How does a humidifier work?



Winter’s almost here and you are well prepared to tackle it with your latest collection of jackets and gloves. You have a brand new heating system and you are confident that you will tide through. There’s a small problem though, humidity. Winter’s going to make the air so dry that your nose will bleed. Not to mention that your skin and nails will begin to look parched. Everything from your mucous membrane, your sinusitis to the walls or your house and your latest wooden flooring will shrink and shrivel.

That’s why a humidifier works like a godsend gift in these difficult times. But have you ever wondered how this amazing little machine works?

Well, here’s how.

The working

The name itself is pretty self-explanatory. A humidifier humidifies or emits water vapor into the air of your room to make it more breathable and suitable for humans. In simple terms, it increases humidity in the air.

There are many different types of humidifiers which work differently. But at its most basic, it is similar in action. It consists of a tank and a vaporizer with an inbuilt control that detects the humidity in a room. When the humidity in a room falls below a certain preset level, it begins to emit water vapor which brings the humidity level back to normal.

Here are a few different types of humidifiers and their working

The Vaporizer

The vaporizer or the steam humidifier has a reservoir where water is boiled and converted into steam which is then released in the room. Like most other types of humidifiers, steam humidifiers work according to a humidistat. This is the sensor that detects the humidity and cycles the working of the vaporizer. Once the steam is generated, it is pumped into the main room through the ductwork. Steam humidifiers are basic, but extremely efficient. Also, these are the most inexpensive type of humidifiers.

You must always maintain caution near a steam humidifier because the steam can cause serious burns.

The Evaporative humidifier

One of the simplest ways to increase the humidity level would be to boil some water in a pan on a radiator and let the steam evaporate into the room. That’s precisely how an evaporative humidifier works. However, it has a more efficient mechanism that contains a wick that can be made of cloth, paper or foam. This wick absorbs water from the reservoir which is evaporated into the air by a fan. As the humidity in the room increases, it becomes more and more difficult to evaporate water from the wick. So, evaporative humidifiers also have a bare bones design and are very cost effective.


Ultrasonic humidifiers are high tech machines that create a fine mist using high frequency sound vibrations. This mist is then released into the room thereby increasing the moisture level. A transducer is used to emit the high-frequency sound.

A humidifier is a must have in your home, especially if you live in an area that experiences harsh winters. Not only does it make the air more breathable, it also helps prevent health ailments and may also help you to save some money in the long run.



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