Keeping Your Humidifier Bacteria Free

Humidifiers are a really good way for you to moisturize the air in your home during the dry cooler months. They aid with chapped skin, allergies, and cold and flu symptoms. If they are not regularly maintained, though, they can quickly become breeding grounds for mold and bacteria, leaving them to do more harm than good. Check out these quick and simple tips for keeping your humidifiers running smooth and effectively.

  1. Use distilled or demineralized water.  The water that comes from your tap contains teeny tiny mineral creating deposits that will promote bacterial growth within your humidifier. These will often appear as white dust on your furniture, and unfortunately, your may breathe some of that in. If you can’t use distilled or demineralized water, your humidifier may be able to use cartridges or filters.
  2. Change the water often. Don’t just let water sit in there stagnant! This will cause mineral deposits to develop on the side and bottom of the tank. The longer the water sits, the more will collect, and the harder it will be to remove.
  3. Keep the area around the humidifier dry. If you are noticing the area around your humidifier becoming damp, you need to turn it down. Surrounding the humidifier with dampness with foster the growth of mold and bacterial growth. This could not only make you sick, but could also ruin your furniture.
  4. Change the filter in your central air conditioning and heating system regularly. Your humidifier is circulating more water in the existing air in your home. Optimize the cleanliness of your humidifier by ensuring your general air quality is clean.
  5. Clean the humidifier regularly. When the humidifier is in heavy use during the winter or when a family member has a cold, clean it weekly with a simple vinegar or hydrogen peroxide rinse. Do a deep monthly clean of the tank, base and filter (or per your manufacturer’s instructions).
  6. Replace the humidifier when necessary. Old humidifiers may start to break down over time. The worn-out parts will be more prone to hosting bacterial growth. If you’ve had your humidifier for five years, you might want to consider replacing it. Humidifiers can build up difficult mineral deposits, which are impossible to remove and encourage bacterial growth.
  7. Store the humidifier properly. Before putting your humidifier in storage, clean it thoroughly. Throw away any temporary parts (such as used filters or water cartridges) and make sure it is completely dry. Rinse or clean it again before using it the next time. Order any new filters or cartridges you’ll need when you use it again and store them with the humidifier.

If you properly maintain your humidifier, it can be a very affordable at-home method for battling the cold and flu and for making the winter air more hospitable.

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