Humidifiers serve as a great solution to maintain optimum humidity levels indoors. But do you know what size will work the best?
Let’s start with the basics. Simply put, it infuses moisture in the air in the form of invisible mist and improves overall comfort and health. Humidifiers are in high demand during the winters as it helps to minimize the physical impacts of the weather. By adding moisture in the air, humidifiers prevent respiratory issues and drying of hands.
The idea behind humidifiers is easy to grasp. However, the real decision making lies in choosing the perfect one. As a consumer, you must first figure out the type of humidifier you need based on its purpose. It could be for a medical reason or to combat general discomfort.
After that, pick a suitable size. In that case, the ideal model depends directly on the space where you intend to keep it.
How to choose the perfect size?
Several factors come into play when choosing the right size of the humidifier. We’ve listed out the most important ones so you can make an informed choice and get something appropriate for your home.
Take a look at these points now.
Most models mention the intended room size in square feet, allowing users to find something of the required capacity. Apart from the intended room size, manufacturers also state the amount of moisture the humidifier produces. That said, the moisture output is usually specified for 24 hours.
Even though the specs are accurate to a certain degree, go for a bigger size if it seems insufficient or just enough. For instance, if a model claims to work for a room of up to 400 sq ft while yours is 360 sq ft, choose a medium-sized model for best results.
The volume of a room is a key consideration for finding the right humidifier size. That’s because some houses have rooms with high ceilings while others have vaulted ones. More often than not, people with high ceiling houses end up buying an undersized humidifier. This is one of the major disadvantages of following standardized humidifier-size charts.
The inherent flaw with these charts is that they are made keeping in mind average measurements. Since each house has its individual ceiling type and height, it is essential to get a clear idea of room volume before choosing the size of the humidifier.
Once you are done measuring the area and volume, you must pay attention to the insulation of the room. Since the amount of air in a particular room is directly related to the choice of humidifier size, make sure to know all about the existing insulation.
Let’s just say, a humidifier circulates air in the room ‘X’ times/hour. Therefore, it’s essential to know all about insulation to ensure optimum performance.
Homes or rooms that are more or less airtight, generally have insulated walls and draft-free external windows and doors. Conversely, homes that permeate air more rapidly and easily do not have the advantages of an airtight environment.
Other than that, if you want to humidify a room with a fireplace, make sure the damper is closed.
For those who are not familiar with the term, humidification load denotes the amount of moisture needed to achieve a comfortable level of relative humidity(RH). Scientists and experts suggest a range of 40-60 percent to be a healthy RH level.
While several factors affect the humidity indoors, the presence of drafts and the room temperature are the two most important determinants.
Other than that, the number of occupants and their activities throughout the day are secondary factors that impact humidity levels. To explain further, the more people inside the house, the higher the level of humidity. Also, activities such as showering, cooking, and mopping lead to increased humidity levels.
Gallons per Day
Gallons per day(GPD) is the metric used for measuring moisture output levels. That said, GPD varies widely from one model to another. Generally, manufacturers use either of two ways to ascertain GPD.
In case of steam-type units, the amount of water that evaporates in the air is used to determine the GPD. Whereas, other humidifier types calculate GPD by the amount of moisture discharged through the humidifier media. Regardless of the method used, this measurement will make all the difference in terms of a unit’s capacity.
Types of Humidifiers – Portable vs. Whole House
Humidifiers can also be classified under these two categories.
As the name suggests, portable models can be easily moved anywhere around the house and provide zonal humidification to a particular space.
On the other hand, whole-house humidifiers are more straightforward; they are responsible for humidifying the entire house. These models are available in two configurations:
Stand-alone humidifiers – They are stationary units that provide 24-hour humidification with the help of a sink connection.
Furnace humidifiers – These are installed on a furnace, as the humidifiers are required to have a dedicated water line.
In addition to the above, these are the varieties available on the market.
Cool Mist or Impeller Humidifier
Cool mist or impeller humidifiers are systems that include a built-in reservoir and a spinning disc. The spinning disc rapidly breaks up water particles and turns them into a fine mist. The quiet sound output of these models makes them even more popular among users.
Warm Mist or Steam Humidifiers
Unlike the first type, steam mist modes do not come with a spinning disc; instead, they have a heating element of their own. The heating system in the humidifier raises water temperature in the tank to boiling point and then releases warm steam into the air.
Among all the different humidifier types available, the ultrasonic ones are the quietest. It includes two ceramic plates that vibrate at a high frequency, thereby converting water into ultra-small particles.
However, these units need to be demineralized to prevent the discharging of white mineral dust that settles in the room.
Evaporative humidifiers come with a filtering wick. The highly-absorbent wick soaks and collects water in the reservoir. The humidifier’s fan then blows through the filter, dispersing moisturizing mist across the room.
Humidifier by Room Size
If you have an airtight room with a ceiling of about 8 to 9 ft high, then you can exempt yourselves from making complex calculations. This guideline by average room size should help you pick the right option.
Unless the manufacturer states otherwise, small rooms are usually ones with an area of means less than 400sq ft. Basically, kitchens and bathrooms fit into this category. Therefore, these small rooms need compact, tabletop humidifiers that can produce anywhere between 1.5 to 4 gallons of moisture.
The humidifiers for small rooms don’t hog a lot of space and include permanently affixed reservoirs. However, make sure that the room environment is not frequently exposed to external elements that can compromise the system’s performance.
Medium-size rooms typically range from 400-1000 sq ft. Bedrooms, spacious kitchens, and compact living spaces fall under this category. Tower-style models that are kept on the floor are suitable for such spaces. Most tower humidifiers have an output of 2-4 gallons of moisture. They have removable tanks, which makes it convenient for users to refill the humidifier.
Large rooms are mainly those that have an area of 1000 sq ft or more. Tower humidifiers that have a moisture output rate of 2 to 4 gallons are ideal for such rooms. Apart from the tower-style configuration, you also have the option of console humidifiers.
Console humidifiers boast an output level of approximately double the tower humidifiers. Even though console humidifiers are considerably larger, they are still movable. On average, console units produce 6 to 8 GPD of moisture. This makes them ideal for double-rooms and open living spaces.
Presently, there are no portable systems that can humidify an entire house. In which case, you’ll be needing a whole-home humidifier. The bigger-sized console humidifiers can discharge up to 9 gallons of moisture per day.
Therefore, if you live in an apartment with up to 2,500 sq ft of floor space, you can humidify the entire area with the help of a single console unit.However, if you live in a house with a floor area ranging from 2500-4000 sq ft, you’ll require a duct or furnace humidifier.
That said, duct or furnace humidifier models are specially designed for whole-home humidification. Installing the system in the existing HVAC will ensure that all parts of the house receive moisture simultaneously.
That’s all from us.
We hope you can find the most suitable sized humidifier based on your needs. But before we sign off, we would like to leave you with a piece of advice. While purchasing a model, make sure to carefully read through all the specs and learn about its mechanism.
Since you’ll have to refill the reservoir from time to time, it’s best to know about the procedure beforehand. This is especially important if you’re buying a humidifier to improve overall health conditions. At the end of the day, the humidifier system should be able to function with minimal supervision.
Let us know in the comments section below if you have some tips to share.
Till next time, stay misty, folks!