Q:

What do humidifiers do?

A:

Quick Answer

A humidifier releases water vapor into an area to create humidity in different ways, depending on the specific type. The device can relieve conditions and symptoms related to cold weather or dry air.

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Full Answer

Two types of humidifiers exist: evaporators and atomizers. An evaporator pushes air through water and disperses humidity into the air. An atomizer disintegrates water droplets and exerts a fine mist into the air. Both portable and installed models are available. The portable type is ideal for small areas, and the installed type often humidifies an entire home or office.

A humidifier relieves symptoms that result from dry air, including coughing, sore throat, dry skin, chapped lips and headaches. People are generally more satisfied in a moist climate than a dry one. A humidifier can create a more comfortable atmosphere.

It is often hard to regulate the appropriate amount of humidity with a humidifier. Portable or installed units require regular cleaning and monitoring. Neglecting to do so may result in mold build up and bacterial dispersion.

The ideal humidity level for a home should range between 30 and 55 percent. A homeowner can install a humidity detector to measure levels and keep them within proper range. The devices often include thermometers, and a homeowner can find one at a hardware store.

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