July 3, 2014

What are the differences between warm mist and cool mist humidifiers?

Learn about the differences between warm mist and cool mist humidifiers. Then seek the recommendation of an HVAC professional to determine which type of humidifier should be used in your home.

Warm Mist Humidifiers

The distilled steam coming from warm mist humidifiers comes from the boiled water inside the unit. The steam is similar to a mild warm water spray rather than vapor and is more intense near the humidifier. The unit is normally utilized for medications that require steam. It also features a small section to store medication. Warm mist humidifiers produce minimal noise and come in small mobile units. However, it will be necessary to frequently clean the unit since the warm water in the unit promotes the growth of bacteria. A number of warm mist humidifiers may be risky to handle due to the presence of the heating element and hot water.

Cool Mist Humidifiers

Although cool mist humidifiers are noisier than the warm mist units, some units used in bedrooms feature a silent mode. The two basic kinds of cool mist humidifiers are the evaporative unit and the ultrasonic unit. The units move water along a wick before vapor is expelled. The vapor cools down the room and facilitates breathing. The units have different sizes and designs, including units installed on the heating duct of the house, which circulate vapors using the heating system of the house. There are also some large-size floor console units and small-sized units for a room. It is necessary to clean the units frequently to minimize bacterial growth. A number of models feature filters that have to be changed regularly to optimize performance.

Knowing The Proper Humidity Level

Whenever homeowners experience irritated and dry skin or chapped lips, then the house is too dry. However, using a hygrometer is the best method for checking humidity since it can accurately measure the level of humidity inside the house. Humidity levels from 35 to 50 percent are considered healthy since moisture issues may emerge with higher humidity levels. Around 40 percent of humidity should be maintained inside a room that stores musical instruments to avoid damaging the finish. Mold spores, dust mites, and bacteria may grow when humidity goes beyond 50 percent. When a hygrometer is not available for use, the presence of molds or steam and condensation on the windows should be considered as a good indicator of high humidity.

Are Some Humidifiers Safer Compared To Other Humidifiers?

The presence of hot water inside the tank of warm mist humidifiers along with the heating element makes it less safe than cool mist humidifiers. Due to this, homeowners may take cool mist humidifiers into consideration when small children are in the house. However, the two kinds of humidifiers can be considered safe to use if all the necessary precautionary measures are observed to reduce the risk of accidents.

Call Scott-Lee Heating Company at (314) 200-0788.

Photo credit: Savara via Flickr