Humidifier is a necessary appliance in certain climates. Any place that has a low relative humidity will be more comfortable if there is a humidifier in the room. You may choose to have a standalone humidifier. Most modern heating systems have a humidifier inside. You may have a whole duct system connected to a humidifier installed centrally somewhere or you may have portable humidifiers. There are different types of humidifiers and each has its share of pros and cons. Then there are the general humidifier pros and cons regardless of the model, brand or type you choose. Let us discuss the general humidifier pros and cons before we get into the types.
What is a Humidifier?
Humidifier adds moisture to the air inside your room. As a result, you don’t have dry air or air with very low relative humidity. This makes the indoor ambiance more comfortable. Let us check the advantages and disadvantages in detail.
List of Pros of Humidifier
1. Health Benefits
Humidifier is a solution to the problems caused and facilitated by dry air. Bloody noses, dry sinuses and cracked lips are some of the problems caused and facilitate dry air. A humidifier will make it more comfortable for people having a cold. It can reduce symptoms of asthma and allergies. If you are allergic to many allergens and if you have asthma, then you should consult your doctor before installing a humidifier.
2. Longevity of Furniture
The right level of humidity or moisture content in the air inside your home or any property is always more desirable for all kinds of fixtures. From the chairs to the hardwood, the tiles to the appliances, every fixture in your home will last longer and also perform better when you have the ideal humidity. One must remember though that not all devices require the same moisture levels. Very dry environments are not good for any fixture nor are environments with very high humidity.
List of Cons of Humidifier
1. Tedious Maintenance
Humidifiers need to be maintained regularly. They must be refilled from time to time. They should be clean and in impeccable working condition all the time. Modern families are perennially stressed for time, especially if everyone is busy with work or study. The maintenance can be very demanding for those who don’t have much time or the inclination to put in the effort.
2. The Condensation Problem
A humidifier can lead to condensation if it is not in impeccable working order or if the settings chosen are wrong. Such a humidifier will facilitate growth of bacteria, mold and dust mites. The microorganisms will not only be a threat to your hygiene but also make symptoms of asthma much worse. Millions of people including kids and the elderly are allergic to these microorganisms.
3. Health Concerns
A humidifier is always at the risk of facilitating growth of fungi and bacteria. The water tank and the humidifier as a whole have moist surfaces and if these areas are infested by microorganisms then they can easily multiply. Given the fact that these microorganisms will then be airborne and spread easily within the room, infect people quickly since the place is confined and perhaps sealed entirely with only the heating, cooling and ventilation system working as the transit for fresh air. Some humidifiers, like the ultrasonic models, disperse white dust. This is formed because of the mineral deposits and different impurities found naturally in water. But this is avoidable if you use distilled water. If you are using a warm mist humidifier that actually boils water to generate moisture in the form of steam, there is a risk of getting burned or scalded if the steam is too hot.
Types of Humidifiers and Their Pros and Cons
Cool mist humidifiers can be cleaned easily, there is no major risk of burns, medical inhalants can be added to the system which makes it nice for people having pulmonary or respiratory problems and the models are energy efficient. The cool mist humidifiers are easier to maintain and more affordable but they can easily facilitate bacterial growth and contamination, accumulation of mineral dust and they are noisy.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are energy efficient, they don’t generate any noise, there is very little to no risk of burns, these are ideal for kids and easy to maintenance due to simple cleanup. But ultrasonic humidifiers are also facilitators of bacterial growth and contamination. You may have the mineral dust problem as well. They are more expensive than other types.
Evaporative humidifiers have little or no risk of burns, they are affordable, very simple to use, can be used in treating asthma and other allergies, the maintenance is low and you can easily clean it. This type is noisy and has the mineral dust as well as the bacterial contamination issue.
Warm mist humidifiers don’t have the bacterial growth and contamination issues or mineral dust problem like the other types. They operate quietly but are neither energy efficient nor easy to maintain. These are not ideal for children.