All About How Your Humidifier Works
Or a stuffy nose followed by countless sneezes?
These are just a couple of the reasons you may need a humidifier.
What many people do not realize is that many common household problems and health issues are caused by the humidity levels in your home.
Not properly managing those levels can cause problems for not only you but for your belongings as well. For example, dry skin, sinus complications, congestion, coughing, sore throats and furniture wear and tear can be caused when the air in your home is overly dry.
A humidifier focuses on re-creating the environment you dreamed of. Whether you are in the market to buy a humidifier or simply doing research on humidifiers, this article will give you more insight on what a humidifier is, the different types and what it has to offer.
What is a humidifier?
To know what a humidifier is, you must first understand what humidity is.
- Humidity is the total amount of water vapor that is stored in the air. Being a key weather indicator, humidity can be dangerous if it is not at an average percentage level.
- For extra care and protection, you may want to purchase a hygrometer. A hygrometer is designed to measure the humidity levels in your home or building.
- Normal humidity levels in your home should be around 30-50 percent. Anything above that range may cause excessive moisture issues.
- Such problems include mold, dust and bacteria. Being that these problems can affect your health, it is very important to maintain proper humidity levels in your home. That is where a humidifier comes in.
- A humidifier is a common household appliance that raises moisture levels throughout the house, or in a particular room. You may be lucky to find a humidifier that is equipped with an inner hygrometer. This will allow your humidifier to regularly check your humidity level and automatically adjust the humidifier settings regularly.
- People who use humidifiers are individuals who tend to have cold-related symptoms, strong allergies and severe cases of asthma. A humidifier is one of the best solutions for improving air quality in your home and adding moisture to exceedingly dry air -all the while creating a comfortable, healthy and safe environment for you.
How humidifiers work
Even with our rapid expansion of technology, all humidifiers operate in different ways but they all have the same purpose - to produce healthier air.
Humidifiers deliver great results by balancing out the dry air in your home with moisture.
- This all begins with the water tap line that is connected to a current water source for the humidifier.
- While the water inlet valve permits the humidifier to receive water flow, the orifice controls the amount of water flow to the valve for economical purposes.
- The water is then distributed through the water feed tube and into the evaporator pad, which holds the water while it is being evaporated to produce humidified air.
- From the evaporator pad, the water migrates to the drain pan. This leads to an invisible mist that overpowers your indoor air.
- Once all of the dry air is bombarded with a moist, denser air, there will be a dynamic change in the atmosphere of your home.
Once again, not all humidifiers operate this way, but it does give you an understanding of how humidifiers rely on a water source to create moisture.
Parts of a humidifier
A humidifier has many functions but if one of its components were to be removed or stop working, the humidifier would not be able to function.
You can fully understand how a humidifier works once you understand how its parts come together to release moisture. The main components of a humidifier is what makes this popular appliance produce the outstanding results in your home.
Starting with the basic parts of a humidifier:
- Water Control Valve (Float): Allows the humidifier to receive water flow
- Fan: The fan assists the evaporation of the water by blowing air into the wick. (Not in all humidifiers)
- Reservoir: The reservoir holds the water, which is needed to produce evaporation.
These are the basic parts of a humidifier that must all work together, in order for the humidifier itself to function properly. Other components that are needed for a humidifier to operate, but are not in all types, are:
- Wick (Filter)
- Evaporator Pad
- Heating Element
How does a humidifier differ from a dehumidifier?
You may have purchased a humidifier because your humidity levels were low and, without properly monitoring its settings, you were left with excess moisture in your air. That is where the dehumidifier balances out dry and extremely moist air.
Functioning like an air conditioner and decreasing humidity levels, dehumidifiers give off a cooling effect that leaves your home with a cleaner and crisp air.
It focuses on getting rid of that muggy feeling you get on rainy and foggy days. If you've ever experienced frizzy hair caused from humid air, then you have felt high levels of humidity. That is the sole purpose of a dehumidifier - to eliminate that unwanted moist from your home.
Types of Humidifiers
There are different kinds of humidifiers to fit your needs. That is why it is important to research different types before purchasing one. The two most common types of humidifiers are: Evaporative and Ultrasonic.
An evaporative humidifier works the same as a general humidifier, only the evaporative humidifier works more efficiently on eliminating humidity.
Evaporative humidifiers' construction can vary.
- Most are made with wick filters and others are made without filters that can simple release out a water vapor.
- This kind of humidifier is equipped with a fan that blows water directly through the belt or filter.
- Once the air forces through the filter or belt, it immediately evaporates the water that is stored in there.
- It can be hard to evaporate water from the filter or belt in homes with high humidity levels.
Evaporative humidifiers can be connected to the heating and cooling structure of your home or building.
In this case it would operate the same as a normal evaporative humidifier- with air blowing from the duct that is attached to the air conditioner or furnace, water streaming from the building's pipes travel down to the metal screen or mesh producing moisture.
Unlike an evaporative humidifier, an ultrasonic humidifier has a more quiet sound.
- An ultrasonic humidifier creates cool fog and mist.
- This happens when its diaphragm frequently vibrates at an ultrasonic pace creating water drops.
- Although water cannot be completely pure, using distilled water can help reduce minerals and materials found in the water.
- To prevent any bacteria from being dispersed into the air, ultrasonic humidifiers should be cleaned on a regular basis.
- For the ultimate removal of buildup, try using citric acid or vinegar.
A portable humidifier is a convenient, personal appliance that has nearly all of the same functions as a console humidifier.
- This compact appliance delivers you moisture whenever and wherever you need it.
- Although a portable humidifier has the same qualities as a traditional humidifier, some of its capabilities of coverage are limited.
- It can cover areas such as living area spaces and bedrooms.
- Because it is relatively small in size, you can easily set the humidifier on a counter space in the room where you would like the air purified.
Like discussed above, portable humidifiers can be equipped with either an evaporative or ultrasonic humidification structure, and also come with a cool or warm mist vaporizer.
The average portable humidifier can hold 1 liter to 5 gallons, and even more in some. This will allow the humidifier to run for at least 8 hours before refilling. Depending on the size, the humidifier may be able to run longer. For example, a 2 gallon can run for at least 12 hours.
- Are you looking to improve the humidity in one room or multiple areas in your house?
- Do you want a cool or warm mist humidifier?
- What kind of budget are you in?
- At the current moment, does your home feel dry or muggy?
Humidifiers can do many things in your home or building.
Whether you have dry and scaly skin, a sore throat, severe asthma or sinus complications, a humidifier can clear your air and better your health.
As the most common time to use a humidifier is during the winter, it can be used all year long. It is very important to monitor your humidity levels because excessive moisture and over-drying can lead to serious issues with your health.
You now have more details on what a humidifier is and how it works. Whether you will need an evaporative, ultrasonic and or portable humidifier, it should be solely based on your current circumstances such as cost, efficiency, size and space of room.