Cool mist humidifier vs air conditioner- which is more ideal for you?

There is much confusion and misconceptions surrounding the air conditioner vs cool mist humidifier.

We tell you the features of these two gadgets as we debunk the false information surrounding them.

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You will know which system suits your needs best by the end of this.

Shall we dive straight into the details of cool mist humidifier vs air conditioner?

What is a Humidifier?

Simply put, humidifiers add moisture or humidity to the indoor air. Their primary purpose is to add relative humidity to the air, and nothing more than that.

Note: More ambient heat is retained when more humidity is in the air. Therefore, the more humid a room is, the warmer it feels.

Also, when the room is humid, the sweat from your skin surface evaporates more slowly. This adds to the warming effect.

Another good reason to add moisture to your indoor air is to prevent dryness and irritation of:

  • skin,
  • throat,
  • lips,
  • nose,
  • eyes.

A lot of times, people work to eliminate humidity. However, if these are the advantages and benefits you need in the environment you live in, you will benefit from the work of a cool mist humidifier.

 Types of  Humidifiers

There are three major types of humidifiers:

  • the cool mist humidifier that operates with cold water,
  • the warm mist humidifier that operates with warm water,
  • And an ultrasonic humidifier that works by evaporating the ultrasonic frequency. It uses a fan to pump water into the space.

Tip: The best humidity level in your house is around 40%. You may need to buy a hygrometer to measure the relative humidity levels.

Do you need a Humidifier?

This is one of the FAQs our clients ask us.

Do I need a humidifier?

Do I need a humidifier or an air conditioner?

Our answer to this is always: It depends.

The thing here is that you need to run a humidifier properly to enjoy its benefits. If you are not keen on this, it can cause more trouble than benefits. However, a humidifier means less agitation and more relaxation at home for some people.

When we say it depends, this is what we mean:

  • If you find yourself experiencing more allergic reactions in your house, then maybe a humidifier is most likely to save you from this problem. That sore throat or itchy eyes you constantly have are most likely effects of dry air, which a properly functioning cool mist humidifier could quickly solve.

Cool Mist Humidifier vs Air Conditioner: Humidifiers in Summer

In summer, the order of the day is to run the air conditioner. It can get unbearably hot; you cannot do without an air conditioner. And, one thing about running an air conditioner is it strips the air of moisture, leaving you with dry air.

In such situations, you are most likely to experience the side effects of dry air, such as itchy eyes and skin.

Running a humidifier can help fix such situations. And even more enticing for some people, it can help save money. Yes, cooler air in your house means you can comfortably raise the temperatures of your thermostat. This can lower your electricity bills by a considerable margin.

Stop allergies and save money while at it? Who would not want that? Humidifiers in summer are a win-win if you ask us.

Categories of Humidifiers

We cannot insist enough that you need to use a humidifier right to enjoy its benefits.

And one perfect way to ensure this is to get a humidifier that suits your needs best.

We look at the categories of humidifiers below to help you choose what suits your needs best:

  • Vaporizers: These are the most common kind of humidifiers. They entail heating water until it evaporates into the air.
  • Evaporators: These have a fan that blows air over a wet and absorbent material such as a wick. This adds moisture to the air.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers use quick and tiny vibrations that transform water into vapor. We love these as they are the safest types of humidifiers on the market.
  • Impeller humidifier: These have rotating disks that function more like the ultrasonic types. However, it is the disk’s motion that transforms water into vapor.
  • Central humidifiers are considered the most industrial types of humidifiers built into the HVAC system.

Once you have settled on the right gadget, it is pretty simple to run it. We recommend that you consult with your local HVAC expert to help you choose a device that is right for you.

How to Use a Cool Mist Humidifier

Choosing the right humidifier is one thing, but using it correctly is another. And how you use a humidifier will determine the extent of comfort and benefits it gives you.

We demonstrate how to use a humidifier below:

Put it in a Safe Location.

You want to ensure that you place your humidifier in a place that is:

  • waterproof,
  • out of reach of children especially humidifiers can get hot.

Remember: Humidifiers create a lot of condensation around them. Therefore, if you are setting them on a wood surface, we recommend that you put them on a piece of plastic or a tray.

It is also essential to set it so that the vapor stream points away from electrical outlets.

Use cold or room temperature water

Have you ever ever seen a thin layer of black flecks at the bottom of the humidifier after operating it? Or probably a white crusty layer forming around it?

These layers form due to minerals in the water. Remember, there are more dissolved minerals in hot water than in cold water. This is why we recommend that you go for cool mist humidifiers Also, cutting back on these minerals means lowering bacteria levels, thus extending the life of your humidifier.

Only use it when you need it

Humidifiers are a perfect gadget to battle humidity and alleviate allergy symptoms. However, running it too much can cause mildew or mold, especially if you are not paying attention to the humidity levels.

Let us look at the mistakes that can make a humidifier more problematic than beneficial.

Mistakes to Avoid when using a Humidifier

Mistakes to Avoid When Using A Humidifier Infographics

Be sure to avoid these commonly made mistakes. They will make your cool mist humidifier more problematic than it should be.

Ignoring humidity levels

As we have already mentioned, the ideal humidity level in your house is around 40%(1). Any more, and you will start seeing humidity on your walls and even surfaces. Any less, and you start experiencing allergy symptoms.

The range is usually 30-50%. We, however, recommend 35-45% for your wellbeing, with 40 being the magical number.

Always have a digital hygrometer to measure the humidity levels in your space.

Not cleaning the humidifier often enough

A humidifier uses water to ensure you achieve your desired indoor air quality. However, there will always be a mineral build-up with constant water usage.

First, this mineral accumulation can cause increased bacterial levels in the house. Secondly, it can clog the pathways, overheating the humidifier. And, even in worst-case scenarios, such clogs have caused fires.

With any electrical device, maintenance is mandatory. Therefore, ensure you maintain and clean your humidifier as needed.

Using the wrong type of water

These minerals are almost ever present in our day-to-day water. If you use tap water, they will always be there.

If you want to avoid these minerals, we recommend using distilled or purified water for your humidifier. You do not want the issue of having to battle an accumulation of the minerals

Not emptying the tank daily

You should empty your tank daily and wash it daily to avoid bacterial build-up. Remember that bacterial build-up thrives in a place with stagnant water.

Do not add new water to a not cleaned tank. This creates a favorable ground for the breeding of bacteria(2).

Always empty and clean the tank before adding new water.

Not cleaning and drying the humidifier before storing it

Would you put a dirty and wet towel back into the closet? Definitely not. In the same way, you should not store a wet and dirty humidifier when you are not using it.

Storing wet and dirty humidifiers traps moisture and causes a build-up of bacteria, which will get their way into the air.

Always wash your humidifier and store it completely dry.

What are The Main Differences: Cool Mist Humidifier vs Air Conditioner

First thing, we would want you to know that a humidifier and an air conditioner are not compared frequently. This is because they do not perform the same function. A common comparison would be water cooler vs air conditioner as they all perform cooling job. 

However, because it is a common inquiry from our clients, we reveal some common differences between the two.

Air conditioners are designed to reduce the indoor temperature of the house. They do so by absorbing heat and humidity from the air. The unit then cools the left air and spreads it throughout the house.

In simpler terms, the AC unit performs air cooling and partial dehumidification while at the cooling job.

On the other hand, a humidifier is designed to increase humidity levels in the house. Many times, it is used for health purposes. The relative amount of moisture it adds to the air can help nourish body parts from drying out. You, however, have to know that regulating temperatures is only a minor effect of humidifiers.

Another notable difference is on AC installation and replacement. For air conditioners, you need a professional to do this for you. On the other hand, a cool mist humidifier just needs you to plug in and you are good to go. 

Can I Use An Air Conditioner And Humidifier At The Same Time?

Absolutely yes! We recommend it when the need arises.

Many homeowners have both a humidifier and air conditioner to help create a comfortable and healthy home environment.

It is essential to know when to run them both when you have them both. Running them both at the wrong times can make the devices fight each other.

An AC system cools indoor air by pulling in heat and humidity. Therefore, if you run a humidifier and add moisture, you could be reversing the work of your air conditioner. We, therefore, recommend that you wait for your air conditioner to run for a couple of f minutes before turning on the humidifier.

You could also go for the newer models of air conditioners that incorporate both a humidifier. They create the perfect harmony you need without worrying about too many devices. Consult your HVAC contractors for this information. 

Cool Mist Humidifier Benefits 

Humidifiers are a great option to add moisture to the environment because:

  • They use cool water. They do not heat the water before it is dispersed; therefore, using less electricity,
  • They are a safer option for parents as there won’t be a risk of hot water accidents.

Air Conditioner vs Cool Mist Humidifier Frequently Asked Questions

We answer some FAQs we receive concerning cool mist humidifiers and air conditioning units. If your inquiry is not answered, feel free to contact us for 24 hour AC service. 

Can you use a humidifier as an air conditioner?

A cool mist humidifier will not eliminate warm air like an air conditioner does. The cool mist humidifier does not provide cold air. After switching on your cool mist humidifier, the cool feeling you get is an illusion, but the temperature drop is almost negligent.

Can I use a humidifier with an air conditioner? 

Yes, you can have both an AC and humidifier on. We recommend you run them together. An air conditioner dehumidifies the air. This can cause itchy eyes, dry skin and throat. Having a cool mist humidifier regulating the humidity level while the air conditioning unit cools the house will result in the perfect balance.

Do cool mist humidifiers keep a room cool?

A cool mist humidifier cannot cool a room. Some people report feeling cool while having their humidifiers on, which is an illusion. In fact, when the water vapor evaporates into the air, the air can feel warm. This is because too much water vapor in the air prevents sweat from evaporating from your skin surface.

What are the benefits of a cool mist humidifier?

Cool humidifiers add moisture to the air, which helps fight dry and itchy skin and eyes. It is also good as it helps ease congestion caused by colds.

Is a humidifier good for the lungs?

Yes, it eases congestion in the throat, lungs and respiratory system. Using it correctly can reduce irritation and difficulties in breathing, especially for people with chronic lung illnesses.

Can you use tap water in your cool mist humidifier?

Yes, tap water should work fine for your cool mist humidifier. We, however, recommend that you clean it as needed to avoid mineral build-up. If you want to avoid the worry of mineral build-up, use distilled water for your humidifier.

Do humidifiers cause molding?

Yes, humidifiers can cause molding. To prevent molding, ensure you maintain humidity levels at around 40%.

Final Thoughts on Cool Mist Humidifier vs Air Conditioner

Time for our last words on AC vs humidifier. 

At this point, we know that these two gadgets have different purposes. An air conditioner is to cool your house, while a humidifier moisturizes. It, therefore, does not make sense to select which is the best between the two.

However, we recommend using these two simultaneously for top air quality. If you would love a cool and comfortable ambiance and save money while at it, use your air conditioner and cool mist humidifier simultaneously.

call 661-888-0248

Contact us 24/7 for HVAC services!


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