Advantages of using a humidifier during the colder season
When the cold months come around, the air can become dry. When this is combined with your internal heating systems, it can quickly suck all the moisture out of your skin. Therefore, there are multiple clear benefits of using a humidifier in the winter.
Stops viruses – In dry air, viruses can roam freely, but when they make contact with water, this can make them drop to the ground. Using a humidifier for winter will give you a safer environment.
Prevents snoring – That extra moisture in the air can help to soothe the throat and lubricate it, allowing for less chance of snoring.
Protects dry skin – Skin can very quickly feel horrible and dry in colder air, especially when the heating is on. A humidifier will help to protect you against that.
Prevents wooden furniture damages – Dry wood can crack and shrivel when there is no moisture in the air; this also becomes more of a fire risk. Wood needs the right level of moisture to be at its best.
Prevents static – No-one likes too much static electricity as not only is it annoying, but also it can mess up your laundry and hair. A great humidifier will prevent this.
How to choose the best humidifier for winter?
Choosing the best humidifier for winter comes down to what features are going to be most important to you. It could be capacity, portability or even the ability to add essential oils. Everyone is different, and it’s about being able to judge what is right for you. As we go through each section, it’s a great idea to note down how important it is to your needs. By the time you get to the end, you’ll have a clear picture of how to get the best humidifier for winter.
Evaporative vs. ultrasonic technology
Evaporative technology is the traditional type, and this is the method of simply heating water and letting it evaporate into the air. These humidifiers are usually cheaper and noisier, but they still can show excellent results.
Ultrasonic humidifiers, like the Miroco MI-AH001 Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, are extremely energy-efficient and are much cleaner as they don’t use a heating source, instead, they use ultrasonic vibrations to vaporize the water. This makes them very quiet, and also there are no hot surfaces, so these models are quite safe. However, they tend to be more expensive.
You can find different models that produce cold or warm mist. Cool mist humidifiers are more common nowadays as they require no heating and put the mist out at room temperature. They usually use less electricity and are safer to touch. As you’ll be using them in a warm room, you don’t need to worry about the ‘cool’ aspect making you cold in winter. An excellent example here is the Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier.
Warm mist humidifiers, like the Vicks V745A, use a heating element that will kill any bacteria before it’s released. The warm mist will hardly make a difference to room temperature as the water vapor will very quickly cool.
It’s important to know how big the room is where you want to put your humidifier. The coverage area is worked out by calculating the square feet of your room. This is easily done by multiplying the length of the room by the width. If you have an oddly shaped room, then you can break this down into segments. Once you have this figure, then you’ll be able to know which model of humidifier you need.
If you have a large room or want to use your humidifier in multiple locations, you should consider getting one with a bigger coverage area. It could also be that you don’t want to carry it around much, so purchasing more than one humidifier can be a great idea.
The Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Humidifier is an example of a model with a great coverage area.
Water reservoir capacity
One annoying aspect of humidifiers is that you will need to refill them constantly. Getting a model with a large capacity would allow you to reduce this need and enjoy a longer runtime. There are a few things to consider, however.
A higher capacity means that it takes up more space, and it also means it would be very heavy once filled. Also, if you only have limited use for your humidifier, this could mean that the water will sit in there for longer periods. While a large capacity may seem like a better solution, it’s not always the right way to go.
Runtime per one fill
The biggest impact on runtime is going to be the capacity of the humidifier. It’s worth noting that some models have a high maximum output, which means a smaller runtime but a lot more moisture into the water.
It’s worth noting that many companies will show a huge runtime, but this figure will often be the runtime on the lowest setting. It’s a good idea to have a further look beyond the headline figures to see exactly how long it’ll run on your desired setting. For example, the Miroco MI-AH001 Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is going to work up to 60 hours without needing to be refilled.
Size, weight, and portability
Are you going to be moving your humidifier around different rooms or keeping it in one place? If it’s the latter, then weight and portability aren’t going to be an issue. As soon as you have it plugged in, you can enjoy the benefit it provides.
If you do plan on moving it, then this becomes more of an issue with dimensions and weight that needs to be suitable for you. You’ll also notice that some humidifiers come with handles, whereas others don’t. As they are quite an awkward shape, a handle can make your life a whole lot easier. The Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is a great example of a highly portable option.
As you’ve seen, the design of these units can change dramatically from one model to the next. While a lot of this will be down to personal preference, there are a few design features to look out for.
One of these is an LED display, which makes controlling the settings very easy with great visual feedback. This can also be aided by having a remote control. Less expensive models often simply have a dial, which is good enough for most people.
Also, you have to see whether it has a filter or not and what type of filter it is. A cartridge filter, for example, can be highly effective but does add an ongoing maintenance cost. Other filters, such as ceramic, are permanent.
Cleaning is also a factor with humidifiers as minerals and grime can build up over time. A lot of these models come with cleaning brushes, which can be very useful.
If you have your humidifier in the living room of a busy household, then the noise isn’t going to be an issue. A common place where people put their humidifiers is in a bedroom, and, therefore, you have to think about a noiseless unit.
Ultrasonic humidifiers, such as the Levoit LV600HH, are known for being extremely quiet and at most only produce a low hum. Some are quieter than others, so make sure you’re getting one with a low volume level if you’ll be sleeping right near it. Evaporative humidifiers make more noise, so it can disrupt you when you are trying to fall asleep.
Nobody wants to have to watch their humidifier like a hawk to make sure the water doesn’t run out. You also don’t want to be worrying about it when you are trying to get to sleep. Because of this, having an automatic shut-off feature is hugely helpful.
Many models will be able to detect when the water runs out and will turn off automatically. Another safety aspect to look out for is ensuring the humidifier doesn’t get too hot. This is only consideration with evaporative and warm mist models.
As well as these key features, there are also some extra things to look out for.
Nightlight – This is perfect for giving your room a soothing light at night for children or anyone who doesn’t like sleeping in the pitch black.
Timer – Do you need your humidifier to wake up at a specific time every day? A programmable timer will be your best friend, and it can also help to save you plenty of energy.
Nozzle – Pointing the nozzle in just one direction can mean spots in your room where the water vapor won’t get. A 360-degree rotating nozzle will give you consistent coverage.
Additional trays – If you love aromatherapy or essential oil, then some models come with trays where you’re going to be able to add this.
Thankfully, getting a high-quality humidifier won’t set you back too much. The Levoit LV600HH is a premium option at just under $100 for those who want brilliant performance while also having the perks of a brilliant control system.
Just below that figure, there are the likes of Air Innovations MH-701BA and the Honeywell HCM350W at around $75 that have immense style while also having a very high level of quality.
You’ll find a lot of great humidifiers at around $50. The best value for money can be seen around the $40 mark as they are cheaper, but they will still have impressive qualities. The Vicks V745A is a great example of this.