How to Keep Your Humidifier Working Longer
When fall arrives, bringing cold, dry air with it, your humidifier may have to start working overtime. Like any appliance, no humidifier will last forever, but with proper care, you shouldn't have to worry about yours quitting on you when you need it most.
Use at the Right Time
Depending on what kind of humidifier you use, your device can function in a number of ways. Some use fans to evaporate water, while others boil water to create steam or break it down to small droplets using vibration. While warm mist humidifiers, which heat the water, take more power to run than cool mist devices, which use evaporation or vibration, it's not a good idea to leave it on continuously. Leaving a humidifier on at all times could cause it to wear out sooner, and at the very least it may add to your electricity bill.
It can be tempting to leave a humidifier on all the time during the colder months of the year, given that the device can make the air feel warmer in addition to adding moisture. However, it may be best to use it sparingly. During the day, there are other options to stay hydrated, such as using moisturizer on your skin and drinking plenty of water. That's not an option when you're sleeping, meaning that a humidifier could be most beneficial once you've gone to bed. However, if you spend a lot of time in one room during the day or your house is chronically dry, it might still be a good idea to turn the humidifier on.
Care and Cleaning
Beyond limiting use, you should take proper care of your humidifier to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. That starts with routine cleaning. The water in a humidifier should be changed every day, and the device should be dried before new water is added. Every week or two, you should give the device a deeper cleaning. Avoid using any detergents or soaps to clean the humidifier or sharp objects to remove mineral deposits. Instead, you should soak any deposit in a mixture of white vinegar and water for 20 minutes, then scrub the device with water and a clean cloth.
If you're using an evaporative humidifier, the wick will need extra attention. When water is pulled into the wick, it can leave bacteria behind that needs to be removed. Just like the humidifier base, the wick shouldn't be exposed to harsh cleaning chemicals. Using Holmes® Bacteriostat Solution to clean your humidifier can slow the buildup of germs so it will work better between cleanings. You can use vinegar to scrub out any tough stains and keep your humidifier working at full capacity.