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Humidifier Shopping Guide



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Is your home’s air quality dry to the point that everything you touch gives you a spark of static electricity? Are you suffering from sinus headaches, itchy eyes, dry skin, or bouts of sneezing and coughing? If so, then your indoor air quality is lacking moisture.

While low outdoor humidity is rarely something the Wilmington area has to deal with in summer, your air conditioner is designed to remove excess moisture from the air inside the home. The only problem is, sometimes these systems work a little too well and the result is dry indoor air.

While this may not seem like a problem, the truth is air that’s too dry is just as troublesome as air that’s too moist. For the healthiest indoor environment, a balance must be met (between 25% to 55% relative humidity) and in some cases, a humidifier is just the thing that’s needed.

If you’re thinking about adding a humidifier to your home’s heating and air in Wilmington NC, here’s a short shopping guide to the pros and cons of today’s different humidifiers.

Warm Mist Humidifiers

A warm mist humidifier adds moisture to the air by boiling water to form steam. This type of humidifier is ultra-quiet because it doesn’t have a fan. Instead, the steam rises naturally. Because of this, any minerals that were in the water remain in the humidifier instead of being forced throughout the home’s interior. Some models even allow the option of adding things like essential oils to disperse soothing vapors into the room.

This type of humidifier, because it uses an electric element to boil the water, uses substantially more electricity than some other models. It is also not a whole-house solution as the steam is most effective when kept to a single room. The heating element also makes this type of humidifier dangerous a potential burn risk for small children if it gets toppled over.

Cool Mist Humidifiers

Cool mist humidifiers are among the most popular types of humidifiers on the market. They add moisture to the air by the natural process of evaporation, thus providing one of the cleanest forms of humidification. With this type of system, dry room air is forced through a wet sponge-like “wick” filter where it adds moisture to the room’s air. Once in the room, the moisture evaporates, adding humidity back to the environment.

Because of the fan, this type of humidifier can be louder than some others, but the fan’s power makes this type suitable for larger rooms or areas. The wick filter traps all of the impurities in the water, but in order to maintain its effectiveness, it does need to be replaced about every two months. If the filter isn’t changed regularly, it can start to develop bacteria and mold that will then have the potential to enter the room.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

If noise is a concern, then an ultrasonic humidifier might be for you because these models are the quietest on the market. These humidifiers use high frequency sound waves to vibrate a metal diaphragm at such a rate that it breaks water down into an ultra-fine vapor. The mist is then forced into the room by a very small, silent-running fan. Ultrasonic humidifiers are available in both cool and warm mist models and they don’t require filter replacements.

Because this model of humidifier uses such a small fan, they are best suited to small rooms. They can also leave a fine white dust on surfaces because any minerals in the water are expelled into the room via the mist. In order to avoid this problem, it is recommended to only use distilled water with an ultrasonic humidifier.

Additional Humidifier Considerations

Console Humidifiers – A console humidifier is also known as a “whole house” humidifier because it is large enough and powerful enough to add humidity throughout the entire home instead of just one room. These models have large water reservoirs for longer time spans between refills, they’re easy to clean, and they are excellent for very dry areas. They do, however, tend to have loud fans and they require a bacteria additive in order to prevent mold from growing inside of the unit.

UV Humidifiers – A UV humidifier uses ultraviolet light to help kill up to 99.9% of germs, viruses, and bacteria in the water. This makes it a popular choice for use in baby rooms or bedrooms of small children. Both warm mist and cool mist humidifiers are available with UC technology. Keep in mind that the UV bulb used in these systems to kill the germs will need to be replaced every few months with continuous usage and the bulb can be expensive.

Direct Pour-In Humidifiers – Most humidifiers feature reservoirs that need to be removed in order to be filled. But, a direct pour-in model allows you to add water to it directly, making it much easier to manage for seniors and people who suffer from arthritis, back injuries, or other conditions that make it difficult to lift heavy things. But, because this type of humidifier has the potential to sit with standing water for periods of time, the opportunity for bacteria and mold to form is increased.

Not Sure Which Humidifier to Add to Your Heating and Air Wilmington NC? Call Tidewater Today

If you want to ensure your indoor air quality is as clean and balanced as possible, call Tidewater Heating and Air Wilmington NC today. For more than 42 years, we have been a leading provider of HVAC service, installation, repair, and air duct cleaning in the Wilmington area and we can help you choose the right humidifier for your home.

Tidewater is fully licensed and insured and we’re committed to your satisfaction and comfort. Just call us today at 910-499-4755 for prompt and courteous service.