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When you spend all day working in an office, dry air can be a nightmare. It can dry out your skin, mouth, and eyes, and generally just makes it uncomfortable to work in. If you feel like the air in your office is dry, a humidifier is a great way to combat it. There isn’t one specific humidifier that is the best for offices. There a few great contenders but each has their own pros and cons which may or may not be that important to you.
In this guide, we will first help you decide which type of humidifier will be the most suitable for your office. Next we will offer some other tips to help deal with dry air in an office. Then we will take a look at our three recommended humidifiers for an office. Finally we have a general humidifier buyer’s guide which you may want look through.
On This Page
- Quick Look at Our Recommendations
- Choosing a Humidifier for an Office
- Tips for Dealing With Dry Air in an Office
- Best Humidifiers for an Office
- Humidifier Buyers Guide
Quick Look at Our Recommendations
Best Cool Mist
Best Warm Mist
Choosing a Humidifier for an Office
Choosing a humidifier for an office isn’t the easiest task because there isn’t one type of humidifier that suits everyone’s circumstances. Each type has drawbacks when used in an office environment so you need to decide for yourself which type suits you best.
Cool Mist Evaporative Humidifiers
Cool mist evaporative humidifiers work by a fan blowing on a wick filter and then the air absorbs the moisture from the filter. There are two reasons why these filters are good for an office.
First, they produce very little white dust if any at all. White dust is made of minerals from the water and is produced by ultrasonic (also known as filter-less) humidifiers. It can settle all over the room which is not ideal for an office, especially if there are lots of computers and electronics around.
The other advantages is that they are self-regulating. This means they cannot over-humidify the room because the air will simply stop absorbing moisture when it has enough humidity. This is great for use in an office because if you let the humidity levels get too high, it may damage computers and ruin important documents.
The downside is that they are the noisiest type of humidifier. However, if noise isn’t a huge issue, then a cool mist evaporative humidifier is the type we recommend. However, if your office has a quieter feel to it, we would recommend one of the other types.
Warm Mist Humidifiers
Warm mist humidifiers work by heating the water until vapor is emited, humidifying the room. There are two main reasons why warm mist humidifiers can be good for an office.
Like cool mist evaporative humidifiers, warm mist humidifiers also don’t emit much white dust. They are also much quieter than cool mist evaporative humidifiers so can be a good choice for quieter offices.
The downsides are that they are more expensive to run than the other two types and there is also the added risk of burn injuries from the hot water in the humidifier’s tank.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are also known as filter-less humidifiers and work by a ceramic diaphragm vibrating at ultrasonic speeds creating tiny water droplets which exit the humidifier.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are the quietest type so are a great choice if your office is a very quiet environment. Some models come with both cool mist and warm mist options too.
The downside to ultrasonic humidifiers is that they produce white dust from the minerals in the water. This isn’t great for your lungs and it will settle around the office and could cause problems with electronics and will just be an all-round nuisance. White dust is particularly bad when you use hard water because it is made from minerals and hard water has higher levels of minerals.
If you do decide to choose an ultrasonic humidifier, we highly recommend using demineralization capsules, or an even better option is to purchase a distiller.
Other Things to Consider
One thing to note is that cool mist humidifiers can cool the room down a little and warm mist humidifiers can increase the temperature. This won’t be by much, especially in a larger office, but it is worth taking on board.
You also want to make sure you purchase a high quality humidifier, particularly if the humidifier will be placed near a computer. The last thing you want is for the humidifier to leak or spill water all over expensive electronics.
Tips for Dealing With Dry Air in an Office
Using a humidifier in your office is a great solution for dry air, but here are a few more things that are worth giving a try.
- Stay hydrated: When the air is dry, moisture from your body evaporates living your skin dry. Drinking plenty of water can help with this.
- Get some plants: Not only do plants add a nice decorative touch to the office, but they also help to add humidity to the air. Just make sure you choose one that is suitable for dry environments.
- Switch off printers and other office equipment: These emit heat and can dry out the air even further so it’s a good idea to keep them switched off when they’re not in use.
Best Humidifiers for an Office
Hopefully, you now have an idea of which type of humidifier will be the best option for your office. Below you can find our top recommendations for the different types of humidifier.
1. Honeywell HCM-350
Our top pick is the Honeywell HCM-350 as long as you don’t mind the noise. A full tank should last around 24 hours on low which is about average. This is a cool mist evaporative humidifier which means it uses a filter to stop minerals from the water being dispersed. This helps to prevent white dust making it a good choice for hard water. These filters do need replacing though, and the way evaporative humidifiers work mean they are noisier than the alternatives.
2. Vicks V745
If your office is on the cooler side, the Vicks V745 is a great option. A full tank will only last around 12 hours which is on the low side, but it is easy to fill. This humidifier won’t produce much white dust at all, but it will need cleaning regularly due to the mineral build up. The Vicks is quieter than the HoneyWell but noisier than the Levoit. You do need to be careful with a warm mist humidifier, especially when there are a lot of people moving around because they can cause burns injuries from the heating element or the hot water.
3. Levoit LV450CH
The final humidifier on our list is the Levoit LV450CH which is our recommendation for an ultrasonic humidifier for the office. A full tank will last around 24 hours on low. This is the quietest humidifier on our list but will produce white dust unless you use distilled water. If you use tap water, we recommend either using demineralization cartridges or a distiller. The advantages is that their are no filters to replace, although it will still need cleaning regularly.
Humidifier Buyers Guide
If you are still not sure what to look for in a humidifier, the guide below goes over the different types of humidifiers and features to look out for in a humidifier.
Types of Humidifier
There are three main types of humidifier: cool mist evaporative, warm mist, and ultrasonic. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages which we will take a look at now.
Cool Mist Evaporative Humidifiers
Since the mist dispersed from these humidifier is cool, they are ideal for warmer climates because they can actually help to cool the room down a little. A cool mist evaporative humidifier uses a wick filter to draw out water. A fan blows over the wick which allows the air to absorb the water. There are two main advantages to evaporative humidifiers:
- They are self regulating. Since the air can only absorb so much water, once the humidity levels reach a certain point the effectiveness of the humidifier will decrease. This prevents over humidification.
- The water is filtered. This is particularly important if you use hard water in the humidifier. Hard water contains minerals which are emitted into the room with a filter-less humidifier. These minerals aren’t great for your lungs and can create white dust which gets all over your room. An evaporative filter will catch these minerals before they get into the air.
The downsides to cool mist evaporative humidifiers are that the filters need replacing every month or so, meaning there are ongoing costs and extra maintenance if you purchase one of these units. Also, these humidifiers are the noisiest.
Warm Mist Humidifiers
Warm mist humidifiers are great for cooler climates because they can add a little warmth to your room. They work by boiling the water until steam is released into the air. There are three main advantages to warm mist humidifiers:
- They don’t cause white dust. Just like cool mist evaporative humidifiers, warm mist humidifiers won’t disperse minerals from the water into the air. This is because when the water is boiled, only the water is released as steam and the minerals get left behind.
- No filters to replace. Unlike a cool mist evaporative humidifier, there are no filters to replace with a warm mist humidifier. This means there aren’t any ongoing costs to keep it running (other than electricity of course).
- They are quiet. Warm mist humidifiers aren’t as quiet as ultrasonic humidifiers, but they are still very quiet and much less noisy than cool mist evaporative humidifiers.
The downsides to warm mist humidifiers are that they are a little more expensive to run in terms of electricity, although you do need to consider you won’t need to regularly replace any filters. They also require more frequent cleaning due to the minerals left over from the boiling process.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are also known as filter-less humidifiers and are usually cool mist but can be warm mist too. Some models offer both warm and cool mist operation. An ultrasonic humidifier works by a ceramic diaphragm vibrating at an ultrasonic frequency creating tiny water droplets which exit the humidifier. There are two main advantages to ultrasonic humidifiers.
- They are ultra quiet. Since the diaphragm in the humidifier vibrates at ultrasonic sounds, we can’t hear them and offer almost silent operation.
- No filters to replace. Like warm mist humidifiers, ultrasonic humidifiers also don’t use filters so the running costs aer much cheaper than with cool mist evaporative humidifiers.
The main downside to ultrasonic humidifiers is that they create white dust. Since there isn’t a filter and the water isn’t boiled before being dispersed, all of the minerals in the water are dispersed into the air. This is particularly problematic if you are using tap water from a hard water area. If you purchase an ultrasonic humidifier, I would also recommend purchasing a distiller or demineralization cartridges cartridges.
Top Fill Humidifiers
Some humidifiers have a top fill design. This means they have a large opening on the top that you can pour water directly into without having to remove the tank. This is especially useful for seniors and people who have difficulties with mobility. They are generally easier to clean too because the wide opening allows you to easily get your hand inside to wipe it down.
If you don’t choose a top fill model, you should still consider how easy the humidifier is to clean and fill because those are the two things you will be doing with it regularly.
There are various features to look out for when deciding on a humidifier. Things like auto-shutoffs and built in humidistat can make operating your humidifier a little bit easier. Below I will run you through some of the common features you are likely to find.
- Built-in Hygrometer/Humidistat: Hyrgrometers work like a thermometer but they measure humidity levels instead of temperature. Humidistats are similar but work more like a thermostat as they have the ability to automatically turn the humidifier on or off depending on the humidity levels.
- Automatic Shutoff: Humidifiers with an automatic shutoff feature will turn themselves off when the water tank is empty. This is great for saving energy.
- Multiple Speed Settings: Some humidifiers can be set to multiple speed levels, usually two or three. This can be useful for when you are sleeping because the lower settings are usually much quieter than the highest setting. It also allows you to save energy by using the lower settings when you don’t require much humidity.
- Indicator Lights: Some humidifiers have lights to warn you when the water level is getting low, the filters need replacing, and the humidifier needs cleaning. Although these can be handy, some models go over the top with the lighting and they can be a bit annoying.
Last update on 2020-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API