|Having a humidifier in your home is essential in order to maintain environmental control of allergens. Dry air may bring on or exacerbate eczema, may lead to itchy or inflamed mucous membranes, and can dry out allergens which makes them more easily airborne and more readily inhaled.
Considering the following five questions before investing in a humidifier will ensure that your purchase is not only suited to your specific needs, but that it will run as efficiently and safely as possible.
Should I get a warm mist or cool mist humidifier?
If you cannot decide between warm mist and cool mist humidification, there are a few units that allow you the option, including most Air O Swiss and Germ Guardian humidifier models. Enjoy the best of both worlds with these units that enable you to select either warm mist or cool mist humidification.
What type of humidifier should I get?
There are a few different ways that humidifiers propel moist air into your home environment. These various functions translate to different maintenance requirements for you. Before purchasing a unit, it's good to know how your unit works so that you understand how best to care for it and keep it working at peak performance. Here's a brief breakdown of humidifier types:
What germicidal measures should my humidifier have?
If not properly maintained, humidifiers can actually cause more problems than they solve. Standing water can breed bacteria and mold which is then spewed into the air and inhaled. Thus, humidifiers need to be emptied and cleaned consistently. But improper cleaning in itself can also pose health hazards. When harsh chemicals such as bleach are used to clean the unit, the chemicals can become airborne and inhaled.
Due to the possible risk and the high-maintenance nature of humidifiers, manufacturers have taken measures to provide germicidal protection. (Note: These measures do not replace the need for regular maintenance.)
Some germ fighting options include:
How many humidifying units will you purchase?
Given the many benefits of home humidification - keeping your home's paint, wood, and furniture from drying out; offering natural relief from cold and flu symptoms; soothing irritated sinuses; and lowering heating costs by making the air feel warmer - you may decide to purchase multiple units.
For instance, if you have young children, you know first-hand how many colds they pick up during the colder months - and you know how miserable it is for them (and you) to get up in the middle of the night to tend to stuffy noses. Furthermore, given the FDA's recommendation not to give children under two years of age cough medicine or other over-the-counter cold medication, natural relief is more important than ever. Humidifiers placed in children's rooms offer significant nap-time and night-time relief.
The same goes for sick adults. Enjoy the benefits of night-time relief and the good night's sleep you require through humidification in the bedroom. Some units even feature a medicine cup for adding vaporizing cold medications.
If you're interested in cutting down on heating bills, you may consider humidifying units for other areas of your home as well. Adding moisture to the air - up to a certain level - helps the air feel warmer and lessens the need to turn that thermostat up.
What capacity should my humidifier have?
Deciding what type of capacity you want your unit to have is not as daunting as, say, deciding the same for an air purifier. Basically, the larger the capacity of your humidifier, the less often you will have to refill it. However, this must be balanced against considerations such as how easy or hard the unit is to refill, how much space you have for your unit, and how heavy the unit will be if you have to carry it to the bathroom or kitchen to refill. Many of our largest capacity humidifiers hold almost two gallons of water and can literally run for days without needing to be refilled. Our smallest unit, the portable Germ Guardian Table Top Humidifier holds slightly less than a quarter of a gallon.
For more help choosing the right humidifier, see our Humidifier Buying Guide or call one of our experienced and friendly customer service representatives at 1-800-339-7123.