Humidifiers And Vaporizers

A humidifier or a vaporizer can help your home maintain a proper humidity level for your family's health and comfort.

A humidifier is a device that adds moisture to the air. They come in various models and sizes, each designed to meet particular needs. Below, the most common types of humidifiers are listed and explained.

· The standing floor unit--This type of humidifier is rather large and holds at least eight to twelve gallons of water. It is designed to humidify an entire floor or your whole house, depending on square footage. Though they can run upwards of a hundred dollars or more, they are convenient to own and even more convenient to operate. Most are designed with an inner tank that simply rolls to the faucet for extra-easy filling. These units emit cool, humidified air from an opening on the top.

· The ultrasonic humidifier--These units are small, portable, and are very popular. They emit a superfine mist that is produced by high-frequency ultrasonic waves radiating in the water.

· Table top, fan-type humidifier--Most of these units are also fairly small. They usually have a one and a half to three-gallon water reservoir. A fan draws air into the unit and through a wicking filter. When the air exits through the top, it is clean and moisture filled.

A vaporizer is similar to a humidifier in that it adds water to the air. However, the water is first boiled into steam and then discharged into the room.

WHICH ONE IS PREFERABLE TO THE OTHER?

That depends on whom you talk to. Many people prefer to have the large, standing floor models because of their convenience. They simply fill them up every few days and are rewarded with a home that is kept at the proper humidity level. Others like to place the ultrasonic units in their bedrooms because of their extremely quiet operation. Still, some people claim that the vaporizer is the most advantageous, because it boils the water before sending it into the air, harmful bacteria are killed and are less likely to cause a problem. Also, a warm-mist vaporizer serves as a heat source in the bedroom, since condensing steam releases heat.



ARE THERE ANY DISADVANTAGES TO USING ANY OF THESE PRODUCTS?

Mainly there are two.

· Bacterial contamination--This is more likely with humidifiers. Water that is left in the reservoir can turn stagnant. It can then become a very fertile ground for a host of germs and bacteria. No matter what type of unit you select, make sure you empty the water regularly and clean the tank thoroughly. There are specific products on the market designed for this very purpose. Consult your owner's manual for instructions.

· Risk of burns. This is only a problem with the steam vaporizer. If you choose this type, make sure that it is placed where a baby or young child can't reach it. Serious burns have resulted from accidental contact with vaporizers.

WHAT IS THE PROPER HUMIDITY LEVEL FOR MY HOME?

It varies slightly according to the season. In the winter, relative humidity levels should be kept between 30 and 50 percent. In the summer, a relative humidity level between 40 and 50 percent is acceptable.

HOW DOES THE RIGHT HUMIDITY LEVEL BENEFIT MY FAMILY`S HOME AND HEALTH?

Like many people, you've probably used a humidifier in a sick child's room. This is often the first line of defense when battling many respiratory illnesses. Babies in particular have extremely tiny air passages so they tend to become congested very easily. Adding moisture helps improve the flow of air through the nasal passages and makes it easier for infants to breathe.

The whole family can also benefit in this same manner. Air that is kept at a proper humidity level means less stuffiness, less dry noses, and skin that won't be as dry and chapped.

Another added benefit is less static electricity. Statically charged air is not only uncomfortable, (examples: flyaway hair, carpet shocks, clothes sticking together) but it's also bad for your electronic appliances. Computers, stereos and televisions have all been damaged from static electricity caused by overly dry air.

Whether you want to help treat a respiratory infection, or you're more concerned with your family's overall comfort, remember, choose your humidifier or vaporizer carefully. And once you've made your purchase, adhere to the cleaning instructions. A clean humidifier emits clean air for a healthier environment that your whole family will appreciate.

© High Speed Ventures 2011