Last week, we talked about the pros and cons of warm mist humidifiers. This week, we’ll focus on the pros and cons of cool mist humidifiers, how they work, and their downsides.
Benefits of Cool Mist Humidifiers
Like warm mist humidifiers, cool mist humidifiers relieve dry skin, chapped lips, allergies, flu, and asthma symptoms by releasing moisture into the air. The extra moisture in the air rehydrates your skin, nasal passages, and respiratory system, relieving congestion, nosebleeds, and sore throats. It also loosens constricted airways and makes it easier to breathe. Dust and other allergens gets weighed down and falls out of the air, and in the humid air, cold and flu viruses can’t survive long enough infect you.
Unlike warm mist humidifiers, which heat vapor or boil water, cool mist humidifiers don’t heat the water before they release it, so they’re energy costs are pretty low.
Cool mist humidifiers also provide more options than warm mist humidifiers. They generating moisture using evaporation, acoustic vaporization, or impeller discs.
Impeller discs are rapidly rotating discs used to increase the pressure and flow of fluids. When they’re inserted into a humidifiers water tank, they increase the pressure on the water until it breaks up into fine mist particles and push them out into the air.
Acoustic vaporization is used in ultrasonic humidifiers like the Luma Comfort HC12B Ultrasonic Humidifier, the Luma Comfort HC12W Ultrasonic Humidifier, and the Luma Comfort HCW10B Ultrasonic Humidifier. Vibrating discs, known as transducers, create ultrasonic waves, which compress the water as they travel through it. The waves increase the water’s internal pressure until it exceeds the vapor pressure of the surrounding air. Then it vaporizes and gets forced out into the air by the force of the compression waves.
Evaporative humidifiers blow air through a moistened filter using a fan. The heat and movement of the air causes the water to evaporate and the water vapor gets blown it out into the room.
Impeller and ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers are very quiet, even quieter than warm mist humidifiers. Luma Comfort ultrasonic humidifiers operate at 35 dB, barely above a whisper. Evaporative humidifiers are a little noisier because of their fans, but their white noise normally fades into the background after a few minutes of operation.
Downsides of Cool Mist Humidifiers
The biggest downside of cool mist humidifiers is the amount of time you have to spend cleaning them. Because they don’t use heating elements to sterilize the water, they’re much more likely to develop mold or bacteria. The water has to be changed at least once a day and the water tank has to be cleaned at least once a week. (Read How to Clean a Cool Mist Humidifier to learn more.)
Scale is also a problem. It’s caused by hard water minerals getting released by when water droplets are broken up with impellers or ultrasonic transducers. They’re forced out along with the mist particles and create a layer of white dust over your furniture and countertops. The only way to prevent it is to only use distilled water in your humidifier or a demineralization cartridge, which traps hard water minerals before they can get vaporized. Demineralization cartridges aren’t expensive ( Luma Comfort cool mist humidifiers all come with them installed), but they have to be replaced about once a year, when the minerals they eventually clog them up.
Got any questions about the pros and cons of Luma Cool Mist Humidifiers? Leave them in the comments!