Humidifier Buying Guide
Dry climates, winter air, and artificial heat can lead to dry skin and irritated nasal and sinus
membranes. Humidifiers restore moisture to dry
sinus and nasal membranes by adding
moisture to the air. By restoring humidity to healthy levels you not only can alleviate symptoms from dry air like
eczema and irritation, but also promote a healthier environment for the wood and other things in your home that can be
damaged by air that is too dry. Among all humidifiers there is a basic division. You can choose between any number of
warm mist humidifiers and cool mist humidifiers. Some units, dual mist humidifiers, are capable of producing both
temperature mists. If you are concerned with how the
water is released into the air, our line-up also includes ultrasonic humidifiers,
and evaporative humidifiers. We have recently added several new brands and models to our humidifier offering including Air-O-Swiss,
Pure Guardian, Enviracaire, Vornado, and Swizz Fred.
How Humidifiers Work
As far as the method of getting moisture back into the air, there are four basic technologies.
The most simple of these is found in evaporative humidifiers which add moisture to the air using a fan that blows air over a wet wick.
The air collects the moisture and disperses it with a fan. Traditional evaporative
humidifiers are louder because of the fan, and if not cleaned properly,
could become breeding grounds for bacteria and mold. Regardless, they remain one of the simplest and most efficient ways to
put moisture back into the air in your home.
The second type of humidifier, warm mist humidifiers, boils the
water to kill germs before misting the
vapor into the air. Two humidifiers that operate in this way are the Enviracaire EWM-211D
and Swizz Fred Humidifiers.
In place of actually boiling the water, many
manufacturers have opted for a safer
approach by simply preheating the water
before turning into mist. While the moisture
isn't as warm as with models that truly boil
(water coming out is generally right around
100 degrees F.), it is safer for those with
small children in the home. A variety of
Air-O-Swiss humidifiers as well as the Pure Guardian Ultrasonic Humidifiers function in this
manner. Enviracaire germicidal humidifiers also use a UV light to kill germs. This creates a mist
that is 99.99% free of mold and bacteria. Other models use the natural antimicrobial properties of silver ions to protect against
microbe growth in the nebulizer and water tank. Regardless of the model you choose, each model that we offer has special features in
place to help reduce growth and spread of germs.
Impeller humidifiers use
constantly rotating discs to break the water into fine drops that enter the air. The rotating discs in the
Air-O-Swiss Air Washer also capture dust and other impurities in the air, essentially "washing the air."
Particles are charged as they enter the unit, so they will adhere to the rotating discs. An included Hydro Stick helps keep your water clean. The rotating
discs are dishwasher safe, making clean-up easy.
Ultrasonic humidifiers use
high-frequency vibrations to break water into micro-fine droplets then spray this cool fog of mist into the air.
The ultrasonic vibrations kill most microbes by disrupting and destroying their cell walls. The
Air-O-Swiss 7135 comes with a
demineralization cartridge that prevents white mineral dust buildup. Some humidifiers create a white dust when minerals are present in the
water. If you encounter this problem, try using distilled water to help prevent build-up of minerals. You can choose warm or cool mist with
most Air-O-Swiss home humidifiers, including the
Air-O-Swiss U650 Humidifier, as well
as most Pure Guardian Humidifiers. The
Vornado Ultrasonic Humidifier
is also an excellent choice, because of its large water tank and its powerful fan that distributes moisture throughout the room.
Cool Mist vs. Warm Mist
humidifier choice is largely a matter of personal preference. As
Dr. Henry Bernstein, confirms, "I do not have a preference between a warm or cool mist humidifier since
both accomplish the same thing - getting moisture into the air." Warm mist can be more soothing for stuffy noses and sinuses.
If young children are around, the hot water and steam can be dangerous. Warm mist makes the air feel warmer and holds onto heat better, and
warm mist humidifiers
can actually lower your utility bill during
the winter by changing the heat index. Pure Guardian and Air-O-Swiss offer humidifiers that have both warm and cool
mist options. Warm or cool mist, both will do the job. Below are a list of criteria and options to consider before purchasing a humidifier.
Each person will have different needs, and by recognizing what you need most from a humidifier you can more easily select the unit
that is right for you.
||Germ Protection: Is the water boiled to kill germs? Does it have another antimicrobial measure like a UV light? If not, your air will not only be humidified, but it may also be contaminated with bacteria and mold.
Enviracaire humidifiers feature a dual germicidal process that uses UV light and heat to kill microorganisms.
||Ease of Use: We recommend that you clean all humidifiers regularly to prevent mold growth. Some are easier to
clean than others. The Air-O-Swiss 2055A Air Washer gets first place in this category thanks to its dishwasher-safe
discs. The Air-O-Swiss 7144 is easy to clean and fits well into any room decor.|
||Operating Range: It's important to make sure that the humidifier can cover the area of the room where it will be placed.
Enviracaire humidifiers cover up to 400 square feet, while the Air-O-Swiss units cover up to 600-650 square feet.
Water Capacity: How often will you have to refill the
tank? The Enviracaire EWM-211D Warm Mist Humidifier holds 2
gallons of water.
The Air-O-Swiss 7135 holds 2 gallons, while the newest
model from Pure Guardian, the
Pure Guardian H4500 has a
total capacity of nearly 2 and a half gallons.
Both the digital and manual large Pure Guardian Ultrasonic Humidifiers have a 1.4 gallon tanks. The
conveniently sized Pure Guardian Table Top Humidifier has a portable .23 gallon
||Operating Costs: How much will it cost to run the humidifier? Generally, impeller humidifiers and ultrasonic humidifiers use less energy. You should also
consider costs of replacement parts, such as UV light bulbs, demineralization cartridges, and Hydro Sticks. If you're going to purchase a new humidifier, you
can save money on shipping costs by purchasing several replacement parts with the initial order.|
||Noise Level: How loud will the humidifier be? Traditional evaporative humidifiers can be loud because of the fan, but
the Air-O-Swiss E2441 is
an extremely quiet evaporative humidifier. However, all of the warm mist, impeller, and ultrasonic humidifiers we carry are generally very quiet.
||Humidistat Options: The Air-O-Swiss 7135 Ultrasonic Humidifier comes with
a built-in hygrometer (humidity gauge), so that you can monitor the relative humidity level along with a humidistat so that you can control the humidity
level. You can also purchase a humidity gauge
separately. The Pure Guardian Ultrasonic Digital Humidifier
features a digital clock, timer settings, and a night light.
||Manufacturer's Reputation: A manufacturer's reputation and the experiences of past customers deserve consideration in your decision. Certain
manufacturers and products are highly respected in the industry for a reason - and the same goes for products which have garnered less respect.
Air-O-Swiss humidifiers are made by Plaston, Europe's leading supplier of plastic packaging systems
and air treatment systems.
||Warranty: The Enviracaire EWM-211D
humidifier comes with a 3-year
warranty. All Air-O-Swiss
humidifiers come with a 3-year
warranty. The Pure Guardian
H3010, Table Top Humidifiers,
and all other Pure Guardian models
have a 3-year warranty. Vornado Humidifiers each come
with a 5-year limited warranty.
humidifiers or shop all of our humidifiers.