Humidifier Buyer's Guide

Finding a solution to the dry and itchy air that we all experience throughout Michigan winters can mean the difference between a comfortable and tolerable winter and a miserable one that you can’t wait to get over with. But not only can ignoring the issues of dry air leave you grumpy, they can also have severe implications on your home. While heating your home in the winter is a necessity, failing to account for the dry air that your furnace may produce can give you headaches in more ways than one. From irritated sinuses to scratchy skin and even damaged paint and wallpaper, when you don’t address the lack of humidity in your home you are likely to suffer much more than you need to. Fortunately, simply installing a humidifier in your home can go a long way toward making your winter in Michigan a lot more bearable. Here is your guide to buying the best humidifier for your home.

Do I need a humidifier?

Prior to purchasing your humidifier, it is important to thoroughly examine your current situation. This includes measuring humidity levels in your home and comparing them with recommended humidity levels to determine where you fall on the humidity map. To achieve optimal comfort in your home, it is usually recommended to keep your humidity levels between 35% and 45%. Every home is different, so it is important to take into account everything from the design of your home and the way it was constructed to your home’s location in terms of elevation and other factors. Additionally, you should also consider the health benefits that a humidifier can offer in terms of reducing allergens and easing breathing. If you are looking to have your humidifier installed by a professional, they will take a look at your home and your humidity levels in determining the best course of action for installing your humidifier.

What type of humidifier do I need?

Humidifiers come in all shapes and sizes, and even differ based on temperature. Once you have determined a need for a humidifier in your home, this humidifier buyer’s guide will give you a better idea of what to look for when making your purchase. Specifically, we will be examining warm mist humidifiers as compared to cool mist humidifiers as well as personal humidifiers, room humidifiers, and whole-house units.

Warm mist & cool mist humidifiers

There are not many differences between warm mist and cool mist humidifiers, but making the right choice is essential to your comfort and your health. A warm mist humidifier actually boils water, outputting a distilled steam that can help to ease breathing in cool rooms. Cool mist humidifiers, on the other hand, pass water over a wick and expel vapor as opposed to steam. Cool mist humidifiers can actually cool down the temperature of a room, which is an important factor to take into account when examining your options.

Portable humidifier or whole-house humidifier?

In terms of the size of your humidifier unit, there are two basic categories: portable and whole-house humidifiers. A portable humidifier includes personal units as well as single room humidifiers while the whole-house option functions on a much broader level. Whole-house humidifiers can be professionally installed to run whenever your home’s heating system is on. This can prevent your furnace from drying out your entire home and eliminate the need of a portable humidifier system. The type of humidifier you need will largely depend on your home’s average humidity. If only certain rooms of your home register below recommended humidity levels, installing a humidifier to function throughout your home could lead to excess moisture in unwanted areas of your home. Once again, a professional heating and cooling contractor should be able to help you determine the best solution for your home.