Metal And Ceramic Radiator Humidifier: A Complete Guide

Thanks to the advancement of technologies, humidifiers today are full of features. While many of us are sold on these cutting-edge functions, some prefer a model with the basic function, such as a radiator humidifier.

If you have a radiator installed at home and don’t intend to spend too much on a humidifier, purchasing a ceramic humidifier for radiator is a sensible idea. 

This post will provide everything you need to know about this antique gadget at your fingertip to decide whether or not you need to go for it.

What is a hanging radiator humidifier?

As the name suggests, a radiator humidifier is a humidifier hanging on a radiator. Some are made of ceramic, and others are made of metal, but all work on the same principle. 

This type of humidifier attaches to the radiator through a hook. It has a small size, and you can see people hanging two or three units on one radiator.

It used to be very popular and is gradually replaced by electrical models. 

How does it work?

ceramic radiator humidifier

Unlike most models these days, the humidifier for radiator isn’t powered by electricity.  It makes use of heat from the radiator to increase the water temperature in the humidifier tank. 

When the temperature goes up, it will speed up the evaporation process, meaning more and more moisture particles will get into the air.

When the indoor humidity level increases, all the conditions, like dry skin, sore throat, and nasal congestion, will be relieved or disappear. 

You can fill it with water whenever you find the tank is going to be empty. It doesn’t have any extra parts, and you can even treat it as a water container.

Advantages of using a radiator humidifier

Even though you can find a myriad of fancy humidifiers on the market, these antique radiator humidifiers still have a share. They have many upsides that you may like.


Nobody wants to set a budget while shopping, but it is essential. Whether you opt for a metal unit or a ceramic unit, they are affordable. You can get a standard one even under $10.

Moreover, it doesn’t run with electricity, and you don’t have to pay for any extra filters. With that said, you only need to pay for the product.

When dry and cold winter wreaks havoc on our bodies, pets, and furniture, you can always use a  humidifier for radiator to beat it, even if you are working on a budget. 


The surface temperature of a radiator can be as hot as 50°C, but it is much lower than that of boiling water. When the heat is conducted to the water in the humidifier, a proportion of heat will lose. 

Hence, there is less likelihood of getting burned by a humidifier hanging on the radiator. It is a safer choice for children and pets than vaporizers. 


Evaporative humidifiers employ a fan to blow out water particles, and vaporizers can produce noise when the water is bubbling.

The big benefit of using an ultrasonic humidifier is that it is quiet while running, and the same goes for radiator humidifiers. 

It works by means of evaporation, and the water can never get boiled so that it is always silent, which is great for the office and bedroom.

Easy to clean

A humidifier radiator doesn’t come with any moving parts, and it is not electronics. You can wash it thoroughly and efficiently by putting in some vinegar. Humidifiers are notorious for upkeep but not this one.

Fit your decor

Radiator humidifiers come in various shapes, colors, and materials. You can easily find a unit that can lend itself to your home decor without being overly obtrusive. As it is affordable, you can purchase a new one whenever you feel it is not a good fit with your home anymore.

Disadvantages of using a radiator hanging humidifier

metal radiator humidifier

As a simple and antique device, the radiator handing humidifier also has downsides. After all, more and more electrical models are taking their place.

Hard to control

Some humidifiers have a built-in humidistat to turn on and off automatically when the humidity level reaches a particular target. Even for the standard models, it will turn off when it runs out of water. 

However, it is not the case for a radiator humidifier. You will never know if the water tank is empty until you get close to it.  Aside from that, radiator humidifiers don’t have output rate and running time settings.

Hence, you should also install a hygrometer to regulate indoor humidity.

Can’t run independently

These hanging humidifiers have to work with a radiator, meaning that it becomes useless when your radiator is off. 

People don’t run radiators in the summer months. If you want to increase humidity during these periods, you have to look for other methods. 

Wrapping up

Sometimes, an antique gadget at your home can make a huge impact on your life, like a metal or ceramic humidifier for radiator. 

This little device is simple, affordable, but really helpful. It can increase your humidity level in the room without making any noise. However, you should make sure the radiator is on because this humidifier has to get heat from it. 

Don’t expect to find any advanced features in this appliance. It can’t turn on and off automatically and you are not able to adjust the output rate. But it has another advantage – it can blend seamlessly with your decor as there are plentiful choices on the market.

Get the radiator humidifier a try if you don’t want to spend too much on a humidifier and don’t care about bells and whistles.

About The Author

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested dozens of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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