Humidifiers: Simpler is better?

Opublikowany 13 sty 2021
The air. It holds water! And how much it holds matters! A lot, in fact. Sometimes we need to adjust it in the upwards persuasion. Learn why and how in this little ol’ video!
Are you looking for the follow-up where we take apart the Vicks thing?
And how ‘bout the video on the teeny tiny swamp cooler?
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  • “Did you just buy a humidifier and… turn that into content?” Guilty as charged! But also, it’s been a surprisingly large quality-of-life improvement for me and the topic turned out to be worthy of exploration. I look forward to all the weird towel contraptions you’ll no doubt devise! *On that note! Important extra info lies below!* I was trying to avoid describing one type of humidifier as universally better than another, but I'm not sure I succeeded. Which kind will work the best for you is very, very situational. What struck me most about the evaporative style is simply how effective it is for how simple it is. But, a thing that I totally didn't address (and I, for real, pinky-promise meant to but simply forgot) was the cooling effect of evaporative humidifiers. After all, if it's the same thing as a swamp cooler, doesn't that mean it cools a bit? Well.... kinda. It's complicated by the fact that the ability of swamp coolers to cool depends on how dry the air is, so once these things have brought the humidity up to anything appreciable, that cooling effect is very mild. But it is indeed true that the water "stole" some heat from the air in order to evaporate, so some cooling inevitably occurs. I'll talk about this more casually on Connextras:

    • Can you create your own John?

    • It is glorified steamer ( electrode thingy) Just pour less salt for less power consumption.

    • Hi TC: Surprised you didn't look at the class of 'air washers' (for example, Venta). It's an evaporative cooler on steroids, and I'm very pleased with mine.

    • Vinegar. Just get a gallon of vinegar for $1.75 at a dollar store and soak your wick in it at a 70/30 vinegar to water ratio. I live in Regina (Deadpool’s birthplace) and our water is BRUTAL for minerals. Mine get deposits constantly. I use vinegar to clean it every week or two and the wicks last 10-20x longer.

    • One thing I've noticed from your videos is damn you must live on another planet you gotta Tera form your house everyday

  • What if you put the wick on a floating rack system. Guides would keep it in a slot and the buoyancy of the rack (maybe with air pockets as needed) would keep it the right amount in the water. Then you could make the tank as big as you want with few moving parts to fail.

  • "It's crate."

  • 0:03 meme this image

  • Fuck blue LED displays, I couldn't find a single humidifier that didn't have one. The humidifier I got in the end even has annoying blinking blue LEDs that convey no information whatsoever. I should have gotten one with outdoor the display, it's reading is always wrong anyway.

  • I would be very interested in you doing a video on so-called atmospheric water generators. These things seem too good to be true.

  • Wet towel is much more efficient than most of these expensive machines

  • Hi, you should make a video about the insane waste of energy occured by cryptocurrencies.

  • Moist.

  • Yes, it is a JoJo's reference.

  • Just mop the floor and hang some wet towels. Otherwise get a whole house humidifier built into the furnace.

  • How about a system where the wick cartridge sits on a foam float of some sort. Then the buoyancy of it all, has the wick only sitting in about the top inch or so of the water reservoir.This would keep the maximum surface area of the wick exposed to airflow over the wick at all times. Have the reservoir be about 10-15 gallons. You could then fill up the reservoir, as the water is absorbed and evaporated, the floating wick drops with the water level until it’s empty. You could even have the fan centered, and a wick on each side and the fan pulling air through each wick, then up out the center.

  • I got sick and bought a $40 one at CVS to help prevent my throat and nose drying out. It worked but after a while it made my sheets feel gross.

  • What you have said about the Vicks steam vaporizer is correct. It has two electrodes that sit in the water. The higher the mineral content the more steam will be produced and the more power it will draw. When it runs out of water it stops because the minerals in the water are no longer there to complete the circuit. The more expensive and larger steam humidifiers actually use a heating element to boil the water so those are not dependant on the mineral content to make them work. I actually suggest using distilled water in humidifiers, it's a bit more expensive to purchase or takes a little more time to make it yourself with a home water distiller but it prevents all of the scale crud from building up in the humidifier. I will never use tap water in a humidifier again. For that Vicks vaporizer, you would probably need to add a bit of salt if you used distilled water since distilled water actually does not conduct electricity very well. Most people have heard the phrase "electricity and water don't mix." That is certainly true for things like tap water, but it's the minerals that are the great conductor, not the water itself.

  • I can make one myself, it's called putting a pot of water on the stove! I work for a daycare in the kitchen, and our dishwasher produces a TON of steam.

  • omg alex plays fortnite

  • I live in an apartment in the Midwest and I can get away with just showering without the vent fan on and and running a fan.

  • Fun fact! Every device that has an led display that's ice blue is that colour *because* against red or amber displays they are half off.

  • Quicklier??? I had to google that! ;-)

  • 'quicklier'. my new favorite word.

  • Quicklier?

  • I promise I'll never complain about my Wife drying laundry on the radiators again...

  • I've learned a lot of things on your channel, but I can never use quicklier as a word. It's not that it's not a word, it's just that it's not the righter word to use.

  • I live in a valley, it's always humid here and I have never seen a humidifier, but I do have a dehumidifier

  • I'm so totally with you on blue leds. Seriously. Even my wireless charger has blue leds. Am I supposed to charge my phone next to my bed overnight with this light in my face?

  • Oh so that's how the ultrasonic ones work.

  • "And I've apparently uncovered something of a mystery." Shouldn't that be mist-ery? ;)

  • But blue lights are glowy, glowy bright light good.

  • Floatable wick instead of a pump so i floats on the surface, 50% or whatever inside the water. So it doesnt matter what the water level is.

  • The only humidifier I have is an ultrasonic one I got dumpster diving, and I use it to humidify a propagation terrarium.


  • What ever happened to misters? I remember, as a kid, when ever I had a cold my parents would put a round shaped UFO looking thin in my room that made a white noise and blew out moist air...called a was 80s as hell and had brown and white wood grain look to it and was huge. I can't even find it online anywhere...was I the only one who had one of these?

  • With regard to the wicking and ultrasonic humidifiers, their evaporation also uses energy which lowers ambient temperature, which your furnace needs to compensate for by burning more fuel. I'm guessing this is barely double-digit percents of further energy usage over nominal, but lol you didn't mention that. Also, boiling humidifiers increase air temperature as well as humidity which the furnace does NOT need to compensate for.

  • What about putting the filter on something that floats? That way no matter the water level it can stay partially submerged

  • HIM: "It's brown, and therefore excellent!" ME: on behalf of the Black men's council, we'd like to extend to you a welcoming hand of friendship and goodwill.

  • Man describes -18c as if it's the north poll *laughs in canadian*

  • If you have asthma you don't want to use the cold mist humidifier because it will intensify your asthma I know because I have asthma

  • "A rock or something" 😆😆😆

  • Where I live it is so humid, even in the winter (with very cold winters often in the -15c or below) it is a constant battle to remove humidity. Past a certain point, humid air will make you feel much colder (as the water suspended in the air steal more of you heat than just air).

  • a fridge should be an optional humidifier! - It's already getting hot... evaporation would make it more efficient, and it already has the cooler with a large surface area...

  • Humidifiers plug your furnace air filters unless you use distilled water

  • 12:10 Tonight I'm experimenting with a device called a "Locker Mate" that was an impulse buy of mine from Walmart many years ago and draping a towel over it with one end of it dipping into a bowl of water. The "Locker Mate" is basically a collapsible shelf made out of metal wires so I figured that it would be great for supporting a towel and allowing for airflow. I got the idea to re-think your bowl thing when the humidity in my room just wouldn't go above 30% even though I had been doing nothing different than before and I put my hygrometer in my living room to get a control and it had dropped to 8%! It's so hot and dry here!!

  • Would it not work to let the evaporator float on the water using a floating device (maybe use the styrofoam for that?), that keeps a small part in the water?

  • You should do dongles and charger cables and key fobs

  • Fuck yeah, Menards!

  • I grew up in Illinois. We had a DE-humidifier... in our finished basement. In the 1980s our basement was coolest place in Manhattan. 😎

  • For air purifiers simpler is better too. Just the simplest models where a fan sucks in the air into a cheap replaceable filter. Will save you bunch of money not having to buy the manufacturer's inflated priced filters as you could just cut in shape any filter material of any size.

  • Upvoted for blue LED rant. Marketing: Let's make/sell Blu--Blocker glasses! Also Marketing: Let's make all electronic devices with ridiculously bright blue LEDs!

  • Where I live it's quite humid in winter this year we only had one week of dry air and we do not normally have that so when I first saw this video it seemed crazy to want to put water in the air.

  • To address the mold growth issue, Honeywell includes a UV-C light source and a clever zigzag portion for the water to pass under it on the way to the wick on the model HCM-350. The wick lasts MUCH longer in this unit than previous ones I've owned.

  • I use one of the ultrasonic humidifiers and feed it filtered water (with near 0 TDS). It never needs descaling. I find that easier than replacing the wick and descaling every now and then. And the filtered water ensures what goes in my air is mostly just water and nothing else.

  • I just use plastic dish tubs. Connect some plastic coat hangers together. Drape some old hole filled t-shirts over them. Pour water over the shirt and then add bleach to the bucket. Follow the dilution ratios on the bottle and adjust to one that seems to work for your conditions. The shirt will also wick up some of the dissolved bleach so you can just pour more water over the t-shirt to dissolve the bleach crystals and keep the bucket and water sanitized again.

  • 13:45 Light Dim Decal.

  • My favorite is the old impeller style cool air humidifiers. I have tried newer style ones but I can't get away from the old ones!

  • I just have to note that swamp coolers were like a cool California breeze sent from Valhalla when I was in Afghanistan.

    • They work amazingly, so long as you have less than like 30-35% humidity.

  • Xiaomi Smartmi Zhimi Air Humidifier 2 for example, wth its not reviewd and compared

  • I'm surprised you didn't mention that it will be a load on your heat system. Evaporating water takes heat out of the air, cooling the air. That's why they're used as coolers! So it might not use much energy itself but that's because it's stealing energy from your furnace/heat pump.

  • I live in Puerto Vallarta, MX where it is humid most of the time and REALLY humid in Summer. You are correct. John Wick joke was great and well delivered, nice. Hey, a video on why 220 volt airconditioners are more efficient and cost less over time vs 110 would be really awesome and a bit about using an inverter to get 220 out of 110 though at a cost would a bonus. I find few people here really get how much better the 220 conditioners are on their power bill.

  • I wrote a massive humidifier rant in the form of an Amazon review recently, I hope someone cares. Basically I got a wonderful humidifier that has a fatal design flaw: the humidity sensor is integrated into the circuit board, and the casing has holes that allow the humidity sensor to read the humidity in the environment. BUT THOSE SAME HOLES ALSO ALLOW MOISTURE TO CORRODE THE FAN CONTACTS ON THE CIRCUIT BOARD AND THE FAN STOPS WORKING AFTER A MONTH. God.

  • Non-dimmable or LEDs you simply can't disable are so frustrating. I simply out electrical tape over them if they're in my bedroom. So annoying that everything apparently needs them now.

  • Quicklier?

  • And bakterien etc?

  • Ive got a large version of one of those in my room. I found it on the side of the road and i love it. Ive since replaced its wick once after it got all moldy

  • i think the first hot air humidifier uses a stone that heats up and drops water on it;

  • The Vicks is just two long copper electrodes that are covered in a black case. I took mine apart to clean it. I had a new one that I returned because it's not built as well as my old one from the 80's. The vapor output from my older model is about twice the amount. I have no idea how much power it consumes though. Probably the same haha. I'll probably get an evaporative humidifier in the future at some point.

  • The wooden lute canonically remind because neon methodologically call between a ludicrous horse. unused, careless bus

  • I'm convinced this dude is the smartest person on the internet. I think I've watched all of his videos and they drive my wife nuts because I watch too much nerd stuff. I agree that bright blue lights on electronics has become obnoxious, I also cover them with tape.

  • I love your videos so much. Very informative and I love your sense of humour. Often chuckling at your jokes

  • Portable units are great if you're renting or for some reason cannot install a whole-house unit on the HVAC system, but I would ALWAYS recommend the whole house setup if it is at all possible to do. Main reason: less ongoing maintenance. Aside from changing the wick/water pad, you just don't have to mess with it on a daily or near daily basis. The one and only downside I can possibly see with whole house units is that they might waste more water, as it's generally a continuous stream of water that flows down the wick, with excess water going straight down the drain. But, this downside has the upside of it being far less likely to have mold/bacteria problems growing in the humidifier unit from the lack of standing water...the only thing that grows in mine is limescale.

  • I have one attached to the furnace but the water is so hard where I live that the wick gets clogged up almost immediately (well, within a week or two). If there was a washable wick version I would most definitely buy it and run it even... I've given up on the current one and just put up with dry air.


  • The opening line made me want to kill myself more then I do already

  • here in the summer it is hot and dry and in the winter it is cold and humid. It is hot so you want to turn on ar conditioning and it makes the air even dryer

  • Quicklier

  • Back in the 1980s there was a different kind of humidifier. It was a tank that had a lid with a motor in it not really a fan. The motor had a 5” long plastic tube with a plastic disk at the top that the motor would spin. The internal geometry of the tube would make the water rise in it when the motor was on. When water reached the top of the tube it would be slung at high speed by a plastic disk against a plastic static circular comb on the outside of the disk that among other things had a vaporizing effect and also slung vapor and small amounts of water out of a slit or hole on the top of a plastic basin. If memory serves it took about 3 or so gallons of water and would use it all up in about 8 or hours. It would totally soak an enclosed room and leave a wet spot in the carpet for about 3 feet in front of its output nozzle. It would fog up a bedroom in about 7 minutes and sounded like a box high speed box fan while it was on. Also as I recall they didn’t use switches. There was a simple plug that you would plug in or unplug to turn on and off.

  • I would really love a review like this on air purifiers. There's so many it's hard to know which ones work best.

  • My family used to have a large humidifier, made in the late 70s (pre-me, as I never remember us using it; it was a console table for a long time as we moved somewhere without low humidity issues). But, it had a belt wick that was on a track with two rotating cylinders, with the slack of the wick drooping into a very large tank. It looked like it was easy to refill and clean (the front had a drop down door to access the tank and wick). I don't know if they still make humidifiers like that, but this style could probably be easily retrofitted with a washable towel system (if you're handy with sewing.)

  • my vicks that you demonstrated uses 600-700 watts to output as much as yours in the video. absolutely insane, but extremely effective for just having a decent sleep in my experience.

  • The console at Lowe's is much better. It has 4 filters, runs until dry before turning off, and I just pour a five gallon bucket into it per day (no bottle). I live in the desert where it's dry AF and humidity often gets as high as the upper teens and as low as single digits.

  • Missing impeller-type humidifiers, which have a spinning disc that throws water against a plate, generating small droplets which go into the air. Not as effective at humidifying, but no white dust and relatively low energy consumption.

  • I'm surprised he didn't mention that you can install a float connected to a waterline on larger evaporative models like the two he showed towards the end. Then you can set the water level to whatever you want based on where the float is installed and it will, quite literally never run out of water. The smaller of the two evaporative humidifiers (the white one with two filters) actually has a hole in the back for the float. The beast might also have a float making the "jug" unnecessary as well as the wonky float level apparatus. I use an older "bucket" style model made by the same company. Two wicks a year and 10 years and it's still working. I lowered the water level slightly to increase the surface area and it never runs out. Of course, this only works if you can run a small water line to your humidifier, but if you can, it's definitely worth it!!

  • Regarding the efficiency of the boiling humidifier, shouldn’t it be about the same as the others (assuming you’re heating your house as well)? The others will cool the air slightly so the heat will have to come from your furnace, and any excess heat given off by the boiling one will just cause the furnace to run slightly less.

  • There is (was?) a type not covered in the video. Functionally it's very similar to the ultrasonic type, but instead of using ultrasound to stir up the water vapor it uses (used?) a motor turning a plastic fan/comb in the water tank to generate the mist. It probably produced much larger droplets, which is why I keep qualifying the above statements with past-tense verbs. They probably aren't made any more. Growing up in the 70s & 80s these were what my folks would sometimes pull out to humidify our room when we were sick. They would stick one on a towel on a TV tray. The towel was needed because the mist in the immediate vicinity of the unit tended to form droplets on the nearby surfaces. Other than that, they seemed to work okay. Sadly, this video came out a few years too late. That is, I would have loved to box one up and send it to you for comparison, but we got rid of them in 2018 when we were cleaning out my folks' house to sell it.

  • well, so much for floods due to global warming

  • Why would anyone ever put water into the air of the house?! Only in America...

  • Please make a video on how dehumidifiers work!

  • Heh. And in my home it's been so cold in my non-insulated house I've had all doors and windows closed all winter, so all the moisture from showers, drying clothes etc has condensed on the biggest external well and stained it. No humidifiers here, but a small useless de-humidifier.

  • I own a two tank Vornado (Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon), the thing is basic as F, the tanks can be removed and filled individually even if the other is still full, it can run for 24 + hours depending on the room size... completely recommended. Simple, amazing.

  • Thank you for explaining why a thin layer of dust has covered the room my humidifier is in! I thought I was going nuts!

  • I must know! Where did you get those high-quality lava lamps? The cheap lava brand ones are not very good. Thanks for another interesting video!

  • We have long dry winter in Finland. Have tried many different kinds of humidifiers and only boiling units are proper and efective. Only let it boil and add water, practically no need to clean. Once per year tap dry unit and small amount of dry chalk falls out.

  • John Wick Matrix... well done! Keanu surely approves!

  • 18:07

  • Dang man you look healthy

  • This video was like a car wreck on the highway - terrible, but I couldn't stop looking. Seriously, slightly annoying, but very informative and interesting. I've had a lifelong love-hate relationship with humidifiers, mostly as a result of having some kinda pricey acoustic musical instruments. And also, having a seemingly uncontrollable urge to buy more and more cigars. I've owned just about all of them. I'm curious why you didn't address "warm mist" output, like the Levoit can produce. I personally find it makes a big difference in the comfort level. Bottom line, they are all a PITA. I think it's just the nature of the problem, there are no perfect solutions.

  • if that small device is so called personal air conditioner then my cheaply made 120mm computer fan attached to a sturdy metal contraption to wear as a cap and then powering it with my PC and just for an extra spice with PWM--RGB controller so that when pc raises its fan speed i get more air dynamically can also be called a personal AC.

  • Where do you get that dimming tape you used?

  • Actually, the wick-based ones aren't recommended these days, simply because of the combination of the low-efficiency of them and the fact that they can get contaminants in the wick which are now being circulated into the air. I recommend the electrosonic ones, because even though they _can_ vaporize contaminants, they are _much_ easier to clean them out of. If you have a lot of minerals, just use a filter. When I lived in Texas, we'd set one up below the intake for the heater, which helped a lot with the dry air. On the flipside, if you make your own, consider putting an air-filter in as the first stage of intake and putting the wick on the outflow. That'll make it both double as a purifier, and a humidifier. Also, consider cheese-cloth, as it can have air pass directly through it: I've used it as dust-filters for external computer cooling systems.

  • My mother had the brown one in the early 80s. I cannot BELIEVE a) they are still made b) they continue to use the 80s wood grain. It's as if I've been taken back to wicker furniture and water beds. Thank you.

    • The "fan" in hers was actually a wheel. Like a tiny little water wheel. I can't believe how fascinated I've become about humidity. Off to watch the Vick's one and probably be really disturbed.

  • Lol! I've been looking through "how to" videos for my Humidifier and the videos are SO boring. The canned music was starting to make me sick.. You had me at "This stupid thing" 🤣