How to Use a Humidifier

Using a humidifier is really quite simple and easy. Remember, there are two different types of humidifiers: whole-house and portable humidifiers. Most of the whole-house humidifiers require some level of professional installation. Others you can actually install yourself. The portable humidifiers are the most flexible.

how to use a humidifer

The reason why we add a humidifier to our home is to enable us to have control over the humidity levels in the home. The definition of a humidifier is a machine that is used to add artificial air moisture to the air. A humidifier is mostly used during the winter time when dry air is most pronounced.

Humidifiers can help people with nasal congestion, sinus discomfort, and dry skin. They can also reduce static electricity. Correct use of a humidifier will significantly improve the level of comfort in your home.

Part 1: Setting up Your Humidifier

Follow these basic steps and you’ll be on your way to using your humidifier.

1. Choose the right humidifier

First, you need to make sure that the humidifier you purchase will adequately meet your needs. There is no shortage of humidifiers available to you. Choosing the right humidifier is crucial. A list of the most popular humidifiers includes:

  1. Central humidifier: As the name implies, a central humidifier is a whole-house humidifier. They are installed directly into the house’s cooling and heating system.
  2. Evaporators: These types are a smaller size of humidifier that use fans and filters to add moisture to the air. These models of humidifiers are much cheaper and affordable.
  3. Impeller humidifiers: The impeller types of humidifiers only add cool mist air into the home. For parents with young children, this type of humidifier is a great choice. Impeller humidifiers rotate the disks at high frequencies in order to release cool air mist. They work better in a single room.
  4. Steam vaporizers: This humidifier type heats up water in the tank and then forces the water to cool down before distributing it as a mist into the air. They are the friendliest humidifier economically but can disperse hotter mists, which can lead to burns. This type of humidifier may not be suitable for parents with children.
  5. Ultrasonic humidifiers: These products add moisture to the air using vibrations. They generally come in both the warm and cool mist variations, which are usually the best choice for people with children. Select one that is sized properly for your needs and room size. Prices between models vary widely.

2. Read the humidifier manual

Humidifier machines come in various designs and with different features, each with a recommended set of settings and maintenance instructions. Instructions on how to care for the humidifier may vary from others you might have used in the past. It is necessary to read through the instruction manual carefully for each humidifier you have.

3. Assemble the humidifier if required

Using the manual as a guide, put together any parts that need to be assembled before you can use the humidifier. This may include things like fixing the wheels for easy mobility, generally assembly of your humidifier, or personal settings preferences (like the size of the mist opening).

Part 2: Using Your Humidifier

1. Rinse out the water tanks or reservoir

Depending on your humidifier type, make sure you rinse out the water reservoir or tank. Use a mild soap and water  to clean it properly before using it. Doing so will help flush out any leftover particles from the manufacturing process, which could find their way into your air if not properly cleaned.

2. Add water to the tanks or reservoir

After you have cleaned up the water reservoir, put in the right quantity of water. Some humidifier systems allow the use of normal tap water. Using distilled water is generally better as it’s free from any particles your running tap water may contain. There should be a precise water level line marked in your reservoir. Make sure the water doesn’t go above that level to avoid overflowing the water.

If your humidifier uses a filter, now would be the right time to install that as well.

3. Positioning the humidifier

Before you run the unit, make sure to position it on a level surface, at least 12 inches away from the walls. If possible, it should be placed on a high level. Do not put anything under your humidifier.

Don’t install the humidifier under a shelf or near curtains or paper. Objects nearby tend to get moistened as your humidifier starts to run.

4. Turn on and adjust any settings

Plug in the humidifier and turn it on. Some humidifiers may have knobs or buttons that adjust the settings. If yours does, use the controls to change the settings to meet your personal taste. If you are unclear on the settings to use or what the knobs or buttons do, simply refer to your humidifier manual for clarification.

Some humidifiers are designed with areas that let you add vapor rub or essential oils to the mist. This is the time to add those if you plan to. If your instructions say that your humidifier is not compatible with those things, don’t use them.

  1. The recommended normal home humidity level when using a humidifier should be between 30 and 50 percent.
  2. When your humidifier is not in use, turn it off. The humidifier should not be running without water in the reservoir.

5. Clean humidifier regularly

Your humidifier should be cleaned twice a week if it’s used regularly. Proper cleaning will prevent the growth of bacteria and molds in the water and in the humidifier. If you are not a regular user, pay careful attention and use your best judgment to decide when it must be cleaned. Refer to the instruction manual. Molds and bacteria can grow if there are long periods of time between uses.

What can you use to clean your humidifier?

Cleaning your humidifier is not difficult. A mild soap and water can do the job. White vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are also good choices and may help kill more bacteria.


Don’t allow the area around your humidifier to become moist. This will promote mold and mildew growth.

The young, elderly, and people with existing lung ailments are especially vulnerable to airborne bacteria and disease, so you must be sure to make sure your humidifier is properly cleaned.

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