How to Choose the Best Size Humidifier
Choosing a humidifier for the first time can be a little confusing. You really need to think about the size and use of the space you’re buying it for before you walk into the store to avoid spending too much for a larger humidifier than you need or taking home a unit that isn’t equipped to handle the job.
About Humidifier Sizes
Lasko makes three sizes of portable humidifiers–a three-gallon, a nine-gallon and a 12-gallon unit. The gallon figure (e.g. three, nine or 12-gallon) indicates the amount of water the unit can process in 24 hours, not the size of the reservoir (which is usually around half of the capacity).
The packaging on each Lasko humidifier states the square footage each is designed to cover. Remember that humidified air seeks out the dry air in your house and humidifies it, so a three-gallon unit (which covers up to 800 square feet), placed in a bedroom will usually be powerful enough for an entire upstairs bedroom area. The moistened air will seek out and equalize the dry air in all of the rooms, not just the room where it is placed.
The nine-gallon unit (which covers 2,000 to 3,200 square feet) and 12-gallon unit (which covers 2,500 to 3,800 square feet) are more whole-house humidifiers. Many people put these in a foyer or a central hallway. The average American home is around 2,400 to 2,500 square feet, so these units are generally large enough to accommodate most any home.
Things to Consider before Buying a Humidifier
Another thing to consider before purchasing a humidifier is the type of unit that best for your home and family. The most common type of humidifier is the cool mist humidifier. These are best for multi-room purposes. Other types of humidifiers, such as ultrasonic and warm mist, are generally much smaller, around one to two gallons, and used for temporary situations.
Operating a Humidifier
Many humidifiers are equipped with humidistats, so you can choose how much humidity you’d like in the air. Most people choose between 30 and 50 percent. How often you’ll need to fill your unit depends on the level of humidity you choose and how dry your air is to begin with. If you find your unit is running pretty much constantly, you’ll likely need to fill it twice a day. If it’s only running sporadically, once a day should be sufficient.
Reasons to Get a Humidifier
There are several good reasons to use a humidifier. One of the most common is to get rid of static shocks when you walk across the carpet or turn on the lights. A humidifier can also help protect wood floors in the winter, when the natural relative humidity can drop to 10 to 15 percent. Many people also report sleeping better with a humidifier in their bedroom. Humid air also feels “warmer” to people (remember the heat and humidity factor we hear about in the summer weather reports), so you can save heating costs while still maintaining the same level of home comfort by raising the humidity and lowering the thermostat.