A vaporizer, also known as a humidifier, is usually used to help increase the humidity level in the air during dry seasons, or to help relieve and prevent symptoms from the cold and flu. A vaporizer works by increasing the level of water in the air through shooting mists of water droplets or vapors into the area surrounding the unit. There are four main types of vaporizers, steam, impeller, evaporative and ultrasonic.
A steam vaporizer works by boiling water. Once the unit has been plugged in, the electricity is used to operate the burners in the unit. These burners slowly heat up the contained water until the water changes states from liquid to gas in the form of steam. This steam is then propelled out the top of the unit into the surrounding air. This unit will continue to work as long as it has water and a continuous supply of electricity. These units can be a dangerous burn and fire hazard because of how hot the water is heated to.
An impeller vaporizer works by breaking water into microscopic droplets and propelling them into the room. When an impeller unit is plugged in, the electrical energy is used to turn rotating disks. The rotating disk scoop up the water out of the internal container and shoot it at a diffuser. This diffuser looks much like a comb. With the force that the rotating disks shoot the water at the diffuser, the impact automatically separates the water into tiny water droplets that exit the impeller as a fog.
The evaporative vaporizer is a self-regulating humidifier. The system uses a cloth wick to draw water out of the reservoir. A fan is attached to the unit that constantly blows on the wick causing the water to evaporate off of it. The higher the humidity, the less water will evaporate off the wick. This allows the unit to automatically self-regulate how much water is released into the air.
An ultrasonic vaporizer uses ultrasonic frequencies to create water mist. When the unit is plugged in, the energy is used to vibrate a metal plate, also called a diaphragm. The speed of vibration increases until the speed is fast enough to separate the water into small droplets. These droplets are light enough that they exit the vaporizer as a similar fog to the impeller.