There are several different types of humidifiers, but the ones we are going to cover today are the cool mist and warm mist humidifiers. There are only a few differences between warm and cool mist humidifiers, and both are recommended and used for babies. The type that is better for your baby may depend on which type is recommended by her physician, but they are equally effective in humidifying the air.
Advantages of the Cool Mist Humidifier
The cool mist humidifier is the most common humidifier, and is very easy to use. It can also be called an evaporative, cool mist or wick humidifier. Cool mist humidifiers can be large or small, and can cover a fairly large area. This type of humidifier self-regulates, and adjusts to the environment around it. It does not raise the temperature in the room, and is a good choice for warm, dry climates.
An evaporative humidifier is modeled on a cool mist system which means that there is no heat involved. Typically the cool mist humidifier is a good choice because it does not have a heating device and therefore it is more economical to run. You will also pay less in energy costs. This type of humidifier can be used without fear of burns and is recommended for use around babies and children.
Disadvantages of the Cool Mist Humidifier
The main disadvantage with cool mist humidifiers is the noise generated by their fans. They tend to run a little more noisily, and can make a low level gurgle every once in a while. This only happens when the water in the tank is drawn down into the machine in preparation for being misted into the air.
These humidifiers require regular cleaning to reduce the risk of bacteria, and some models have filters, or wicks, which require periodic changing to maintain the best possible performance. All humidifiers, however, need to be cleaned and the filters changed after a certain amount of usage.
Advantages of the Warm Mist Humidifier
Warm mist humidifiers boil the water which causes steam to be issued into the room. This steam enters the air gently as a mist of warm water, and lingers in the room fairly close to the humidifier. This warm mist, even though it eventually cools to room temperature, is easier to breathe if the room is kept fairly cool.
These humidifiers are often also used for steaming medications and usually contain a small medicine compartment. They are a little quieter than cool mist humidifiers and, like cool mist humidifiers, they can be sold in small units that are easy to move to different rooms of your house.
Disadvantages of the Warm Mist Humidifier
The warm mist humidifiers do require more frequent cleaning. Warm water in the unit encourages the growth of bacteria, so it is important to clean these machines frequently. Also, there is a greater risk of injury or burns if one is not careful, because of the hot water and the little heating element inside. These, as with all electrical devices should be kept out of the reach of children.