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Humidifiers: Simpler is better?
- Published on Jan 12, 2021 veröffentlicht
- 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?
• Is a Vicks vapori...
And how ‘bout the video on the teeny tiny swamp cooler?
• Personal "air con...
Or howzabout a completely new follow-up video I just did?
• Even *more* humid...
Or were you just looking for these links?
Technology Connextras (the second channel that stuff goes on sometimes):
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Comments • 8 731
“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: clip-share.net/video/HfFAiCMLJ14/video.html
Wouldn't a built in UV light be fantastic for that large humidifier to kill mold etc?
@Nora Schoots Europe is where the grass grows greener.
You are right when you say in the Midwest that it's hot and humid in the summer and cold and dry in the winter unless you live in Oklahoma like I do then the weather is insane but it still roughly follows that same principle
Maybe you could put some kind of a towel rack in the big brown one. Just let the bottom part of the towel in the water!
Instead of buying a humidifier, one can just hang dry one's clothes instead of tumble drying them. You also save a lot of electricity and money. Make sure that the moist air can circulate in you house add a small fan if needed. I have a air purifier that's on 24/7 during winter. No AC needed in my climate.
This channel is secretly a scheme to turn Alec's new homeowner costs into tax deductions. Next week: "how do roofs work?"
@Lawrence umm…I think he makes plenty of money from this
The why electric plugs have holes in the blade video gave it away. He now can write off every electric device and every outlet in his house.
Next up: how hair gel works.
"Through the magic of buying two, I have a (scale) one right here! The other one's in use:
tbh it's helpful to me as also a new homeowner trying to figure shit out also
As someone who also has to suffer through Illinois winters, and who also has a humidifier set up and running not five feet from his desk, I can 100% agree, humidifiers are a necessity.
I feel like everything got so much drier when I moved to Boston, is Illinois supposed to be worse?
Oh god I live in the subtropics of the north island of New Zealand so we all have central dehumidifiers not cooling or heating just dehumidifi.
The device you are looking for is a clothes drying rack, what my parents used before we had a clothes dryer (and after too.)
FYI If the console ever fails to maintain the desired humidity level, roll it near a hot air furnace vent to improve the rate of evaporation. Be prepared to fill the tank more than once a day. When mine goes dry I fill both the tank and the reservoir!
@Hannes Wiggenhorn Depending on the height of the drying rack and the type of material, just the one bowl might be enough. If not, some drying racks have parallel rails, so placing a board across higher rails could provide a platform for a second bowl.
But for the desired functionality, you want a clothes drying rack placed in a way that the clothes on top stay wet from another water source, like a bucket or bowl
I recently bought a humidifier from AirCare, mostly because of this video, and it looks like someone there watched this video. Most complaints seems to be fixed. It uses a green, less bright display, has a function to run until the water is over (and warns about it on the display) and the entire upper part goes off for cleaning. =D
Not perfect but it got better, in my opinion. The model I bought is the AIRCARE MA1201.
Thanks for all the information in this video. It helped me a lot since I recently moved to Canada and where I came from we never need a humidifier and I had no idea which one would be a good fit for me.
It wouldnt supruse me if this is a parts bin special product made of things they already have a stock of in the factory
The Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer IS an Electrode Boiler. That is why it requires descaling quite often if you have high mineral content in your water. It can also be manually descaled, but the boiler chamber isn't really designed for end user maintenance. If there is too much minerals or salt in your water, this thing will spit water all over the place.
Hey Alec! I'm also passionate about humidifiers, and I have a few things to add. Lasko, and previously Hamilton Bay makes a wick humidifier that pumps water up on top of the wick. This is done by an impeller on a shaft connected to the fan, so there aren't significantly more parts to fail, and had several advantages. First, the water flow makes it so you don't need the bacteriostat. They specifically instruct you not to use it. Second, with non circulating humidifiers, after a few weeks, you'll notice minerals have accumulated over the wick, so it stops wicking. Not a problem for the circulating wicking humidifiers. There isn't a waterfall sound, as you suspected there would be, because the wick material breaks the surface tension, water flows silently. There is only fan sound. Another approach I really like is to use PLANTS. Plants require watering daily, and they evaporate that water. Pothos is a good one because it will evaporate as much water as you give it, and when you slow down it will slow down without dying. Fill your house with plants, water them how much you need to be comfortable. Be prepared to shove them into storage outdoors in the summer.
@Ethan Oswald The one I have at home right now is Lasko EC09150
What models are you referring to?
Light dim decal?! Such a thing exists?! OMG I got so excited I had to pause the video and go looking for some. No longer will I have to put black electrician's tape over the bright-enough-to-burn-your-eyes-out LED displays which sort of, you know, negates the convenience of actually having a display to tell you what's going on. The room air purifier we have is particularly egregious, but I've also taken the tape to routers and computer towers. Thank you soooooo much.
I was so annoyed at the light in my computer tower's power button I just straight up traced the button and busted out the arduino male female wires to just disconnect them
and so now I have a little band of rainbow in my pc :3
@IamCoalfoot WHY DO YOU HAVE SUCH A BLASPHEMOUS CLOCK!?
Ironically, the blue led's on my bedside clock are so dim I can't see them half the time.
Seriously, manufacturers, our eyes just aren't made to see blue light clearly; it scatters too easily, and blends in with morning sunlight. =_=
you can also just get a roll of cheap window tint film and cut small squares to fit whatever you need
Instead of the soap dispenser, you could use a bettix bottle to accurately measure your dosage each time. These are commonly used by brewers and aquarium owners.
Many people may have seen a similar concept to these with mouthwash bottles marketed for kids. You squeeze the bottle and liquid flows up to where it can be measured. This can then be dispensed by pouring out.
Accuracy of basic hygrometers: I had two cheap, basic hygrometers and a fancy top range from Silva. The cheap one allways agreed, and they also agreed with the one on my humidifier. The high-quality expensive Silva was always off. And in the long run it seemed wrong. I brought the cheap one and the Silva to a professional installator of outdoor scientific meterological instruments, and they tested them for me in a test chamber: The cheap ones were surprisingly good. The Sylva was just crap.
I sent the Sylva back to Sweden with a complaint. And I got a new one back that just the same sort of crap.
Wait is it Sylva or Silva
The mist ones which throw minerals can also throw sodium into your air. I had one for a while and all the natural gas flames in the house turned orange. A lighter inside and outside indicated it was in the air and not the gas, so a little armature spectroscopy let me work out sodium with my HPS lamp as a reference. That was a satisfying day.
Use pure distilled water, that way there won't be any minerals in it.
In your dissection of how to improve upon your humidifier, I reckon rather than add complications like a pump to increase capacity, fine-tuning the wicks to float at near buoyancy might work as a more mechanically simple solution. Like a toilet tank, you could sit the wick on rails and calibrated bouys so it would travel evenly down the water reservoir until emptied. You could probably mock it up with pink insulation foam and some cabinet tracks if you felt so compelled. Thank you as always for an interesting video about things we take for granted!
"I bought a humidifier last week."- Now has 4 humidifiers.
This is getting out of hand!
Me with Roombas
Brought to you by Too Many Small Household Appliances™️
Hahahahaj true thatt
@Josh Heidenreich then 123
I'be been growing mushrooms for almost a decade now, and they for example require a minimum of about 86% humidity to fruit, and close to 91% to primodia pin.
I've used almost every type of humidity, from slashing water on textured ground, to cheap humidifiers, to ultrasonic discs and even low psi high pressure misting pumps.
It is a great point to share how the humidity acts between warm and cold weather, which is why I always have a charging room before my grow rooms where I'll have a diy swamp cooler in conjunction with a heater to add some base level humidity, then the air volume gets pushed past the ultrasonic discs to help it effectively add the bulk of the humidity more easily, since mushroom grow rooms need 6 cycles of air per hour, since mushroms breath oxygen and produce carbondioxide that needs to be removed with a fan, which makes holding high humidity hard since it can be so fleeting depending on outdoor temps.
Something to consider in regards to limescale in humidifiers, the cheap ones can get clogged if you use it excessively, and the safety off switch when they run out of water can get jammed from the scaling, which causes the device to continue operate even without water. This can cause fires if the device is designed to cool itself with the water in it's reservior, and provides a nice electrical fire smell to watch out for.
The best humidiier is an ink bird humidiy meter with a house of hydro 3 disc ultrasonic, in a bucket with a 120cfm CPU fan blowing into it (with a air flow check valvue, aka flap of aluminum) and a timer for 3-4minutes on 6-7min off, this setup will turk a 8x10x8ft room into 86%+ humidity with a 160cfm fan pushing air constantly. I use a float value in there too, and have a flow and psi meter incase a hose breaks
I've become a bit of a humidifier connoisseur in the quest to replace the amazing one I had as a kid. Simpler definitely is better, less to break. I never found one that lived up to one I had as a kid, so I bought the same type off eBay - Hankscraft 240 cool mist humidifier. The white noise it makes is divine. I'd love to see a video on one like that, including taking it apart to clean as I'm too scared to mess with mine having finally found it again!
Sunbeam now has a large tank humidifier that has a much better tank design for refilling. The filter is not as large but two of those should be able to match the large one while being easier to manage, especially since it allows refill from the top. I think a floater designed device could allow you to retrofit an auto fill mechanism and prevent ever needing to manually refill.
When you use something sometimes advertised as an air cooler to make your heated air more comfortable in the winter, you know you’re living the life
[PHOTO OF DICAPRIO TOASTING AND WINKING]
My parents had a big old console humidifier that used a rotating water-wheel sponge-style wick. I think this is a better way to get water from the bottom to the top, and you can fill it as much as you want and still have the top of the wheel exposed to the fan. I don't remember too much more, since I was only a 4 or 5 at the time, but it was also brown woodgrain :D
Here in the Netherlands older homes have porcelain water containers hanging on the radiators, which you fill with water so it evaporates when the heating is on. They're pretty old fashioned, but have the advantage of having no moving parts or maintenance. Plus they often have some classy drawing on them, as old porcelain does.
Here in Germany I have trouble keeping my apartment dry enough. There's so much moisture in the air here.
@TheAnoniemo nor saving the Planet
@Jay Dee try 13
it could be lucky for you
@RailBuffRob I bet them radiators ""dont"" get -
"melt the skin off your hands" HOT
My wood stove has a cast iron kettle on top to boil water for humidifying
I bought a Venta last winter and I'm on the fence whether it's a scam or not...this has been an oddly humid winter, so the venta seems to be working great. Last year, in a normally dry winter, I wasn't sure it was working at all. Of course, I have it out in my living room, which has the fireplace and the ventilation outflow. It does evaporate water! The tank has a fantastic capacity for how small it is. And I love how simple and user-friendly-cleaning the design is.
I've got a hot air humidifier with the tank on the side rather than the bottom that I love. It's also vicks but it is advertised as a humidifier unlike the other one. For just worrying about one space at a time, it's pretty fast at dumping out water and doubles as an OK space heater. I assume it just runs hotter than the one you've got, but there may be more differences.
This was my introduction to your channel (I'm trying to buy a humidifier but it's complicated by the fact that I live in Cambodia) and I *instantly* subscribed. Thanks for putting pride and professionalism into your work like this -- as so few Clip-Sharers do.
@yo dugldo The preferred air conditioning technology in this part of the world makes for some very dry air -- more so than strictly necessary, I think -- and as such the bedroom gets pretty brittle during the night.
Why would you ever need a humidifier in Cambodia? There it's like living in a tiny sealed bathroom with the hot shower on all the time.
Any plans to do a deep dive on water filtration systems? There's so many on the market (pitcher, counter top, under sink, whole home, etc.) and many different filtering mechanisms (carbon filter, reverse osmosis, etc.). I think this would be directly applicable to humidifiers because the quality of the water can greatly impact how often you have to clean the humidifier and what you're putting into the air as you mentioned.
One problem I have with the white tub humidifier shown (not sure about the big brown one) is that the humidistat is too close to the base, making it so that the humidity read by it is much, much higher than the actual room humidity. I suppose this might only affect duty cycle however.
Nice evaporators will have a couple features these lack:
1) a shallow trough just high enough for the wick to draw from rather than a big basin (reduces "unusable" water volume)
2) a UV light which will sterilize the water in the trough to keep it sanitary for longer periods
@Elliott Diedrich it was the eye closest to the humidifier. It's my best guess but could be wrong
@Kea RD I am curious as to why it would bother only one of your eyes; do you sleep with one eye open? Even if you did, I have found that nebulizing diluted hydrogen peroxide and sending the mist directly into my eyes, to be very soothing, so I doubt if that is the problem. Did you get a grain of sand in your eye?
@Elliott Diedrich make sure you keep that thing away from you as much as possible I literally did the same thing and had a humidifier 2 ft from my bed and the eye that was closest to the humidifier started getting irritated in the morning until I moved it farther away. Or stop adding peroxide
I add about 2 oz. of food grade 35% hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water. Everything is sterilized and no mold can ever form with the added benefits of having a house that smells fresh like after a rain storm, it significantly helps eliminate germs and viruses in the house (not a bad thing to have during COVID) and I think, improves sleep quality. One side effect from prolonged use is that it will start to bring out your blonde highlights in your hair but I don't mind that.
There are wick-less swamp coolers/humidifiers.
They use a water pump to “make it rain” inside a bucket and sometimes a fan to push more air through the system.
The fun part is that many don’t need a fan because the water shower itself is pulling hot air from the top and pulls it down, along with the drops, towards the bottom where the drops return to the bucket and the humid slightly colder air goes to the sides.
Depending on the size of the water drops the top sprinkler makes, these can be loud as a dish washer or pleasantly quiet.
Idk if these are better or not but you should know these exist and you don’t need a wick.
I realize I'm a bit late to the party here, but I was also imagining an improvement to increase the water holding capacity for an evaporative cooler like this. Instead of a pump to move the water upwards, why not devise a floating platform on which the wick sits at the ideal submerged level, which will move downward as the water in the tank evaporates? The difficulty then becomes how to direct the airflow through the wick as it moves in the tank, but that seems doable. Probably in a configuration similar to the smaller dual wick design, perhaps even the fan can ride the platform on an upper sheath that sits just inside (or outside) the bucket wall and slides down as the water level decreases. Would also give a nice 'at a glance' visual indicator of the water level :)
I put one on our forced air furnace. 10/10 would recommend. It's a box that goes between the intake and hot air side of the furnace. It has a honeycomb wick that the water trickles down over. Any water that isn't evaporated drains out the bottom. Thus not harboring mold dust etc. It has a electronic hydrostat as well as a air valve. So you can control when it runs and how much moisture it adds.
Sounds even more simple than a stand alone unit. One moving part is the 24 volt water solenoid
I also built one of the spot humidifiers with a bucket, an aquarium water pump, a 120mm computer fan, and a off the shelf humidifier pad for a furnace. Water tickles down the wik and to the bottom and back up. Works great for the area our orchids are in.
I love your videos and the amount of effort you put into each one. I really appreciate all your hard work. Thank you for being you.
What might be a really good idea is have like floats attached to the side of the wick and so that it always sits at a certain level in the water and then you can have like a giant tub of water just got to make sure air still flows through it through its up and down travel maybe having it on rails sideways in a rectangle box having your travel from one side to the other would work
The wick should have an air ballast on it so it would float on/in the water at a constant position relative to the water surface. That way it could support a deeper water hold, wouldn’t need a pump, and wouldn’t cause the trickle sound of falling water.
Currently watching this while I fill my pre wash detergent compartment on my dishwasher. Love how informative your channel is
@Rachel T he didn't watch the latest video about too much detergent apparently
It takes 30 min to fill your detergent how many dishes are you doing?
omg so am I LOL
Lol, I saw that video, too. I've been telling everyone that complains about their dishwasher that using the "pods" doesn't work as well because there is nothing for the prewash.
I love this channel.
Wonderful video! Always a struggle finding a good humidifier, so thanks for explaining them.
I do wonder if putting in sterilizing UV lights inside the humidifiers would help limit or prevent mold growth. Maybe I'll try to do a homemade kit for one when the winter comes
It does but only a little bit. more effective way would be to let it completely dry out from time to time.
I have an amazing air humidifier too. It's called a laundry rack, and it saves energy on both drying the laundry and humidifying the air! Neat!
Agreed that simpler is better. I especially liked your towel and bowl idea. It struck me that you could use your back toilet tank with a towel draped over the side to a bowl on the floor to create a siphon. A fan on the towel would create great evaporation and the tank will refill on its own. What do you think?
That whole house humidifier is very similar to the one I have, albeit a bit newer, and mine has two water tanks. Same brand too. Pretty cool to have a detailed description of how it works! I have to change my wicks every two months because of the poor quality water around my community. Even with filters and water softeners, it gets nasty and smells like a literal swamp in a couple months. I thought about installing a humidifier with my new furnace but I was worried about mold in my HVAC system.
I recently bought a Philips 3000 Series Humidifier and I love it! I had 25-30% of humidity (ventilation system I can't turn off. Ah the joy of renting), this thing gets the room it's in to 40-45, depending on room size. I chose an evaporative humidifier because they don't spew as much bacteria into the air.
"Here's where things get slightly interesting!" is a really good tagline for this whole channel
@Alexander Moening LOL, wrong channel?
super easy barely an inconvenience ...
Yes but actually, yes.
What would be really helpful is a summary matrix with all the pros and cons of each type of humidifier. I just watched this video and your follow up but now I feel like I have to go back and re-watch both to make more careful note of the pros/cons of each. Also links to the products would be helpful.
Cool vaporizers weren't commonly available when I was little and my mom used those Vicks type. But the hot mist that came out could burn little kid skin, so I remember my mom was thrilled when the cool evaporative ones became common in stores.
When it got really dry she would just boil a couple of big pots of water on the stove.
And, personally, I would rather have several of those little ones around the house than that big one. But that's just me.
How about the electricity usage? I am asking because I have a couple small humidifiers around the house 😂😂 and was considering buying a big one instead of 4 small ones 😅😅
I had huge problems with an ultrasonic humidifier soaking the floor adjacent to it, and was pleasantly surprised to see that the evaporative model I replaced it with doesn't have the same problem.
A wire shelving unit holding towels works very well in grow tents for me. I’m sure it would also work well in small rooms.
I have a humidifier in my guitar room in the winter. I was using the warm mist style, but 2 of them died recently because of our hard water clogging them up. I got a cool mist evaporative style as a replacement about a week ago. I can definitely smell the moisture in the air, but my digital hygrometer which is a few feet away doesn't seem to go up at all. The room is average sized - maybe 16x16
Not gonna lie, the term "whole-house humidifier" gives me some serious "full bridge rectifier" vibes.
@Otto Half bridge is 1 diode. It uses half the AC wave to make DC. Full bridge uses 4 diodes and uses the full AC wave to make DC.
Half bridge is ghetto as fuck because it creates more electrical noise but it's fine for things that use very little power.
@Otto yeah, it's just a single diode, essentially
Now you have me picturing an arrangement of plumbing with some one-way valves. I *think* there was something recently where I was thinking that would be a useful device, but can't recall just what. Maybe a double-action water pump.
@5 ba it appears to be an electro boom reference. Judging by some of the other comments here
If I remember correctly the (relatively) inexpensive unit that we had in Iowa 20 years ago did pump the water to the top of the filter. It was a little larger then the bucket humidifier. It worked pretty well.
We used to have an old one in the ‘80s that had a bucket in the bottom you filled and it ran a donut shaped wick through it. The wick was similar to the washable filter in a vacuum. There was a fan as well. We would wash the wick every month or so and washed the bucket every week or so. About the same size as your big one. The donut was constantly getting damp because it was running through the bucket.
also, I read an article a week or so ago that said: new research might show that dry, cold air negatively impacts the native microbe flora in our noses, making it easier for pathogens to get into our bodies and make us ill. I didn't read the study myself but this would definitely make sense to me! Yay humidifiers
Thank you for making this very informative video. I was lost when trying to figure out which humidifier to buy for my house and the technology behind them. I have never seen such a well thought out and spoken Clip-Share video. Well done! I will be purchasing one of the units you described because of this video. (I am not being compensated for any of this). I would love to see you review a few of the models offered by home depot and Lowes because it seems here in the northeast those are where we can most easily get them.
The video is kinda long to sit through. Could you please share which type of humidifier the video recommends the most?
I had a friend with an expensive Schimmel piano. The room where it was kept had a humidifier and a dehumidifier. That humidifier was a console with a large, slowly spinning, perforated disk. It had one side basically summerged and rotated as a fan blew on it. It reminded me of a small-holed of an old-fashioned bubble blowing machine.
It seemed to work very quickly.
The only channel where I would say "Oh! Humidifiers! I gotta watch!", and actually mean it.
24:20 Ideally the wick would float, with the floats being adjustable on the wick housing sides just in case you want to, but generally you'd prefer to set them to the standard notches. Tracks in the bucket sides would allow the wick to move up and down freely. This way you could fill the bucket enough so the top of the wick is level with the top of the bucket. Splitting the wick housing into two and installed perpendicular toward the ends of the vat (arranged like the smaller white unit) would allow the same wick shape to be used in a smaller unit with a single central wick. In the larger unit the wick could float up to just under the lid without being restricted by the descending volume of the fan unit in the middle.
A floating wick would ensure that the maximum wick surface is exposed while still absorbing water from the surface. This solution requires no electricity and adds no noise.
Also it would be pretty nice if the company sold the replacement paper wicks accordioned down, and you just replace the paper and keep using the same wick housing. This way a box the size of the wick housing could hold dozens of replacement wicks. Customers with butterfingers might damage the wick on install, but unlike a filter it causes minimal hindrance to operation.
Your talk about DIY swamp coolers made me think about a system that used standard size towels arranged in a zigzag when viewed from above, instead of a paper wick. Clamp the towel down in the wick frame at specific spots using the clamps on the frame. Zigzagging would allow you to install maybe 3 fullsize bath towels in the Excellent Brown Unit. Next step would be sourcing relatively thin lightweight but very frilly towels just for this purpose. When cleaning the unit you could unclamp the towels, use them to do the main interior scrub, replace with your backup set, and throw the dirty ones in the laundry. I'm imagining a wick frame that folds into the closed box shape for install, but unfolds on hinges to snap into a flat frame shape for clamping / unclamping the towels. That would make it easy enough that people might be willing to do it. Personally I'd be changing the paper wicks like every 2 weeks.
I live in Canada and love our winters. But the low humidity is definitely a problem. But ever since I got into keeping fish tanks I've never needed a humidifier. Now the dry air steals water from my aquariums and stays right around 60% all on its own. I just have to top off the tanks more often. But due to the evaporation I now need a dehumidifier for our humid summers 😂
The ultrasonic variety is the one I keep in my bedroom. It lives on my nightstand, and, especially during the winter, pretty much stops the usual issue of waking up with cotton mouth and a sore throat.
Years ago, I added a small fountain pump to my circa 1990's Kenmore tabletop evaporative humidifier, with tubing leading to small nozzles distributed across the top of the pad.
It makes no additional noise at all and boosted the output of the unit by a factor of about four.
Amazingly high output.
It also has had the added benefit of keeping the entire pad constantly wet, completely eliminating the buildup of minerals on the pad.
Unfortunately, most tabletop models don't have a sufficiently deep or accessible sump to accommodate such a retrofit.
I also set the humidistat to have it run constantly from fall until spring.
Where I live, 24/7 run time is needed to maintain 50% RH in the winter months.
Got into the humidifier game last year and ended up getting a SmartMi. It's a 4L "smart" model. The nice thing about it is that it doesn't even use wicks. Instead there's a few dozens textured solid plastic discs rotating in the reservoir. The discs pull the water in front of the fan which proceeds to evaporate it. Power consumption is great too: about 8W over 12h to go through the reservoir, or roughly 91Wh/gallon. Very quiet too. The reservoir is one large, square bucket with little to no crannies and nooks, so it is very easy to clean, and the discs can be simply popped into the dishwasher (or hand scrubbed). I also really like the minimal aesthetics of the product. Venta makes similar products, although some of their models have filters and "hygiene discs" that need frequent replacing, and Desert Spring manufactures a Furnace Humidifier, also disc-based and meant to be attached to central HVAC.
"Simpler is better" reminds me of an engineering saying - nothing is more permanent than a temporary solution.
@Gernot Schrader Yeah I've been doing this for over 20 years, so I'm well aware of all of that. Despite our best efforts to maintain best practices, unfortunately that doesn't always hold true.
Which is where we end up with other quotes like: "Write code like the person who will be maintaining it is a deranged psychopath who knows where you live."
@brandishwar "If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs,
then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization".
Gerald Weinberg, but don't ask me, it's from a collection of quotes which came with a little proggy for the amiga to display a quote while booting. It contains a couple of quotes about computers and programming.
Never aging classics like
"I really hate this damn machine, I wish that they would sell it.
It never does just what I want, But only what I tell it."
Laws of Computer Programming:
1. Any given program, when running, is obsolete.
2. Any given program costs more and takes longer.
3. If a program is useful, it will have to be changed.
4. If a program is useless, it will have to be documented.
5. Any given program will expand to fill all available memory.
6. The value of a program is proportional to the
weight of its output.
7. Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capability of the
programmer who must maintain it.
8. Make it possible for programmers to write programs in
English, and you will find that programmers cannot write
SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 2, # 2
Hobbyist game dev, engineering student, and college robotics team member here. Guilty as charged.
... and nothing needs more temporary fixes than a permanent solution.
@brandishwar Bethesda has Literially being using an engine with temporary patches to barely function for how many years now? Oh yea definitely true in the software sector
Hey! Very nice content, as always.
I personally use an ultrasonic cool mist humidifier (Sunbeam 4L I think). I’m always wondering if i am cleaning it enough and with the right product (in my case with a chlorhexidine gluconate solution or bleach and water) or if I should use a water treatment in it.
I never find any mold or anything when I clean it and I do it about every 2 weeks .
You did not talk about a product that I would’ve like your opinion on. Im talking about the « fish » think that you simply put in the tank of the humidifier and it releases copper ions or other metallic ions if I got that right (??) and it is supposed to inhibit mold and algea and maybe some bacteria.
Im trying to look at the pros and cons of treatments versus cleaning more often.
I don’t want to breathe in nasty things ether if the water treatment is not compatible with this kind of humidifier.
Anyway, thanks for this very informative video!!! :)
When this video was released last winter I created a home-made humidifier with a tub of water, a 15" piece of wire shelving that holds a terrycloth hand towel, and a small space heater set on low fan with high temperature so it runs continuously.
Worked great then and I just set it up again yesterday, working great again, has put about 2 gallons in the air in 24 hours. Not even worried about the electricity the fan uses because as you pointed out in a video on space heaters, they are 100% efficient. The energy's not wasted because I'm heating the house anyway.
Thanks for your content, I always enjoy watching and often learn something useful!
Ever consider the evaporative heat loss in your energy calculations? It is after all a swamp cooler necessitating more heat.
If you heat your home with resistive electric heat, steam units may not be be that “inefficient”.
Since he calculated the energy based on how much water evaporated, the energy cost of heating was included.
Something to consider when it comes to ultrasonic humidifiers is that the water doesn't have to be 100% mineral free to be "good enough", filtered water you get for 25 cents a gallon at one of those self serve dispensers is good enough, and you can keep around a 5 gallon jug of the stuff around which lasts about a week.
We use our under-sink water filter, costs like .05 a gallon and no white dust. Distilled water would be overkill.
Actually you're very correct about the idea of pump or something. I reviewed my Argo bladeless fan that is a tall and narrow unit after this video. It has a "cold" feature which works just like the humidifier with honeycomb paper, it's about half the height of the unit. There's a plastic box that you fill with water at the bottom, clearly below the honeycomb, and to my understanding there's a pump attached to the bottom of the unit, a small plastic box with a tube attaching to it, that takes the water from the box, through the honeycomb and into the air that is blown by the bladeless fan.
This man's impression of water glugging at 18:05 is first rate.
Honestly, his sound effect sounded *more* like water "glugging" than the humidifier did!
Worthy of an Emmy at the very least.
We need bloopers
Yes, how long has he practiced that?
I tried a similar Aircare unit and hated it for various reasons, especially when it began malfunctioning. I tried two smaller Vornado units which were OK, but the tanks were awkward to fill, and the wicks, which were not durable enough for machine wash, quickly became encrusted with minerals. I kept looking until I found a relatively great product, the Boneco W300. This is also an evaporative type unit, but with some innovation. The wick (evaporator mat) is cylindrical and rotates on a drum with just the bottom portion passing thru water. This is effective and quiet on its low setting. I run four of these (large home) and they each put out over 1.5 gallons per day on the low setting. The best part is that the wicks can go in the clothes washer (I wash them with my sheets in hot water), and the tubs and drums can go in the dishwasher. BTW, swamp coolers indeed cool the air. Evaporation, whether achieved by heat or mechanical means, absorbs heat, thus cooling the air. If you stand at the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas during the big fountain show, you will feel what I am describing.
Your cube wall is inspiring.
I imagine bringing in an air hose + attachment to pneumatically ‘dust’.
Sears did make a console humidifier with a "towel" style wick. It was actually more like a brillo material. It was a belt that continuously rotated through the water in the bottom. Controlling the speed of the belt was how the humidity level was controlled. It held a significant amount of water. Probably 8 to 10 gallons.
Great videos as always.
For those who use humidifiers:
NEVER FORGET REFILLING THE WATER TANK!
I went and bought that mini-console from Menards. Its crazy how much water its able to put in the air. I measured and it was about 6L over 24hrs at the 2nd lowest fan speed. Raised my indoor humidity from 20% to 33% in that time.
I'm imagining a wick that can traverse up and down with the aid of a pontoon float on its sides... Get that super duper tank capacity and no pump required and no drizzle sound. The wick could float to the top when the tank is full then slowly drop down (always keeping its bottom 1" or 2" submerged) totally silently 😁👍
Loved this video!
@Slice of Bread The wick changing weight shouldn't be too huge of a problem. The designer just needs to make sure the bottom of the wick is in the water when it's at its lightest, and the flotation is strong enough to hold it at the right position when the wick's completely drenched. Since we want the wick to be submerged deep enough for optimal water absorption more or less from the start, I'd think we'd want ultra-light floats.
Additionally, weight could be needed on the side of the floats farthest from the wick, to balance the heaviest the wick could get so it doesn't nose-dive. But we'd also need to make the floats long, so that balancing weight could be light enough that we don't have the same problem in the opposite direction when the wick is being changed.
@Christopher Hurkens You only have the issue of the fan getting wet if you overfill or your engineer doesn't know how to use floats properly. Admittedly, I could see an "optimization expert" messing it up by replacing solid floats with something air-filled, not realizing that everything leaks. Or, possibly, fully realizing it, thinking you'll need to buy another.
I personally envisioned the ducting over the fan, rather than at the wet end - just something to keep the air from cycling in the device.
@Robert Szasz well I think it depends on what each person wants... Some might want longer run time. But I do take your meaning, as well. 👍
The problem is that means your wick is smaller than the cabinet. You want the wick to be as large as possible.
@Slice of Bread that's why I mentioned the pontoons or floats on the side... Maybe mounted about 1/4 of the way up from the bottom of the wick. So they would keep it a ratherfixed buoyancy, regardless of whether there's a little bit of water or not in the wick fibers.
Most likely, the console humidifier kicks in when your heater runs because the heater redistributes air from all over your house. E.g. it pulls in dryer air from rooms farther away from the console and pushes that air into the room with the console. The temperature change isn't dramatically affecting the relative humidity, since a 5 degree F drop in temperature is only a 1% change in absolute temperature. It the mixing of air that's causing the humidifier to kick in.
@clapanse Thanks for pointing that out. That is a much bigger change in RH than I would have anticipated for 10deg F. However, as I realized after I made my first post, that effect actually goes in the opposite direction with regards to Tech Connections' observation about how his heater and humidifier seem to "sync". As you point out, the RH goes up when the temp drops, so after the heater stops running and the temperature starts to drop, the RH will actually go up from that temp drop, not down, making the running of the humidifier even more unnecessary. My main point is that the humidifier kicks in every time the heater runs because the house-wide HVAC is mixing air from all over the house, including rooms where the humidifier has had less effect. We've seen this in our own house: the room with the humidifier stays at a higher RH on warmer days, when the HVAC doesn't run as much.
That 1% change in absolute temperature isn't the relevant metric here. The important thing is the change in water saturation vapor pressure vs temperature, and that's quite strongly dependent on even small temperature changes at normal household ranges.
For example, at 60F (15.6C), the saturation pressure of water vapor is 1.767 kPa, while at 70f (21.1C)it's 2.506kPa and at 80F (26.7C) it's 3.50kPa. That means that despite each of those steps being about a 2% change in absolute temperature, a 100% humidity environment at 60F is only 70% humidity at 70F and 50% humidity at 80F. To use more realistic indoor numbers, 45% at 70F becomes 32.2% at 80F, so for a 2% increase in absolute temperature from 70 to 80F, the relative humidity drops by almost 13% (and that's assuming a completely fixed quantity of water in the air). It's a surprisingly dramatic change.
Good humidifier comparison video. Agreed, evaporative humidifers are simple, and work well. What do you recommend for your water treatment chemical additive? Any advise? Did not see a link in your description. Thanks again for your good content.
Pro tip for getting free distilled water: All you need is to have a condenser-dryer with a water tank. For convenience you could buy a couple bottles of distilled water just once, then afterwards keep refilling them from the water tank of your dryer :)
You’d be right about the vicks vaporizer, it just has two rods that sit in the water and the power cord connects directly to them. It uses the water itself as the heating element.
One recommendation is to put pre-1982 pennies or uninsulated copper wire (it’s 99.99% copper by code) in the bottom of the reservoir. It keeps the bacteria and mold at bay, and has been working for me for years. Helps keep the water healthier, fresher and the reservoir easier to clean.
"It's brown, and therefore, excellent." Definitely one of the best Alec quotes ever. Right up there with So-ny.
@Canis Contextual orange to be even more specific
(Was he saying that right?)
Noctua customers agree.
A piece of upper-body-clothing in an appropriate color, with this text in another shade of the same color, maybe...
It shouldn't be that funny. I laughed anyway.
one design I had when growing up was also a console with a large tank at the bottom, but the wick (or wicks) was installed on a wheel-looking holder that was slowly turning and dipping some of the wicks in the water at the bottom, and by the time the wheel turns (very slowly), most water within the wicks got evaporated. No need for a pump, but some energy was used to rotate the wheel. I don't remember how often we would refill the tank, though I remember we got rid of it when we discovered the weird smell you were talking about..
Yes we did too! It had 3 square grates on the top that looked like your cars vents and you could put them in to have the Vapor move in that direction. We usually had the facing out on the ends and to the Center in the middle. I used to be the one tasked with waking the wick. Loved getting it all soapy and rinsed out clean. Yes I was a weird kid.
If you need a big and reliable humidifier, swamp coolers work very well. I use a moderate sized one to humidify a 7000sq foot building. most of them also come with an auto-fill hookup.
Be sure to change your furnace's air filter often if you use a portable humidifier, it will be covered in white residue from the water and appear clean.
Absolutely enjoy your videos ... You make your viewers easily understand how “ stuff “ works ... You’re a rockstar of technology and I’m happy to be a subscriber .
Good idea to use a towel and a fan. I love the macgyver solutions instead of buying dedicated devices that would have to be put in storage half the year.
Another advantage to using the towel is it's easy to just toss the towel in with your laundry so you can avoid the gross stuff that comes with humidifiers.
"It's Brown, and therefore, excellent."
Technology Connections continues to be a man of refined and elegant taste
with an eye piercing display
BROWN BROWN BROWN BROWN BROWN BROWN BROWN
This guy and Lindybeige should do a video on the topic of which colour being better: Brown or Beige... I'm sure they could come to an agreement of some sorts ^^
I came here as soon as he said it and I wasn’t disappointed.
it's contextual orange tho
I bought a version of the console humidifier like yours. My rh was 16%!!! I’ve had this humidifier running on high speed for a few hours and already has the first floor up to 40%. I imagine all of the wood work and floors, piano, and guitars will soak up the moisture, so I set it to 55%. After a week or so I’ll set it to 45%. Thank you!
You will be satisfied by Boneco humidifiers. They created a slowly rotating drum with a sponge(whick), it creates more evaporative surface but also makes sure this surface contacts water more often. And because sponge is made of some kind of plastic, you can wash it with chemicals and keep using for a long time.
Surprised you never mentioned those big consoles, similar in appearance to your brown one.
These had a rotating drum with wicking material around it's circumference which dipped in water and the fan... etc, again like your brown one.
I remember seeing a few of these in Canadian homes with electric baseboard heating in the 70's.
we used to have one of those in our kitchen when I was young.... I wish I could get one now. And the drum is a much better way than a pump because the whole bottom was full of water. My mom would just dump a bucket of water into the thing every once in a while.
"Its brown and therefore excellent"
My grandma had one of those
Awesome to look at a half an hour thing about humidifiers at work. You sir make anything super interesting!
I've bought as many as you, just not all at once.
I've only thought in terms of two types: either hot or cold. I preferred hot for a long time because it was less likely to grow mold. But honestly, you can just boil water on the stove to achieve that, so the steam humidifiers aren't very useful. A stockpot with a few cloves and a cinnamon stick at Christmas time is nice.
But I had steam humidifiers, which were small like the ones you were showing. They just didn't do much; a stockpot actually worked better.
I did eventually move to a cold water humidifier. Because where I lived at the time had very hard water, we needed to soak the wick in vinegar weekly to dissolve the calcium off, else the wick stopped working. I also had to change the wick during the winter as it just didn't last real long.
I have the same humidifier now, in an apartment with reasonably decent water. We still clean it, but only monthly and it's been fine through two winters. It has 3 fan speeds, at the lowest it will put a household bucket of water into the air daily; at the highest, nearly two buckets daily. It's located between the bedroom and bathroom, for easy filling and cleaning, but also keeps the humidity decent throughout the home. I fill it as part of my bedtime routine each day.
Mine has a humidistat too, but I just keep it set as high as possible. Frankly, it's unnecessary. I just want it to go constantly from fall to spring, and adjust via the fan speed. It never gets too wet like my old stockpot did.
I have that stick and float switch too; it's annoying.
My main household thermometer/humidistat is located as far from it as possible and is generally 50% humidity at 70 F.
It works well, my main irritation is just that it's a big plastic box with a wick and a fan, but cost $100. Seems like we could've built something similar much more cheaply.
Your solution is OK, but even uglier than the whole house humidifier, or even mine. amzn.to/3JDidNV
I would love to see you do an episode about water softeners. They're pretty interesting and I think they'd fit right in on this channel.
Great content and well presented as always.
Blue light displays are simply the most infuriating thing ever.
Taking a shower and leaving the bathroom door open is a pretty good humidifier for a small apartment at least. Just as hanging laundry to dry. Maybe not the greatest sight in the living room, but an excellent piece for conversation in case you get visitors. Works much better than coffee-table-books or any expensive artwork.
I have that exact humidifier! It humidifies great and nice to have the built in hygrometer. I also put dimming tape on the ridiculously bright display. I wish it had a larger tank or a double tank setup.
I have one of those big brown house humidifiers from Sears from 1970’s. No LED display, but the evaporator belt moved through the water in the bottom then up to the top and back down to the water. Humidity was controlled via a dial, fan speed by another dial. Still working.
I have the Sears version of the big brown console one. It had* two of those 2.5 gallon tanks inside, so it would run twice as long between fills. I say "had" because I eventually drilled a hole 2" from the bottom, installed a 3/8" water inlet and float mechanism (about $25 from Amazon), and a 20' braided dishwasher line that goes through a small hole in the corner of the floor to a water line downstairs. Now it runs without ever running out of water.. 😁. Just remember to drop in some bacteriostatic conditioner every couple days to keep the wicks not disgusting.
A 3d printer would be a great investment for this channel. Being able to test theories could be valuable for content.
There is another neat humidifier, but I haven't seen it since I was a kid in the 80's. it had a rod that went in the water. the rod gradually got a little bigger as it got to the top and then it turned into a plate. this spun. which pulled the water up the rod and then spit the water into plastic needles which then created the mist that came out of the humidier. It was a really neat and simple design.
OMG, I was sifting through the comments looking to see if anyone else commented about that type of humidifier! We had one from the early 1970s through the 80s. It worked like a charm, lasted almost 20 years, and made such a pleasant white noise that made sleeping easy. I'd love to see that compared with these other designs. I don't even know if that type is manufactured anymore. Thanks for posting!
that dimming decal looks so incredibly good I can't believe it isn't on it by default...
if your worried about mold or bacteria building up in your humidifier you can add Hydroperoxide and witch hazel/ever clear into the mix and for scents you can squirt some essential oils and/or lemon juice with vinegar into the concoction. I also recommend if possible to have a dehumidifier opposite of a humidifier(like the other side of the room/house) for better humidity control of a space if need be.
Or you can just leave a water recipient near a heating source to keep it warmer. There are ones that you can buy to attach to your radiator too. Keep them filled with water and have a humid environment.
Don't know if there is a follow up, but evaporative humidifiers with a plastic wheel that goes in the dishwasher are quite common. Venta being one of the noteworthy brands for them
The fight against blue LEDs is more of an uphill battle than you think - these things are so popular, they won their own Nobel prize in physics.
@Patrick Trudeau - I'm not buying any of that difficulty of design. I believe the super bright LEDs are used because the stuff is coming from China and there is no feedback from consumer to manufacturer.
@Ad53 Cost efficient circuit design is actually why they are using such strong SMD LEDs. If they used a weaker LED they would need much more robust AC to DC circuitry, especially in the case of a mains device that does not require a lot of DC power (sub 200ma). Cheap buck transformers tend to flicker LEDs at very low currents, even more so on 7 Segment displays (due to the variability of current draw depending on the lit segments).
The solution to the induced common ground noise/spurious conduction is simple, yet costly on an economy of scale. You'd have to add at least a few resistors and relays, and then, most importantly, deal with the heat generated. This also would involve additional lot testing, different enclosure and PCB specs. Hence, just make that LED "soak" all the current it can to lessen the possibility of flicker, generated heat, and use less components in the process.
@z beeblebrox Blue LEDs are usually the worst offenders, but these days they even use other color LEDs that can be as offensively bright. I recently got a coffee machine as a gift, which has both a green LED and red LED. These LEDs are of the SMD kind and are covered by a transparent piece of plastic with 0 diffusing. These literally light the whole kitchen and even part of the living room when the lights are out. Seriously how hard is it for manafacturers to spend like 1 or 2 dollars more on either decent diffusing, a LED which is by itself already diffused (these are actually purposely made to be used as status lights) or if they really want to be cost-saving just a proper resistor?
@Ad53 It's not for lack of complaint, that's for sure. People have been complaining about overly bright blue light indicators on electronics for quite literally the entire 21st century.
It annoys the piss out of me. And it's not even particularly the fact that every appliance manafacturer uses blue leds, but the fact that they're always overly bright and not diffused at all. Some of them are even straight light beams for god's sake... What happened to the days that electronic manafacturers just put normal, nicely diffused led's that just emit enough light to be seen when looked at and not light up any objects in the dark? They're purpose is serve as status indicators for a product, not to be meant for some kind of light show for christ's sake...
I use those fancy ultrasonic humidifier. It works pretty well and it doesn't use fans or heat. I can even throw some essential oils in there. Since the water supply I have is very soft (rain water), I just need to clean every once in a while.
The Honeywell you displayed it extremely awesome as you never have to fill it, and it doesn't grow things because it never pools water. The only downside is if you forget to replace the filter, it can cake up with minerals and destroy itself as water almost precisely diverts to the electrical connectors. Design flaw? Or feature to sell more units? I'm thinking the later. Replace the $11 filter yearly and you are golden. Don't use the bypass mode. Use the hot side only method. I believe they are two different models.
The problem with the wick style humidifiers is that if you have water with minerals in it the wick will quickly get clogged up and those big wicks are expensive.
My grandparents had a wood stove heater for their house on which they would boil water in a big pot to add humidity to the air and it aided in transmitting thermal energy to the air.