Reduce Annoying Static Electricity and Itchy-Dry Skin with a Properly Running Humidifier
Scale and unhealthy bacteria can build up inside a humidifier. In cold climates, a humidifier is an essential appliance that keeps a home comfortable in the chill of winter. Now is a good time to see if some maintenance or repair is needed.
· Clean humidifier every year using vinegar or special cleaner. Scale, rust, and hard water marks build up. Before disassembling unit, consult the owner’s manual. If humidifier’s pad or filter is covered with hard water scale, it is best to replace it. NOTE: Make sure to disconnect power to the unit first and watch for sharp edges on equipment.
- Determine whether the humidifier is a reservoir or flow-through model. Flow-through models always have a drain tube or pipe leading from the bottom of the humidifier to either a drain pump or directly to a sewer drain line.
- With a reservoir-type humidifier, the float assembly can get stuck. To fix this, remove the float assembly and thoroughly clean it with vinegar or humidifier cleaner. Use the same cleaners to remove bacteria and encrusted calcium from the water reservoir.
- With flow-through humidifiers, make sure the drain line is clean. If you have hard water, consider filtering the water that enters the solenoid valve, as the orifice holes in this valve are quite small and can plug up over time. The wick (also called the filter or pad) should be replaced at least once a year—and more often in hard-water areas. Because the water does not stand in a holding tank, build up is usually not as bad. Vinegar or special cleaners can be used with this system, also.
To gauge the humidity level in your home, use a hygrometer or psychrometer. Most people find that humidity levels between 40-50% are comfortable during the heating season. And, although proper humidity levels will protect wood furniture and doors from drying and cracking, a well-running humidifier will not protect furniture from beverage and snack spills during upsetting or exciting plays.