What is the Difference Between a Humidifier and a Vaporizer
Additional Water in the Air Can Help Ease Congestion
There is one major difference that separates the classification of vaporizers from humidifiers and that is the method that the unit uses to disperse the water into the air surrounding it.
While both humidifiers and vaporizers are designed to add moisture into the air a simple rule of thumb to help you in recognizing the difference between a vaporizer and a humidifier is that a vaporizer will generally blow warm moist air from its apparatus while a humidifier will blow cool moist air from its unit.
Vaporizers use heat to turn the water into a vapor so the water becomes a mist first and then the unit disperse these tiny water droplets into the air. This is unlike a humidifier which dispenses cooled water from its unit. A humidifier generally uses a diffuser to break the cool water within its tank into tiny water droplets which it then disperses into the air.
How a Humidifier Works
A humidifier will generally consist of three parts, a holding tank, a wick, and a fan. The humidifier will use a wick, and a fan, to disperse the water within its holding tank into the air surrounding it.
The fan is used to push the water droplets up and into this wick. The wick is the funnel, or opening, that the water droplets will travel through to reach the air where they will then be dispersed.
Most humidifiers generally have a mechanical unit within them that will diffuse, or break up, the water into very tiny droplets. This can be done by a vibrating mechanism (Ultrasonic humidifier) which shakes the water, forcing these extremely tiny droplets to be tossed upward, where they are then blown out of the holding tank into the surrounding air.
Humidifiers may also work by using a diffuser to break up small water molecules into a very fine cool moist mist. A quickly moving disc within the holding tank throws water droplets into the diffuser which breaks them into smaller droplets, which can then be released into the surrounding air. As the water is never heated in this process the liquid remains cool and is therefore dispersed as a cool mist.
How a Vaporizer Works
A vaporizer is exactly what its name depicts it to be. It is a mechanical unit that vaporizes water. The unit heats water to the point that it turns into a vapor and then a fan blows this warm mist from the unit and into the surrounding air.
The function of a vaporizer works much the same as that of a humidifier. It is designed to put moisture into the air. The difference between the two units is solely on how they disperse the water into the surrounding air.
The mist that the vaporizer blows into the air is done through the process of vaporization rather than just the simple dispersal of water droplets as is done using a humidifier. Scents can and are often added to vaporizers but rarely to a humidifier.
Which is Best? Is a Cool or Warm Mist Humidifier Better?
There is also a debate still ongoing as to whether vaporizers or humidifiers are a healthier method of moist air dispersal. On the side of vaporizers is the fact that boiled water will kill any bacteria being dispersed into the air. While those in favor of humidifiers argue that warm water harvests bacteria. Using cleanliness with either unit is very important.
For proper care and cleaning of your unit visit: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/humidif.html
This government website provides up to date information, and instructions on current recommendations for your vaporizer or humidifier operation.
How to Build a Home Made Humidifier
If the air in your home gets very dry during the dusty summer or cold winter months then it may be time for you to acquire either a humidifier or a vaporizer. If your throat tickles, you seem to always suffer from a dry cough, or your clothes are filled with static then it might be time for you to add some moisture to the air within your home or office area.
A simple humidifier can be easily made at home. Its effectiveness will be controlled by the air density and it will definitely not be as effective as mechanized units but it will work to moisturize your air.
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