Humidifier Buying Guide
Types of Humidifiers
Warm Mist Humidifier
Cool Mist Humidifier
Whole House Humidifiers
Humidifier Buying Tips:
• Ultrasonic humidifiers are quieter than warm and cool mist models
• Lower-maintenance humidifiers have easy-to-replace wicks and removable parts for easier filling and cleaning
• If you’re using a humidifier for medical reasons, consult your physician for the type best-suited to your condition
• Since humid air feels warmer, a furnace humidifier or multiple console units can allow you to lower the thermostat
• If your home has hard water, look for cool mist humidifiers or models with filters to trap minerals and deposits
Stay better informed and in control of moisture levels with a humidistat. Most humidifiers have an internal gauge that measures a room’s humidity level, but a humidistat will display that information to you. That way, you can experiment with different settings to find the humidity level that’s best for you.
Timers let you come home to a properly humidified room without leaving the machine on all day. Just set the timer to when you want the humidifier to turn on and it will start automatically. Humidifiers with timers are perfect for working households, where the family is gone for most of the day, so your machine is on only when it’s needed.
Transparent Reservoir +
With a slightly transparent water reservoir, you can easily see when the water levels are low and refill as required. This helps prevent your humidifier from running without water, which can damage the device, and keep your home more consistently humidified.
Running Time +
Running time dictates how long your humidifier can run on a single tank of water. Larger models generally have a longer running time because they feature a larger reservoir. Look for long running times so you don’t have to constantly refill your humidifier, but bear in mind that this means a bigger and heavier machine.
Speed Control +
Customize the moisture levels and noise with speed control. Humidifiers with this feature let you control how aggressively the machine operates, so you can get a room to the desired moisture level quickly and turn it down when you want some peace and quiet.
Multifunctional Humidifiers +
While most humidifiers are dedicated to keeping your home at the right humidity, some models can purify the air, act as traditional fans, and even dehumidify if need be. Look for multifunctional humidifiers if you live in an area with varying humidity levels, or if you want your humidifier to provide all-season comfort.
Filters prevent unwanted bacteria and minerals from being redistributed in your home. Filterless models are becoming more common and require regular cleanings instead of filter replacement.
Medication Cup +
While humidifiers are most often used when the climate is too dry, they can also help relieve symptoms when you’re sick. Medication cups are a special reservoir for inhalants that can help alleviate sore throats, itchy eyes, and congestion.
Some humidifiers come with a digital display so you have more information and can stay in control of moisture levels, water levels, and more. Look for an easy-to-read display with intuitive controls for easy operation. Many models also come with indicator lights that tell you when they need refilled or serviced.
Top-Fill Tank +
Most humidifiers have a removable reservoir you take to the sink to refill, but top-fill tanks bypass this step entirely and let you refill them with your own water container. Choose a top-fill model if your humidifier will be located some distance from a sink or other water source.
Night Light +
If you’re child needs a humidifier and also needs a little nighttime security, look for a model with a night light. This will help your child to feel safer and sleep easier with the light’s gentle glow.
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Humidifier Maintenance Tips:
- Thoroughly clean your humidifier between uses to prevent bacterial and mineral build up
- Always use fresh or distilled water in your humidifier: stagnant water can breed harmful microbes
- Keep warm mist humidifiers away from windows in the winter to reduce window condensation
- Extend the life of your humidifiers by turning them off in the summer, when the air is generally more humid anyway
- Expect to replace your humidifier’s filter annually, depending on how often it’s used
- Avoid putting salt or other substances not designed for humidifiers into the reservoir