Types of Portable / Room Humidifiers

Humidifiers are household appliances that add moisture to a room or whole house. Humidifiers prevent an uncomfortable unbalanced presence of dry cold air the winter months. The effects of excessive cold air can produce, dry skin, itchy eyes, sinus headaches, sore throats, and cracked lips. Humidifiers are commonly used in rooms with young children, infants and babies as these ages can be most subject to the harsh effects of prolonged cold dry air. To determine if you need to add humidification in your home, see this link… A Room Humidifier Overview

The noticeable, yet intended advantage when using a room humidifier, is the added moisture to the air, making the living areas feel warmer and pleasantly comfortable. Oppositely, an environment with low humidity makes the air in living areas feel colder and uncomfortably dryer. Click here to read more on controlling humidity in your home.

A noticeable detriment on your home by not humidifying, can be damaged woodwork throughout the home (i.e. floors walls, paneling, and musical instruments). These visible effects result in creaking floors, and cracks in wood, drywall and plaster.
NOTE Before You Choose: The size of the room and amount of humidification needed, will determine the size, type and capacity of the humidifier you will need. A large room such as the master bedroom or the living room in your house will require a humidifier that can produce a higher output. The output or “Evaporative Capacity” is generally defined in quarts, liters or gallons per hour or day. The water capacity determines the humidifier’s output.  Knowing this is key to determine its intended location.

There are two primary types of Portable / Room Humidifiers: Cool Mist and Warm Mist

1 Cool Mist room humidifiers are slightly noisier than warm mist humidifiers, though some models have a ‘silent’ feature for use in bedrooms. Cool mist humidifiers pass water over a filter (or wick) and expel water as a vapor which cools the room temperature easing breathing. Cool Mist humidifiers vary in size and design, such as large portable floor units, to small room models. These emit a soothing cool mist into the air, which is beneficial for the use in warmer climates and warmer months.


2Ultrasonic Room Humidifiers are quiet and highly energy efficient. Someone who is ready to invest a bit extra for a cool mist humidifier can opt for the ultrasonic humidifier models. They contain a metal diaphragm (or plate) that moves at a frequency beyond one’s hearing range, to produce an extra fine mist that is expelled as added moisture to a room. Since this humidifier hardly makes a sound, one can sleep peacefully throughout the night. Compared to other humidifiers, Ultrasonic humidifiers use 93% less energy to humidify a room of equal space. This style is often preferred, as it’s considered safer without the use of hot water in the unit; therefore there’s no risk of scalding injury.

3Evaporative Room Humidifiers help to regulate the humidity in a large area, which tends to be a tricky task. This type of humidifier has a self-regulating system which helps it increase or decrease water vapor production, depending on the relative humidity of the day. Evaporative humidifiers are very efficient in producing humidity. Designs vary from filter free units, to units with a filter. The filter (or wick) holds and draws water up to a fan, expelling it from the unit in a water mist or spray. Evaporative humidifiers are typically cool-mist humidifiers and tend to be the easiest to use and the easiest to maintain.

4 Warm Mist room humidifiers boil water resulting in a distilled steam expelled into the room. The steam as opposed to a vapor, offers a gentle spray of warm water that is most concentrated in the area surrounding the humidifier. These warm mist units can also be used with medicated inhalants and are usually designed with a small medicine compartment. Warm mist humidifiers are not recommended around young children and infants, as the internal hot water and heating element can risk injury to children, if mishandled. Warm Mist humidifiers are more comfortable to use in cooler climates and in cooler months, since they release a warm vapor into the air.

5Steam Vaporizers use the Warm Mist System; they emit hot water vapor to ease symptoms of dry skin, congestion and croup. The moisture released is at a much higher temperature. One advantage of this humidifier style is the higher temperature, it produces, reduces the potential for introducing microorganisms into the air. A vaporizer can shorten the length of an illness and prevent a common cold from becoming more serious. Vaporizers can be filled with medical inhalants so that medicated vapors can be dispersed into the air to release and treat varied sinus problems.

For further assistance on the advantages and disadvantages associated with the different types of room humidifiers to equip you make a buying decision, contact our Customer Service Team at: 855-932-4822.