The Best Evaporative Humidifier Reviews 2020

Evaporative humidifiers are the most common types of appliance used to add moisture in residential environments. The traditional way of increasing the humidity level in a room is to place a container with water inside the room and allow it to evaporate naturally. Evaporative humidifiers use this basic principle but in a much more efficient manner.

If you are shopping for a humidifier, you might just need these types of units. They can help reduce the risk of infections, maintain a vibrant and glowing skin, reduce colds, congestion and coughing, and generally keep your home comfortable.

But as you know, you can’t just pick any product. There are several factors that you need to keep in mind, which is why our team has created this guide to help you pick the best evaporative humidifier for your home.

Best Evaporative Humidifier Comparison Chart

Last update on 2020-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Evaporative Humidifier Reviews 2020 (Updated List)

1. Vornado Evap40 Evaporative Humidifier

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Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier...
  • OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE — Deep-pitched blades pull large volumes of dry air through two humidifying filters, and then circulate the humidified air throughout the room using Vornado's signature Vortex Action, providing complete and uniform humidification in spaces up to 1, 000 sq. ft.
  • LARGE CAPACITY — The 4-gallon capacity provides up to 4-gallons of water output in 24 hours when operated continuously on high, allowing for long, uninterrupted operation and fewer refills.
  • SIMPLE CONTROLS — Control panel allows you to select your fan speed (low/750 RPM, medium/1150 RPM, or high/1600 RPM) and your desired humidity level using the humidistat dial.
  • LOW MAINTENANCE — Two spill-proof and leak-free removable tanks are simple to clean and easy to refill.
  • INTELLIGENT HUMIDIFICATION — Evap40 senses how much humidity and circulation is needed to maintain your ideal environment and makes adjustments automatically. Assembled in the USA.
  • SUPERIOR SUPPORT — When you choose a Vornado humidifier, you’re investing in superior performance and design that will deliver total satisfaction. If not, we’ll replace it, for 5 years. Supported by a customer service team based in Andover, KS.
  • Built to meet U. S. voltage requirements. Certified, safety-tested, and warrantied for use only in the U. S.

Last update on 2020-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Vornado Evap40 Evaporative Humidifier can humidify very large rooms that are up to 1000 square feet using a signature circulation style known as a vortex. The mist that emits from this unit disperses in shape, not unlike the double helix strands found in DNA, so it operates in a tornado-fashion that transports the humidity powerfully throughout the entire room.

There are two speeds of mist emission featured in this device. The high speed operates at 1600 RPM, and the low speed at 750 RPM. Thus, you can select the setting that makes the most sense in your surroundings. 

If your room is already between 20 and 30% humidity level, you only need a little boost to bring it to the recommended humidity level of between 30 and 40%, so you can get away with the lower setting. This will ensure your filters last for longer, and you save on utility costs. 

With a four-gallon capacity tank, you can run this machine for up to 24 hours without having to refill it. The fact that its capacity equals its 24-hour emission capability makes it much easier to remember with regards to ensuring it has enough water. 

Pros

  • Signature vortex circulation style
  • Can humidify up to 1000 square feet

Cons

  • Humidifies less square feet than some other models

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2. Aircare Evaporative Humidifier MA0800

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AIRCARE MA0800 Digital Whole-House Console-Style...
  • Digital Controls with Auto Humidistat
  • 3-Speed Motor with Quiet Nighttime Setting
  • Automatically Shuts Off When Desired Humidity Level is Reached or When Unit is Empty
  • Check Filter and Water Refill Indicators
  • Easy-Fill Water Bottle.Voltage:120 volts

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Aircare Evaporative Humidifier MA0800 has digital controls that allow the user to monitor and program the device easily. It features an auto humidistat so that you know exactly when the room is humid enough. This ensures that you don’t create too much moisture in your home and don’t run the machine unnecessarily. These useful features make the machine more economical in the long run. 

One of the best features about this particular unit is that it will automatically shut off when the desired humidity is reached. This allows you to continue with your daily routine and leave the machine running even while you’re at work or doing some shopping. It’s easy to forget to switch appliances off occasionally, so this gives you extra peace of mind.

Two indicators will come in very handy with regards to running this humidifier: check filter and water refill indicators. If you use an evaporative humidifier for too long without changing the filter, it can impair its efficiency, so it’s great to be reminded to change it when necessary. 

The water bottle is easy to fill, it has a 2.5-gallon water tank capacity that can humidify a room up to 2600 square feet, and it uses a standard outlet of 120 volts. All in all, it’s a good quality product that deserves a second look. 

Pros

  • Digital controls
  • Features a quiet nighttime setting

Cons

  • Large and bulky

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3. Aircare 831000 Evaporative Humidifier

AIRCARE 831000 Space-Saver, White Whole House...
  • Automatically Shuts Off When Desired Humidity Level is Reached or When Unit is Empty
  • Trapmax Filter Technology with Protection
  • Check Filter and Water Refill Indicators
  • Easy to Use Pour-in-Fill.Voltage:120 V
  • Digital Controls with Auto Humidistat. The maximum run time is 70 hours and the capacity is 6 gallons

Last update on 2020-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Aircare Evaporative Humidifier 831000 has a user friendly display that includes two dials and a water refill light. It has an impressively large water tank capacity of six gallons that can run for up to seventy hours before a refill is required. When it comes time to refill, it will take a while, but it will be worth it for how much time you get out of one sitting. 

This humidifier improves the air quality of your indoor environment and has numerous advantages if you are either a music or pet lover. Did you know that some instruments need a particular humidity level to be used effectively? If you want to keep your appliance in great condition, using this Aircare humidifier will help you achieve this. 

Moreover, dry rooms can wreak havoc with a pet’s skin, and if their skin is dry, there will also be more dander in the air. If you want a healthier environment for both you and your pet, it’s best to make sure the room is within the recommended humidity levels. 

This machine includes an automatic shut off function. When the room is humid enough or when the water needs refilled, you can fill it up any time and leave it alone without worrying about safety or inconvenience. While you’re out and about, your humidifier will ensure you arrive home to breathable, pure air. 

Pros

  • Six gallons water tank capacity
  • Maximum run time of up to seventy hours

Cons

  • Six gallons will take a long time at the faucet

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4. Aircare Evaporative Humidifier EP9 800

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AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Whole-House Pedestal-Style...
  • Pedestal-Style Humidifier for a Whole House Up to 2,400 Square Feet. Assembled product weight: 27 pounds.
  • Digital Humidistat Automatically Maintains Your Desired Humidity Level with Digital Accuracy
  • Digital Readout Displays Actual Humidity Level, Desired Humidity Level or Fan Speed ,Voltage - 120 volts
  • 9 Fan Speeds Allows You to Select Your Ideal Performance Level.Tile can also be replaced with any standard 12" x 12" tile to match your room's décor,Dimensions: 18" x 18" x 27.25" H
  • Automatically Shuts Off When Desired Humidity Level is Reached or When Unit is Empty

Last update on 2020-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Aircare Evaporative Humidifier EP9 800 is a digital pedestal style unit that is suitable for your whole house, as long as it’s no larger than 2400 square feet. If your home is larger, you can simply buy two units to ensure every single room has enough moisture in the air. 

The assembled product weighs 27 pounds, so it’s not too heavy in case you ever decide you want to move it to a different place, but it’s also sturdy enough to give you peace of mind. It includes a digital humidistat that is highly accurate and keeps track of the humidity levels. It will automatically maintain the humidity level you select, so you can rest assured that it will switch off when this level is met. 

There is a digital readout that can display a variety of useful information including the actual humidity level, the desired humidity level, or the fan speed. It requires a standard outlet, so you don’t have to worry about having to buy a voltage converter or any special equipment to run it effectively. 

There are nine fan speeds, which certainly gives you a lot of control over how the machine operates and how much mist is dispersed into the air. One really unique feature is the tile on the top of the pedestal. This tile can be replaced with any standard tile of the correct measurements. Thus, you can get creative with the look of this humidifier. You might even want to replace it with a colorful mosaic creation to make it a more aesthetically pleasing feature in a room. 

Pros

  • Can humidify an entire house up to 2400 square feet in size
  • Digital humidistat that monitors the environment 

Cons

  • Will need more than one for a large house

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5. Vornado Evap3 Evaporative Humidifier

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Vornado Evap3 Whole Room Evaporative Humidifier,...
  • Humidifies up to 700 sq. ft. through the use of vortex circulation
  • Electronic humidistat for automatic humidity control and 3 fan settings (low, high, auto)
  • Push-button controls with LED lights for easy confirmation of settings
  • 1.5 gallon tank capacity and up to 2.6 gallon output every 24 hours
  • Backed by a 5-year limited warranty

Last update on 2020-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Vornado Evap3 Evaporative Humidifier offers an enticing five-year warranty when purchased. The warranty is limited, meaning that you have to fulfil specific criteria to get free maintenance or a replacement, but it’s still a competitive offer. 

This unit has a smaller humidity area than some other models, but it can still humidify most rooms within an average household. It can transform the environment of rooms up to 700 square feet, which is hardly terrible by any stretch of the imagination. Thus, you can still find many uses for this device around your home.

The display on the unit is practical and easy to use. It includes a high, low, and auto setting, a power button, and mist and power displays. It also has some readings pertaining to the moisture level of the room. You can use the electronic humidistat for automatic humidity control, or you can choose manual settings according to your particular needs. 

It has a 1.5-gallon tank capacity, which is smaller than some other models, but it will also be a lot easier to refill when the water level is low. This humidifier can emit up to 2.6 gallons of steam every 24 hours. So if you want to make sure you always have sufficient water you should refill it every 12 hours to be safe. 

Pros 

  • Three fan settings
  • Five-year warranty

Cons

  • Humidifies less square footage than some other models

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6. Aircare Evaporative Humidifier 696 400HB

AIRCARE 696 400HB Whole House Credenza Evaporative...
  • New Digital Humidistat Automatically Maintains Your Desired Humidity Level
  • Digital Readout Displays Actual Humidity Level, Desired Humidity Level or Fan Speed
  • Automatically Shuts Off When Desired Humidity Level is Reached or When Unit is Empty
  • Refill Indicator Shows When Bottles Needs Refilling
  • Easy-Fill Dual Water Bottles with Refill Hose

Last update on 2020-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Aircare Evaporative Humidifier 696 400HB is a fascinating example of an evaporative humidifier or any humidifier for that matter. This is largely due to its design. It looks like a wooden cabinet that can sit comfortably in any room. 

It has been designed with aesthetics in mind, as it looks more decorative and isn’t an eyesore like most humidifiers. The manufacturers have even gone to the trouble of adding detail to the wood such as grooves and borders. This is certainly a feature that makes this particular unit stand out from all the rest. 

This humidifier includes a new digital humidistat so that you can sit back and relax while the machine automatically maintains your desired humidity level. There is also a digital readout that shows key information, including actual humidity level, desired humidity level, or fan speed. If the unit is empty or the room has reached the appropriate humidity level, it will automatically shut off. Thus, you don’t need to sit and watch it make sure the environment around you is increasing in humidity.

Its quiet nighttime setting ensures you can get a peaceful night’s sleep without being wakened by the noise of the machine’s operation. There are other features for your convenience, including a variable nine-speed motor, easy-fill water bottles with a refill hose, and wheels included for easy movement or transport.

Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing design
  • Digital humidistat 

Cons

  • Overpowered for average-sized houses

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7. Vornado EVDC300 Energy Smart Evaporative Humidifier

Vornado EVDC300 Energy Smart Evaporative...
  • ENERGY EFFICIENT — Whole room humidity circulation, up to 750 sq. ft. , driven by an Energy Smart DC motor that uses 90% less energy.
  • INCREASED OUTPUT — One SimpleTank System 1-gallon tank provides up to 3-gallon output every 24 hours and provides for easier refills and cleaning.
  • AUTO SHUT-OFF — A low-water indicator light shows when it's time to refill or the humidifer automatically turns off when it runs out of water.
  • CUSTOMIZABLE — Multi-speed fan settings paired with auto humidity control for 40-60% or continuous output.
  • SUPERIOR SUPPORT — When you choose a Vornado humidifier, you’re investing in superior performance and design that will deliver total satisfaction. If not, we’ll replace it, for 5 years. Supported by a customer service team based in Andover, KS.
  • Built to meet U. S. voltage requirements. Certified, safety-tested, and warrantied for use only in the U. S.
  • Included Components: Evdc300
  • 1 Antimicrobial Wick
  • Owner'S Guide

Last update on 2020-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Vornado Evaporative Humidifier EVDC300 offers the customer guaranteed satisfaction due to its competitive five-year warranty that claims to be hassle-free. A hassle-free warranty is generally better than a limited one as there are fewer restrictions or criteria to be met to activate the warranty. Thus, you can be confident that if your machine breaks down that you can get a replacement easily and without stress. 

The motor built into this machine is designed thoughtfully and of high quality, evident by the fact that it comes with a ten-year guarantee. Therefore, your financial investment will provide you with a reliable machine that can last more than a decade. 

This humidifier is energy efficient as the motor itself is an Energy Smart DC motor that uses 90% less power than standard motors. You can humidify an entire room of up to 750 square foot using this machine. So you can improve the quality of the air you breathe at a fraction of the cost if you choose to buy this evaporative humidifier. 

This system is capable of emitting up to three gallons of water every 24 hours and has a water tank capacity of one gallon. This means that you can use it for up to eight hours before having to refill. This is slightly less running time than some other models but is still competitive. You can fill it right before you go to sleep and you don’t need to worry about sleeping for more than eight hours because it includes an automatic shutoff mechanism. This mechanism ensures that the machine will automatically switch itself off if the water level is too low, so you don’t have to interrupt your comfort in order to refill it. 

Pros

  • Energy Smart unit
  • Automatic shut-off

Cons 

  • More frequent refills required than some other models

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8. Honeywell HCM-890B – Humidifier

Honeywell HCM-890B - Humidifier - black
  • Quietly runs overnight on one filling
  • Self Regulating Evaporative System
  • High/Low moisture output settings
  • Antimicrobial treated filter, HAC-888
  • Small room size - Ideal for bedrooms

Last update on 2020-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Honeywell Evaporative Humidifier HCM 890B has a good quality plastic body with a simple knob display that includes a power, low and high setting. It’s easy to use, and the thoughtful design consists of a transparent water tank that allows you to easily and conveniently monitor the water level. 

You can run this unit quietly overnight on one filling. This makes it perfect for placing in a bedroom as you can sleep through the night without getting up to switch it off or refill it, and the noise level won’t interrupt your sleep. 

It includes an antimicrobial treated filter so that any bacteria in the water you fill it with is free from microbes when released into the air. This gives you extra peace of mind, especially if you’re using the humidifier to improve the quality of the air you breathe. If you’re sick or have skin irritation due to excessive dryness or allergens in the air, this device will ensure your general health is improved with regular use. 

The main disadvantage of this product is that it has no automatic shut-off, so you need to switch off the device if you’re not going to be around to monitor the water level. Luckily, the transparent tank makes this a more achievable task.

Pros

  • Transparent water tank so you can monitor the water level
  • Antimicrobial treated filter

Cons

  • No automatic shut-off

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9. Venta Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier and Air Purifier LW25

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Venta LW25 Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier and Air...
  • Humidifies dry room air while simultaneously purifying it by removing dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens
  • For spaces up to 400 square feet, making it ideal for a living room or master bedroom
  • Filter-free, energy efficient operation
  • Produces no ions, ozone, or white dust
  • 2-gallon water reservoir with auto shutoff and water level indicator
  • Includes a 10-Year

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Venta Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier and Air Purifier LW25 is a uniquely designed evaporative humidifier in that most units require a filter mechanism to ensure no ions, ozone, or white dust are released into the room via the water molecules. This somehow has the ability to ensure all of these things without using a filter, which makes it ideal for financially conscious consumers who don’t like to buy products that require consistent running costs aside from standard utility bills. 

This one feature is compelling on its own, but the unit is also energy efficient, allowing you to save even more money in the long run. 

It includes three fan speeds so you can control the level of moisture released in the air. Its water tank capacity is two gallons, which is pretty good. 

The room size this unit can humidify is smaller than most other evaporative humidifiers, but the filter-free aspect makes this product very enticing. As long as your room is an average-sized room of up to 400 square feet, you can still buy this product, and it will efficiently humidify the environment in your chosen space.

Pros

  • Energy efficient 
  • Filter-free

Cons 

  • Can only humidify up to 400 square feet

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10. Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier

Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier
  • MULTI-ROOM COOL MIST HUMIDIFIER: Need a humidifier for large rooms? Want to add moisture to your whole house? This 3 gallon, easy fill humidifier console with a humidistat & auto shut-off can help control humidity in your home. It runs for 24 hrs. on low.
  • FILTERED COOL MOISTURE: Evaporative Technology blows moisture off a wicking filter, helping it evaporative into the air quickly. It's not possible to over-humidify with evaporative technology because you can't add more moisture to the air than it can hold.
  • HONEYWELL HUMIDIFIERS: Humidity levels in your home between 40-60% can make the air feel warmer & improve your breathing comfort, sleeping, nasal congestion & dry skin. Dry air can cause static electricity, damage wooden furniture & irritate health issues.
  • HUMIDIFIERS FOR BABIES, CHILDREN, ADULTS: Humidifiers diffuse moisture into the air, and many find that a humidifier for the home, bedroom or nursery becomes an essential part of a good nights sleep when the air is dry, in allergy season, or when sick.
  • HONEYWELL QUALITY: Improve humidity levels in your home & improve your comfort with a Honeywell humidifier.

Last update on 2020-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier is designed to humidify large spaces or even multi-rooms, so you can rest assured it has the power to meet most room specifications. 

It has a 3-gallon water tank capacity spread across two tanks, so each tank is 1.5 gallons. You can get up to 24 hours out of one filling of these tanks, so you can enjoy the increased humidity levels without having to sacrifice your comfort or convenience. 

Dry air can create a wide variety of problems, including health issues, damage to furniture, static electricity, and lower quality sleep. You can use this console design humidifier to prevent all of these issues. 

Other features that make this device a competitive contender on the best evaporative humidifiers list is its easy-fill design, humidistat, and auto shut-off. All of these things ensure you can create a healthy environment in your home that can be efficiently monitored without having to exert a lot of effort with regards to operation or maintenance. 

Pros

  • Designed for extra-large or multi-rooms
  • Up to 24 hours running time

Cons

  • Large and bulky

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Evaporative Humidifier Buying Guide

Humidifiers are used to increase moisture content indoors. They are, therefore, most useful during low-humidity seasons when the air is dry. Winters, in particular, can be quite dry, exposing us to various health challenges. Humidifiers work by adding moisture to the air around us.

Humidifiers are divided into two broad categories, i.e., cool mist humidifiers, and warm mist humidifiers. Cool mist humidifiers emit cool moisture into the surrounding air while warm mist humidifiers consistently pump warm air into the surrounding to boost both humidity and indoor warmth. 

Evaporative humidifiers are a subcategory of cool mist humidifiers. This guide should help you determine if an evaporative humidifier is the right type of humidifier for your needs.

What is an evaporative humidifier?

The name “evaporative” is somewhat confusing as evaporative humidifiers don’t heat water. Water can turn into vapor in two ways. First, water, when heated, especially as it reaches boiling point, slowly turns into steam. Secondly, water can also turn into vapor under high pressure.   

Evaporative humidifiers apply the second method – vaporization by pressure. Air from the exterior of the unit is blown through the humidifier, putting the water in a special wick under pressure. The result? The water in the wick then turns into vapor. The vapor is then pushed out of the unit and into the room. 

As such, evaporative humidifiers shouldn’t be confused with vaporizer/steam humidifiers. Vaporizer/steam humidifiers are warm mist humidifiers that turn water into vapor through boiling. 

How does an evaporative humidifier work?

An evaporative humidifier has three main parts;

  • A cold water reservoir/tank,
  • A wick,
  • Fan.

The fan forces air through the humidifier and a wet wick, ensuring that the air coming out of the humidifier is cool and moist. 

That essentially, is how evaporative humidifiers work. However, if you’re interested in the details, the following is a more elaborate explanation;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP59vUfEZlU

The first step is that you must fill the humidifier with cold water. Without water, the humidifier can’t work. Water that isn’t cold would also be counterproductive. For the best outcome, use distilled water. We’ll learn why shortly.

Once the tank is full, the wick draws water from the reservoir with the help of a paper sheet or cloth. The paper sheets and cloths used for this purpose are designed so that once they take up water in one area, the water spreads in all directions. 

The fan then comes into action by pulling air into the unit and pushing the air towards the piece of cloth or paper sheet containing water. Under sufficient pressure, this process forces water to turn into vapor. The blowing of the fan then forces this vapor out of the humidifier and into your rooms. 

Modern evaporative humidifiers are incredibly efficient. For instance, they are capable of self-regulating. If the humidity in the home is high, the evaporation process automatically slows down. Indeed, where there’s enough humidity in the indoor air, the humidifier will go off altogether. On the flip side, if your indoor air is extremely dry, the evaporation rate automatically increases until the desired level of humidity is reached. 

Types of evaporative humidifiers

Though you won’t hear about this a lot, there are two categories of evaporative humidifiers i.e., those with a porous wick and those with rotating discs in place of the wick.

  • Those with a porous wick

Evaporative humidifiers with porous wicks filters use the filter to soak up water continuously. The water is then evaporated with the help of a blowing fan, and the vapor pushed out of the humidifier and into your rooms. 

These humidifiers make use of a filter to trap residue. The filter, therefore, has to be replaced regularly to prevent the build-up of dirt. If left unattended for long, the residue build-up would result in mold and bad smell. 

  • Those with rotating discs

These other types of evaporative humidifiers use rotating discs in place of the wick filter. The discs are made of toughened plastic and submerged in a water reservoir. When the humidifier is switched ON, the discs begin rotating. This rotation causes water to evaporate, and the vapors produced are pushed out of the humidifier and into your room with the help of a fan. 

These discs can be removed and cleaned. You don’t need to replace them unless something goes wrong such as if a few of the discs get broken. As expected, the discs are more expensive than wicks filters. 

Pros and cons of evaporative humidifiers

The following is a list of the advantages and disadvantages of evaporative cool mist humidifiers compared to other humidifiers;

Advantages

  • They are generally more affordable than the other humidifier types
  • They cover (humidify) a more substantial area compared to other humidifier types
  • Since they have filters, minerals and other allergens are trapped and not released into the room
  • Consume less energy compared to warm mist and ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers.
  • They are self-regulating, meaning they add just enough moisture to the room to prevent humidification.
  • There are no hot parts or hot vapor that could burn someone making them a safer option

Disadvantages 

  • Regular maintenance is necessary to avoid the build-up of mold and bacteria
  • For the humidifier to keep working effectively, the wick has to be replaced regularly
  • The humidifiers are rather noisy owing to the fan inside 
  • There’s a risk of bacterial contamination especially if the wick filter is compromised

Where to place an evaporative humidifier

Evaporative humidifiers are mostly used in the living room, bedrooms, and baby nurseries. Before we discuss exact positions, it’s important to mention that humidifiers work best at a height above ground level. There are a couple of reasons for this. For one, the area within a few feet of the humidifier can often get slippery and wet from its moisture output. This can not only damage carpets and floors but also creates the risk of slipping and falling. Additionally, placing the humidifier on the floor can cause mold and mildew issues.

For this reason, the humidifier should be placed on a small table or another hard surface at least two feet above the ground. 

With regards to the exact position within a room, corners are the best because it the mist can disperse in the room properly. Ensure to leave at least a foot between the appliance and the wall. In the bedroom, however, you’re free to place the humidifier close to your bed as long as you leave two to three feet between the appliance and the bed. This applies to cool mist humidifiers only though. Warm mist humidifiers must never be placed that close to the bed.

How to maintain an evaporative humidifier

The fact that evaporative humidifiers hold water almost all the time poses a significant challenge to home occupants. Due to the water, the humidifier can become a breeding ground for dust mites, bacteria, and mold. This especially applies if the unit isn’t properly cleaned and maintained. 

When the humidifier is switched ON, these mites and other microorganisms living within the humidifier may be blown into the room together with moisture, putting people who breathe the air at risk of allergies and health problems.

To avoid these issues, manufacturers recommend thoroughly cleaning the humidifier once every week with bleach and white vinegar. Bleaching agents help with disinfection. They make sure that the humidifier is free from mold and bacteria. Meanwhile, white vinegar helps to descale the humidifier and removes any mineral deposits on the inner walls of the water tank and other parts of the appliance. 

After cleaning, rinse the cleaned parts with clean water, so you don’t end up with toxic chemicals in indoor air.

Cleaning and changing the wick filter

Aside from cleaning the humidifier with a bleaching agent and white vinegar, it’s also essential to properly maintain the wick filter to prevent sediment build-up. Let’s look at how to clean the wick filter and then discuss when and how to replace it.

Cleaning the wick filter

Over time, the wick is bound to become dirty. A dirty wick filter cannot absorb water efficiently and poses the threat of releasing harmful microorganisms into indoor air. While replacement is an option, you may want to consider cleaning the filter initially, at least until its a few weeks old. The best way to clean your wick filter is as follows;

  1. Empty the reservoir and fill it with warm water. Then, add one tablespoonful of bleach to eliminate any organic growth within the reservoir.
  2. Remove the wick. You’ll need to follow the instructions in your user guide here. The good news is that most humidifiers have a wick that easily slides out without special tools or skills.
  3. Rinse the wick thoroughly in fresh running water. The trick is to continue rinsing until the water runs clear. By this time, the wick should be clean to the sight. You can now take it back into the humidifier.
  4. Rinse the reservoir thoroughly, ensuring that no bleach remains. If there is any sediment after the first round of rinsing, rinse again.
  5. Fill the reservoir with water and add one cup of vinegar. We recommend white vinegar.  After adding the vinegar, wait for 20 minutes as the wick absorbs the mixture. When this is all done, both the reservoir and the wick filter should be sparkling clean and safe.
  6. Empty the reservoir and refill it with clean water. Now, you can continue using the humidifier without any worries. 

Replacing the wick filter

A good wick filter will last anywhere between one to three months, depending on how often you use the humidifier and how well you maintain the wick. If left unchecked for an extended period, the wick can become clogged and turn into a breeding ground for bacteria and mold build-up. If you use the humidifier for 12 hours daily, it might only take a week or two or this to happen. 

Once the filter becomes clogged, you have no option but to install a new one. Otherwise, you expose your family and pets to serious health issues. Additionally, a clogged humidifier filter is energy inefficient. You’ll need more electricity to push air through it, resulting in higher energy bills. You also risk overworking the humidifier, which can result in more frequent breakdowns and a shorter lifespan. 

To avoid these problems, ensure to replace your filters at least once every three months. If you regularly use the humidifier, say a few hours every day, you may want to replace the wick even sooner. Installing a new one every two months is advisable in such situations. For people living in hard water areas, consider changing the filters at least once every month. 

Replacing the wick filter is easy. All you have to do is detach the old one and attach the new filter. 

How often should you clean an evaporative humidifier?

How often you should clean a humidifier depends on the type and frequency of usage. Console and tabletop models add water vapor to the home to keep you comfortable all year round. Aside from being the most popular humidifier type, they are also the most regularly used. Compared to other types of humidifiers, console and tabletop options serve us for more hours on average during any year. 

For this reason, console and tabletop evaporative humidifiers should be checked daily.  After using the humidifier, empty the tank, and store it safely. Thorough cleaning, meanwhile, should be done once every week.

For larger evaporative humidifiers such as whole-home systems, it’s not practical to check the system daily. Still, you want to inspect and perform regular cleaning every two weeks at most. At the end of the season, thoroughly clean and shut down the system. Meanwhile, whole house humidifier disposable media pads should be discarded at the end of the heating month and new ones installed. The permanent mesh filters, on the other hand, must be cleaned at least monthly.

What else do you need to know? Answers to FAQs

By this point, you’ve already learned more than enough about evaporative humidifiers to make an informed purchase decision. The following are just a few more details you may want to keep in mind;

  • Are evaporative humidifiers noisy?

Unfortunately, the answer is, yes. In fact, evaporative humidifiers are the noisiest of all portable humidifiers. The reason for the high noise levels is the internal fans used to generate airflow and blow moisture out of the humidifier. The good news is that the noise is likened to white noise because it fades into the background. If you’d like a more silent humidification process, check the decibel numbers on the label and choose a humidifier with the lowest possible decibels.

  • What type of water can be used for the humidifier?

Tap water isn’t a bad choice as it’s both accessible and affordable. However, budget allowing distilled water is the best. That’s because tap water contains minerals and other pollutants. These pollutants can create deposits inside your humidifier, leading to bacterial growth. Tap water can also dramatically shorten the lifespan of the wick filter. Distilled water, in comparison, contains fewer minerals. If you have to use tap water, consider using a demineralization cartridge to sieve out some of the minerals.

  • How will I know if my room is over humidified?

While dry air is bad for our health, too much moisture in indoor air is not good. Fortunately, it’s easy to tell if you could be having too much humidity indoors. The first sign should be condensation around the room. The windows, in particular, and stained walls and ceilings, will quickly show signs of condensation. Other signs of too much humidity include; recurring allergies, musty odors, and rotting wood. Mold and mildew are also signs of too much humidity, as are pests such as cockroaches.

  • Wick filter color and discoloration

A new wick filter is typically white on the inside with a silver filter mesh on the outside. However, after some time, the wick is bound to change color. This discoloration is a sign of dirt. As water passes through the filter, minerals and other impurities are trapped in the filter. Over an extended period, these impurities will cause the wick to change color. It’s not just the color actually. The wick will also become hard and crusty. If you see this, it might be time to change the filter. 

  • Are evaporative humidifiers safe?

 This might come as a surprise, but evaporative humidifiers are considered the safest type of humidifiers. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, since these humidifiers don’t use a heating element, the risk of burning is non-existent. As with all electronics, there’s still a small risk of home fires, but this risk is minimal. Secondly, evaporative humidifiers only release cool mist. So, you don’t have to worry about one of the kids accidentally getting in the way of the moisture and getting burned.

Above all, evaporative humidifiers, as we saw earlier, are automatic. They’ll go ON or OFF and slow down or increase vapor production depending on prevailing indoor humidity. This eliminates the risk of over humidification. 

Conclusion

If you’re not sure about what type of humidifier to buy, it’s worth noting that evaporative humidifiers are usually cheaper to buy than ultrasonic. Also, since they have a filter, they will emit purer mist into the air. If you live in an area with hard water, an evaporative filter is the best option to eliminate the white dust that occurs when ultrasonic humidifiers emit mist into the air. Now that you’ve considered some of the best evaporative humidifiers out there, all that’s left is to decide which model suits your needs and lifestyle best.