Humidity, or the amount of moisture in the air, often decreases in the winter. To reach 30 to 40 percent moisture in the air in your home or office, use humidifiers. Available with a warm or cool mist, they come in a variety of sizes, styles and with different features to prevent dry skin, relieve the discomfort of colds, allergies or asthma as well as reduce static electricity in the air. Staples carries several quality brands of humidifiers and accessories such as filters and cartridges.

Choose Between Warm and Cool Mist Humidifiers
There are two main types of humidifiers: warm and cool mist. The difference between the two is the temperature of the mist they emit. Warm mist units boil water and release steam into the air, creating humidity. Cool ones are evaporative, ultrasonic or impeller. Evaporative use a fan to bring the air from the room and blow it over a damp wick to create a mist. As it evaporates, the humidity in the room increases. Ultrasonic machines are small, quiet and use vibration to form drops of water that turn into a cool fog when it expels them into the air. Impeller humidifiers are tabletop units that propel small drops of water into the air, which increases the humidity without a fan, fog or heat, saving on energy costs.

Find the Right Size Humidifier for Your Room
Always use the appropriate size humidifier for your room. They are available in small, for rooms 300 square feet or less, medium, for areas under 500 square feet, large for rooms between 500 and 1,000 square feet, and extra-large ones, for spaces that exceed 1,000 square feet. The small and medium models are easy to move, fit on most tabletops and you can refill them in a kitchen sink. You can also move most large humidifiers from room to room. However, they won’t fit on a countertop or table. Place extra-large ones in a central location and leave all room doors open for optimal results.

How Do You Maintain Humidifiers?
For health, safety and the longevity of the machine, proper care and maintenance is important. Rinse the water tank each time you fill it. Once a week or more if you have hard water, wipe down the area where the water tank is attached to the humidifier. Always dry the entire unit before storing it. Follow all care instructions that come with the machine and regularly change the filter or cartridge.

What Different Features Are Available for Humidifiers?
A basic unit comes with an on/off switch and a knob to control the moisture level and the fan speed. Electronic models use a digital display and buttons to adjust the humidity. More advanced machines have timers, auto shut off and warning lights to add more water or change the filter.

Are There Different Styles of Humidifiers?
There are a variety of styles to fit any room. Tabletop units are square, round, multi-color, teardrop-shaped and are available in kid-friendly shapes such as elephants, hippos, frogs and monkeys. Choose a modern, slick black or white console-size machine. These are also available in a wood finish, to blend into any area. Staples also carries a wide variety of space heaters, indoor space heaters, and air conditioners.

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