When humidity levels reach 30% or lower, different issues can arise, including static electricity, dry skin, and even nosebleeds. This dry air will only further worsen breathing problems once flu and cold season kicks in.
You can now find different kinds of humidifiers on the market, including warm steam vaporizers and cool mist humidifiers. Both can add more moisture to the air to help ease cough and cold congestion. You can also buy these two at affordable prices at your local pharmacy and big box store or online.
But, what is the difference between a warm steam vaporizer and a cool mist humidifier? Basically, the main difference between these two is how they add moisture to the air. Humidifiers in general work through producing mist from cold water while vaporizers produce steam through heating water.
Read on to know more about the differences of cool mist humidifiers and warm steam vaporizers to help you decide on which unit suits you best.
How Warm Steam Vaporizers and Cool Mist Humidifiers Add Moisture to Air
Steam vaporizers and cool mist humidifiers are both effective when it comes to adding moisture. But, the main difference lies on the process of how they achieve this.
- A warm steam vaporizer makes use of electricity for powering up a heating element. The unit boils water to create steam. This steam will cool down before leaving the machine. The steam will then enter the air and reach your body. You also have the option to add inhalants to this kind of humidifier although it is not recommended for young children or babies.
- One kind of cool mist humidifier makes use of the ultrasonic vibrations for dispersing cool water mist to the air. There is also one type that features a disk submerged in the unit that turns rapidly. During the movement, it breaks up water into small particles which can then be inhaled.
If there are kids or pets in your home, you may be better off with a cool mist humidifier.
Steam vaporizers contain hot water that may cause burning if accidentally spilled.
On the other hand, steam vaporizers can produce more hygienic vapor since the water is being boiled first before this comes out from the unit.
Cleaning Requirements for Warm Steam Vaporizers and Cool Mist Humidifiers
You will want to ensure that your cool mist humidifier is cleaned every day while it is in use.
This is to prevent the buildup of bacteria and mineral in the unit. The specific type of water you will use on the machine can make a big difference as well.
You can consider using purified or distilled water instead of tap water because there are fewer contaminants found in treated water.
You should empty the tank of your cool mist humidifier and dry every surface before refilling this with fresh water. This should be done on a daily basis. Every third day, you should empty the tank then use water and mild dish soap for scrubbing all surfaces.
This is to get rid of scale and any other debris before refilling it with fresh water. You have to follow the cleaning directions in manufacturer guide when you are storing it away.
Eliminate any dirt filters as well as toss them out. When every part is dry, store it in a dry place.
How Much Do They Cost?
Cool mist humidifiers may range in price from around $20-$50. The price would depend on the size of humidifiers and features. You may find various options for children and adults alike.
Generally, steam vaporizers are available at reasonable price with well-rated models that range in price from $15-$30.
If budget is your concern, you might like to go with steam vaporizers.
This kind of machine is not recommended for kids because of risks of burns. However, it might be an economical and safe choice for adults and babies.
How Safe Are Cool Mist Humidifiers And Warm Steam Vaporizers?
The primary safety concern with cool mist humidifiers is with mold, mineral deposits, and some contaminants they might emit to the air. Inhaling such things in the long run can irritate airways and make further breathing problems.
Using purified or distilled water and cleaning the unit regularly and thoroughly may help reduce such concerns.
On contrary, steam vaporizers do not emit as many dangerous minerals and some contaminants to the air. The reason behind it is that these release pure steam and boil water.
The primary safety concern with such units is risk of burns from spilled or steam water. Try sitting 4 or more feet from steam vaporizers when it is in operation to avoid such risks.
All in all, cool mist humidifiers are recommended if you have pets or children who could tip over the unit while it is in use.
How Well Cool Mist Humidifiers and Steam Vaporizers Work for Allergies?
While added moisture can ease irritated airways, humidity can also cause some indoor allergies. The dust mites are indoor allergen and these thrive on moisture from any sources.
Mold can also develop once humidity levels in your house are very high or if the filter of your humidifier is not clean.
Consider buying your own hygrometer to measure the humidity level in your house to ward off the common allergens.
The vapor that produced by the steam vaporizers does not contain as many contaminants, which makes it a better choice for the ones dealing with the indoor allergies. Check with your immunologist or allergist for particular recommendations.
The Bottom Line
Both steam vaporizers and cool-mist humidifiers may add moisture to the air in your house and help ease respiratory symptoms without any medications. The kind you select comes down to your budget, family, and physical health considerations.
Regardless of the case, make sure to monitor the levels of humidity in your environment to avoid any aggravating indoor allergies. While it is in use to keep that running safely, clean your machine every day.