Cleaning The Humidifier
Every humidifier has its own cleaning and maintenance needs. Don’t use a humidifier unless you’re read the owner’s manual and are prepared to keep the unit clean. If not kept clean, evaporative and ultrasonic humidifiers can spew bacteria, fungi, mold and mineral dust which can lead to harmful allergy problems or illness. Warm-mist humidifiers are generally safe because they boil the water they use which distills out minerals and kills bacteria, mold and fungi. Mineral buildup inside a humidifier is a problem for most users especially in areas with hard water. To remove calcium or lime buildup, use a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water. For really difficult cases, use equal amounts of vinegar and water. Scrape off any leftover buildup with a putty knife. Wash the tank and filters with an antibacterial cleaner. On humidifiers with disposable foam filters, drums or belts, buy and install replacements as directed in the owner’s manual. If any parts appear corroded then have them replaced.
The filter in a humidifier reduces mineral deposits and discourages the growth and spread of bacteria, mold and fungi. Sometimes evaporative humidifiers contain disposable floating filters that wick water toward the fan. Ultrasonic humidifiers may contain replaceable mineral filters housed in a cartridge. Clean or replace any filter as often as the manufacturer suggests. Replace moisture pads in furnace-mounted humidifiers every year.