Humidifiers are invaluable tools for helping you maintain a healthy humidity level in moisture-deprived homes, offices, or other areas. Humidifiers add moisture to your room using either warm or cool mist technologies. Since both types have their strengths and weaknesses, familiarizing yourself with the differences between warm mist humidifiers and cool mist humidifiers will help you choose the best one for your needs.
Regardless of the humidifier you choose, both types will help you avoid the unwanted side effects of dry air, which can include irritated sinus passages, bloody noses, cracked lips, itchy skin, sore throats, and respiratory ailments. Dry air can also cause damage to wood floors, wood furnishings, and even a home or building's structure.
Cool mist humidifiers disperse a comfortable stream of room-temperature mist throughout your environment. These humidifiers are available in evaporative or ultrasonic technologies. Cool mist evaporative humidifiers use an internal wick filter to absorb water while a fan blows the air through the filter. This process causes the water to evaporate throughout your room as an ultra-fine, invisible mist. Cool mist ultrasonic humidifiers use ultrasonic vibration technology to create a micro-fine cool mist that is quietly released throughout your environment.
Cool mist humidifiers, such as the Essick Air Credenza Style Humidifier, are great options for adding moisture to large areas or even entire houses. Because the water is not heated before it is dispersed, these humidifiers typically use less electricity. Many parents also opt for cool mist humidifiers to avoid hot water accidents in children's nurseries, bedrooms, or other common areas where curious fingers may find them.
One drawback to cool mist evaporative humidifiers, however, is noise. Since these devices use fans to blanket your room with moisture, they can be slightly noisier than other humidifier types. Additionally, the cool mist can cause the air to feel slightly chillier than usual.
Warm mist humidifiers use an internal heating element that boils water before releasing it into your environment as a soothing invisible mist. These humidifiers, like the Enviracaire EWM-220 Warm Mist Humidifier, are often considered healthier since the boiling process kills waterborne bacteria and mold, which prevents them from entering the air you breathe. The absence of an internal fan makes warm mist humidifiers exceptionally quiet to operate. Warm mist humidifiers are also available in ultrasonic models.
Warm mist humidifiers are not as well-suited for large areas as cool mist models. Instead, these humidifiers work best in smaller areas like bedrooms and offices. In addition, warm mist humidifiers are slightly more expensive to operate and a little more difficult to clean since mineral deposits are often left behind during the boiling process. However, many people have found these humidifiers to be more comfortable for use during cold winter months.
Ready to shop? Browse our humidifiers and find the right model for you. You can also go back to Humidifier Knowledge Center and learn more about these must-have wintertime solutions. Not sure what's best for you? We can take the guesswork out of decision-making. Contact our air treatment experts toll-free at (800) 934-9194 for a free consultation and product recommendation. We want to help make your indoor environment a healthy one.