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How to Choose a Humidifier

Don't Suffer the Dryness: How to Choose a Humidifier

Now that it's getting chilly outside, many of us are cranking up the heat to stay cozy. While it's pleasantly warm, all that heat can be drying, and you may to wake up with a sore throat, stuffy nose, and congested sinuses. A humidifier can help alleviate those symptoms by putting moisture back into the air, and running one can also help you breathe easier if you have a cold.

So how do you choose one? It all depends on what kind of moisture you want in the air: cool or warm. Want to see how these two kinds of humidifiers compare? Then

Here's how cool vs. warm humidifiers compare:

Warm Cool
Basic info Warm air humidifiers use a heating element to warm the water. The hot moisture that is released into the air can burn your skin if you come into contact with the steam. Cool air humidifiers do not heat the water, so there is no risk for burns, making them a great choice if you have kids (or mischievous pets).
Types Vaporizers — The water is boiled and sent out as steam. Boiling kills any mold or bacteria that might be hanging out in the water. These are really easy to use, easy to find, and cheap to buy.

Warm Mist — Similar to the vaporizer, the water is heated to make it evaporate, but most units cool the mist before it's sent out into the air to reduce the risk of burns.
Evaporative — Transmits moisture into the air invisibly by using a fan to blow air through a moistened absorbent material, such as a belt, wick, or filter. The noise from the fan can be a disadvantage for some, but others prefer the gentle hum and even say that it helps them sleep.

Impeller or cool mist — This is the kind that's shown above. It produces a cool mist by means of a high-speed rotating disk. This is quieter than a fan.

Ultrasonic — Creates a cool mist by means of ultrasonic sound vibrations, which create water droplets that get released into the air in a cool fog. They are very efficient and make hardly any sound.

Fit's Tips: If you use a humidifier while you sleep, be sure to open your shades or blinds to let light in when you wake up. Dark, warm, and moist places are breeding grounds for mold, mildew, fungus, and bacteria, and you don't want to breathe that in. Change the water on a daily basis, and make sure to thoroughly clean your humidifier and replace filters often.


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