Keeping your humidifier clean is an important step to help you stop the growth of mold and bacteria so it will not be circulated into your air. As you use a humidifier, the air will be pushed out and circulated throughout your room and home, potentially causing the spread of unsafe mold or bacteria.

Here are five tips on keeping your portable humidifier clean:

1. A humidifier should be cleaned every three days.

Before cleaning it, make sure the unit is unplugged. Follow manufacturer guidelines on the best possible way to clean your unit regularly. If you don’t have the manual, oftentimes they can be found for free online by searching for terms such as “user manual for (your type of humidifier)”. This search function often works even better when you have the model number.

2. Change your humidifier filter regularly.

If your portable humidifier has a filter, follow your manufacturer instructions on replacing or cleaning the filter on your humidifier. Likewise, make sure you are regularly changing your HVAC filter as well.

3. Use distilled water in your humidifier.

Tap water, or water from your faucet, usually has added minerals. These minerals can cause build-up on the inside of your humidifier, affecting it’s performance and lifespan. In addition, some minerals can also encourage the growth of certain kinds of bacteria. If you use a humidifier regularly, it is likely worth the low additional cost of purchasing distilled water to use.

4. The area around a humidifier should be dry.

If you notice the buildup of condensation or water droplets on windows, surfaces, or furniture around the humidifier, you should adjust the settings or even stop using the humidifier as often. Signs of water droplets on these surfaces can encourage harmful bacteria growth and the spread of germs.

5. Consider replacing older humidifiers.

If you use your humidifier regularly and it is older than a few years, you should consider purchasing a new one. Over time, even with proper maintenance, it is impossible to reach all the nooks and craies within the humidifier. Since it is impossible to clean all of the internal components (since it is an electrical appliance it caot be submerged into a cleaning solution), that means it’s impossible to completely clean all build-up of bacteria and germs. These harmful growths can be spread throughout your air, contributing to unhealthy side affects for those with allergies, asthma, and even causing sickness.

While a cheaper option, portable humidifiers can be a hassle to clean and care for properly. It’s also nearly impossible to properly monitor the humidity levels within your home with a portable unit. A whole home humidifier can monitor these levels for you and are much less maintenance, while able to provide humidity solution for your entire home. A properly humidified home encourages a healthy environment.If you have questions on installing a whole home humidifier, we are happy to answer them! You can call, email, or message us and one of our Outstanding Heating and Cooling team members will respond as soon as possible.Information from this article was researched and shared from Mayo Clinic.