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?
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.
To build your own simple humidifier use a glass, stainless steel, or plastic bottle, and a large sized cloth wick. Insure that your wick is large enough to remain approximately 2 to 3 inches out of your bottle. Fill the bottle with sterilized water.
Attach the wick to a wooden, stainless steel or plastic stick and place this stick within the water bottle. The wick will absorb the water, and bring it up, and out of the bottle.
Your water can be scented to add character as well as moisture to the air within your home. Some new air deodorizers are using this simple method to disperse their product into homes and offices.
To get warm air into your home you can boil a pot of water on the stove or you can set a container of water on the heater vents in each of your rooms.
If you decide to build your own small air moisturizer then you must insure the cleanliness of your unit in order to avoid bacterial contamination. You will probably also most likely need one for every room within your home for the system to be effective.
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