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Examples Of The Humidifier




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A humidifier is an appliance that increases humidity, by adding moisture, to a whole building or a single room. Mostly used for in the home, they are an appliance which has and is still growing in popularity. The range of humidifiers that are available to buy is quite large. They differ in price and size, operating features and whether you want a warm mist or cold mist humidifier. But despite all the differences on the different models, all humidifiers pretty much have the same components and operate on the same principle.


The components of a humidifier are


Water - This water will come from a small valve which has been attached to the household water supply at some time. The water will travel through a small tube to reach the medium inside the humidifier.


Medium - The medium is the pad, screen, filter or mesh that is inside the humidifier. If the medium is a pad, the pad will be attached to a cylinder where a small motor will rotate it through a small reservoir of water.

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Vicks Paediatric Germ-Free Humidifier

This humidifier from Vicks will run for 24 hours on just one filling. There is no risk of burns and can actually be used in conjunction with Vicks scent pads. It is an ideal humidifier for those suffering from colds and flu because it has a germ killing function and will help to ease a dry nose, dry throat, sore eyes and any skin discomforts.It is an evaporative humidifier.


Digital LCD Temperature and Humidity Meter Clock Alarm

This is a useful little instrument to have around the house. It will give you the time, the current temperature and humidity levels all at the same time. The humidity range on this unit is from 10% to 99%. So if the humidity levels are not right for your room then you can switch on your humidifier to rectify the matter. Though not a humidifier in it’s own right, this is a good tool to have if you live in a mild and humid climate where you do not need your humidifier to be running 24/7. This will tell you when you need your humidifier running.

If the medium is a screen or mesh type then the water will flow through a trough at the top of it which distributes the water evenly across it.


Fan - This is usually a furnace blower fan which will blow across the damp medium, which in turn causes evaporation.


Float - This float or valve allows the water to flow in to the reservoir and then in to a drain when the water is called for by the humidistat.


Humidistat - Is used to determine how much moisture should be added to the air. It also turns the humidifier on and off in conjunction with the fan.


The Principle Of The Humidifier


When the humidifier is operating the water will flow in to the reservoir or through the screen wick depending on the model of humidifier. The water then goes straight in to a drain. The fan inside the appliance will blow air across the damp medium which then evaporates some or all of the water in to the air. The warmer the air is, the more water is evaporated. The humidifier shuts off when the water stops flowing. The humidistat will determine when the moisture levels are correct in the air and start or stop the water supply.

Choosing A Humidifier For The Home

Types Of Humidifier

There are two types of humidifier one can use in the home.


Cool Mist Humidifier


These appliances tend to be little more noisier than warm mist models, but many will have a silent feature on them which is particularly useful for the bedroom. Cool mist humidifiers can be either evaporative or ultrasonic. How they work is to pass water over a wick and expel a vapour which in turn cools down a room’s temperature. They come in different sizes with the largest being versions that can be connected to the heating duct work of the home, and hand held models that can be used for just small rooms.

Evaporative Humidifier

These are the most common humidifiers found and have been used for decades in the home. They are very efficient at getting humidity in to the air. They will contain a wick filter which holds and draws water up to a fan. The appliance will then expel this water as a mist in to the air.

Ultrasonic Humidifier

This appliance will use high frequency sound vibrations to make a fine water mist which is expelled from the unit and adds moisture to the air. Many prefer this version as there is no hot water at all and it can be safer. However as the water is never boiled it can mean that bacteria can be present and discharged in to the room. It is a very quiet humidifier but does need to be cleaned on a regular basis.


Warm Mist Humidifier


These types of humidifiers will actually boil the water to allow distilled steam to enter the room. This steam is just like a warm spray of water rather than a mist and is very concentrated in the vicinity of the humidifier. Warm mist does prove to be easier to breathe in a cool room. They are much quieter than cool mist humidifiers and are generally available in portable versions. They need to be cleaned more often and there is the slight risk of injury because they boil water and have a heating element inside them.

As when shopping for anything, choosing the right humidifier for your home takes a little thought and consideration of certain factors. Simply going down to your local humidifier stockist and selecting the first one that appeals to you on looks and price could be a complete waste of time and money. You may get lucky and actually pick one that is completely suitable, however the options available to select from are very numerous, and you are more than likely to be throwing good money away and end up with a humidifier that is completely inadequate for your requirements.

Humidifiers are available in all shapes and sizes, some with very basic functions and others more high tech that allow you more control and flexibility. There are humidifiers that have been designed for small rooms and others that are only suitable for large rooms. Certain humidifiers are powered by battery, others are wireless and large numbers will run off an electrical supply. So as you can see when you start looking in to humidifiers it soon becomes apparent that the choice is not limited and you really need to do a little homework before committing to one.

Before buying a humidifier the most important considerations are


Size Of The Room


The size of the room where you wish to situate the humidifier is a very important issue. How many people will be in this room? Buying the first humidifier you see will simply not cut the mustard. For small rooms you will only require small units, however for the larger room which accommodates more people, a small unit simply will not suffice.


Features Of The Humidifier


The most basic humidifier will only perform the one task of converting water in to vapour. For many this is simply not enough and more features are required. More advanced humidifiers have timers, speed settings, alert alarms for low water levels and automatic shut off functions. Particular features will suit certain people but many prefer to be in a position to set up their machine and forget about it whilst it does it’s job. The more features the higher the cost. So consider how high tech you want your humidifier to be.


Is The Humidifier Portable




Ultrasonic Cool and Warm mist Humidifier with Ioniser

Here is a humidifier from Dio that has unique tendencies. It offers both warm and cold mist humidification. A silent cold stream of mist emerges from the top of the unit thanks to an ultrasonic transducer. If you turn the warm mist on as well then the volume of mist will increase and you will notice that the air is getting warmer. You can also add scent oils to the water to make any room smell gorgeous. Built in also is the ioniser which helps to purify the air by removing certain particles. The tank has a 6 litre capacity and you can hardly hear the unit when it is operating.

To Care Is To Share

If your home or certain rooms are too dry static electricity can form and your furniture, wooden instruments and wooden floor boards can begin to dry out and crack. There are personal symptoms as well such as a dry cough, dry skin, chapped lips and even sinus problems which all indicate that the environment you are in is simply too dry.


A healthy humidity level for a human being is between 35 and 50 %. Too much humidity and you will suffer from moisture issues, too little humidity and your possessions and yourself can suffer. To properly test the humidity level of a room you can use a hygrometer. You may at first be alerted to humidity problems when your furniture or wooden floor boards begin to deteriorate. You can test these items with a moisture meter and whether they show levels of too much or too little moisture, you can act accordingly.


Do You Need A Humidifier ?

Over 50% humidity levels will result in bacteria, dust mites and mold spores appearing, all of which can be detrimental to your health. A good way of seeing if the humidity levels in your home are too high without the use of any gadgets, is to see if you have condensation or steam dripping on the inside of your windows.

For your long term comfort in your home it is a good idea to have a humidifier at hand to use when you require it. The hygrometer and moisture meter are other useful appliances to own to establish whether you do actually need to set up your humidifier.

Here you must simply ask yourself whether you want a humidifier that takes up very little space in a room and can actually be easily carried from room to room. Or do you want a humidifier that becomes a permanent feature of your home and never requires moving. All sizes can be purchased and perhaps climate also plays a role here. If you live in a mild and humid climate you may not require the humidifier all year round.


Is The Humidifier Easy To Maintain


Every humidifier needs to be cleaned and maintained once in a while. The degree of difficulty will vary from model to model. Basic ones will only require you to open a cap while others may require a siphon to pipe water in to it. There could be filters that require changing on a regular basis. It is well worth looking in to the consideration as the last thing you want is a humidifier that is a complete nightmare to clean and maintain. For those of you who shy away from maintenance issues there are models that are self cleaning available on the market.

Vicks Humidifier

Maintaining A Humidifier


Humidifier Troubleshooting

If you do get yourself a humidifier you will need to perform so maintenance tasks to keep in in top working condition.



As a humidifier works it will build up rust, scale and hard water marks as it operates. You should be looking at cleaning the unit at least once a year. To do so you need to take it apart and clean all the parts separately. How to take apart your humidifier will depend upon the brand and model that you have. But it should of come with an operators manual when you purchased it and the disassembly instructions will be in it.



When taking the humidifier apart to clean, you may notice that the pad or filter has become covered in hard water scale. Cleaning this pad or filter may prove too difficult to clean properly and it is simply better if you just replace the old pad or filter with a new one. They are inexpensive to buy.



In a reservoir humidifier there will be a float system. This float assembly can get stuck from time to time. Particularly during the summer months when the humidifier is not used so frequently. A good tip here to prevent the float assembly from sticking is to remove the assembly after every heating session and clean it thoroughly. Vinegar is a good substance to use for cleaning the float assembly.



The water reservoir in a humidifier will suffer and get encrusted with minerals and calcium. It can also host bacteria. You need to clean the water reservoir with an anti bacterial solution and a proper humidifier cleaner. You should do this before and after every heating session.



It is possible for bacteria to flourish in the water reservoir of your humidifier and become airborne when it is switched on. Always clean before and after a session with a specific anti bacterial solution.

It is Leaking


This could be because the water reservoir is overfilling. There is a mechanical ball float which rises to the water surface and shuts off the water supply when the water level reaches the correct depth in the holding tank. Pretty much the same way a ballcock works in a toilet. Now if this float happens to stick or does not work properly then the water supply to the humidifier may not be shut off properly, leading to overfilling of the water tray and hence leaking. You can try to rectify the problem by cleaning the float ball system or replacing a couple of parts. However a much better solution is to just simply replace the whole ball unit system with a new one.

Other reasons for a humidifier to leak are defective hoses and connections. So check all the hosing and ensure that any connections are tight. Checking to make sure that the filter is in the correct position is also advised, as is ensuring that the drain line from the humidifier is not clogged up.


It Is Making A lot Of Noise


Humidifiers do make noise. When operating the solenoid can be noisy, as can the motor. This is to be expected. But if the noise levels intensify there may be underlying problems and you will need to seek professional help and advice.


The Air Inside Is Too Dry


With a furnace mounted humidifier it will only humidify when the blower is on. Now if your humidifier is a high efficiency model and your home happens to be well insulated, then the blower may not operate long enough to evaporate sufficient water in to the air. If this is so then simply set the humidifier to run continuously and also have a free standing humidifier to supplement it.


The Humidifier Does Not Run


This could simply be because the humidistat is set too high or too low. When the blower works the humidifier should work. If not you may have lost power to the unit or one of the electrical components has failed. So check to see if the motor, valve or transformer are all ok. If not you need professional help and advice.


Water Reservoir Is Empty


Check to see if water is actually getting to the humidifier. If the water lines are full of water and the reservoir does not fill up then you should replace the float mechanism.


Water Not Flowing Through The Filter Pad


First ensure that the water supply is actually getting to the humidifier. If the lines contain water that is not reaching the pad then the water valve is problematic. It could be stuck, clogged or simply defective. Valves can be cleaned and then operate properly again. So remove and clean. Clean away any sediment. Once cleaned check the humidistat transformer. This can fail as can the coil with the ohm meter.


Pad Not Spinning


There is a small motor on the side of the humidifier which spins the filter pad on a reservoir humidifier. If the pad is not spinning then simply adjust the humidistat for more humidity. If the pad still does not spin after this then the motor could be on it’s way out and need replacing.

One company that designs and manufactures humidifiers is that of Vicks. Their range of appliances are suitable for the home and add moisture to the air you breathe. They are particularly beneficial if you are suffering from cold and flu symptoms such as congestion. They also help relieve chapped lips and flaky skin which usually occur when there is insufficient moisture in the air.

The benefits of opting for a top brand name humidifier are that you are ensured of having an appliance that will work efficiently and effectively. Any Vicks humidifier will operate automatically in the background, be very quiet and come with an extremely affordable price tag. Because Vicks has been involved in the cold and flu field for many years, you can be assured that they know their stuff. So any technology applied to their humidifiers is well worth having.

What is also favourable about Vicks is that they supply various rubs, creams and scents to help alleviate any discomforts from breathing problems, colds and flu. Some of these scents can actually be added to their humidifiers and also put in to the room’s air at the same time as moisture, providing you with an even better environment.

For a comprehensive look at all of the humidifiers that Vicks supply, their scents and rubs and some very useful articles and information on cold and flu treatments, it is well worth taking a visit to their official website at Vicks Homepage >

Pet Humidifier


As well as all the obvious benefit’s a humidifier can offer us, that is not where the use of a humidifier ends. A portable humidifier can also benefit a loved pet. For example a common illness with dogs is that of kennel cough. Although in most cases kennel cough is not fatal, it can actually become very serious and lead to pneumonia. The symptoms of kennel cough can be confused with flu symptoms and last for several weeks.

Kennel cough is caused by viruses and bacterial infection and can be easily spread amongst the canine world. Dogs cannot cover their mouths when they cough and this is how it can be quickly spread. The afflicted are is the respiratory tract which causes a harsh cough. Kennel cough can also be a result from other illness’s such as heart worm and pneumonia.

Treating kennel cough can be done at home and in most cases it will clear up in a couple of weeks. A visit to the local vet will provide you with the necessary antibiotics that are required. Along with this it is important that you help make your dog as comfortable as possible. A spoonful of honey every day will go a long way to soothing the throat and an electrical humidifier with some Vicks scents and rubs will provide your furry friend with suitably moist air to aid the recovery process and comfort factor.


Terrarium Humidifier


The terrarium humidifier is an appliance that can be used to create a healthier environment for your pet reptile and amphibians. Once placed inside a terrarium it will keep providing a constant supply of fresh and humid air. This is particularly essential for reptiles from tropical and subtropical regions. By having this type of humidifier you will do away with the need for hand spraying and they can be easily set up and hidden from view. Using one could not be any simpler. Simply fill the humidifier with water and moist air will be released in to the terrarium. To get the complete benefit from one of these humidifiers ensure that your glass tank has a glass or plastic top to retain the moisture.


Bionaire Humidifier

Bionaire humidifiers are well worth a look at when you are on a shopping quest for the right humidifier for your personal space. They are good value, made to a high standard and very innovative with slinky designs. They are all designed to deal with poor air quality and maintain a healthy indoor environment. They are also ideal for allergy relief and asthma sufferers who wish to have an enhanced quality of life.

For a comprehensive look at their appliances check out the Bionaire website >

Honeywell Humidifier

Finally Honeywell humidifiers will also feature on this page. They are another company that design and manufacture a high quality and efficient humidifier. Within their range come both cool mist humidifiers and warm mist humidifiers. As well as both of theses portable humidifier types they also supply humidifiers that are suitable for whole homes. Accessories and replacement parts are easily accessible to you from a number of suppliers and the internet. We recommend that you take a look at the whole Honeywell range on their Honeywell Website >

Humidifier For Baby


When you have a new addition to the family you really should consider buying a humidifier. Not only does a humidifier raise the level of indoor humidity, but it can help ease flu and cold symptoms as well as helping with sore eyes and itchy skin. This is particularly evident during the winter months.

Indoor humidity should be between 30 and 50%. But during the winter months you tend to turn up the heating and this can cause the humidity levels to drop and cause discomfort in the home for the whole family.

A humidifier can make it easier for a baby to breathe under normal circumstances. And if the baby does happen to suffer from congestion and dry skin, the humidifier will go a long way to helping with this. As regards to which type of humidifier is better to use with a baby, a warm mist one is preferable to a cold mist one. Reasons being that warm air is cleaner as the vaporizer will vaporize any germs and kill bacteria as the water boils to steam.

Also by having a warm air humidifier the steam it releases will also heat up a room. This means that you are in a position to turn down the heating and it is usually the turning up of the heat in a baby room that causes humidity problems in the first place. Dry air will affect any babies breathing by causing mucus to thicken and form in to globs. These globs can then get stuck in the airways of your baby and cause infection.

Having a humidifier in the baby nursery may also prevent your child from getting sick as it will kill any viruses and also create an environment that is not suitable for a virus.

Safety is of utmost importance when using a humidifier with your baby. The appliance should always be placed on a flat surface and kept well out of reach of the baby/child and any household pets you have. When the humidifier is not in use always unplug it from the mains. The same when you wish to move the unit. When the humidifier is in operation do not close the door to the babies room because the room could actually get overly humid.


Humidifier And Asthma

Seeing as a humidifier is recommended in the relief of some respiratory conditions it is easy to see why some think that one will help with asthma. Unfortunately this is simply not the case. Quite the opposite in fact. Dust mites thrive in humid air and a humidifier will only encourage them. Dust mites are a well known trigger for asthmatics. A dehumidifier is more suitable. It will keep the surrounding air dry and hence lower a dust mite population.


Radiator Humidifier

An alternative to a battery operated or electrical humidifier is the simply designed radiator humidifier. What this is, is basically a container that is hung by a hook or wire over any radiator. They do come in a wide variety of shapes and designs, being made from a variety of materials. The most popular materials used are that of either plastic or ceramic.

For design wise the ceramic radiator humidifier is definitely the most attractive as it can be painted and glazed with drawings or pictures on it. What the radiator humidifier does is to add moisture to any given room. You simply hang one over a radiator and fill it with water. The heat from the radiator will be conducted and the water inside will warm up and evaporate in to the air. A nice little touch to freshen any room is to also add some scent oil to the water. When not in use the radiator humidifier can be used to hold plants and flowers in to brighten up any front of a radiator. That adds a nice looking touch to any room.

Taking care of a radiator humidifier is also a lot easier than with the electronic versions. There are no filters to change and cleaning them could not be any simpler. Just wash them as you would a coffee cup.


Humidifier Issues

Humidifiers can provide great benefits to many and prove to be very useful. However you do need to be aware that a humidifier can actually make you ill if they are not looked after properly and fully maintained. High humidity in a room can also cause problems. A dirty humidifier can easily and quickly breed mold and bacteria which can make you sick when released via the humidifier to the air. If you are a sufferer from any allergies or asthma you should consult your local GP first before using a humidifier.

Water used in a humidifier should be bottled water rather than tap water. Tap water is treated with chemicals and contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Scale build up can be caused in your humidifier from tap water and this can encourage harmful bacteria growth. Also the mist that is passed out from the humidifier is a lot more healthy if it does not have a high mineral content.