Humidifier Definition


A room humidifier is a device used to maintain levels of relative humidity in the air. It is usually encased in a cabinet of wood or plastic and may be mobile. In other applications, it may be installed as part of the HVAC system. The encasement is designed to have openings or louvers that allow air in and air out. There is a fan that circulates the air through the device. A filter or wet surface dips into a pan of water and is then exposed to the current of air. The result is a gradual and consistent supply of moisture to the surrounding area.

Some humidifiers will have an electric heating element as part of the process to evaporate even more water molecules into the air. The device will have a control that will allow the setting of relative humidity in the air. Indicator lights will inform the user when relative humidity levels have been reached and when to add more water.

Humidifying Wick/Filter

An evaporative room humidifier will have a filter or wick that is made of porous material. This item absorbs water from a water reservoir. Evaporation rates are entirely dependent upon the amount of relative humidity in the air at the time of use. Low rates will cause the wick/filter to evaporate quickly as the fan blows across it. High humidity levels may leave the wick/filter wet for longer periods of time.

If atmospheric saturation of moisture has been reached, then the wick/filter may stay wet too long. This will produce mold. In addition, mineral deposits may build up in the wick/filter. These mold spores and minerals will then travel through the air to the humans in this area. This has the potential to cause various medical conditions if humidity levels are too high. It is important to replace the wick/filter at appointed time suggested by the manufacturer.

Why do We Need a Humidifier?

During the winter, air is cold. The heating systems inside dwellings have a tendency to dry the air out. When this happens, the air can cause dry eyes, dry skin and various other physical symptoms. Placing the humidity back into the air can remove these possibilities.

If nasal passages are kept moist then allergens have less of a chance to attach themselves to the inner membrane wall of the nose. Skin, lips, and hands will be less chapped. In addition, items made from wood such as furniture will last longer and not crack as often. Finally, static electricity will be reduced in the air and this will allow sensitive electronics to function correctly.

Humidifier Sizing

Understand that humidifiers have ratings just like any other mechanical or electric device. They are classified based on how much moisture they can disperse over a specific square foot area. Portable humidifiers are good for one room only. They require constant monitoring for water levels and are excellent for travel use. Room humidifiers are usually good for spaces ranging from 650-1200 sq. ft.. Whole house humidifiers will humidify the entire home from a central point.

(By the way, moisture in the air will keep your skin moisturized and as time passes you will have less wrinkles. Less wrinkles means you can maintain a more youthful appearance. So, yes. Humidifiers can keep you young looking!)