Many have heard about the benefits of air humidifiers, they are recommended not only by manufacturers interested in increasing profits, but also by doctors. The proposed range of devices is quite wide. How to choose the most suitable model in all its variety, taking into account functionality and price? How to determine whether it is really necessary to use a humidifier in the apartment? In this material, we will tell you what types of devices exist, how they work and are arranged, and most importantly, how to choose a device.
Air humidity standards
As you know, the human body is 60% water. To maintain its correct operation and protective functions, the humidity of the ambient air must be between 40 and 60%. This is a relative indicatoris calculated based on the maximum possible and actual amount of water vapor in 1 cu. meter. The first parameter depends on the temperature: the higher it is, the more moisture the air can absorb. You can measure the relative indicator using a household hygrometer.
In Russia, there is GOST, which states what air humidity should be in the apartment. In the warm season, the relative indicator should be 30-60%, in the heating season - 30-45%. Unfortunately, these standards are more focused on preserving the living space itself, and not on maintaining a microclimate that is comfortable for a person.
Regardless of the time of year, 60% is considered the optimal indicator of humidity for the body. Too dry air negatively affects the condition of the hair, skin and mucous membranes. The curls become brittle, the epithelium begins to peel off, which increases the amount of dust. As you know, the latter consists of 19% of human waste products.
Too dry air has a negative effect not only on humans, but also on indoor plants. Furniture, doors, trim, natural wood flooring may crack. The structure of the material becomes more brittle, which accelerates wear.
Central heating in winter and the use of air conditioners help reduce the amount of water vapor in the air. However, excessive dampness can cause the spread of mold, the spores of which are very harmful to humans. Therefore, before deciding to purchase a humidifier, you should measure the relativethe amount of water vapor in the room air.
What is the benefit of a humidifier? It helps to maintain the optimal level of saturation of the atmosphere of the room with water vapor, which is optimal for the human body. Thanks to this, the skin receives the necessary moisture, peeling and irritation do not occur, the dermis ages more slowly and does not require intensive care using cosmetics.
Mucous membranes do not dry out with enough moisture in the air, they actively perform their protective functions, the body copes better with respiratory infections. In addition, maintaining optimal indoor humidity increases efficiency and reduces fatigue.
Indoor plants look attractive, grow actively, release more oxygen. Natural wood products do not dry out, their service life increases. Coatings and furniture made of leather do not crack, and a beautiful appearance is maintained.
Now you know how a humidifier is useful for the human body, indoor plants and products made from natural materials.
There are many rumors about the negative properties of the humidifier. However, it should be understood that it is not the device itself that brings harm, but too much water vapor in the room atmosphere. Relative humidity above 80% can cause mold to grow on walls, ceilings, furniture, and increase the risk of respiratory disease. The latter is due to the fact that the excessdampness causes an increase in the amount of mucus in the lungs, which is a breeding ground for harmful microorganisms. Therefore, when using a humidifier, it is necessary to monitor the relative amount of water vapor in the air. Some appliances have a built-in hygrometer, but cheap models often don't. In the latter case, you should purchase a separate measuring device so as not to harm the body and property.
Different types of humidifiers have their own drawbacks related to how they work. For example, steam models get very hot, so if used carelessly, you can get a thermal burn. They raise the temperature in the room by several degrees. Hot steam can cause wallpaper to peel off, chipboard and MDF to swell, and drywall lining to be damaged. In addition, boiling water creates some noise that can interfere with a night's rest. Such a device should be installed high enough so that children and pets do not have access to it, and so that hot steam does not fall on furniture and coatings.
The disadvantage of ultrasonic models is that when using hard water, a white coating may settle on the furniture. If you pour unpurified water into such a humidifier, then all impurities and bacteria will be sprayed around the room. If the device has a filter, then microbes can accumulate and multiply in it. In steam models, bacteria and spores are destroyed by high temperature.
What is the benefit of a humidifier, according to doctors? They claim that the microclimate is too drydangerous for the human body, especially for children. What air humidity should be in the apartment where the child lives? According to pediatricians, the indicator should be at least 60%, if the child is sick - 70%.
Children breathe more often, so they lose moisture faster, because of this, the blood thickens, which disrupts the functioning of internal organs. Especially dangerous is the lack of moisture in the air for babies. Dehydration causes a breakdown, headaches, irritability, drowsiness, dizziness, convulsions. Drying of the mucous membranes reduces their protective functions, it becomes easier for bacteria and viruses to enter the body.
Doctors also recommend using air-purifying humidifiers in homes where people with allergies live.
There are three types of humidifiers for apartments:
Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages, which will be discussed in more detail below.
The principle of operation of such devices is quite simple: liquid is poured into the tank, impregnated with a paper cartridge, evaporates naturally, humidified air is pushed out with a fan. It is recommended to use distilled water for the device, otherwise the replaceable elements will clog quickly.
This is a safe device that also cleans the air of dust: it settles on interchangeablecartridges. The advantage of cold type humidifiers is self-regulation, that is, the more moisture in the ambient air, the slower the evaporation. Such devices are not equipped with hygrometers, which has a positive effect on the price.
The device and the principle of operation of such models are quite simple. The device consists of a water tank, a heating element and a hygrostat. The liquid in the tank evaporates due to the high temperature in the same way as in a conventional electric kettle. If there is too little water in the tank, the system switches off automatically. Devices must be equipped with a humidity control sensor that stops the device when it reaches the optimum value, otherwise you can oversaturate the air with steam, which is no less dangerous than excessive dryness.
These humidifiers often come with inhaler tips for medical use.
These devices have a plate that vibrates at high purity, it breaks the water into a fine suspension, which is pushed out by a fan. The liquid does not heat up during operation of the device, the “steam” comes out of it at room temperature. Ultrasonic models create a minimum of noise. They are considered the safest and most effective at the moment.
Simple models are equipped with a hygrostat, a timer and a controller that turns off the device when there is not enough water in the tank. More expensive devices mayboast additional features: ozonation, ionization, aromatization, special filters and air purification systems, remote control.
How to choose
We figured out why you need a humidifier in the house, and now we'll tell you how to choose a device.
It is necessary to take into account a number of parameters in order for the operation of the device to be efficient and operation to be convenient:
- Power. This parameter depends on the area of the room.
- Type (cold, steam or ultrasonic). The noise level during operation depends on the principle of operation of the device.
- Tank capacity. The larger it is, the less often you will have to add water.
- Availability and cost of replacement filters and cartridges.
- Additional features. They make the operation of devices more comfortable due to the possibility of setting modes, timer, etc.
Choosing a humidifier for a child's room is not as difficult as it seems at first glance. It is better not to consider steam devices, because of the heat they are dangerous. Cold-type devices are noisier due to a powerful fan in the design than ultrasonic ones. The latter are best suited for children. The power of the device is chosen based on the area of the room, and the remaining functions - according to personal preferences and financial capabilities.
How to use
Before using it for the first time, you must carefully study the instructions for using the humidifier of a particular model. Basically the rulesoperation of the devices are the same, however, setting up and using additional functions may have differences. So, how to use the device:
- Place it on a hard, level, dry surface, leaving a few centimeters of free space around.
- Pour water into the tank to the maximum level, according to the scale, close the compartment tightly. Do not add aromatic oils to the tank, as the device may fail. For these purposes, some models have a special capsule.
- Connect the device to the network. Rotate the steam nozzle so that the jet is not directed at the wall, furniture or plants.
- Select the operating mode of the humidifier. Turn on the appliance.
As you can see, the device is easy to use. When the water in the tank runs out, the device will turn off automatically. Remember not to add water while the device is running. In order for the humidifier to serve for a long time and effectively, you need to regularly change the filters and clean the tank from plaque.
Now you know how a humidifier is useful, how different types of devices work, their advantages and disadvantages. We hope that this information will be useful when choosing a device for your home. He alth to you!