In areas that are very dry, humidifiers keep air in a home or workplace more moist. This reduces the risk of dry, cracked skin and sinus problems, and can make it easier to get rid of mucus during respiratory illness. There are two main types of humidifier available: cool mist and warm mist. Although both of these humidifier types get moisture into the air, they do so in very different ways and have different features.
A warm mist humidifier is slightly more basic than a cool mist humidifier is. A warm mist humidifier has a heating element that simply evaporates water into the air. A cool mist humidifier, like a warm mist humidifier, has a water tank, but it doesn't have a heating element. Instead, it has a separate wick that draws water out of the tank. A fan blows air across the surface of the wick, putting moisture into the air.
In general, warm mist humidifiers are quieter than cold mist humidifiers. This is because cool mist humidifiers need a fan with a motor. Warm mist humidifiers only need a heating element, which doesn't have any rotating parts to make any noise. You can reduce the noise of your cool mist humidifier by choosing one that has one large fan with several speeds.
Both types of humidifiers raise the risk of mold and bacteria growth in the room in which it is used because they increase the amount of humidity in the air. Humidity higher than 65 percent is the perfect environment for mold and bacteria to thrive. However, since warmth also is a requirement for mold growth, warm mist may make a room slightly more vulnerable to mold and bacteria. Some warm mist humidifiers can kill molds and bacteria in the tank because the heating element gets the water hot enough to boil. Cool mist humidifiers need to have fresh water all the time because the fan can put bacteria that spreads through the wick into the environment.
Auto Shut Off
Cool mist humidifiers generally don't have an auto shut off feature. The fan will keep on running and blowing air over the wick even if there isn't any more water left in the tank. Warm mist humidifiers usually have an auto shut off feature so that no one will be burned by the scalding water in the tank if it overturns. This can be an important safety consideration when selecting your humidifier if you have small children that may overturn the unit.
Warm mist humidifiers typically will be cheaper for you to operate than cool mist humidifiers will be. This has to do with the fact that cool mist humidifiers have to have their wicks replaced periodically. However, this depends on the size of the humidifier you buy, too. A large warm mist humidifier may take more electricity to operate the heating element than a small cool mist humidifier does to run the fan, which may make the cost comparable even when wicks need to be replaced.