If you live in a dry climate, a humidifier can be an excellent investment. It’ll help alleviate asthma and allergy symptoms and give you, your loved ones, and your pets healthier skin and restful sleep. You’ll also protect your furniture and floors and slash that power bill.
However, it’s essential to choose the right humidifier for your space. A good humidifier in the wrong space can run until it’s empty with no noticeable change to your dry air.
Here’s what you need to know to get the best humidifier for 1000 square feet.
Table of Contents
What Is A Humidifier?
A humidifier is a machine that adds moisture to dry air, fixing a host of problems dry air is infamous for.
Dry air happens in winter too. Humidity levels drop along with the drop in temperature because cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air. When you heat your home to counter the cold, humidity levels can drop even lower, as low as 10%, drier than the Sahara Desert.
According to the Center for Disease Control, ideal humidity levels indoors should be kept between around 30 and 60%. Any lower and you’ll have problems that exceed simple dry skin.
Other problems include a drier nose and throat, nose bleeds, and difficulty breathing. Your home will see an increase in static electricity and mold growth. Your furniture and wooden floors and even some musical instruments can be affected by dry air as well.
Your furry friends suffer in dry air as well. They can also exacerbate your asthma without meaning to. They’ll scratch their coats more frequently, sending their hair and dander into the air that you breathe.
Types of Humidifiers
Humidifiers can be classified in two different ways.
Based on the temperature of the mist they produce, there are cool-mist humidifiers or vaporizers and warm-mist humidifiers or steam vaporizers.
According to the technology used to humidify, there are two types: Evaporative humidifiers and ultrasonic humidifiers.
Here’s a quick but detailed comparison between each.
Cool-Mist Humidifier vs. Warm-Mist Humidifier
Both types are equally effective in humidifying the air. If you have children or pets, however, pediatricians recommend always using a cool-mist humidifier because it’s the safe option.
By the time it reaches your airways, the mist is the same temperature as the rest of the air you breathe. If you have children or pets, however, it isn’t so simple.
Warm-mist humidifiers work by heating the water into hot steam and pushing that steam out into the air. The hot steam could burn a child if they get too close to the machine. The boiling water itself could spill and burn the child or pet.
Evaporative Humidifier vs. Ultrasonic Humidifier
Ultrasonic cool-mist humidifiers work using a tiny motor. It makes the water in the tank vibrate at a literally ultrasonic speed, hence the name.
The water particles are then sent out into the air through the nozzle, which is why you see the white cloudlike mist.
Evaporative cool-mist humidifiers work using a fan and a filter. The fan pulls air into the humidifier, forcing it to move through the filter that absorbs the water. The moisture is then forced out into the room.
The filter also traps all the particles and minerals in the water, protecting you from breathing them in, which is a huge advantage over the ultrasonic type.
Another advantage to evaporative cool-mist humidifiers is that the furniture isn’t covered in the white dust famously caused by ultrasonic cool-mist humidifiers.
By contrast, ultrasonic cool-mist humidifiers are quieter because they don’t have a fan. They also have no filters and thus require no filter replacements, which is a pricey drawback to evaporative cool-mist humidifiers.
In spite of that, I happen to prefer the evaporative cool-mist type.
Investing in a humidifier brings with it many important benefits.
Alleviating Asthma and Breathing Difficulties
Evaporative humidifiers trap airborne contaminants such as dust, pollen, and pet dander in their filters, making sure you don’t breathe any of it in.
A humidifier can help you sleep better. If you have children, it can help them fall asleep in the comfort of their own beds and stay asleep through the night, which gives you a chance for some sorely needed rest.
If you’re down with a cold, the moisture will help thin the liquid that’s making your nose stuffy so you can breathe easier.
Weakening the Flu Virus
A 2010 study by Environmental Health stated that the influenza virus can live longer in the air and on surfaces according to humidity levels. Its life was shortest in a humidity range between 40% and 60%.
The study concluded that humidifiers can be an effective method to reduce the survival of the virus indoors.
Protecting Your Indoor Environment
A humidifier helps mitigate the damage dry air and winter heating cause. It limits static electricity, avoiding static shocks and protecting your valuable home appliances.
Your wooden floors, leather furnishings, and wallpaper absorb the humidity, protecting them against creaking, cracking, and peeling.
Saving Money and Energy
Dry air increases your heating bill. By adding moisture into the air, you help drive up heat retention in your home. This means you can lower your thermostat.
According to ACEEE, “The rule of thumb is that you can save about 3% on your heating bill for every degree that you set back your thermostat.”
Things to Consider When Buying a Humidifier for 1,000 Square Feet
Here are some important things to keep in mind when choosing a humidifier for 1000 square feet.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning a humidifier properly is something you’ll be doing every week or more frequently. Keep in mind that mold and mildew can grow rapidly wherever there’s moisture or steam. Using a dirty humidifier can mean breathing in highly dangerous mold spores.
A good humidifier should give you full access to every part the steam touches. Hard-to-reach nooks and crannies allow mold and bacteria to grow.
Ease of Refilling
A humidifier will need to be refilled every one to two days. How easily can you open and close the lid?
Can you fit your tank in the sink? This makes for easier refilling and less spillage. Will you have to bring water to the tank? If spills can damage your furniture or floor, you’ll need to have protective covers or towels in place.
A humidifier usually runs at night while you’re asleep. A model that automatically shuts off when the tank runs out of water is ideal for energy efficiency and safety.
Some humidifiers can beep, gurgle, make other loud noises, especially the evaporative type because of its fans. Some people find this a soothing white noise. Others find it disruptive.
Some humidifiers come with optional night lights that you can turn on or off. Others Come with bright LED displays that may or may not be turned off.
What Time of the Year Do You Need a Humidifier?
A humidifier is ideal in summer, if you live in an extremely hot climate where air conditioning is necessary.
Here’s the summer rule of thumb: If air conditioning is necessary, you’ll probably need a humidifier. If summer is cool and wet where you live and no air conditioning is needed, you probably don’t need a humidifier.
If you live somewhere where winter is warm enough to maintain 30-60% humidity levels indoors, you don’t need a humidifier either.
Keep in mind that if indoor humidity levels go above the ideal 30-60%, you’ll need a dehumidifier. Obtaining a hygrometer is a great idea so you can always be aware of the humidity levels in your home.
Does the Type of Water Matter?
There are three reasons behind this:
- To avoid residue and scale buildup from minerals and particles
- To avoid white dust on your furniture if you use an ultrasonic humidifier
- To give your filter a longer life if you use an evaporative humidifier
Best Humidifier for 1000 Square Feet: Mini-Reviews
Here’s a quick look at five different humidifiers I checked.
1. Vornado Evap40 – Top Pick
This evaporative humidifier comes with deep-pitched blades that force dry air through two humidifying filters before sending it out. Vornado’s signature Vortex Action ensures uniform humidification in spaces up to 1000 square feet.
This humidifier can automatically adjust humidification levels. It comes with a five-year replacement warranty.
This four-gallon humidifier can run for 24 hours continuously on high. It comes with three fan speeds and a humidistat dial for your preferred humidity level. The two removable water tanks are easy to refill and easy to clean. It’s been called a workhorse.
- Very easy to refill
- Spill-proof and leak-proof
- Very easy to assemble and disassemble
- Fan and water noise can double as white noise
- Not ideal for hard water
- Humidity dial has no markings
- Replacement wicks can be hard to find
2. AIRCARE 831000
This moderately-priced evaporative humidifier comes with digital controls, an adjustable auto humidistat, and three fan speeds. Its capacity is six gallons so you don’t need to keep refilling it. It can run for a maximum of 70 hours.
This humidifier switches off automatically when it’s empty or when it’s at the desired level of humidity. There are indicators to alert you when it’s time to check the filter or refill the water.
Its compact design won’t take up a lot of space. It uses Trapmax filter technology and the wick needs replacement every 30-60 days.
- Easy to refill
- Casters for moving easily after refilling
- Can take hard water
- Doesn’t require regular cleaning
- Not directional
3. Honeywell HCM-6009
This three-gallon cool-mist evaporative humidifier can run for 24 hours on the lowest setting. It comes with an adjustable humidistat to maintain your preferable humidity levels and an automatic shut-off.
It has three speeds and two water tanks. There are indicator lights to let you know when the tank is empty or when it’s at your preferred humidity level. It can humidify up to 1900 square feet.
- Easy to clean thanks to large tank opening
- Dual tanks easier to fill and carry
- Tanks may be hard to open for people with wrist/hand issues
- Motor housing can be knocked out by child/pet
4. AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital
This pedestal-style evaporative 3.5-gallon humidifier can humidify up to 2400 square feet. It comes with a digital humidistat that automatically maintains your preferred humidity levels.
It automatically shuts off when the tank is empty or when it’s at your preferred humidity level. It also comes with a decorative insert for its top surface. You can use it as a piece of furniture.
This humidifier is made from dark heavy-duty plastic. It blends in well with dark furnishings. You can also replace the tile with any standard 12″ x 12″ tile to match your home decor.
- Casters for easier moving after refills
- Digital readout displays actual humidity level
- Nine fan speeds
- Needs frequent refilling
- Replacement filters have been shipped contaminated
- Noise is out of whack
5. Elechomes UC5501 Ultrasonic Humidifier
This 6-liter ultrasonic humidifier comes with 360° adjustable dual nozzles for uniform humidification. It can humidify up to 750 square feet, with refillings lasting up to 40 hours of continuous work. It has three mist levels.
It comes with a built-in intelligent humidity sensor to measure the humidity in your room. The humidifier can automatically adjust its humidifying strength for customized humidity.
The cool-mist feature is great for general humidifying needs. The warm-mist feature is ideal for extra warmth in winter.
The sleek design isn’t an eyesore. It also comes with two aromatherapy pads to add a nice scent into your humidified air. It has an optional filtration feature to avoid limescale buildup in the water.
- Comes with both warm-mist and cool-mist features
- Sleep mode for noise below 34 decibels and turned-off screen
- Comes with a remote control
- Has 1-12 hour timer
- Ideal for spaces smaller than 1000 feet
- Warm mist can be hot from level three and higher
- Warm mist doesn’t work on sleep mode
With its four-gallon tanks, the Vornado Evap40 can run for 24 hours on high and doesn’t need frequent refillings. It uses two tanks to make it less heavy to carry. With its evaporative technology, it won’t cover the house in white dust.
Unlike many other humidifiers, it pushes dry air through not one but two filters. Designed for spaces up to 1000 square feet, this humidifier comes with a five-year replacement warranty. Spill-proof and leak-proof, this workhorse of a humidifier is hands down my top pick.