Cool Mist Vs. Warm Mist Humidifiers

Humidifiers are separated in two main categories: cold mist and warm mist. These humidifiers might work in different ways but they serve the same cause – moisturizing the air. Let’s see in what manner both of these humidifiers work and ultimately make your choice between them as you see it fit for your own use.

Cool mist humidifiers

Cool mist humidifiers can be classified into two categories: evaporative and ultrasonic.

Evaporative humidifiers are based on a fan that blows the dry air from the room through an evaporative wick filter. This wick filter is set inside the base of the humidifier and it absorbs the water inside. When it blows air through the wick filter, the water in it evaporates, being distributed around the room in the form of humidified air. It needs little electricity to run because it doesn’t have heating elements. The only downside is that the wick has to be replaced on a regular basis; mold, fungi and bacteria can grow on the wick as it sits in the water. Even if you add a cartridge to remove the bacteria, the wick still has to be replaced at least every two months to avoid infesting the air with contaminants.

Ultrasonic humidifiers use a small metal diaphragm that vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency, breaking the water down into tiny drops that form a fine vapor of mist. The ultrasonic humidifier is the most quiet model of humidifier and it requires very little electricity. However, this humidifier releases minerals that are found in the water, forming a “white dust” that settles on the furniture that is in proximity of it. The dust isn’t harmful, but if its presence bothers you, use cartridges to remove the minerals from the water.

When using a cool mist humidifier, the air feels cooler; this is helpful for the people living in warm climates who need some cooling off.

Cool mist humidifiers cost less than the warm mist humidifiers so that may seem like an advantage, but keep in mind that their parts must be replaced periodically, this aspect balancing the situation in the long run.

Warm mist humidifiers

Warm mist humidifiers, as stated in the name, release a warm steam into the room. They use heating elements to heat up the water inside the humidifier. These humidifiers use a lot more energy than the cool mist humidifiers, but on the long term they are less costly because they don’t have parts that need to be replaced.

The downside to using a warm mist humidifier is that the water inside of them encourages bacterial growth by being warm, therefore it is mandatory to clean them often. Also, many studies show that warm humidifiers should not be used around babies and small children; the water inside them is very hot and if the humidifier were to get tipped over while in use, the water in it could cause a burn to the skin of the child. Avoid such accidents by placing the humidifier in a place that the children can’t reach and where not even you could knock it over.

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