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Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement

Humidifiers are designed to keep comfortable levels of moisture in the air, which is essential for your respiratory health. One of the major causes of respiratory infections is inadequate humidity during cold weather. Dry air can also make your throat feel dry and lead to respiratory ailments. In addition, static electricity is created and houseplants can suffer from low humidity levels.

Not only do humidifiers protect your health and your plants, they also contribute to the preservation of furniture and will ultimately lead to cheaper utility bills. Dry air can damage wood funiture by causing it to warp and split, and also drain the moisture from furniture leading to loosened materials. Also, humidified air feels warmer, compared to dry air, which will lead to lower heating bills.

A few things should be taken into consideration before purchasing a humidifier. First of all, it is important to pat attention to size. The best method used to determine the correct-size humidifier for your home is multiplying the total floor area in square feet by the ceiling height. You need a humidifier that is large enough to dispense enough moisture to suit your homes needs.

You should also take into consideration your current heating system and the hardness of your water. Both if these factors will affect the type of humidifier you will need for your home. Each type of humidifier will differ in cost and efficiency. Make sure to consider not only the price of the unit, but also the cost of maintenance and repairs. However, maintenance usually is simple and consists of periodic cleaning and reservoir draining to eliminate any bacteria growth.

Humidifiers can be divided into three categories, console, portable, and centralized. Among these categories rest four unique types.

1. Ultrasonic
2. Impeller, or "cool mist”
3. Evaporative
4. Steam Vaporizer

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