How to choose a humidifier for an apartment: which humidifier is better and why

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: Oksana Chubukina
Last update: April 2019

Dry air in the apartment negatively affects the health of households, especially sensitive allergies and young children. A humidifier will help normalize the microclimate. The main thing is not to get confused in the variety of models and choose a suitable unit that meets the operating conditions.

To understand which air humidifier is better, it is necessary to compare the parameters of different devices, evaluate their capabilities and effectiveness.

In this article we will talk about how to choose the most suitable device for specific requirements. In addition, in the article you will find a brief overview of the most popular models among buyers.

Humidifier - a tribute to fashion or a necessity?

Humidity is one of the determining criteria for the indoor climate. For an apartment, an indicator of 45-60% is considered optimal; in a house where there are small children, the standard rises to 70%.

In early autumn and spring, a comfortable moisture level is established naturally - due to active air exchange. In summer and winter, the situation becomes more complicated - in hot weather and in the heating season, the air is dry.

Keeping the windows open in the winter will cool the room. At the same time, after 15-30 minutes after the window is closed, the relative humidity will decrease due to the active operation of the heating devices.

Normal humidity
In hot weather, active ventilation will not solve the problem, since at a street temperature of up to + 30 ° the moisture content is about 30%, and the level of ventilation draft is significantly weakened

The best way to normalize the microclimate in a “dry” apartment is to use a humidifier.

Alternative methods (arranging aquariums and fountains in rooms, hanging wet towels on batteries, etc.) are ineffective and give short-term results.

A variety of models and the principle of operation

Before choosing a suitable humidifier for an apartment, you need to understand the technical capabilities and operational features of various units.

Traditional - cold evaporation humidifiers

Models are simple in design, the work of classical representatives is based on natural evaporation of moisture.

Conventional humidifier device
Basic equipment: water tray, humidifying filter and fan. Some versions are equipped with a float to monitor the liquid level and a silver rod, partially purifying the air

The fan pumps air masses, directing flows to the filtering wet element. Saturated with moisture, air enters the room. The porous filter is constantly in contact with water. However, if the tank is not “refilled” in time, the device will not turn off and will continue to work in ventilation mode.

The performance of a traditional humidifier depends on humidity in the apartment. The higher the moisture level, the slower the evaporation. Due to this, the degree of hydration is normalized naturally.

Service Features:

  • regular fluid replenishment;
  • cleaning the filter twice a month - just rinse the sponge under the tap;

An important condition for the long-term operation of a “cold” humidifier is refueling with distilled, demineralized water.

Traditional moisturizer
Some manufacturers supplement the device with a cartridge that softens the “harsh” environment. This extends the filter life and allows the use of plain water.

Advantages of traditional models:

  • affordable cost;
  • low power consumption (20-60 W);
  • suitable for aromatherapy;
  • safety - lack of hot steam.

Among the disadvantages of consumers include noise operation (35-40 dB) and limited humidification (up to 60%).

Traditional installations are suitable for children's rooms, but for greenhouses their productivity is not enough.

Steam - high performance appliances

Steam devices operate on the principle of evaporation. Their design and operation process resemble a household electric kettle.

Steam humidifier device
Steam humidifier package: pan and water tank, heating element, steam lift chamber and spray. For convenience, a liquid level indicator and an inhaler nozzle are provided.

Water is dosed to the heating element, converted to steam and released into the atmosphere. Hot evaporation allows you to increase humidity in a spacious room in a matter of minutes.

However, in the absence of a hygrostat, this advantage becomes doubtful - the uncontrolled operation of the device is fraught with the appearance of dampness in the room.

The advantages of a home air humidifier include:

  • high performance;
  • work on water of different quality;
  • rapid achievement of a humidity indicator of 60% or more.

The steam humidifier is easy to maintain - there are no filters to clean and replace. The only thing required is to periodically remove scale from the heating element.

Cons of the "hot" steam unit:

  • power consumption - 300-600 W;
  • the need to separately purchase a hygrostat to maintain optimal humidity;
  • the risk of scalding with hot vapors - the temperature of the air cloud at the exit is about +55 ° C;
  • noise when boiling water.

Due to the risk of burns, the device is not recommended for installation in children's rooms. It is advisable to use the steam apparatus in a flower shop, greenhouse or conservatory.

Hot moisturizing
The water inside the device heats up to 100 °, so it is important that the body has a stable shape and is equipped with a portable handle

Ultrasonic - economical and efficient installations

The use of ultrasonic vibration in the development of the humidifier made it possible to achieve the optimal ratio of efficiency and energy consumption.

Ultrasonic Humidifier Schematic
The entire "filling" of the household appliance is enclosed in a plastic case. Main structural elements: ultrasonic membrane, filter system, water tank, fan and atomizer

An idea of ​​the humidifier device will help to understand the operation of the device:

  1. Water is poured into the tank and filtered.
  2. The fluid enters the ultrasound membrane or disk.
  3. When applying alternating current, the plate oscillates with a frequency of more than 20 kHz.
  4. Under the influence of vibrations, water molecules break away from the surface - a cold stream of steam is formed.
  5. A fan blows water fog through a rotary atomizer out.

The most advanced modifications are equipped with a hygrometer that constantly reads the moisture level. Depending on the user-specified indicators and environmental conditions, the frequency of the ultrasonic wave changes.

Humidifier operation
In order to ensure safety, most models have automatic equipment that shuts off the device when capsizing or when the fluid level is

The benefits of ultrasonic nebulizers:

  • silent operation of the device - an average of about 25 dB;
  • the ability to set the humidification mode;
  • safety of operation - not hot steam is supplied outside;
  • ergonomic and compact body.

Disadvantages of the ultrasonic installation: higher cost and the need for periodic replacement of cartridges (once a quarter). Humidifier models without “softening” filters require refilling with purified water. Otherwise, salt deposits will appear on the floor, furniture and plants.

Humidifiers ultrasound type Suitable for premises for various purposes: residential buildings, apartments, offices, antique shops, greenhouses, etc.

Air Wash - Humidification and Cleaning

Unlike household appliances discussed above, “sinks” have a dual function - they clean the air masses and at the same time moisturize them.

The design of the universal unit is simple:

  • water tank;
  • fan;
  • drum with working plates.

There are no replaceable filters in the device. They are replaced by a complex of polymer disks with an absorbent coating.

Air cleaner
Dry air is supplied by a fan to the blades of the drum, rotating like a mill. Passing between the plates, the air stream is cleaned of dust and saturated with moisture

Particles of contaminants are washed off into the tray and disinfected by silver ions. A water bath with ionization suppresses about 600 types of bacteria, fights allergens and eliminates odors. Some air washers are equipped with fragrances.

Floor humidifier
To saturate the air with sufficient moisture, the unit must function continuously. Using sinks to maintain a tropical microclimate in greenhouses will not work

Operational Features:

  • power consumption - 120-400 W;
  • low noise level;
  • slow saturation with moisture;
  • purification of air masses from impurities larger than 10 microns;
  • does not provoke the appearance of limescale on objects;
  • safety of use;
  • ease of maintenance - weekly rinse the water tank.

Compared to previous humidifiers, sinks are more expensive. For more information on air washers, see this stuff.

A treatment plant will be more beneficial for people with respiratory illnesses and allergies. And about what type of air purifier is better for allergy sufferers, read Further.

Combined Aggregates - Multitasking Systems

Domestic climate systems provide an integrated approach to improving the microclimate of an apartment:

  • purify air using a multi-stage filtration system;
  • refresh the atmosphere, removing unpleasant odors;
  • moisturize the treated air.

Air conditioners are equipped with sensors that respond to dryness, dust, smoke and other parameters. Automation works to maintain air hygiene and normalize moisture levels.

Integrated system
Device diagram: 1 - a container for aroma oil, 2 - a carbon filter, 3 - a fan and an engine, 4 - a water tank, 5 - intake of purified air, 6 - air intake, 7 - HEPA filter, 8 - soft humidification filter

The quality of the climate systems is not satisfactory. Despite the bulkiness of the unit, the complex is low noise and economical in power consumption (up to 20 W).

The disadvantages of air conditioners include the high cost and significant maintenance costs. Filters must be changed every 3-12 months.

Criteria for choosing a home humidifier

Having decided on the optimal humidification technology, the most significant parameters of the device are selected.

Conditionally, the decision-making algorithm is based on the following selection criteria:

  • device power in accordance with the area of ​​the room;
  • tank volume, which determines the period of continuous operation;
  • emitted noise level;
  • installation method and design;
  • management method;
  • additional functionality;
  • value for money.

Humidifier performance. The parameter is indicated in milliliters or grams of water evaporated per hour. A more productive device is able to serve a large area of ​​the house.

Humidifier performance
The performance indicator of traditional humidifiers does not exceed 300 ml / h (3.5-8 l / day). The performance of ultrasonic and steam devices is much higher - up to 14-16 l / day, respectively

However, with similar efficiency, the power consumption of humidifiers differs significantly:

  • 40-50 W - ultrasonic models;
  • 300-600 W - hot steam units.

The choice of performance should be based on the dimensions of the room. In this case, the area of ​​a particular room is taken into account. It is a mistake to think that having bought a highly efficient device of 60-100 sq.m, it will qualitatively moisten the entire apartment. This is not so - air circulation between rooms is difficult.

To maintain an optimal microclimate throughout the house, it is better to install several humidifiers designed to service a certain footage.

Tank volume. The value determines how often it is necessary to renew the water in the tank. Often, high-power humidifiers are equipped with a larger capacity.

Tank selection
If you plan to use the device around the clock, it is better to look at the humidifier with a capacious tank. To ensure that the service does not cause much trouble, it is recommended that you select the tabular indicators when choosing

Not all manufacturers indicate the time of continuous operation of the unit. The value can be calculated independently by dividing the tank volume by the fluid flow rate per hour. For example, the capacity of the tank is 4000 ml, the consumption per hour is 400 ml. Therefore, within 10 hours, the humidifier will use up all the water.

Noise exposure level. Do not neglect this indicator. A subtle noise during the day, at night is heard more clearly. This is especially important when choosing a humidifier in the nursery and bedroom.

Humidifier noise level
The noise level of household humidifiers ranges from 5 to 50 dB. The indicator depends on the design features and power of the device. Ultrasonic and traditional models are considered low noise.

A humidifier with an indicator of up to 20 dB is suitable for a bedroom and a children's room. In the living room you can put a device with a parameter of not more than 35 dB.

Installation method. All household humidifiers are divided into floor and table. The first, as a rule, include “sinks” and climatic complexes. Units are bulky and not convenient for use in compact apartments.

Desktop humidifiers are mobile - they can be put on a bedside table, a cabinet shelf or a windowsill.

Installation method
High placement is more effective - moistened vapors slowly descend, the water cloud gradually disperses and fills the room with moisture

Adjustment method. The choice is between mechanical and electronic control. Mechanical units are cheaper, but have limited functionality - the knob for adjusting the mode and operating time is displayed on the case.

Humidifiers with electronic control are equipped with various indicators showing the level of water, humidity, temperature, current operating mode, etc. Expensive devices operate in an “automatic flight”, adjusting operating parameters to the conditions of the apartment.

Advanced functionality. Among the significant options can be noted the presence of a hygrostat. The element controls the level of moisture and prevents the appearance of dampness in the room.

Illuminated Humidifier
It is good if the humidifier has built-in backlight and aroma capsule. Using the options of ionization and ozonation will partially replace the work of a full-fledged air purifier

Balance of quality and price. In this matter, an important role is assigned to the manufacturer.

The wide range of humidifiers of decent quality in the price range from economy to premium are brands:

  • Sharp (Japan);
  • Boneco Air-O-Swiss (Switzerland);
  • Philips (Netherlands);
  • Polaris (England);
  • Electrolux (Sweden);
  • Shivaki (Japan);
  • Winia (Korea);
  • Fanline (Russia).

The release of budget models of good quality has been established by companies: Vitek, Scarlett and Supra.

Overview of the most sought after models

Below are the most popular humidifiers used in everyday life. The demand for models is due to their reliability, ease of use, operational efficiency and the equivalence of "price-quality".

Boneco E2441A - the traditional way of moisturizing

The device is awarded the Red Dot Industrial Design Award. The original form along with cost-effectiveness and efficiency leave the model among the sales leaders. The principle of operation is based on self-regulating evaporation.

Boneco E2441A
A funnel-shaped opening is provided for filling with water on top of the housing. The liquid level is controlled by a functional float. Floor installation recommended

Distinctive features of Boneco E2441A:

  • antibacterial humidification filter;
  • silver ionizing rod ISS;
  • operating mode indicator;
  • power selection - 2 levels (normal and night);
  • estimated cost - 120-180 US dollars.

To maintain the quality of work, it is necessary to change the filter once a quarter and clean the water tank every week.

Ballu UHB-400 - ultrasonic atomization of steam

Despite its compact dimensions, the humidifier copes with its task efficiently and quickly. The appearance resembles a nightlight, the model is available in three colors.

Ballu UHB-400
Characteristics of UHB-400: type - ultrasonic, noise level - 35 dB, mechanical control, presence of a water level indicator, installation method - floor or table

The device is equipped with an ion exchange filter for primary water treatment. The cartridge is designed for 150 liters. Under the condition that the humidifier operates daily for 8 hours or more, the filter must be replaced every 45 days.

Ballu costs around $ 40-50.

Boneco U7135 - premium representative

Ultrasonic device with convenient electronic control. The model is equipped with a hydrostat, automatically adjusting the moisture level in the apartment.

Boneco U7135
Note: water consumption during normal operation - 400 g / h, when switching to "hot steam" - consumption increases to 550 g / h

Distinctive features of Boneco U7135:

  • control the intensity of hydration;
  • cleaning indicator;
  • filter with silver particles;
  • shutdown with a lack of water;
  • water disinfection system - preheating up to 80 ° С.

The disadvantage of the Boneco U7135 is its high cost (about $ 150).

Fanline VE-200 - device of Russian assembly

A multi-tasking unit designed for servicing small rooms - 20 sq.m.

The air washer performs three cleaning steps:

  • strainer - carries out coarse filtration, trapping wool, hair and dust;
  • plasma cartridge - removes pollen from plants, part of harmful microorganisms;
  • drum with wet discs - purifies and moisturizes the air.

The mechanical control panel has on / off buttons, ionization, enhanced filtering, backlighting, ozonization and toggle switch performance adjustment.

Fanline VE-200
Continuous operation of Fanline VE-200 - 8 hours. It is acceptable to use tap water and add aromatic oils. No consumables or replacement filters required

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Practical recommendations for choosing a household appliance to increase humidity:

Testing different humidifiers at home:

We can summarize that an ultrasonic humidifier is better for an apartment. When buying it is important to compare the performance of the device with the area of ​​the room. An important argument in favor of a particular model is the lack of noise and ease of maintenance.

Still can't choose a suitable humidifier? Or have questions about the topic of this article? Ask them in the block with comments - we will deal together. Or maybe you have already purchased a humidifier. Please tell us which model you chose, are you satisfied with his work?

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Visitors Comments
  1. Natalya

    And I believe that this is more a tribute to fashion than a real need. At least in summer, our humidity is high. So high that we turn on the dehumidifier, and in winter it drops to the level of just the same 45-50%. There is a small child, and in order to maintain the moisture level in the room, I didn’t specifically purchase a humidifier, I just washed the laundry and it dries naturally, thereby evaporating not only restore the required humidity level in the room, but also spread a pleasant smell from fresh linen. Or I hang a wet towel on the battery. I may be old-fashioned and wrong, but so far I don’t see the need for a humidifier.

    • Increasing the comfort of life cannot be only a tribute to fashion, but a humidifier and comfort increase, and have a beneficial effect on health. The main thing is to choose a good one. For example, we bought a domestic Atmos, a decent humidifier and is inexpensive. Normally moisturizes, there is a backlight, it works silently. Of the shortcomings: perhaps the lack of a timer and a short cord.

  2. It’s better to dry your clothes in the dryer or on the balcony, especially if you have a small child. I don’t think it would be beneficial for him to breathe the vapors of the powder. But an air humidifier will be just in time. You are lucky, of course, that the humidity level is good. It was uncomfortable for us to live without a humidifier. Already changed 3 models and the most successful was the extreme - Stadler Form Fred F ‐ 005EH. It has been serving us for almost a year. Now I didn’t look at the prices, but we bought for 6,800 rubles on Avito. Paid upon receipt at the boxberry. I went to pick up with my husband. He looked at the technical part and assembly, and I, as you know, appreciated the design and convenience) I want to say that the humidifier is great for the price. It works silently, of high quality, and there were no problems with it. The design is cool, just some kind of hi-tech))

  3. Diana

    We bought a regular steam humidifier home. In principle, enough. Ionization and cleaning - these functions are in the air conditioner. The main thing is to take clean water.And yet, in theory, it can be used as an inhaler, but I have not tried it yet. It is inexpensive, we generally took Avito for some ridiculous price, and paid for boxbury only after we examined it.

  4. Sergei

    Good material to understand the topic. And how often do you need to clean filters and other parts? Do you need to fill in special water? What about the noise from the cleaner?

    • Expert
      Alexey Dedyulin

      Now the most common models of humidifiers are ultrasonic. They are just very picky about the quality of water, and people also need to responsibly approach this issue. After all, you will inhale the vapor that is formed from water in a humidifier. It is best to use distilled water - this is the best option.

      As for the frequency of filter replacement, it will be enough to change them every three months, that is, four filters are enough for a year.

      In order not to clean the device every two months, I recommend using a special hygienic additive. There is a good manufacturer Venta, they also make humidifiers.

      Regarding noise, it is practically absent, 25 dB is the noise level from ultrasonic humidifiers. For analogy, this is a conversation in a whisper of two people at a distance of several meters.

      Attached photos: