Whether you live in a region with cold winters or areas that receive hot weather throughout the year (which won’t happen to be the UK!), there’s no doubt you already noticed a change in the air quality.
In warmer places, the sun ensures that not a single drop of moisture is left airborne while those hefty heaters people use during winter butcher the humidity to unbelievably low levels.
But with all the health education and information currently being circulated, chances are that you already have a humidifier in your home to balance out the moisture.
Humidifiers are no longer a luxury; they are a basic household necessity with innumerable benefits to your entire family’s health. The right amount of humidity offers relief for chapped lips, cracked skin while still making it easier for asthmatics and people with respiratory issues to breathe.
However, many people neglect to perform the one crucial task that every humidifier owner needs to do; clean out the unit. Like any other appliance, lack of cleaning and maintenance practices always translates to a shorter lifespan and getting less value for your money.
Keeping your humidifier as clean as possible ensures the unit not only works efficiently, but also last longer than the predicted lifespan. Leaving your humidifier dirty for too long puts your entire family’s health at risk of breathing harmful bacteria and mould from the unit.
This is usually from the stagnant water left in the tank as well as improper cleaning and disinfecting that leads to breeding of harmful bacteria and moulds. So instead of humidifier helping your allergies, it may worsen them.
If you are looking for the most effective and recommended ways of cleaning your humidifier, you’re in the right place. Here is a step by step guide on how to properly clean air humidifiers.
How To Clean Air Humidifiers
Step 1: Clean the Filter
The first thing you need to do is unplug, empty your humidifier and then disassemble it carefully. Next, you need to remove the filter, hold it under a faucet and hose it with minimum pressure with cold water.
This should wash all the impurities away. You should then set it on a clean, fresh towel to dry while you work on other parts.
Precautions and Tips When Cleaning the Filter – Avoid using cleaning solutions on the filter since the harsh chemicals could cause permanent damage. Additionally, try to replace your filter as often as the manufacturer recommends it.
Step 2: Wash the Water Reservoir
If you had not emptied the water tank, now would be a good time to remove it and pour out the old water. Depending on the capacity of the reservoir, fill it almost all the way up with vinegar, swish it around and leave it to sit for about an hour.
Vinegar acts as a natural cleanser that quickly loosens up all the build up from the bottom and sides of the tank. When you are done, pour out the vinegar and rinse it with cold water.
Precautions and Tips for Cleaning the Water Tank – Using a chemical solvent could have adverse effects to you and your family if it gets pumped into the air. This is why vinegar is highly recommended.
In some cases, you may also be required to use a sponge or a brush to get to the grime at the bottom. Afterwards, you should wipe down the entire frame with a sponge, vinegar, and water to prevent dust and debris from returning into the tank.
Step 3: Regular Maintenance and Prevention of Bacterial Growth
This is the third and final stage that requires the most dedication seeing that it’s an ongoing process. No matter how great you do in the first two steps, it’s all in vain if you do not carry out some maintenance practices on the unit. These practices include:
- Changing the water often to prevent the build up of mineral deposits at the bottom and sides.
- Cleaning out the humidifier every three days with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide rinses when in heavy use. For a deeper clean, try to follow up every two or so weeks.
- Keep the area around the humidifier clean and dry to avoid the growth of bacteria and mould. If the area becomes too damp, move the unit or turn it down some.
- Proper storage measures must be observed. Before putting your unit away, make sure that it is properly cleaned and all dried up.
Homeowners should also know when it’s time to let go. Some humidifiers get so old and battered that they start leaking and breaking apart over time. Worn out parts and components are very susceptible to mould and bacteria growth that will eventually get circulated in the air.
Cleaning out old units with bleach and peroxide helps, but there are certain parts that even you can’t reach. As a rule of thumb, you may want to consider replacing your humidifier if it has been with you family longer than your 5-year-old kid.