Parched indoor air is a common problem in our homes, especially during winter when thermostats heat away from all the moisture. Living in dry air is very uncomfortable and irritating and often leads to various health complications, such as sinus infections, asthma flare-ups, colds, and other respiratory illnesses.
Our bodies naturally require moisture from the air to function properly. Without proper humid conditions, we experience cracked lips, itchy skin, irritated throats, and bloody noses as a result of dry air. Having the right humidifier is therefore very important. However, the buck does not stop with just owning a humidifier. There are factors to consider when looking for the right humidifier for a large room.
Types of Humidifier
Humidifiers are classified based on the mechanism they use to propel moisture into the air. They include:
Warm Mist Humidifiers boil water and release it as warm mist. They are very soothing during the cold season, due to the warmth produced.
Evaporative Cool Humidifiers produce cool mist by blowing air over a wet wick.
Ultrasonic Humidifiers use high-frequency vibrations that split water to tiny mist droplets that are then released into the air. They are the most efficient with the highest mist output, low power usage, and low noise levels.
Impeller Humidifiers are also referred to as air purifiers. They have rotating damp discs that trap particulates and airborne impurities from the water, before releasing cool mist into the air.
How do I select a humidifier for a large room?
What most people do not know is that humidifiers are designed for different room sizes. Therefore, having the wrong humidifier could potentially lead to less moisture in a large room or excessive moisture levels in a small room.
Humidifiers are designed to cover spaces in square feet. It is therefore important to know the real measurements of your room to enable you to determine which humidifier will work for you. Any space measuring 500 sq. feet and above is considered a large room and you will need a humidifier with the highest mist output. Ultrasonic humidifiers produce the most mist and should be considered first. Alternatively, you may opt for evaporative models; they are second to ultrasonic humidifiers when it comes to mist output.
How do I regulate the amount of moisture in the room?
Many humidifiers have internally installed humidistats that keep track of the moisture levels in the room. Once a pre-set humidity level is reached, the humidifier will turn off automatically. It is also possible to work with a humidifier with no humidistat. Just have a small hygrometer that will monitor the moisture level in the room. You can then manually switch off the humidifier once the desired humidity level is reached.
Should I be concerned with the noise output of the humidifier?
You would expect that large units would produce more noise compared to smaller units. However, this is not always the case. The level of noise produced is not reliant on the size of the humidifier, but rather on the model.
Therefore, if you fancy a serene and quiet environment, then go for ultrasonic models. They are the quietest models, producing a low humming sound while in operation, but they are also more expensive. Warm mist humidifiers also produce less noise. However, most of them are not designed for large rooms. The only alternative you have left are the evaporative cool models. Unfortunately, they are quite noisy, and you should only consider them if you do not mind a bit of noise in the room.
Health Concerns I Should be worried about?
The water in the humidifier may become a breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria and viruses. You should ensure that the water is drained off regularly, especially if you plan on storing it away for a long time. Furthermore, you should look for a unit with a descaling filter. With a filter, the humidifier will use hard water with ease. It will remove all the dust particles and minerals that may lead to limescale buildup in the unit. Also, you should replace the filter regularly to prevent you from inhaling contaminated mist.
What about maintenance?
Humidifiers require regular maintenance for them to function properly. The good thing is that all humidifiers do not require much in terms of maintenance. The most important thing to note is that the water tank has to be cleaned and emptied to prevent bacteria and mold build up.
Before using it, make sure you drain the tank, clean it, and dry it. You may use vinegar to get rid of residues and a bleaching solution to disinfect it. You should also monitor the outlets to ensure the mist flows out smoothly. If you go for the cool mist models, then ensure the wick filter is replaced periodically. Ensure you go through the manufacturer’s manual to know all the maintenance requirements.