Have you been noticing the air in your home is dry and almost scratchy on your throat and lungs when you breathe it in? If so, the humidity levels of your home may be out of order and experiencing a drop in the amount of moisture in the air. It is recommended by most home renovation experts and trusted healthcare professionals, that the air in your home contains about 50% of relative humidity. This is the amount of moisture in each particle of the air that circulates throughout your home.
While too much moisture in the home can cause serious health and structural issues, it is important to note that not enough can do the same. The proper levels of moisture in a home can reduce allergy and cold symptoms, as well as reduce dry skin or flare-ups of common skin conditions.
Dry air can also affect the wood and other materials that were used in the construction of your residence. With too much dryness in the air, the wooden support beams and furniture can also dry out, leading to cracks or splits and a loss of strength. It becomes
brittle and easily snapped when pressure is applied. Fire hazards are also increased because of the dry nature of the wood and linens.
There is an appliance that can help balance the levels of humidity in your home and that is a humidifier. With multiple types to choose from and different unique features associated with each one, it can become overwhelming when deciding. Not only are there different types but there are different styles within that particular type. The most notable difference is the use of filter during operation. How can a filter help? What does it do? Is it more advantageous to have a filter? Let’s find out together.
What is a Humidifier?
Simply put, a humidifier is an appliance that is used to adjust the level of moisture in the air of your home. The reasons for wanting to adjust the moisture levels could be physical, structural or a combination of both.
Most humidifiers emit moisture into the air by the use of a fan and motor powered by electricity or batteries to dispel particles of water into the atmosphere. You can purchase cool mist humidifiers, warm mist humidifiers, or even sonic vibration humidifiers. They can be a single unit (portable to each room with an electrical outlet) or big units that are installed directly into the central air system of a home.
An unfiltered humidifier is a humidifier that doesn’t come with a filter but instead just passes water through its operating system to the air. It generally comes with a built-in purifying system, removing bacteria and allergens from the moisture before releasing it into the air.
Avoid maintenance on the filter
A humidifier, like any appliance, requires some maintenance from its owner. You have to clean the parts of the machine in which the water is stored, the components that omit the water and the vents from which the water enters the air.
The filter in a humidifier should be cleaned each week, especially if you use it daily. Special cleaning solutions may be required to avoid compromising the fibers of the filter.
Avoid the cost of a replacement filter
Some humidifiers may require a replacement filter every one to two months. This can become costly and frustrating, especially if you use your humidifier on a daily basis. Installation of the filter sometimes falls to the owner (even some central air units), which can be cumbersome for some who live a busy lifestyle and may not always be around to change the filter on time.
Risk of bacteria and allergens entering the air
The main purpose of a filter is to remove harmful bacteria and allergens that can develop in dark, damp areas. Without a filter, there is a greater risk of bacteria that can cause long-term health problems living in the air you and your family breathe on a daily basis. If you already live with respiratory problems, the use of an unfiltered humidifier can increase symptoms instead of reducing them.
Will require more vigorous maintenance on other operating parts
Most humidifiers that come without a filter have other systems in place that reduce the number of bacteria and allergens that enter the air. This means that additional maintenance and cleaning on the unit is required. Cleaning instructions should come with your unit so that you can perform preventive maintenance right at home. Special disinfectants may have to be purchased or a cleaning solution made especially for your humidifier.
A filtered humidifier is a humidifier that omits moisture into the air but only after it has passed through a filter to remove any harmful bacteria, mites or allergens. This style of a humidifier can be considered healthier, but they can also be slightly noisier, according to consumer complaints.
Removes bacteria and allergens from the moisture particles before sending into the atmosphere
If you currently live with respiratory issues, such as asthma, or skin conditions such as eczema, you know that certain bacteria or allergens can bring on an attack or increase in symptoms. The use of a filter reduces the amount of these nasty critters from entering the atmosphere. They will help you get the most out of your humidifier, instead of leaving you regretting your purchase.
Those who live a healthy lifestyle find peace of mind in the knowledge that the moisture and air in the home are the cleanest it can be, regardless of the appliances being used.
Can be costly when a filter replacement is needed
When a replacement filter is required every one or two months, it can become irritating and costly. The irritation factor is the purchasing of the filter, changing the filter and the disposal of the filter. The cost factor is the actual price of the filter. Depending on the brand, unit, and style, the filters could cost up to $20.00 each time.
Noisier than an unfiltered humidifier
Some consumers reported that a filtered humidifier is louder than an unfiltered one. Low-end units can omit gurgling noises or wheeze as the moisture passes through the filter.
You are now informed and educated on what the pros and cons of a humidifier that comes with a filter and one that does not. Armed with this knowledge, you can wisely make the decision that will offer the maximum benefits to yourself and your family. Not only will you aid in living a healthy lifestyle, you can also breathe easy knowing that your family’s home is not being damaged by dry air.
Make sure to choose a brand and retailer that you can trust when purchasing a humidifier, as they can be pricey with the more features and options they have to offer. Check out warranty periods, repair or replace policies and even the warranties offered by the retailer from which you purchase your humidifier.
Always use a humidifier according to the instructions provided, as too much moisture in the air of your home can have both similar and different effects on a person; along with the structure itself.
What about you? Do you use a filtered humidifier? Do you prefer one without a filter? If so, why? Let us know in the comments below!