Low humidity can cause severe discomforts. Dry air can dehydrate your skin, cause itchy dry eyes, and a perennial feeling of thirst. If you are living in arid or semi-arid regions, then you are familiar with this phenomenon. Humidifiers come with different designs and technologies; however, they all serve the same purpose.
Buying distilled water could raise your humidifier’s maintenance costs. It is, therefore, essential that you find smart ways to make distilled water for humidifiers. Before we can delve into that, let’s first see how they work.
How do humidifiers work
Humidifiers work under the principle of relative humidity. Humidity is the amount of moister in the air. Relative humidity, on the other hand, is the maximum amount of moister that can be held by one cubic meter of air at a particular temperature.
For example, at 40 degrees Celsius, a meter cubic of air is expected to have a maximum of 36 grams of moisture. Therefore, if at a particular moment, at 40 degrees Celsius, humidity is at 36 grams per cubic meter of air, then the relative humidity is said to be at 100%.
Therefore, humidifiers provide additional humidity whenever relative humidity is less than the required percentage. The right humidity levels may vary from time to time, depending on the season. During summer, humidity levels in your home should range from 60-75% and between 55-70% during winter. Looking for a humidifier? check out our best humidifier here
Types of humidifiers
Humidifiers are of five different types.
- Central humidifiers are usually paired with an HVAC system to work as a unit.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers are the most productive of all humidifiers. It works through converting electromagnetic frequencies into mechanical vibrations. Consequently, they produce ultrasonic vibrations and a mist at the same time.
- Steam vaporizers use electricity to produce cool steam. They, however, have hot water inside that might cause severe burns. Keep children away from them.
- Evaporators use a fan to blow hot air into a wet belt or filter.
- Impeller humidifiers create a cool mist through a rotating disk. Ensure you use distilled water at all times to prevent clogging of the cartilage.
Keeping your humidifier clean
There is a myriad of health issues that come with a dirty and poorly maintained humidifier. To avert them, read through the various methods you can use to keep it clean.
- Always use distilled water: Tap water contains minerals that do not evaporate when water is heated. These minerals form deposits that clog in the humidifier, encouraging the development of bacteria and fungus.
- Clean the unit frequently: Ensure that you disconnect the humidifier every three days and clean it. Rid the tank of any mineral deposits. Use a disinfectant like chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide to kill any bacteria or mold.
- Change the filters regularly: Many manufacturers have recommendations on how often filters should be changed printed on the user manual. Be sure to check them out.
- Keep the area around the humidifier dry: In case you notice water droplets on surfaces like furniture and cutlery. Reduce the frequency of use.
- Consider replacing the humidifier: Over time, you might realize some stains won’t go even after rigorous cleaning. Maybe it’s time to let go and get a new humidifier
How to make distilled water for humidifier
First of all, you might ask yourself why you need to distill water for your humidifier. Well, if that’s the case, then note that using mineral-rich water or contaminated water will damage your humidifier. Considering that a humidifier heats water and releases it to the air, it implies that any other solvents found in the water will remain behind and build up.
Apart from using distilled water, ensure that you regularly change the water in the humidifier just in case it got contaminated. Suppose you leave contaminated water in the humidifier for long, mold and bacteria will grow, posing health risks for you and your family.
These molds and bacteria will develop, especially around the edges of the steam nozzles. As the humidifier blows stem, it might blow these bacteria and molds along, hence contaminating the air you breathe. Regular cleaning and the use of distilled water will significantly help in the longevity of your humidifier.
With that said, let’s look at some methods you can use to make distilled water for humidifiers.
1. Use the extended kettle method
You will realize that making distilled water would require equipment that you already have in your home, coupled with some innovation. In this method, you will need the following.
- A kettle.
- A metallic/copper coil pipe of at least 45cm long that fits the kettle outlet.
- A metallic/glass collecting jar.
- Source of strong heat.
Setting up the system
To assemble the unit, join the copper coil pipe to the kettles nozzle and ensure it is airtight. Pour water into the kettle and place it on top of the source of heat. Place the other end of the pipe at the collecting jar and put on the source of heat. Continuously pour cold water on the copper pipe to enhance condensation. Do this carefully without putting out the source of heat with the cooling water.
You can achieve this by placing a small trough under the pipe to collect the running water. As the water in the kettle gets heated, it evaporates and escapes through the copper coil pipe. As the vapor escapes through this pipe, the temperatures in this pipe are low, forcing it to condense.
By the time this vapor reaches the other end of the copper pipe, it will have fully condensed, forming the distillate. Cool this distillate and use it in your humidifier.
2. Use the floating bowl method
This method requires a setup of the following components.
- A cooking pot.
- A glass lid.
- A glass bowl.
- Source of heat.
Assembling the unit
Fill up the cooking pot with water then place the glass bowl inside the cooking pot in an upright position. Ensure that the bowl floats in the water and does not sink at any point.
Put the pot on the source of heat and begin heating as soon as the water starts to produce steam cover the cooking pot with the glass lid in an upside-down position so that it caves in towards the center.
Put ice on top of the glass lid for enhancing condensation. After some time, the bowl will have collected a distillate ready for use in your humidifier.
3. Construct a solar-powered water distiller.
This is the most effective method for making distilled water for your humidifier. Once constructed, you will not need any additional investment to make distilled water. All you will need to do is ensure there is enough water in the unit at all times.
It would be best if you also got rid of any obstructions between the distiller and the sun. Constructing one requires very minimal technical skills. I would say that anyone can comfortably build one without any professional help.
All you need is a wide shallow water container covered by a wedge-shaped glass container whose top is slanting downwards. During a sunny day, the solar heat heats the water, making it to evaporate and condense on the top slanting glass.
After the water droplets have built up, they roll down the glass towards the bottom where there is a collecting tunnel connected to a pipe. This pipe leads to a jug place at your place of convenience. You can search for videos online that give step by step instructions on how to construct a solar-powered water distiller.
In conclusion, humidifiers play a vital role in maintaining a stable equilibrium of humidity in our homes. However, use them with caution because they can cause severe burns. Moreover, It would help if you also regulated how much you use them to avoid dampening the air.