what type of humidifier...

woollady(z8 CA)October 5, 2009

hello to all,im wondering which is the best humidifier,cold air or warm?ive never had to worry about humidity because i had an evaporative cooler on all summer for the last 20 years and the winters never dropped below 40 percent because we had a gas stove,didn't heat the whole house unless doors were left open.this year we put in whole house heating and air conditioning unit.today my hygrometer registers 30% by my afr.viotets.im guessing that the hunidity will also be lower this winter.the plant room is a regular bedroom with carpet,should i be worried about the carpet getting and staying wet?any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.thanks

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7 or 8 years ago I bought a Kenmore 8 gallon whole house console humidifier for occassional lower humidity times (usually it's at LEAST 50-60 percent naturally inside/outside here year round even with heat turned on) It would be too large for a single room but Kenmore might make smaller ones. It has run well, not a problem in all these years, seems to be quite well made, can be setup to cycle at an infinate amount of "general" humidity levels, a fill lasts me 2 -3 days at the very least (I turn it on when it gets down to 40/45 percent), I can find cheap replacement filters at walmart/kmart. It is a "cool" mist. I don't use "warm" mist because my water has iron in it and that gunks up all warm mist humidifiers almost immediately so they die. I have also had the same thing happen when we lived in an area that had lime. Therefore my only option is cool mist. There have been no adverse affects to cool mist even in winter - I keep the house at 70. No mold or wet carpets, but realize when I have it running it never gets as high as our humidity naturally is in the summer which can be 70 - 80 percent inside the house with the windows open (no central air) lol.

I have also put a small inexpensive cool mist (again, our iron) vaporizer near certain groups of plants in a small room and have had success. Possibly this is an option. Good luck finding something :)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 5:15PM
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oops, in winter I keep the house at 70 degrees, not 70 percent humidity (unless it's naturally that high)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 6:38PM
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I have a Vornado evaporative humidifier. It is a life saver for my plants. There is a fan attached to the humidifier, so the air circulates nicely around the room/house. There are filters to change, but you don't have to worry about cleaning it as much as ultrasonic machines. If you don't want the fan, an ultrasonic would be good, but you'll have to clean it at least weekly. I listed a link with a guide about buying a humidifier.

Here is a link that might be useful: Humidifier Information and Buying Guide

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 3:54PM
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Wool..IMO, consoles are the best humidifers. The smaller 1-3 gallons either wet the floor/curtains, or doesn't put enough water enough water in the air. (30% humidity is pretty low).
A few of the smaller, filter-less humidfiers were recalled..they were emitting white powder that ruined tvs, all types of electrictonic equipment. My MIL had one. It turned out being a disaster.

We use cool mist. One humidifer is a 10-gallon, Holmes..
Home Depot sells consoles..(they hold 10-gallons.) At least the HD's here sell them. Don't know about CA.
Walmart sells humidifers, too, from small to larger.

Warm mist humidifers seem to take forever to heat up. At least those I've seen. I have two sitting in the basement..tried them, don't like them..
The only problem with cool mist, the general area is a little cooler. lol..but it's not a big problem.

For those of us who love plants but surrounded with dry air...it IS mandatory investing in a humidifer.
Unless the only plants grown are cactus and succulents. lol

Before buying on do a little researcch. I can't tell you the number of times I bought humifiers only to find out they were discontinued..the problem is finding filter. If 'x' humidifer is no longer around, finding a compatable filter is a job and a half.
Then there's price..Filter prices range from 5.00 to 26.00. If you have a cat/dog who are constant shedders, count on changing the filter several times a year. I set up our humidifer in Nov and on my 3rd filter...it's already filled with dog hair, ready for a new one..sigh.
An advantage of filter=less humidfers..So, do your homewor before purchasing one..Toni

    Bookmark   December 18, 2009 at 1:27PM
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If your water is anything like ours, be sure to use distilled or reverse osmosis water with a cool mist type humidifier. Hard, salty water turns into unhealthy white dust everywhere--think living downwind of Mono Lake!

Hot humidifiers don't have the dust problem, but can quickly break down with scale deposits.

Watch the hygrometer, too. I ran one too long one winter, and wound up with mold on my walls!

Good luck!
Kevin : )

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 2:39AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I agree with Kevin. Cool mist humidifiers disperse not only water into the air, but also the solids dissolved in the water. This means that the same salts tap water leaves behind in our soils end up coating surfaces on our homes' interiors. Steam humidifiers leave those deposits behind in the humidifier, where they seem to wreak havoc with the heating elements and shorten the humidifier's life. The remedy, as K noted is distilled or RO water.

I have hot water heat, so there is no way to attach a humidifier to my heating system. I use 2 evaporative console types to humidify the living area, and use a combination of 3 humidifiers to humidify my growing area (55-60%).

I have a fan blowing over 3 humidification trays that rest on top of my lights before the air circulates around my plants. I also have a table top evaporative humidifier that is set to come on at 60% and a much larger console evaporative humidifier set to come on at 55%. That way, if the home-made set-up and the table-top model can't keep levels high enough, the larger humidifier is always at the ready to save the day. Of course, the home-made set-up is just a way to improve on using resources wisely and to take advantage of the air that is already moving to reduce the time the other humidifiers operate and to save on electricity costs.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 11:47AM
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