Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid when Using Humidifiers
Humidifiers are helpful appliances to increase moisture levels in the air. Household air is typically extremely dry and cranking up the heating in winter reduces humidity even more. Many people like to increase indoor humidity levels if they suffer from allergies, dry coughs, dry skin, or have flu symptoms. In addition, water vapor from humidifiers creates a suitable indoor environment if you care for many tropical houseplants.
However, humidifiers are only good if you use them properly. Unfortunately, common mistakes when using humidifiers can cause issues. For example, stagnant water can develop bacterial growths, and overly humid environments can cause mold in rooms.
Mistake #1: Not Changing Water Often Enough
It’s a mistake to leave water in a humidifier for too long. Stagnant water can become breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. This means that dirty water could release toxins into the air the next time you use the steam unit. To avoid this mistake, always empty the unit after use.
Mistake #2: Not Paying Attention to Humidity Levels
When using a humidifier, don’t make the mistake of ignoring relative household humidity levels. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends the ideal humidity level is between 30 and 50 percent. So, before switching on a humidifier, use a humidity meter to ensure the air is not too dry or too damp.
Mistake #3: Using Tap Water in a Humidifier
Some humidifiers like ultrasonic humidifiers require using purified or distilled water in the unit. For example, using tap water to humidify a room could create white dust from the mineral particles in the water. This dirty mist can clog filters and cause a white film to form on furniture.
Mistake #4: Not Cleaning the Humidifier Often
A common mistake is to forget to clean the humidifier. Admittedly, cleaning the enclosed tank can be a chore. However, doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that a dirty unit allows allergens, mildew, mold, and bacteria to accumulate. Therefore, the recommendation is to clean the unit weekly. After cleaning, rinse it with water to remove any chemical residue.
Mistake #5: Not Placing a Humidifier on a Flat Surface
Placing your humidifier on an even surface is essential because it could easily tip over and spill. A humidifier only works efficiently when the unit is placed correctly on a raised, flat, stable surface.
One issue when using a room humidifier is that it can encourage mold growth. A high level of water vapor in the air can create the perfect environment for mold spores to multiply. The result is musty air and unsightly black patches on carpets, walls, floors, and upholstery.
What should you do if you notice mold growth in your home? It’s vital to act without delay to remove the mold and the cause of excess household humidity or moisture. Contact SERVPRO at (817) 589-1499 to learn about our Fort Worth mold remediation services.