Proper Maintenance of a Humidifier
They are useful in keeping a home, or other living environment, at a desired humidity level.
What is humidity by definition? Humidity is defined as the amount of water vapor found in the air. Levels fluctuate from season to season, generally being higher in the summer and lower in the winter.
- Ideally, the relative humidity in your home should be approximately 30 to 50 percent.
- If it happens to go above or dip below this ideal range, it affects your health and the comfort level of your home.
- Humidity lower than 30 percent can cause your skin to dry out, irritate your respiratory tract, and make your eyes itch.
- Anything above 50 percent, can make your home incredibly stuffy, warm and it can cause condensation to form on your walls and floors. This can trigger the growth of harmful bacteria, mold and dust.
- Keeping the humidity levels in your home or workplace within the ideal range, can improve your health and ensure that you and your family are healthy and comfortable.
- Humidifiers can be used for a variety of reasons. Not only do they make your home more comfortable, they also are good for your health. Humidifiers can help relieve pesky allergies and reduce the occurrence of infections and illnesses in your home.
Humidifiers are also good for the wooden furniture and floors in your home. When wooden products get too dry, they shrink, crack, and dry out, keeping the air moist can avoid these types of damages. A humidifier is an excellent solution for this.
No matter the reason you choose to have a humidifier, or the type of humidifier you own, it is important, as with all appliances, to make sure you are properly cleaning and maintaining your humidifier.
With proper maintenance and care, a humidifier can be used to its full advantage for many years.
However, if a humidifier is not maintained properly it can actually cause issues like mold and bacteria growth. It is important to properly maintain your humidifier to ensure that it is functioning properly and keeping your family safe and comfortable.
Proper maintenance is important in order to reduce bacteria, prevent and reduce scale, and to keep it operating properly. Regular maintenance is essential to keeping your humidifier running properly. Before buying a humidifier, read about the model's maintenance plan to ensure the upkeep is one you want to commit to.
- In general, humidifiers need to be cleaned after each use.
- The inside of a humidifier should be wiped down in order to prevent the accumulation of minerals and bacteria. Humidifiers should also have their filters replaced at least once every season.
- Filters begin to discolor whenever they collect debris from the atmosphere, so whenever you noticed your filter losing its pristine color, it's time to change it.
A humidifier needs to be cleaned on a regular basis.
When water is left standing in the humidifier for multiple days, organisms like mold, bacteria, mildew and fungi can grow.
- These types of harmful organisms thrive in standing water.
- If left ignored, a humidifier can release these harmful organisms into the air and possibly make your family ill.
- It is important to always check your humidifier manufacturer recommendations to proper cleaning instructions. However in general, most humidifiers are cleaned in similar ways.
It is recommended that the humidifier is cleaned on a daily basis. This will ensure that the water being released into the air is as clean as possible.
At a minimum, the water from the tank should be changed on a daily basis, or after any period of inactivity. To avoid changing the water, a humidifier can be run all day to ensure the water is never left standing. This will avoid the accumulation of unwanted organisms.
It is also recommended to do a quick cleaning of the humidifier itself on a daily basis. This sounds labor intensive, but it does not have to be. If properly cleaned, the daily cleaning is minimal. Simply rinse the water tank and add new water.
However, on a weekly basis the humidifier should be cleaned a little more.
- Unplug the humidifier from the energy source and dismantle the humidifier.
- Fill the tank 2/3 of the way full with water and add one tablespoon of bleach.
- Allow the water tank to sit for at least 30 minutes so that the bleach can clear the tank of bacteria.
- Swish the mixture around to ensure it is reaching all corners of the humidifier.
- Rinse the humidifier thoroughly multiple times to remove the bleach.
The filter is an important aspect of the humidifier.
The filter traps mineral deposits from the water. If there are mineral deposits in the water, the humidifier sprays out a fine white dust.
The dust is the accumulated minerals, and can leave an unwanted dusting on surroundings like furniture. Cleaning the filter regularly ensures that the filter is working properly and preventing the white dust from spraying out of the humidifier. Some filters need to be changed, others can be cleaned.
To clean the filter:
- Fill a large bowl with water and 2 cups of white vinegar.
- Place the filter in the bowl and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the filter from the bowl and rinse the vinegar from it.
- Replace the filter back into the humidifier after it has dried.
- Even with a cleanable filter, the filter should still be changed. Check the condition and change the humidifier's filter as needed.
The base of the humidifier needs to clean as well to ensure that it has not accumulated dust, debris, bacteria or residue. Fortunately, cleaning the base of the humidifier is very easy.
To clean the base of your humidifier:
- Pour white vinegar into the base and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
- Rinse, and wipe the humidifier multiple times to remove all vinegar.
- You can also disinfect the outside of the humidifier by wiping it with a bleach wipe.
- Allow the humidifier to dry completely.
Once everything has been cleaned and the parts are dry you can put the humidifier back together and start using it again.
If you aren't too keen on cleaning your humidifier thoroughly once per week, then consider getting a self-cleaning humidifier.
Storing Your Humidifier:
Properly storing a humidifier is equally important as cleaning it. Whenever it's time to put your humidifier away for the year, there are a few steps to take.
- First, allow the appliance to dry completely.
- Next, store your humidifier in a cool, dry location. Do not place any objects on top of the humidifier and store it in its original box if possible.
- Store the cord in a dry location away from any type of metal objects.
- Before re-using the humidifier, ensure that it is still dry and every piece is still attached properly.
A humidifier has an abundance of uses and benefits including; reduced infections, reduced allergy and asthma symptoms, and reduced damage to wooden furniture.
A humidifier can be a huge asset to your home, if the humidity level is often lower than 30-50%. Owning a humidifier can ensure that your home is comfortable for you and your family.
However, like all appliances, owning a humidifier does come with some responsibility. Due to the nature of the device, a humidifier needs to be properly cleaned and maintained in order to prevent water from standing and breeding harmful organisms, bacteria, mold and fungi.
If left unmaintained, a humidifier can release these harmful organisms into the air and cause adverse health problems. Luckily, most humidifiers are not extremely hard to maintain. Proper maintenance of a humidifier includes cleaning the water reservoir, base and filter of the humidifier on a regular basis.
In the seasons when using a humidifier on a regular basis is conducive, the humidifier should be emptied and rinsed on a daily basis, a more thoroughly cleaned on a weekly basis.
A daily inspection of the humidifier should also be done.
Most humidifiers do not need a lot of maintenance to keep it functioning properly, and there are even some models that are self-cleaning.
In general, the humidifier is relatively easy to maintain, and with its abundance of benefits a humidifier is an excellent appliance to ensure your home is comfortable and healthy.