How to Use a Humidifier

Like if this Guide is helpful
How to Use a Humidifier

Recommended indoor humidity is 35 to 40 per cent. Even when outdoor humidity exceeds ideal humidity, air conditioning or heating units dry out the air indoors. Maintaining ideal humidity can relieve cold and congestion symptoms, cut down allergy symptoms, reduce static electricity, prevent nosebleeds from dry nasal passages, and improve overall skin tone and health. Humidifiers come in five basic types, with two distinctions: some use cool mist and some use warm mist. Humidifiers vary in cost depending on the size and the style, with portable steam vapourisers representing the most budget-friendly humidifiers. Whole-house humidifiers are the most costly, as they work in an entire building by connecting to the vent system.

Types of Humidifiers

Cool-mist humidifiers usually include a filter that removes impurities before the mist releases into the air. Alternately, warm-mist humidifiers have a heating element that boils the water.

Humidifier Type


Whole-house Humidifier

Built directly into the vent system of a building with a large tank like an A/C unit

Sometimes tankless and connected to the building water supply

Ultrasonic Humidifier

Ultrasonic vibrations propel mist into the air

Evaporative Humidifier

Fan blows cool mist through a moist filter

Impeller Humidifier

Fast rotating disc expels cool mist into the air

Steam Humidifier

Heating element boils water to create steam

Steam slightly cooled before released into the air

Not every humidifier is right for every home. Steam humidifiers add heat to the air, which can make a small space feel stuffy. Ultrasonic humidifiers are nearly silent, while humidifies with fans run louder.

Using a Humidifier

Fill the humidifier tank only as high as the maximum fill line. Place the humidifier in a safe, central location in the room. Do not allow the mist to create condensation on nearby surfaces, as this causes mildew growth. Be mindful of any fire hazards around steam vapourisers, which heat up during use. As with any device that heats up, do not allow it to run when no one is home. Be careful when using humidifiers around children and people with lower immune systems, as they are more susceptible to illness from bacteria or pathogens in the water. The risk of bacteria is higher in cool-mist humidifiers, where the water remains unheated.

If the humidifier does not have a humidistat, consider purchasing a hygrometer to track and maintain the optimum indoor humidity. When the indoor humidity is on the high side, you can turn off the humidifier until the humidity gets low again. This helps reduce electricity and water waste from constantly running the humidifier.

Timers and Automated Shutdown

High-end humidifiers come with features to make them more user-friendly and efficient. Some humidifiers include a humidistat, which keeps track of the current humidity. Humidifiers with the humidistat feature maintain a preset relative percentage. Other automation features include a run timer and an auto-shutoff for when the tank is dry. Both these features make the humidifier more energy efficient, and avoid damage from overheating and overuse. If the humidifier comes with a timer or other automated features, check the user's manual for details on how to programme these features.

Steam Humidifiers and Medication

Some steam humidifiers include a compartment for airborne medicines; as the water vapourises, the medicine goes with it. Only use medication intended for use with steam humidifiers, and do not add medication to a cool-mist humidifier. Furthermore, do not add the medication to the water, as the additives in the medication may damage the humidifier.

Humidifier Care and Maintenance

Clean and wipe the humidifier dry every two or three days to prevent the growth of mould and mildew in the tank. Mould, mildew, and other bacteria carry in the mist and exacerbate allergies, asthma, and illnesses. Never leave used water to sit in the tank; empty the humidifier when switched off. Use distilled water to prevent mineral build-up within the humidifier. While tap water does not pose any more risks when used with a humidifier, distilled water cuts down on as many microorganisms as possible.

How to Buy a Humidifier on eBay

When choosing a humidifier, look for the size and features that best fit the space. For increasing the humidity in one room, consider a tabletop or portable humidifier. For easier cleaning, choose models that are dishwasher-safe. A clear tank allows visual inspection of the water, if water purity is a concern. When looking for a humidifier on eBay, eBay Deals offers potential savings on new home appliances and other home items that fit your lifestyle. Sellers on eBay also have both new and used humidifiers listed. If purchasing a used humidifier, check the listing to see the condition of the humidifier, what supplies it comes with, and the history of the appliance.

Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides