Pros and Cons of a Humidifier

Pros and Cons of a Humidifier

Humidifiers are wonderful units during the winter or dry season. You’ll know you need a humidifier of some type when you experience electric shocks to your fingers at home! This means there is not enough moisture in the air. Your furnace may have a humidifier attached to it with device to control the humidity level. Or you may be looking at some stand-alone units and have noticed various sizes, types, brands, and cost variations. Some may be specialty humidifiers offering aromatherapy benefits and ultrasonic options. To help you make the choice that is best for your personal situation, here is a guide to walk you through the pros and cons of a humidifier.

1 – Size of Home / Room

Humidifiers are made to accommodate various needs. Whether you have small living quarters or a larger home, here are the pros and cons of a humidifier for each:
Pro – Small space means less demanding work for the humidifier
Pro – Humidifier attached to furnace will adjust to what you need
Pro – Portability allows for use in any room at the time you choose
Con – Larger homes may call for more units needed to provide proper humidity
Con – Cannot be tucked neatly in a corner; must be 3 feet away from any wall or structure

2 – Size of Water Tank

As humidifiers come in different sizes, the water tank varies as well.
Pro – Standard humidifier tanks will last for up to 12 hours
Pro - Low setting for less moisture; high setting for more moisture
Pro – Water tank is easy to remove, fill up, and place back in position
Con – The water tank may have to be filled more frequently than desired

3 – Safety

Humidifiers are relatively safe, but you’ll want to be careful not to leave it unattended because the heating element is what is providing the moisture. Do not mount the humidifier on or near anything that is flammable.
Pro – Automatic shut-off feature that will turn the unit off when the water tank is empty
Con – Moisture could settle on floor and may cause a slipping hazard or damage to wood flooring

4 – Maintenance

Humidifiers are rather low maintenance and you’ll want to pay attention to the following aspects:
Pro – Humidifiers attached to a furnace can be inspected every year when your furnace is cleaned
Pro – Requires maintenance only during times of dry climate / low humidity seasons
Con – Heat elements for water means fast calcium build-up; expect to clean remnants frequently
Con – Some units have heating elements that are hard to access and harder to reach when cleaning
Con – Harsh chemicals will likely have to be used to break up the calcium

Final Thoughts

There are several pros and cons of a humidifier. Some appliances have a filter and others do not, so another pro is that there are no extra trips to the store or shopping online for filter replacements. The life span of your humidifier will depend on how often you use it and how well you maintain it. The humidifiers I have used have lasted up to 3 years with proper care and maintenance. They are also very easy to store when not in use.