, you must either buy bottled or use a filter for the purification of tap water. When using water with a high level of hardness, the following occurs: the salts contained in the sprayed smallest particles of water are deposited on furniture, on the floor and objects. It is almost impossible to clear the surface of white bloom. Yes, manufacturers often equip ultrasonic humidifiers with water softening cartridges, but, first, they need to be changed - these are costs, and second, they do not always filter water qualitatively. With natural and steam moistening this does not happen: in the first case, water is not sprayed into the room, in the second - salt is deposited on the heating elements, such as, for example, in kettles and washing machines.
- A small area of the room: it is difficult to find an ultrasonic humidifier, calculated, for example, on 40-50 m².
Traditional air humidifiers
Traditional, or humidifier with natural moisture, is a device with a fairly simple device. The air is blown by the fan through a wet filter (it is constantly soaked with water) and comes out moist. Some manufacturers use filters with antibacterial compositions in traditional humidifiers (for traditional humidifiers, this is a plus, improves hygiene), as well as ionizers for saturating the air with negatively charged ions that attract moisture.
The benefits of a natural moisturizer:
- The steam is not hot, which means the device is safe enough.
- The air cannot "over-humidify" because there is no forced generation of steam. Air takes as much as it can at a steady-state temperature.
- Low energy consumption with high coverage: such humidifiers, consuming 18-20 W, can work in rooms with an area of 40-50 m². By the way, if you see such a large coverage area in the characteristics, this does not mean that the device is too large for an ordinary room of 15-18 m² (see par. 2).
- On the surfaces (furniture, for example) there is no white bloom, which often happens when using an ultrasonic humidifier.
- Does not require the use of filtered purified water.
Disadvantages of a natural moisturizer:
- Not very high performance compared with ultrasonic and steam methods: if you need to increase the humidity level as quickly as possible, such a device is not suitable. Many buyers who bought such a device and have a hygrometer complain that the moisture level rises by 2-3 percent in a few days, but this is normal: the process is slow, and not only the air is moistened, but also the walls, furniture, carpets, etc. . You can speed up the process by placing the device next to a heating radiator: the evaporation will be more intense.
- The fan can be quite noisy, but in general it depends on the model. We advise you to pay attention to the noise level, and it is better to “listen” to the device in the store, because the humidifier works around the clock, and it is often bought just for bedrooms and children's rooms to create comfortable conditions for sleep.
- It is necessary to change the filters periodically. This is not only an additional expense item, it is a moral burden: you need to understand and remember that it is impossible to exceed the lifetime of the filter - it is dangerous for health. As a rule, the filter is designed for 2-3 months. In addition, it may happen that the manufacturer will stop producing filters for your model.
The name says it all: the water in the tank of such a device is heated, the steam comes out and humidifies the air. Water is heated with the help of either heating elements or electrodes, but the meaning is the same: it will be hot. And wet. And fast!
Pluses steam humidifier:
- Fast intensive air moistening. Steam humidifiers, working at full power, are able to raise the level of humidity in the room much faster than the ultrasonic "colleagues", not to mention the traditional ones. But this is a “double-edged sword”: they can also over-wet, and thoroughly. Therefore, the presence of a hygrostat in a steam humidifier, a device that turns off the device when air reaches a certain level of humidity, is strictly necessary, otherwise it will suit you in the bath.
- Contrary to common misconception - fairly high security. Outgoing steam is not hot, but warm, you can not burn yourself. Only the first portion is dangerous - as a rule, there are all sorts of warnings on the case or the lid of the device.
- Hygenicity: most microorganisms are neutralized by temperature treatment, the container is constantly sterilized, no filters - collectors of bacteria - no. And that means you don’t need to change them.
- Efficiency does not depend on the ambient temperature, like a traditional humidifier.
- There is no white residue on furniture and other surfaces, as when using an ultrasonic humidifier with untreated water.
Cons steam humidifier:
- There is no white residue, but condensate is quite possible, especially if the device is overdone, and the air temperature in the room is not very high.
- The possibility of exceeding the comfortable level of humidity has already been mentioned, but once again we will say. It's in steam humidifiers without a hygrostat. You are afraid to overwet - use a hygrometer, and it is better, as already mentioned, a separate, rather than built-in device.
- Scale forms on the heating elements: you will have to periodically remove it.
- Large water consumption - 0.6-0.7 l per hour, so you need to choose either a device with a large tank, or accept that the time it works without topping up the water is small. Accordingly, the power consumption is also decent - up to 400-500 watts.
- When the water boils, the device makes a noise.
Air cleaning - how is it different from a humidifier?
Air washing is a hybrid of a traditional humidifier and air cleaner, the device is more functional, powerful (when compared with a conventional traditional humidifier) and often more noisy. Sink works as a traditional humidifier, without heating and ultrasound. Inside the case is placed a drum with plastic discs or rollers, as a rule, having a special antibacterial coating. The drum rotates, its discs and rollers are about a third in the water. The fan forces air from the room into the wash housing, where it is cleaned with this drum: dust and other mechanical air pollution are trapped by rollers and discs and immediately washed away, appearing at the bottom of the device in the pan. Moist cleaned air comes out.
Very often, no filters are installed at all in the air washers, it is fair to believe that it is enough to wash off dust, pollen and all contaminants with water. Then the washing does not require consumables, but still you need to daily remove dirty water from the pan and refill fresh. Increasingly, modern air washes are supplied with ionizers: ions have an antibacterial effect, remove static electricity (especially important for rooms where there are a lot of equipment) and help saturate the air with moisture. Of the minuses, you can call the need for hygienic maintenance of the device and noise: yet the fan works and the drum is spinning.