Humidifiers play a significant role in regulating indoor air humidity levels in homes, especially during winter months when dry air becomes a big problem. However, installing a new humidifier is one thing, and humidifier maintenance is another.
Whether it is a steam humidifier, evaporative humidifier, or ultrasonic humidifier, all types of central humidifiers require proper maintenance to keep them operating at their best. In this blog, we’ll explore how to maintain a whole house humidifier, and how often you should attend to its upkeep.
The Importance of Regular Humidifier Maintenance
A humidifier is an electronic device that will add moisture to the air in a dry indoor environment, which increases the humidity level. Whole house humidifiers provide humidification across the entire home, whereas portable humidifiers are only able to add moisture to the air in a small area of the house.
By improving indoor air quality with proper humidity levels, a humidifier also provides a range of health benefits, including preventing static electricity, itchy skin, nosebleeds, and respiratory problems. However, like any electronic device, home humidifiers must be maintained for optimal performance and safety.
Ignoring the maintenance of your humidifier can lead to stagnant water that becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, mold growth, and other contaminants. This buildup can cause dirty humidifier parts to malfunction or perform poorly, leading to a suboptimal output of humidity. Additionally, the accumulation of microorganisms can turn into a health hazard without regular cleaning and maintenance, with the potential to worsen respiratory problems and trigger allergies.
How to Maintain a Whole House Humidifier
The maintenance required for a whole home humidifier involves regular cleaning and replacement of specific components. Their maintenance requirements are generally lower than portable humidifiers, but they still need regular attention. Before commencing the cleaning process, it’s essential to turn off the humidifier and disconnect it from a power source. Also, check the manufacturer’s instructions for more information about keeping your humidifier clean before you begin humidifier maintenance.
Clean the Water Tank
The first step in maintaining a whole house humidifier is cleaning the water reservoir, which should be done every few months or more frequently if you notice mold. The tank holds the tap water that the humidifier will use to release moisture into the air. It is important to regularly clean the tank of a whole house humidifier to prevent the accumulation of bacteria and mold growth, as well as mineral buildup from hard tap water. Regularly cleaning the tank will ensure the optimal performance and longevity of humidifiers.
Most humidifiers come with a removable tank that should be cleaned frequently.
- Begin by emptying any standing water in the tank and filling the tank with white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, bleach, or a cleaning solution of water and vinegar.
- Let the cleaning solution sit in the tank for about 30 minutes.
- Scrub the tank with a soft bristled brush or scrubbing brush to remove leftover mineral deposits before you rinse it off with cold water.
Replace the Evaporator Pad
An evaporator pad is a vital component of a whole house humidifier that works to dissipate moisture in the air. As you blow air through the pad, it will add moisture from the tap water to the air before it is distributed across the house. Over time, the pad accumulates mineral buildup from the tap water and dirt, which can clog the airflow and hinder the effectiveness of home humidifiers.
To ensure the best performance of the humidifier evaporator pad, it is recommended that you clean or replace it at least once a year or more frequently depending on the local environment factors such as the mineral content of water and frequency of use. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to determine how often you should replace the humidifier pad.
Check the Humidistat
A humidistat allows the user to measure humidity levels as well as set and control the level of humidity in a room.
- Check to ensure that the device’s humidistat is functioning correctly by turning up the dial to a high setting and observing the humidifier’s output. Check the manufacturer’s directions in your owner’s manual for more information on how to care for the humidistat.
- Additionally, clean the humidistat controls – wipe them off with a soft cloth, as dirt and dust buildup can cause the device to malfunction.
Clean the Humidifier’s Surface
The exterior surface of a whole house humidifier requires occasional cleaning, too. Dust and other particles from the air can accumulate on the surface of the humidifier, leading to malfunction and poor output.
- Use a soft cloth to properly clean the exterior of the humidifier, making sure to remove any dirt or stains.
- Avoid using abrasive materials like steel wool or scouring pads, as they can scratch the surface of the device.
Take Care of Your Home Humidifier
Maintaining a whole house humidifier is an essential aspect of ensuring its optimal performance and longevity and avoids creating a health hazard. A humidifier’s maintenance routine involves cleaning the water tank, replacing the filter, checking the humidistat, and cleaning the surface of the device. By following these simple maintenance practices, homeowners can maintain a healthy humidity level inside the house and enjoy the benefits of a well-maintained humidifier.
At Grove Heating & Cooling, we understand the importance of keeping your home comfortable and healthy. That’s why we offer maintenance services for central humidifiers as part of our annual heating system tune ups. Our skilled technicians will ensure that your humidifier is performing optimally, which helps regulate humidity levels in your home. Contact us today to schedule service and enjoy the benefits of a perfectly working humidifier!