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Do I Really Have To Clean My Humidifier?

Do I Really Have To Clean My Humidifier?

A humidifier can be a welcome addition to your home in the winter when inside air tends to be drier. There are three main types of humidifiers: warm-mist, cool-mist, and ultrasonic. Regardless of the type of humidifier you may be using, it's important to maintain and clean the device. That way it can add more moisture to your inside spaces. We go over why we say this below and offer tips on how to clean your humidifier.

Common Humidifier Issues


Let's start by looking at some of the most common humidifier issues. These are due to a lack of cleaning or no cleaning at all. Not cleaning your humidifier creates the perfect place for bacteria, mold, and fungus. These can lead to health issues for you and anyone else in your home. Cool-mist humidifiers come with a filter. This is helpful since it removes some minerals in your home's water – but it can't catch everything. If you're not changing your filter, the extra minerals could be in the air you breathe. Your furniture and other household surfaces could hold this unhealthy air as well. There are warm-mist humidifiers that don't use a filter. With models that don't have a filter, there could still be issues with mold and airborne irritants. This is especially true if it's not cleaned. This can happen with any water that sits inside water-containing parts. It's also not a good idea to reuse leftover water. Stagnant water isn't going to be as pure as fresh water.

Throwing Off Humidity Balance

Failing to maintain your humidifier could throw off the balance it's with indoor air. Humidity levels in your home should be in the 30 to 50 percent range. If humidity levels are too low because of a clog in the humidifier, you could end up with health issues. Dry skin, frequent nose bleeds, and other issues are all associated with drier air. If your humidifier is putting too much moisture into the air, you could have other issues to worry about. To much moisture can lead to mold, mildew, dust mites, and airborne allergens.

Caring for Your Humidifier

One way to maintain and care for your humidifier is to use distilled water instead of tap water. Additionally, empty the base and tank on a regular basis. Dry everything with a paper towel or cloth before filling the tank up with fresh water. Do a deeper cleaning every week or so. You can do this more often if you use your humidifier all throughout the winter. Take the following steps when doing this:

  • Unplug and disassemble your humidifier and empty any remaining water
  • Let all removable parts soak in a mixture of water and vinegar
  • Let these parts sit for about 30 minutes before using a soft brush on them
  • Put a teaspoon of bleach or 3% hydrogen peroxide into a gallon of water
  • Fill the tank halfway with this mixture and swish it around
  • Let it sit for about 20-30 minutes before rinsing the tank with fresh, clean water
  • Put your humidifier back together and enjoy proper indoor humidity levels

Call Us Today

If you need some help maintaining your indoor comfort this winter, Robert Bair is here for you. Our local technicians are more than happy to offer advice or suggestions. We want to help make your home more inviting and comfortable during the cooler months of the year. Call us today to enjoy any of the top-quality services we offer.


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