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Winter weather means dry indoor heat. The nearly constant operation of a furnace or even wood stove sucks already scant moisture out of winter air, which can lead to sinus and even respiratory issues. A room humidifier offsets moisture loss by either steaming, evaporating, or atomizing tap or distilled water to keep your indoor space at just the right humidity, which normally is between 30 and 50 percent. If you have a room of the house that needs a little help in order to be comfortable, here are a few features to look for in a room humidifier.

Keep humidifiers clean to avoid the buildup of bacteria. LEVOIT

The first thing to decide is whether you want a warm or cool humidifier. Cool, dry rooms benefit most from warm-air humidifiers (steam), whereas cool-mist humidifiers (atomizing) are better suited to warm, dry rooms. Regardless of the type you choose, it’s important to clean the device often to prevent bacteria emissions.

An auto shut-off feature can help you avoid pumping too much moisture into the air. Pure Enrichment

A humidifier with a built-in humidistat can turn the device off when the desired humidity level is reached. If your model doesn’t have automatic shut-off, be sure the humidifier is appropriate for your size room so it doesn’t over-humidify and cause condensation on the walls or windows.

Legacy Brand

The drier the room, the larger humidifier you’ll need. Honeywell

Select your humidifier based on room size, climate, and humidity needs. The drier it is, the more often you may need to run a humidifier, which can vary in continuous operation times from about 12 to 36 hours.