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Cool mist humidifier


Elisabeth
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Recently I got a small cool mist humidifier, because my elderly mother's doctor recommended it for her nosebleeds during the winter. I run it in her room during the night, and it has really helped her.

I keep my cello in my room on a stand. Should I also get a humidifier for my room? Cool? Warm? What size? I asked my repairman if I should get one, and his reply was a non-committal "Humidifiers are a big subject".

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There are other factors involved in the decision. Cool mist units usually use a medium for dispersion, and this looks like a perforated filter. They are usually only good for one season, and can run up to $10 for a replacement, which buys at least some hydro towards the operation of the warm mist ones that do not require parts yearly. In addition, the warm mist units are much faster, and very much quieter. However, cool mist might be a bit safer, if they will be left unattended, however, all would be safety approved these days. Plenty of things to consider in making a decision.

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Cool mist is not humidity but rather particulate water that floats in the air and then drops and lands on a surface. If a persons nose is near, then it adds moisture to the airway.

You don't want to get your instrument wet so don't put the cool mist thing near it. There is a better way to keep the air more humid in the winter. You can buy products that are called humidifiers and they do a better job, but if you put a pan of water under each heat register, assuming you have forced air heat, it will humidify the air a little.

It is a big subject.

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Recently I got a small cool mist humidifier, because my elderly mother's doctor recommended it for her nosebleeds during the winter. I run it in her room during the night, and it has really helped her.

I keep my cello in my room on a stand. Should I also get a humidifier for my room? Cool? Warm? What size? I asked my repairman if I should get one, and his reply was a non-committal "Humidifiers are a big subject".

Congratulations on even thinking of a humidifier for your instrument Elisabeth. Around my parts it's a very ingnored subject, in spite of the fact that a ten to fifteen percent humitity level in the dead of winter in the house is not uncommon. Trouble.

If the cello has a room that it spends its days in then you might want to think about a warm mist one, designed to humidify a room that size, and maybe placed on the opposite end of the room from where the cello stand is.

Don't trust the meter on the machine, though. Get a separate one, and place it near the cello stand.

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Cool mist is not humidity but rather particulate water that floats in the air and then drops and lands on a surface. If a persons nose is near, then it adds moisture to the airway.

You don't want to get your instrument wet so don't put the cool mist thing near it. There is a better way to keep the air more humid in the winter. You can buy products that are called humidifiers and they do a better job, but if you put a pan of water under each heat register, assuming you have forced air heat, it will humidify the air a little.

It is a big subject.

Hmmm.. I am going to respectfully disagree here Ken.

Humidity is water vapor in air. Warm or cool mist only relates to the kind of process for vapor delivery. Assuming the air is not saturated (which is obviously the state when someone chooses to use a humidifier) then I can see no way for water molecules dispersed from any kind of vaporizer to condense and fall due to gravity in warm air. Both warm or cool mist vaporizers will raise humidity levels.

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I use a couple of evaporative humidifiers, one in the room where I keep the instruments, another (of lesser capacity) in the bedroom.

The big one is sort of noisy, but does a good job of keeping several rooms decently humidified in the winter. On the very cold dry days i will have to fill it twice a day, and it puts 6-8 gallons of water into the air daily.

The various misting types seem to have a tendency to leave a dusting of fine particulate matter around after a while. I suppose this is various dissolved minerals, mostly calcium and magnesium carbonate. In the evap types the minerals are left behind, which means the so-called filter needs replacing at least once per heating season.

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There are other factors involved in the decision. Cool mist units usually use a medium for dispersion, and this looks like a perforated filter. They are usually only good for one season, and can run up to $10 for a replacement, which buys at least some hydro towards the operation of the warm mist ones that do not require parts yearly. In addition, the warm mist units are much faster, and very much quieter. However, cool mist might be a bit safer, if they will be left unattended, however, all would be safety approved these days. Plenty of things to consider in making a decision.

Maybe i'm confused re what a cool mist humidifier is, but my Sunbeam Cool Mist has a very thin film of metal around 1 1/2 inches diam that is heated sending steam up a tube, forcing the cooler water to also form vapor, so it is cold when expelled. That is all there is. Mine is about 3 years old and i wish i can remember the cost, which i think was around 60$. The only maintenance is swishing about 1/2 tsp bleach every few days in about half filled tank and very carefully brushing the heating plate with a soft brush. Our town water is saturated with mold, and a white film forms inside the tank. Awful drinking water. But also check the watt consumption, which they hide, cause some are very high.

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Hmmm.. I am going to respectfully disagree here Ken.

Humidity is water vapor in air. Warm or cool mist only relates to the kind of process for vapor delivery. Assuming the air is not saturated (which is obviously the state when someone chooses to use a humidifier) then I can see no way for water molecules dispersed from any kind of vaporizer to condense and fall due to gravity in warm air. Both warm or cool mist vaporizers will raise humidity levels.

This is the way I understand those cool mist humidifiers that are so popularly marketed for health reasons.

What is the difference between a cool mist humidifier and a warm mist humidifier?

In: Public Health

A cool mist humidifier agitates the water using ultrasonic vibrations or physical force (as in an impeller type) to get some of it to enter the air and become a "cool mist" of water droplets. Therefore, any minerals or germs that are in the water will also get dispersed along with the mist, and a cool mist humidifier must be disinfected regularly to prevent germs from growing in it and spreading to your home. The minerals can form a white dust that you'll find on surfaces when using this type of humidifier.

A warm mist humidifier boils the water, turning it to steam. The steam is then cooled somewhat before it comes out of the humidifier, so it's warm instead of burning hot. Warm mist humidifiers are much less likely to spread germs or minerals, because the minerals don't boil (so they stay in the water tank), and the germs are killed by the heat that boils the water.

I am not sure how much either would actually raise the RH in a closed room where the cello is. That would be easy to determine though.

BTW I was a Respiratory Therapist in another life, they drilled this stuff into our heads in school.

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I think the cool and warm conventions are more for marketing than absolute statements on how the vapor is produced. Fred, it sounds like your unit uses a heating element to heat water (causing evaporation), and then cools the vapor. My warm mister actually boils the water, but the steam has lost much of its heat by the time it leaves the port, hence, warm mist rather than calling it a steamer. I think of cool misters as humidifiers that have no heating element.

Those are good points Ken. I am still confident warm and cool mist will raise RH. I had not given much thought to mineral dispersion from cool misters.

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I have a comment and a question. I am having humidity problems in my shop as well and have been trying to figure out a good solution. I was going to get a cool (Ultrasonic) humidifyer but am reconsidering. I was told by someone familiar with these contraptions that if you have high mineral content in your water (which I have) that over time you will end up with a fine powder over everything in the room because the mineral content is disperssed into the air with the water vapor, unlike a heat system where the mineral in the water ends up being deposited on the heathing unit (white scale). I don't know if anyone has run into this problem. Unfortunately, my shop furnace will not accept a humidifyer to be attached. Any suggestions.

-Peter

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You might try plants if there is room, they have other benefits besides raising humidity. also a pot of water near your heater or where you heater blows out the hot air will evaporate. I am not sure if it will add as much as you desire, the above poster covered the cool/hot mist very well though. here is a link

http://www.irbdirekt.de/daten/iconda/CIB8203.pdf

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I like the "warm mist" type the best, because they emit nearly mineral free, bacteria free and mold free water vapor in the form of steam. The minerals remain primarily concentrated in the remaining water (which should be dumped before refilling). They may eventually fail from mineral buildup on the heating elements, but I typically get 4 or 5 years of use out of one. No filters or evaporating pads to buy in the meantime. Under 20 bucks. With the central furnace circulation fan on, one of these will humidify my entire house, but I have a fairly tight house.

The type with the worst reputation for expelling minerals are those which use mechanical agitation to form droplets, which are blown into the room to vaporize. Ultrasonics would fit this category.

The other major category are those which use an evaporative pad or medium, and blow fan-forced air across this moist surface. These tend to be the noisiest because of the large air volume which needs to be pushed through the unit. They also have a tendency to build up crud and slime on the evaporating pads, some of which will be expelled into the room. Some of these pads are now treated with biocides, but that doesn't eliminate the problem, in my experience. I wouldn't go near one of these if you have allergy problems, or sensitivity to mold. Or if you have concerns about this slime being a good culture medium for bacteria.

Overly high humidity is just as dangerous for instruments as humidity which is too low, and can also create a favorable environment for the growth of dust mites and mold in the home. Whatever you use, be sure to use a separate, accurate hygrometer to monitor moisture levels. The electronic ones tend to be no more than 10 to 15% off. I've seen many dial types which were much worse than that, or didn't work at all.

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I think the cool and warm conventions are more for marketing than absolute statements on how the vapor is produced. Fred, it sounds like your unit uses a heating element to heat water (causing evaporation), and then cools the vapor. My warm mister actually boils the water, but the steam has lost much of its heat by the time it leaves the port, hence, warm mist rather than calling it a steamer. I think of cool misters as humidifiers that have no heating element.

Those are good points Ken. I am still confident warm and cool mist will raise RH. I had not given much thought to mineral dispersion from cool misters.

Yes the cool mist will raise the room humidity and maybe even faster than an open reservoir but a "cool mist humidifier" is NOT a humidifier rather it is a nebulizer. A nebulizer is something that creates water particles by some mechanical means, i.e. an ultra sonic element, or sphere with air blowing across, etc... and then the particles float and land in the room and then evaporate thus raising the room humidity level.

Plants sound good. :)

Peter, start by placing a few buckets of water around the place assuming you have no small children crawling around.

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Hmmm... nebulizer rather than humidifier sounds like semantics if the nebulizee nonetheless becomes humidity. :)

Yes, especially if you are trying to pass off, er I mean market 500,000 units. In the medical profession they are different things. One delivers water particles or medication particles and the other humidifies the airway.

I just don't think the particulate type are a good choice to humidify a room, especially for medical reasons which I won't go into. David touched on a big one, bacteria.

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The new word, and the concept of working it into conversation reminds me of a story.

Ages ago, I worked in a service related industry that was particularly dirty or messy at times (although I would discourage speculation on the particular business, as the chances of guessing correctly are very remote, but think something like chimney cleaning for a suitably close representation).

In any event, there were two of us on a truck, and the new fellow had a habit of leaving his dirty gloves on the seat. One day I said to him, do not leave the gloves on the seat, as they are laden with germs.

Two problems emerged, one was that he had never heard the word laden. The other was that he had a wry sense of humour, and after I provided him with the definition, whenever I was talking to customers, he would take every possible opportunity to annouce “I’ll go get the ladens", or even things like "I think I left my ladens at the last job". He managed to lose his ladens all the time.

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There was a young man from Dundee

Who opened a violin with glee

To his horror he saw

GMM22’s hinge from a door

Which squeaked from lack o’ nebulizee

or

There was a young man from Dundee

Who liked to swig nebulizee

When he probed a violin

With Master’s FFT

He was blinded by what he could see

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