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Winter brings cold and dryness and while air dryness can be relief to some, excess dryness can lead to health problems (dry nose, throat, lips, skin itchiness). Lower humidity can also lead to cracks in paint and furniture and can damage musical instruments (pianos, etc.) made of wood. As a rule of thumb, 30-50% relative humidity is desirable.

There are four common types of humidifiers:

  • Ultrasonic humidifiers create a cool mist by means of ultrasonic sound vibrations
  • Impeller humidifiers use a high-speed rotating disk.
  • Evaporative humidifiers use a fan to blow air through a moistened absorbent material, such as a belt, wick, or filter.
  • Steam (mist) vaporizers heating water with an electrical heating element or electrodes to create steam. It can be dangerous to operate a hot steam humidifier near children. A warm mist humidifier will cool the air before releasing it in to the room.
  • Choose a unit that is easy to clean since minerals and other foreign elements in the water will accumulate inside the unit.

Finally, steam and evaporative humidifiers are not expected to release substantial amounts of minerals into the air ("white dust").
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