Most households experience a drop in humidity during wintertime. Lower temperatures means less evaporation and prevents the air from holding moisture. Furnaces and forced air heating systems exacerbate the problem because they burn out any lingering water vapor as they circulate warm air. Dry skin, itchy eyes, and nasal and throat irritation are all symptoms of low humidity. It also increases risk of colds, causes paint and wallpaper to peel, and damages wood furniture and electronics.
Humidifiers and vaporizers alleviate these problems by adding moisture back into the air. Most people don’t understand the differences between humidifiers and vaporizers. They both dispense moisture, but in different ways.
There are two types of humidifiers: evaporative and ultrasonic. Evaporative humidifiers operate like evaporative coolers, such as the Luma Comfort EC110s or the Luma Comfort EC45S. They use fans to blow air through a wick filter made of absorbent paper, which sits at the base of the humidifier. The movement of the air evaporates the water in the wick and blows the moisture out into your home.
Ultrasonic humidifiers, like the Luma Comfort HC12B or the Luma Comfort HC12W, use a rapidly vibrating disc submerged in water to break up water into a fine mist. Both humidifiers are extremely quiet and use very little electricity, though they need to be cleaned regularly in order to prevent mold from developing in the water tanks. Look for ones with mineral absorption pads. They prevent minerals in the water from getting released into the air. It’s not harmful, but it creates a white dust that can settle on your furniture.
Also known as warm mist humidifiers, vaporizers boil water and release steam into the air. Because water releases heat as it condenses, vaporizers make the room feel warmer. They also sterilize the water as they heat it, so there’s little chance of bacterial or mold spore’s being releasing into the atmosphere and triggering asthma or respiratory illnesses. Some have even been designed to release steam medications that treat cold, flu, and asthma symptoms.
The major downside is that if the vaporizer is tipped over, the boiling water poses a risk of burns and scalds. Keep them away from children and be careful when handling them. The heating element may also be hot to the touch. Because they have to power a heating element, vaporizers also consume more electricity than humidifiers heating process uses more electricity than a humidifier, though not much more, and though they don’t use fans to distribute moisture, they gurgle and hiss as the water’s heated, which can be distracting.
Have any other questions about humidifiers vs. vaporizers? Leave a comment and let us know!