Do You Need a Humidifier or Dehumidifier?

All you need to know about humidity control at home

A healthy level of humidity in your home should be around 30-50% humidity. The average outdoor humidity of Arizona is shown below:

Place Humidity (%)
Flagstaff 53
Phoenix 37
Tucson 38
Winslow 46
Yuma 37

The morning percentages and afternoon percentages can vary from 23% to 59%. Maintaining a healthy humidity level can greatly improve air quality at home and bring lots of health benefits to your residence.

Homes with low humidity level (humidity level <30%) can:

  • make people more susceptible to infection
  • allow germs to linger for longer in the air, causing colds and flus to thrive
  • aggravate respiratory symptoms or conditions, such as asthma.
  • cause bloody noses
  • worsen cracked, itchy skin
  • make you feel too cold, in turn adjusting the thermostat to a higher temperature.

Homes with high humidity (humidity level >50%) can:

  • destroy hardwood floor installments, walls, woodworks, musical instruments, artworks, and electronics.
  • cause your linen and furniture to smelling moldy.
  • cause a stuffy nose, itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, difficulty breathing, and skin rashes.
  • develop mold and mildew in your home.

There are several ways that you can determine if you need a humidifier or a dehumidifier.

Determining humidifier or dehumidifier needs

  1. Measure your home moisture with a hygrometer.
  2. Look for signs:
    1. Dehumidifier needed
      Rotting wood or water stains found on the walls/ceilings.
      Frequent condensation on the windows in certain area of your home.
      Black spots found on walls or areas with high humidity
    2. Humidifier needed
      Dry throat or dry bleeding nose
      Have breathing problems
      Have fever symptoms
      Frequent static shocks at home

After determining your humidifier or dehumidifier needs, you can determine if you need it in just one room or the whole house. This will help determine the type of humidifier/dehumidifier needed.

There are 4 basic types of humidifier: warm mist humidifiers, cool mist humidifiers, whole house humidifiers, and ultrasonic humidifiers. Warm mist humidifiers produce warm soothing mist that helps in treating colds and flus.

Pros

Cons

Warm Mist Humidifier · Produces warm visible mist

· Helps in treating colds and flus

· Medicine and aromatherapy enabled.

· Requires frequent cleaning

· Should be kept out of the reach of children since it produces hot steam.

 

Cool Mist Humidifier · Uses a filter to capture minerals and impurities from the air

· Easy to clean

· Effective in larger areas

· Noisier than warm mist humidifiers

· Requires more maintenance with filters to avoid algae and mold build up

Whole House Humidifier · Models available to be installed onto your AC units or point-of-use units.

· Larger tank, thus require less filling.

· Cannot be moved around easily.

· Filters and wicks need to be cleaned and replaced every three months or so.

Ultrasonic Humidifier · Water droplets created from a vibrating metal diaphragm then put into the air via a fan.

· Very quiet

· Creates a cool fog

· Less maintenance required.

· Distilled water needs to be used to prevent the “white dust” effect.

· Cleaning needed to prevent mold or bacteria.

 

On the other hand, there are four types of dehumidifiers based on its capacity: Large capacity, medium capacity, small capacity, and whole house. A dehumidifier works by condensing moisture out of the air by using a fan to move air over refrigerated coils, then drips the extra water into a tank.

Large Capacity Medium Capacity Small capacity Whole House
Extraction Speed (pints of moisture per day) 75 45-50 25-40
Working area Large (more than 2,000 sqft) Medium (less than 2,000 sqft) Small Up to 3,000 sqft
Other notes Little to none noise Suitable for damp spaces. Costs the least Expensive, but you can run your AC less; can be controlled from your thermostat.

 

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