Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Using a Humidifier

Humidifiers offer a ton of benefits to your home, given that you know how to use them properly. Otherwise, using a humidifier might cause you more harm than good. The main purpose of a humidifier is to add moisture back into the air when the relative humidity is low. Many people don’t understand how humidifiers actually work, which leads to a lot of problems. Beware of the following mistakes when using humidifiers or you might end up suddenly calling for HVAC repair.

Ignoring Humidity Levels in Your Home

Humidity is the amount of water vapour in your indoor air. Knowing your home’s humidity levels is important if you want to get rid of your allergy symptoms or make them worse. In summer, it’s best to maintain your humidity below 60% while keeping them between 25%-40% during winter is ideal. Many types of humidifiers come with a built-in humidistat to help you monitor the relative humidity in your home.

Using Tap Water on Your Humidifier

Water is a crucial component of any humidifier. However, you can’t use just about any type of water, especially tap water, because of all the unwanted chemicals that come with it. Tap water is known to contain traces of chlorine, herbicides, mercury, lead, and fluoride, to name a few. These chemicals tend to create some leftover sediment on your humidifier, which can lead to mould growth.

On the other hand, there’s also the risk of using water with other contaminants in it. Humidifiers work by dispersing water particles in the air, which means you could be inhaling those contaminants. The easiest way to avoid all this is to only use clean, distilled water for your humidifier.

Keeping High Humidity Levels All the Time

Keeping your home humid all the time isn’t always better. The natural humidity in your environment can change from time to time, which means you need to adjust your humidity levels accordingly. Keeping it on high for prolonged periods is actually causing damage to your home. Humidifiers create the perfect environment for moulds to grow and thrive. High humidity levels accelerate the formation of mould and could potentially aggravate your allergy symptoms.

Poor Maintenance

Contrary to popular belief, humidifiers actually require a lot of maintenance, even more than your typical HVAC maintenance. Failure to do so affects the unit’s performance and actually slows it down. It needs to be cleaned after every use and at regular intervals. The inner mechanisms should also be checked once in a while, such as the tubes, connections, and chords. Call  HVAC repair and maintenance professionals to help you keep your humidifiers in check.

Letting Water Sit in Your Unit

Never let water sit in your humidifier for days between uses. Water that’s left inside your unit for too long will develop a thin film on the surface of the water, which can breed bacteria in the enclosed tank. Always empty the water and clean the tank when not in use or even when skipping use for one day. If you notice that bacteria or algae have already started to build up in your unit, it’s recommended to use a special water treatment formula to help you get it under control.


Humidifiers are an essential tool to keep your home as comfortable as possible. However, like any other appliance in your home, it needs to be maintained and used correctly if you want to reap the benefits of using it. This list should help you avoid those mistakes in the future.

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