How to Take Care and Maintain Whole-Home Humidifiers

Dry air is a common problem in many homes, especially in the winter. Maintaining indoor humidity levels is important for overall health and comfort for all members of the household, mainly those with sensitive respiratory systems. This is why a humidifier is a must-have appliance in your home.

The Benefits of Whole-Home Humidifiers

Proper indoor humidity helps ease breathing problems, allergies, asthma, cough, and sinus infections. It also mitigates dry skin, eye irritation, and nosebleeds. Humidifiers can benefit your natural home furnishings. For example, wood furniture is less likely to crack in humid air, while tropical house plants need at least 30 – 50% humidity to flourish indoors.

There are many types of humidifiers, most of which are free-standing and can only deliver humid air within a limited area. In contrast, central or whole-home humidifiers are connected to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system so they can deliver humid air throughout the whole house.

Here are some important care and maintenance tips for your central humidifier:

1. Turn It off after Winter

Central humidifiers are a tremendous boon during the winter because they help combat perpetually dry air. However, it’s important to shut it off completely once warmer weather starts to roll in during the spring and summer.

When you’re preparing your central air conditioning unit for duty, remember to turn off your humidifier. These two systems are functionally opposite—your air conditioner removes humidity from the air to lower indoor temperature. If your central humidifier continues to deliver moisture to the air, neither unit will function at their best.

2. Replace the Water Panel

The entire water panel (filter, evaporator pad, water pad) should be replaced at least once a year. You can schedule this replacement at the beginning of the heating season or when spring is transitioning into fall. This way, all your humidifier components are fresh and clean at the beginning of their months-long tenure.

3. Maintain Healthy Humidity Levels

Healthy humidity levels are between 30% and 50%, which you can adjust through your central humidifier’s humidistat.. Your choice of setting largely depends on what is comfortable for you and your family members.

As a general note, never set the humidistat over 60%. When there is too much moisture in the air, it creates an environment wherein mould and fungi can freely grow. These contaminants can thrive on any dark and moist surface. Since they’re difficult to spot, you may not be able to see an infestation until it is too late. To avoid this risk, all members of your household should know not to set the humidistat too high.

4. Use the Right Cleaning Products

It’s important to clean your humidifier’s outer surface and inner components at least once a year. Make sure to use the proper cleaning products so you won’t damage or interfere with the system.

A cloth dipped in 50% vinegar solution should get most of the dirt and grime out of any surface. If there are heavily contaminated parts, you can soak them in the vinegar solution for 30 minutes or longer. Then, rinse everything with water and dry them out thoroughly before plugging the humidifier back in.


A central humidifier can maintain ideal air moisture levels throughout your home and keep you and your family members healthy and safe during the colder months. These simple care and maintenance tips will help ensure that your humidifier can function well for many years. If you need help cleaning or shutting off your central humidifier, you can consult with HVAC specialists.

At Legacy Heating, we offer the most comprehensive and cost-effective HVAC maintenance services in Edmonton and surrounding areas. We can help maintain healthy indoor air quality through humidifier, air conditioning, and duct cleaning services. Contact us for a free quote today!

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