What are humidifiers: the main types, their features + tips for customers to choose

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: Natalya Listyeva
Last update: January 2020

In a house or apartment, not only good repair and high-quality furniture are important, but also a comfortable microclimate. After all, inhaling the overdried air mixed with tobacco smoke, dust and pungent odors is not only unpleasant, but also harmful to health. Do you agree?

Will make indoor air useful for breathing household humidifier. It will quickly raise humidity to an optimum level, eliminate the smell of tobacco, toxic fumes, dust particles and aggressive substances.

You will learn about what humidifiers are, and how they differ from each other, from our detailed review. We will analyze all the characteristics of the units, study additional functions and the model range, and consider the best manufacturers. You will understand how to choose the best household appliances and what to look for when buying.

Why is it necessary to humidify the air?

GOST 30494-2011 states that the humidity level in the room should be from 45% to 60%. But in homes and apartments in the air often lacks the necessary moisture.

In winter and in the off-season, the batteries and domestic heaters dry the atmosphere, in the summer the microclimate is changed by the heat and the sun's rays penetrating from the street. Reduced humidity provokes rapid aging of the skin, leads to a decrease in immunity and negatively affects the respiratory tract.

Consequences of staying in a room with dry air
The possible consequences of a prolonged stay in rooms with dry air are allergies, irritation of the nasal cavity, asthma, exacerbation of chronic diseases of the respiratory system

The lack of moisture in the air affects young children the most. They show increased physiological sensitivity to dehydration and feel worse in a room with an overdried atmosphere.Babies have chapped lips, constantly blocking their nose and tickle in the throat. The risk of developing bronchitis and pharyngitis increases.

Types of Humidification Equipment

A wide range of products for humidification of air in residential, office and industrial premises is offered on the home appliance market.

Devices are divided into three types:

  • ultrasound
  • traditional
  • steam.

Sinks and climatic complexes also belong to humidification equipment, but at the same time they purify the air, and have additional opportunities to increase the comfort of the microclimate in houses and apartments.

Type # 1 - Ultrasound Modules

The ultrasound machine is considered universal and is suitable for servicing children's and living rooms, offices, industrial premises, greenhouses, shops, restaurants and cafes. It produces cold steam during operation.

The built-in piezoelectric element, activated by electric current, creates high-frequency oscillations and converts water into fog from microscopic splashes. The fan draws in dry air, directs it into a water cloud to enrich it with moisture, and then disperses it around the room.

Steam humidifier
Ultrasound devices are completely safe. They do not create hot steam and the risk of burns from accidental contact with them is completely eliminated. Such devices are ideal for a children's room.

The humidifier easily withstands intense loads and works normally around the clock. For operation, just pour liquid into the tank and plug the device into a power outlet.

Among the advantages of the device:

  • the ability to maintain indoor humidity at a high level (up to 80%);
  • minimum noise (average - 25 dB);
  • low power consumption;
  • efficiency.

The main disadvantage is the demand for water quality. There are no filtering elements in the device. It is recommended to use only purified (distilled) liquid to fill the tank. Otherwise, white coating will form on the furniture and appliances in the room, and heavy salts and spores of microorganisms will appear in a couple.

Type # 2 - Traditional Humidifiers

The operation of traditional humidifiers is based on cold evaporation. The fan directs air masses to the porous filtering elements which are constantly in contact with water. Having received deep hydration, the air returns back to the room. In this way, it is possible to maintain humidity at 60%.

Aromatic compositions can even be added to the tanks of conventional air humidification devices.

Humidifier on the bedroom floor
When filling the reservoir of a traditional humidifier, aromatic compositions can be added to the water. They will create a favorable atmosphere in the room and help you to relax after a busy day.

Devices consume a small amount of electricity and are sold at an affordable price. Need to work in demineralized, distilled fluid. The use of tap water provokes a quick clogging of the filters.

Among the significant drawbacks of the modules is the pronounced noise background. Creates its built-in fan. For round-the-clock use in children's rooms and bedrooms, traditional devices are not suitable. Insufficient productivity makes them unsuitable for installation in greenhouses.

Type # 3 - Steam Devices

Steam models work on the principle of an electric kettle. A certain dose of water from the reservoir comes into contact with the heating element, boils and is freed from non-volatile impurities. Steam enters the room and moisturizes the air intensively. Using this type of technique, it is possible to quickly bring the humidity level up to 100%.

Hygrostat for steam humidifiers is an urgent need. Uncontrolled operation of the module can provoke dampness in the room and mold stains.

Yellow carpet humidifier
The steam device not only moisturizes the air, but also enlivens the interior due to its unusual form factor.Stylish stability on the surface of any type is provided by stylish legs

Cartridges and replaceable filters are absent in the model. This allows you to pour liquid of any quality into the container without fear that some elements will quickly clog or fail. On the one hand, this simplifies use. On the other hand, it causes additional problems in the form of microparticles deposited on various surfaces, forming an unaesthetic dust coating.

Significant disadvantages of the device:

  • excessive energy consumption compared to other types of products (from 300 to 600 watts);
  • high risk of contact with a jet of hot steam.

Some blame steam devices for a warming body that a small child could accidentally burn themselves in. But such a disadvantage is peculiar only to cheap models of unknown companies.

Reputable brands use heat-resistant modern plastic for the walls. Even in the process of boiling water, it only warms slightly and does not burn the skin when touched.

Type # 4 - domestic climate systems

The climate complex simultaneously performs two functions - naturally moisturizes the air and purifies it. A built-in fan drives air through the evaporator. The porous filter element is located in a container with water and constantly draws moisture up. On a wet surface, dust settles better, the evaporation process is more efficient and gives better results.

Humidifier near a brown sofa
The climate complex weighs from 5 to 9 kg and consumes from 60 to 120 watts per hour. Works on advanced moisturizing and cleansing technology. Suitable for living and children's rooms, offices and premises with parquet

In terms of functionality, the complex to support the optimal microclimate is similar to air conditioning. But it is not mounted in one place, but is easily transported and placed in any part of the room. It has a number of additional comfort options. Individual models can heat / cool rooms.

Type # 5 - humidifier-sinks

The sink performs wet mechanical air cleaning thanks to the presence of filters. It consumes little energy and does not overmoisten the microclimate. It is not dangerous for children and adults. They can work using hydrofiltration technology (a curtain of water) or a cold “water bath” (disk rotation).

Let us briefly consider the principle of operation of the device as an example of disk washing. Inside the body of the sink, functioning on the principle of a water bath, there are plastic discs. During rotation, a special coating and relief trap water on the surface of the discs. As a result, a large water area is created. Discs are blown by fans, increasing the evaporation rate. The air is moistened and cleaned of pollen, household dust, animal hair and small particles of dirt.

Disassembled air washer
To remove dirt and sludge from a disk wash, you can use household preparations to remove scale. They are inexpensive, but act quickly and efficiently.

The device with hydrofiltration technology provides humidification and cleaning by rotating the cone-shaped rod in the center of the liquid container. The work item lifts the water up and creates a veil of microscopic droplets. Passing through it, the air is freed from dust particles and saturated with moisture.

We recommend reading our tips on choosing the best air purifier.

Selection criteria and customer recommendations

To properly buy a device for humidification, you need to know exactly the area of ​​the room where you plan to use it.

Take a weak unit for a spacious room does not make sense. He will not cope with the tasks. Too strong a module in a small room will “eat” more electricity, but will not give any additional effect.

Scale in the humidifier tank
Regular cleaning of mucus, scale and mold increases the performance of a household humidifier, increases its effectiveness and extends its life

Steam humidifiers should be used only where, for objective reasons, an increased level of humidity is required. For rooms where elderly people or children live, this option is not recommended. Accidental contact with hot steam causes a burn and the use of the appliance leaves an unpleasant impression.

If you want to moisten the air in the bedroom or the nursery, you should choose the most quietly working appliances. Otherwise, fully rest and sleep will be extremely problematic. We talked about the pros and cons of a humidifier for a child and the features of choice in this article.

You will have to pay for all additional features. Therefore, you need to immediately decide which options are really useful, and what you can safely refuse. Auto shut-off when turning over, protection from running without water, an indication of replacing filters and night mode increase operational safety, but affect the cost of the device.

Whether to pay for the rotation of the module, touch screen and remote control, the user will have to decide for himself. If the budget allows, it makes sense to spend money on additional comfort. When funds are limited, you can do without these bonuses.

Next, we consider the main criteria that it is desirable to consider when choosing a household humidifier.

Power, service area and noise

The power range of household humidifiers on the market is 20-600 watts. For small rooms ranging in size from 15 to 30 m2 fit devices up to 100 watts. Larger rooms up to 50 m2 Used models with power ratings up to 150 watts.

Dimensional humidifier on the floor
Compact appliances can be placed on a stand, cabinet or table. More overall equipment is better to put on the floor. Some manufacturers equip models with special rubber coated feet for this.

In studios, living rooms and bedrooms from 80 m2 modules with power from 240 watts work successfully. Manufacturers usually indicate on the package what area the device can serve.

The noise level depends on the type of humidifier and its power. The optimum is considered to be 20-30 dB. Equipment with such indicators is suitable for round-the-clock work in nurseries, bedrooms and lounges. In living rooms and offices, the installation of devices up to 50 dB is allowed. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with rated quietest humidifiersmost popular among users.

Tank volume and humidification rate

For rooms up to 20 meters, a device with a capacity of 4-5 liters of water is enough. In rooms of size 30-40 m2 it is better to use 6-7-liter devices, and in apartments up to 60 m2 - appliances with a reservoir of 8-9 liters. Humidification speed directly depends on the size of the room, performance and power of the model.

In a 15-meter bedroom or a nursery, it quickly creates an optimal microclimate device with a capacity of 45 m³ / h. For a room of 80 m2 a module with an air exchange rate of 240 m³ / h is required.

Varieties of filtration systems

Each manufacturer of steam humidification equipment uses different cleaning methods.

Most often in devices there are filtration systems of the following types:

  • coal;
  • HEPA;
  • ultraviolet;
  • photocatalytic;
  • ionizing (electrostatic);
  • rough cleaning.

Carbon filter belongs to the class of adsorption purifiers. Contains activated carbon or zeolite. Quickly neutralizes all types of fumes, including tobacco smoke, eliminates unpleasant odors, volatile compounds and aggressive chemical fumes. Must be replaced every 2-4 months (depending on the manufacturer's recommendations).

If the carbon filter is left for a longer period, it becomes clogged with dust. Inside, an environment is formed that is favorable for the accumulation of bacteria and the multiplication of microorganisms. Such a filter no longer performs the cleaning function.

Charcoal humidifier cannot be used in the bathroom
Do not use the device with a charcoal filter in damp areas.Under such conditions, charcoal coalesces and loses its original throughput.

HEPA System performs fine cleaning. Removes up to 100% harmful substances and dirty impurities. Due to its high efficiency, it is suitable for use in medical and child care facilities. It is washing and replaceable. Sold at a higher price, but can be used throughout the year.

Ultraviolet filter cleans the air of fungal spores, allergens and pathogenic bacteria. It does not require laborious care and thorough processing.

Photocatalytic filter guarantees 95 percent cleaning. It removes toxic elements from water, neutralizes their oxidation and decomposition. Eliminates gases, impurities and harmful bacteria. It reliably serves for a long time.

Ionizing (electrostatic) filter delays charged particles up to 0.01 microns in size. Cleans from the smallest dust, aerosols and soot, but can not cope with the removal of toxic substances. It is usually used as an additional element complete with other filters. Sold at a low price and suitable for repeated use.

Coarse filter removes fragments of dirt and large particles of dust. When clogging, it needs to be washed with running water or cleaned with a household vacuum cleaner.

Availability of additional options

Indicator light helps in time to learn about the need to top up water. By eye, determining this point is quite problematic, especially in models with opaque tanks.

The need for replacement / cleaning of working containers, nozzles and filters is reported by a special indicator. Busy owners may forget that their consumables have expired humidifier needs cleaning, and continue to use the device, which no longer performs its functions at the proper level.

Humidifier filter
Timely filter replacement provides high-quality air humidification and allows you to constantly maintain the most comfortable microclimate in the room

System protection against work without water and rollover auto power off increase the safety of the humidifier. If the owners forget to pour water, the unit does not overheat and does not burn out. When a child or pet accidentally touches or knocks over a humidifier, it will not cause a short circuit or fire.

Night mode - Actual option for units with natural humidification and devices with a large display and color indication. For the former, the fan is too noisy, and for the latter, the light elements burn too brightly. In night mode, the fan runs at lower speeds and makes almost no sounds, and the display and display do not light. The air is moistened with high quality, but there are no obstacles to sleep and rest.

Availability hygrostat allows you to control the level of humidity. As soon as the indicator reaches the norm, the device automatically turns off. It is activated again only when the humidity in the room decreases. This increases work efficiency and reduces electrical energy consumption.

Illuminated Humidifier
Some models have a built-in backlight. Humidify the air and simultaneously perform the functions of a night lamp. They look attractive in both classic and original interiors.

Options such as lock when the cover is loose, improper assembly, improper location of the cartridge, etc. They guarantee that the model will begin to work only if all the replaceable elements are correctly installed.

It is convenient when the device rotates around its axis. In this case, the steam is sent in different directions and evenly spreads throughout the room, providing better air humidification.

Separate climatic complexes eliminate static electricity. Devices with this option are recommended to be placed in rooms with a large number of electrical appliances, household appliances and office equipment.

Home appliance manufacturers

Different types of steam humidification equipment are produced by many popular manufacturers of household appliances.

The Swiss company is considered the confident leader in this market segment. Plaston ag. More than half a century under the brand Boneco Air-O-Swiss She makes high-quality devices to create a comfortable and healthy microclimate in the premises.

Humidifier Boneco Air-O-Swiss
Boneco Air-O-Swiss products are manufactured in accordance with ODM requirements and regularly undergo ISO 9001 certification. This confirms their compliance with modern European quality and safety standards

The assortment line of the brand includes budget and premium traditional, steam and ultrasonic humidifiers, effective climate systems and “air washes”. Each model runs in several series. You can choose a product by color, shape, type of control and other technical specifications.

In second place in popularity are Italian Aircompfort and German Venta. They specialize in the manufacture of humidifiers and air purifiers, introduce innovative technologies into production and are actively working on creating original unit designs.

Air humidifiers and brands such as Electrolux, Philips, Dyson, Supra, Gorenje, Leberg, Polaris and Panasonic. However, these manufacturers do not have a narrow specialization, and it is problematic for them to compete with the first three.

The ten most popular models among buyers we brought in next article.

Do you want to equip the room with a humidifier, but do not want to spend a large amount of money on this? In this case, it is possible from improvised means assemble a productive homemade product.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

What type of household air humidifier to choose for the house - the advice of a famous doctor.

Pros and cons of air humidification devices - a review from a climate technology specialist.

A simple and safe method of cleaning moisturizing equipment at home.

Devices for humidification of air help to stabilize the microclimate in the room and make it more comfortable, healthy and safe. Knowing about the technical characteristics and features of the units, it is not difficult to choose the optimal model. Humidifiers are connected to a 220 V household power supply and do not exert excessive load on the wiring. Differ in long service life. Under warranty, they are repaired in company service centers.

What kind of humidifier do you use? Tell us about the pros and cons of your model seen during operation - the feedback form is located below the article. Also here you can add unique photos of your humidifier, ask questions about operation, maintenance or selection to our experts and other users.

Was the article helpful?
Thanks for your feedback!
No (0)
Thanks for your feedback!
Yes (0)