Several friends have recently asked me to help them choose a humidifier in their home. I was able to offer the following experience:
1. Before using a humidifier, always use a hygrometer (also known as a humidity gauge) to learn exactly what the relative humidity is in the area you want to humidify. Our company offers a variety from the standard AcuRite you see in the picture, and a full size, digital version and a mini hygrometer and a mold alert model. If it’s accurate, it doesn’t matter which model you go with because it will be worth every penny; hang it on the wall so you are constantly reminded. We have one in our home in our nursery and we use it daily. You only need to humidify the air if the relative humidity in the room is less than 40 percent. If it is over 50 percent, do not run a humidifier (excess moisture can create mold issues).
2. Placement of the humidifier in the room is very important. Humidifiers need to be elevated off the ground. Otherwise, the area directly around the humidifier can become to moist. This can create several problems, slippery wood floors that can cause falls or mold / mildew if carpeting is directly below. Our solution to this problem is to place the humidifier on a small table about two feet off the ground. We put a towel directly under the humidifier to protect the table.
3. With regard to where you place it, here’s another tip on using a humidifier. Avoid putting near a vent. The air coming out of the vent is warm and dry, drier than the rest of the air in the room. By placing the humidifier near this source of dry air, and built-in humidity gauge likely to read a lower relative humidity than anywhere else in the room. Why? Because the vent is a constant source of warm, dry air. Centrally located is best, if possible.
4. It goes without saying that the humidifier should be cleaned regularly. The one we use, the Air-O-Swiss AOS7135 Ultrasonic Humidifier, lets us know when it needs to be cleaned.
5. In my experience, all humidifiers are a little cumbersome to fill. The one we use is no exception. The reservoir has to be removed and turned upside down. The tank is too big to fit under our sink so we fill it in the bathtub. Be patient; the gain of having a little one sleep all the way through the night is well worth the trouble.