Humidifiers come in two types:
- The evaporator type forces air over water inside the unit and blows the evaporated water into the house.
- The atomizer type of humidifier breaks up water droplets and produce a mist that then evaporates as it is distributed throughout the house. To break up water into a mist, some of these humidifiers use a rotating device, like a blade or brush. In the case of an ultrasonic humidifier, a disc that oscillates about 1.6 million times per second does the job. The water is mechanically agitated into fine droplets.
Humidifiers can be built in to your central heating system and use the furnace ducts to distribute moist air throughout your home. If you have a closed heating system, such as electric baseboards, a central humidifier can be installed with its own fan and duct for distribution of humidified air.
Portable humidifiers vary in size and efficiency. Tabletop units can usually handle only single rooms. Larger console models can be set up in central locations to distribute moisture to a large area of the house.
Health benefits: Humidifiers are recommended for people who live in areas where houses must be heated for a good portion of the year, or for those who live in very dry climates. Humidifiers will help those suffering from sore throats, headaches, nose bleeds, and coughs related to dry air. In general, a moist house is more comfortable than a dry one.
Disadvantages: Humidifiers are not easy to use. All units, portable as well as those installed in central heating systems, must be cleaned rigorously. Otherwise, they tend to become contaminated with mold and bacterial growth that may be blown through the house.
You should clean portable units every two weeks and central units once a month. Remove any residue, then let a solution of chlorine bleach sit in the basin for 30 minutes to kill any fungus or bacterial growth.
Ultrasound humidifiers tend to leave a fine white dust about your rooms, as the tiny droplets they dispense evaporate and leave behind calcium carbonate and other minerals present in the water. This may be prevented by using distilled (not de-ionized) water in the humidifier. Distilled water, however, is fairly expensive.
- The air in your home should range from 30 to 55 percent humidity.
- If the humidity is too high, mold and dust mites may thrive. Both are common causes of allergies. Mold also causes an unpleasant smell and can discolor surfaces.
If the humidity falls too low, on the other hand, the people in your home may suffer dry eyes and may develop throat and sinus irritations. The simplest way to measure humidity is with a gauge called a humidistat. These gauges are often packaged with thermometers. You can usually buy one in a hardware store for less than $10.
Source: Pure Matters