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Whether you've just purchased one or you are considering it, you may be wondering whether humidifiers can cool the air in the room. Well, we've studied the topic in-depth and have an answer for you!
Humidifiers will not cool the air in a room. A cool-mist humidifier may make the room seem slightly cooler. However, as far as temperature change, the more humidity in the room, the warmer it feels. So humidifiers can actually make a room feel warmer.
Now you know that a humidifier will not cool the air in the room. However, that doesn't mean there are no other benefits to owning one! Keep reading as we go into further details about different types of humidifiers, what they do, and when you should use one!
What is a humidifier?
To better understand the benefits of a humidifier, you must first understand what a humidifier is. There are five common types of humidifiers. There are cool or warm mist humidifiers, evaporative vaporizers, and ultrasonic humidifiers. While they are all different, the main purpose is to add humidity to the air in the room.
Unfortunately, if your room is extremely warm and you were hoping the humidifier would help cool the air, you are out of luck. If your main reason for purchasing a humidifier was to cool the room, you're better off buying a fan or a portable ac unit. However, you may get some other benefits from purchasing a humidifier.
Why do I need a humidifier?
Humidifiers help prevent dry air. Dry air can cause a plethora of issues. Reducing the dryness of the air can help with dry skin problems and allergies. It can also help relieve symptoms of a cough. Humidifiers can also prevent the spread of germs. The moisture in the air slows the spread of germs and bacteria through the air.
Different Types of Humidifiers
As we said earlier, humidifiers can often be categorized into five different types. However, a broader classification would differentiate humidifiers as either warm mist or cool mist. This classification refers to the temperature of the moisture when it is released into the air.
What does a warm mist humidifier do?
Though the name is pretty self-explanatory, warm mist humidifiers operate by boiling water before releasing it into the air. Some benefits of a warm mist humidifier include a slight increase in the warmth of the air and can help soothe symptoms of cold and flu. They are generally quieter than their cool mist counterparts, which can have their own appeal to certain people.
However, it is important to note that these humidifiers can get pretty hot and should be kept out of the hands of children. Another con is that these humidifiers aren't suited for large spaces and can be more challenging to clean because they are susceptible to mineral build-up.
What does a vaporizer do?
Vaporizers are a type of warm mist humidifier. They also heat water and release steam into the room, which, in turn, increases the room's humidity levels. Vaporizers are not recommended for households with children or pets. This is because they can also become hot.
What does a cool humidifier do?
Cool mist humidifiers use a fan to release air into the room. Because they use a fan, cool mist humidifiers are louder than other humidifiers.
These types of humidifiers can help relieve symptoms of asthma and itchy skin. They are also more suitable for larger rooms or homes with small children. However, it has been found that cool mist humidifiers can release pathogens into the air, so it is imperative they are properly maintained, and distilled water is used within them.
What does an evaporative humidifier do?
Evaporative humidifiers take air from the room, make it moist by passing it through a basin, and then send it back out into the room using a fan. Evaporative humidifiers are considered a type of cool-mist humidifier. This is because it doesn't have a heating element to warm the water molecules.
What does an ultrasonic humidifier do?
Ultrasonic humidifiers can also be categorized as cool-mist humidifiers. Ultrasonic humidifiers operate by vibrating a plate that breaks down water molecules and releases them into the air. They are known for creating a very fine mist and are more energy-efficient than other humidifiers.
That being said, ultrasonic humidifiers require proper maintenance and regular cleaning to ensure you're not harming rather than helping your health. Build-up can occur on the plates, which can then be deposited into the air. Removing build-up and restoring the humidifier to a safe condition can be difficult.
Is it OK to use a humidifier in the summer?
You can use a humidifier in the summer. It will not harm you. There are several benefits to using one in the summer months, especially if the humidity in your home is low. Humidifiers help those who suffer from seasonal allergies, and during the warmer months especially, allergies can be at their peak. It'll also help keep your skin healthy and cool.
Be sure to keep track of the humidity in your room. Humidifiers make the room feel more comfortable when the air is dry. If the humidity is already high, you do not need to run a humidifier.
Should you use a humidifier in the winter?
Humidifiers are most useful in the winter months when dry air can wreak havoc on your skin and breathing passages while you sleep. So yes, you should use a humidifier in the winter. While a humidifier won't make the room feel cooler, the added humidity can leave you warmer, another bonus during the winter.
Using a humidifier doesn't only benefit the people in your home. There are also benefits for your furniture too. Dry air can be problematic for wood and can cause cracks to develop. Adding moisture to the air with your humidifier can help prevent this.
Do you run a humidifier all the time?
You can run a humidifier all the time. However, you don't have to. Whether you decide to run the humidifier all the time depends on the humidity levels in your home. If the humidity levels remain low throughout the year, it may be good to keep the humidifier on. However, if there are months where it increases, you may not need to leave the humidifier on.
If you decide to leave your humidifier running, there are some important steps you should take to keep it safe.
Monitor Humidity Levels
Don't allow the humidity in your home to become too high. While humidity can help prevent germs from spreading, it can also be a breeding ground for bacteria if it's too high. Some humidifiers will come with a built-in hygrometer. This will tell you the humidity level. You can also purchase a hygrometer device separately.
Cleaning The Humidifier & Changing The Water
If you plan on keeping the humidifier running, you will need to stay on top of cleaning it. Choose a time once or twice a week that you can devote to cleaning the humidifier and changing out the water. Be sure to use distilled water and not tap water. If you use tap water, you may end up dispersing unwanted bacteria into the air.
Where should I place my humidifier?
There are several places you can place a humidifier where it will be beneficial.
If you often wake up with a scratchy throat, keeping a cool-mist humidifier next to your bed can help alleviate that. However, if you are using a warm-mist humidifier, you should keep it further away to ensure it doesn't get knocked over.
You may also like to keep one in your office if you spend most of your time there. Find a location close to or on your desk. If your office is small, consider a portable or desktop humidifier that can sit safely on your desk. Some are even USB-powered.
We, adults, aren't the only ones who can have trouble sleeping because of dry air. Humidifiers can also be beneficial to babies. Placing a humidifier in the nursery can help soothe their nasal passages and can help prevent dry skin.
Owning plants took off during the pandemic, so many people now have entire rooms dedicated to their plants. Some plants require high levels of humidity which a humidifier can help with.
Even though you may or may not be disappointed to find out that a humidifier won't cool your room, hopefully, you've learned lots of other helpful information from this article!
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