How Can I Control Mold in My Humidifier?

Many home heating and cooling systems depend on humidifiers and dehumidifiers to help manage the comfort of your home or office. This is because individual body temperature feels different based on the level of relative humidity.  The more humid it is in general the more warm your skin feels. This is because in dryer air your skin loses moisture more quickly and this evaporative process cools the skin.  In more humid air your body can’t evaporate as quickly and stays warmer.

So in the winter many people drag out their humidifiers or their home ventilation system begins adding moisture to the air.  this helps make your home or office more comfortable,  but it can present some problems related to mold.

The warm humid spaces inside the humidifier become perfect breeding grounds for mold that can cause coughing, sneezing, and other allergic reactions to you and the people around you.

There are basically two approaches to preventing mold in your humidifier this season.

Manual cleaning

One way to stave off mold in your humidifier this year is through manual cleaning. Scheduled periodic washing and scraping of the surfaces of your dehumidifier should be enough to prevent mold from forming.

Simply disassemble the parts of your humidifier where you put the water. Any surface that you can reach should be washed with warm soapy water and then thoroughly rinsed.  if you see white calcified spots forming, use an old toothbrush or a scrub brush of some sort to scrape them off. Then rinse the area again with warm soapy water.

While some online articles suggest daily cleaning, this is not really necessary.  but it is important to set a regular schedule to make sure the work gets done. Mold forms quickly in unwatched warm wet spaces.

Change your ingredients

Another way to keep mold from forming in your humidifier is to change the ingredients.  and since the only ingredient is water here are two options:

Use distilled water – distilled water has fewer impurities that cause calcification and create space for mold to gather and grow.

Add bleach – adding a tiny amount of bleach can significantly reduce the chance of mold growing in your humidifier. You may need to experiment for the right blend in your particular dehumidifier. You don’t want to be able to smell the bleach, for instance, because this will make the humidifier experience less pleasant overall.

Shown: Desktop humidifier from Sharper Image.

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