Dry winter air can lead to a variety of problems, ranging from dry skin and nosebleeds to cracked paint and peeling wallpaper. In an effort to control the humidity and eliminate the health problems and household annoyances, many people turn to humidifiers. Humidifiers work by sending water into the air, increasing humidity to a more comfortable level. For optimum comfort and health, humidity levels should be maintained between 30 and 50 percent. Any less and mucous membranes will dry out; any higher and bacteria will grow.
There are two main types of technologies driving humidifiers: warm mist and cool mist. In a warm mist humidifier, water is heated and sent into the air. In cool mist, or evaporative, humidifiers, water is blown through a wick filter and into the air. The humidifier filter is designed to filter out bacteria and other impurities from the water.
Problems arise when people fail to follow the manufacturers’ instructions regarding humidifier filters. These filters must be cleaned or changed regularly, depending on the model. Filters generally must be changed every four to six weeks, but check the instructions on your particular model. Failure to do so will result in the growth of harmful mold, mildew, bacteria, dust mites, and other impurities. Ingesting these harmful growths can be much more hazardous than the problems associated with low humidity.
For people who wish to use a cool mist humidifier, but don’t want to be bothered with changing humidifier filters, the Hunter Care-Free humidifiers might be the best choice. They offer a Permawick filter that never needs to be changed and only has to be cleaned once a season.
When buying replacement filters, it is generally a good item to avoid generic brands. Though these generic, universal filters may be cheaper, they often sacrifice quality. Look for the letters â€œOEM,â€ (original equipment manufacturer). This ensures that you are purchasing a filter from the actual product manufacturer. For example, if you have a Honeywell humidifier, you should buy a Honeywell filter. If you do opt to use a generic â€œknock-offâ€ filter, check your manufacturer information carefully to be that its use will not void the humidifier warranty.