Air Purifiers and Humidifiers
Ever notice how the air feels so different in the various seasons? The changing humidity, temperature, suspended particles and other properties of air strongly affect us. Indoor air quality is even affected by HVAC and other systems. For example, running your furnace or heating system can dry out the air and make it even dryer. This can result in dry, itchy, and cracked skin.
This problem can be solved with Humidifiers. These humidifiers are good for your skin as well as making your home more comfortable in the dry seasons. The challenges of impure air can be tackled with Air Purifiers - these are appliances that take in air, filter out particulate matter in it and release clean air.
How do these devices work? And which one is right for you? Let's walk you through the basics here.
Are there portable humidifiers?
Yes. Of the various types of humidifiers, some are portable, while others can be used in whole-home settings. These compact, powerful devices can be easily set up in any home and are simple to use.
They require a power source and water tank, the specifics of which depend on which humidifier you buy.
There are 3 types of humidification you can get:
Cool mist: Perfect for warmer climates. Cool mist humidifiers add moisture without raising the temperature. Cool mist humidifiers are the most commonly used type of humidifier.
Warm mist: Designed for colder climates, warm-mist humidifiers are great for adding heat and moisture to your room.
Two-mist: Two-mist humidifiers provide either a cool or warm mist, depending upon the conditions in which they are used.
This is done with 3 major humidification technologies:
Ultrasonic: Ultrasonic humidifiers make use of vibrating metal diaphragms. These diaphragms vibrate to create water droplets and then release them into the atmosphere to add moisture. They are quiet, require very little energy, and can create cool or warm mists.
Evaporative: They use an electric fan to circulate humidity. A moist wick filter releases moisture into the atmosphere. They produce cool mists but are the most expensive and require little maintenance. Most humidifiers that produce cool mist, warm mist, and dual mist are evaporative.
Vaporizers: These can alternate between cool mist and warm mist. But, because they use more energy than other types, and are dangerous because they can get too warm, they can pose a danger to your health.
How most humidifiers work
The function of a humidifier can vary depending on what type you choose. However, the vast majority of humidifiers use the same concept. A reservoir of water is gradually dispensed into the basin. The water is then absorbed by a filter.
The fan blows air through this filter, which evaporates water. It also adds moisture to the room. Most humidifiers can be self-regulated, meaning that as humidity increases in a room, the amount of vapor produced will decrease.
Recommended for medium-sized rooms: SHARP KC850U Air Purifier + Humidifier
Benefits of using a Humidifier
You can get a variety of benefits from a humidifier for your personal health as well as your home's overall condition. Here are some of its primary benefits:
Reducing the risk of developing diseases. By adding humidity to the air, dry air can be reduced. Dry air can increase the likelihood of being infected by viruses and bacteria.
Breathing ability is improved. Dry air can cause dry throats, dry eyes, and irritation. The air becomes more breathable by adding some moisture to it.
Improved temperature management. Dry, uncontrolled air is difficult to heat up and cause additional heating costs. Humidifiers provide moisture to the air to make it more manageable.
Improved skin conditions. Dry air can cause dryness in the skin, which can be itchy, flaky, and cracked. These conditions can often be cured by moisture.
Recommended Humidifier for large rooms: Levoit Smart Humidifier
Where can I buy a humidifier?
A common household accessory is a portable humidifier. They are easily found in most stores that sell household products. You will find portable humidifiers in big-box stores like Target, Walmart, and stores like Home Depot or Lowe's.
The same goes for pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens. Amazon offers portable humidifiers for purchase online. Humidifiers are available in a range of prices, from less than $20 to more than $200.
How to set up a humidifier?
It is easy to set up most portable humidifiers. The humidifiers can be plugged in and filled with water. Once it has dispersed the moisture, you will need to turn on the power. Make sure you read the humidifier manual carefully to ensure it is working correctly.
Although most humidifiers work with tap water, there are some that require or perform better with distilled water. This prevents the accumulation of any type of mineral dust. Warm mist humidifiers or humidifiers that get hot in operation should be kept off the ground and away from children or animals.
How do air purifiers work?
Air filters and portable air purifiers remove pollutants and particles from the air.
Two main types of indoor pollutants are:
Particulate Matter: This refers to biological pollutants such as mold spores or dust mites.
Gaseous pollutants: These include paints varnishes adhesives pesticides. VOCs are also used to refer to particularly hazardous gaseous pollutants.
These contaminants can be removed by air purifiers. While it would be ideal to take preventative measures to eliminate the possibility of airborne particles entering your home, in cases like wildfires, this is not possible. Depending on what air purifier you pick, you can get an advanced level of purification of the air in your room - some even claim to be able to filter out viruses and germs from the air!
Recommended Purifier + Humidifier Combo: Afloia 2 in 1 HEPA Air Purifier + Humidifier
These pollutants can be removed by air purifiers using either filtration (electrostatic precipitation) or ionizing technologies. However, the EPA warns that some electrostatic or ionizing air purifiers can create ozone as a byproduct which is not good for health.
California law bans the sale of ozone-producing purifiers. The California Air Resources Board maintains an inventory of approved air cleaners. It notes that indoor particle levels can be reduced by using an approved CARB-certified air cleanser. This will further reduce smoke's harmful effects.
Filter-based purifiers are generally considered more efficient and healthier than ozone generation. This is why we will be focusing on them.
A HEPA filter which stands for high-efficiency particle absorber is the most efficient form of air filtering. The filters draw in the air from your home and then move it through the filter using a fan.
Each filter captures pollutants, particles, and airborne allergens as the air passes through it. The filter pushes out clean air into your home. HEPA filters perform better than standard air filters. They can capture smaller particles and purify the air more effectively.
The best air purifiers can make your home a much more pleasant environment. They can be used to provide relief from seasonal allergies. Purifiers that are best for pets can remove virus particles and remove pet odors.
These purifiers are also able to reduce the harmful effects of wildfire smoke and indoor air pollution, which is an important benefit as we move into the dry summer months.
There are so many options for air purifiers, and each one offers a different method of purification. You could have a tough time deciding which one is right for you. Think about how much you can afford to invest in air purification. Is it a whole-home filtration system or an ionic one? Do you need an activated carbon filter or an ionic air purifier?