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Consumer Reports: Find the best humidifier

Posted at 8:44 AM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 08:44:21-05

Humidifiers are in high demand during the winter when colder weather brings drier air.

Dry air can cause dry sinuses, chapped lips, itchy skin and even nose bleeds. While a humidifier can help with those issues, it's hard to know which type is right for you.

Consumer Reports has tested more than 30 humidifiers.

There are three main types: Evaporative-style, which draws air through a wet wick filter; ultrasonic which releases a fine mist into the air; and vaporizer types which emit steam.

Testers measure moisture output.

"When the winter comes, you put your heating system on, the air dries out, you want to know how much humidity you can put back into the room," said Consumer Reports' John Galeotafiore.

Testers also look at features, noise levels and how easy a humidifier is to clean.

Consumer Reports tests found bacteria can grow in every type of humidifier, but some are better than others at keeping it out of the air.

"We found that evaporative-type humidifiers are less likely to put that bacteria back into the air. It may grow in the tank, but it's not going to come out," said Galeotafiore.

Consumer Reports says the Well at Walgreen's brand evaporative humidifier is a good choice for a medium-sized room and costs just $32 dollars. But keep in mind, evaporative humidifiers are noisier because of the fan.

If you'd prefer a quieter humidifier, consider an ultrasonic. The CVS brand model #GUL540V1 is top-rated for a small room and costs just $30 dollars.

No matter which type of humidifier you choose, the safest approach is to empty, rinse, and dry it out every day. And once per week follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to disinfect the tank.

To read the full report from Consumer Reports, CLICK HERE.