One of the most common mistakes of humidifier owners is using just about any water on their device. While tap water is convenient and cheaper, it may also translate to white dust all over your home. This is due to hard water packed with minerals that get diffused in the air. With that, we can’t help but wonder, is bottled water for humidifier necessary?
In general, you’d want to use clean and potable water on your humidifier. After all, you’re going to inhale the water molecules, and it will also get into your skin. Using dirty water will lead to multiple problems, including skin irritations and bad odors.
This post will discuss whether it’s necessary for you to use bottled water exclusively together with alternatives that you can try.
Is it necessary to use bottled water for humidifier?
Overall, distilled or bottled water is the best choice for humidifiers. It’s stripped of minerals that will become white dust when diffused into the air. This is very critical for those suffering from respiratory illnesses and skin problems. Also, it gives you the assurance that the moisture you’re inhaling and getting in contact with is safe.
Aside from ensuring that you’re getting in contact with clean water, bottled water also helps keep your humidifier clean.
Take note that tap water can have varying levels of minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium, and more. All of these can accumulate on your humidifier. If you’re using a humidifier without a filter, the mineral buildup can cause the unit to malfunction or even get damaged.
On the other hand, humidifiers have slots for water softener cartridges. These cartridges are designed to filter out minerals in the water. It allows humidifier owners to use tap water without worrying about white dust.
But if you’re notoriously sensitive and have a history of respiratory problems, it’s best to stick to bottled water. The only downside is the added cost, as you have to keep purchasing bottled water for refills.
Overall, if your goal is to keep your humidifier clean and your health safe, distilled water is the best choice. But of course, there are alternatives and solutions you can try, which I discussed below.
Is filtered water suitable for humidifiers?
Filtered water is clean to some extent, but it may not be the best option when it comes to humidifiers.
The thing with water filtration is that it only removes large impurities. Depending on the purification process, a large amount of mineral content can also be removed from the water.
Unless you’re using a high-grade filtration system in your home’s water supply, there will still be substantial traces of minerals in your purified water. However, minerals will still remain in filtered water. Also, hard water tends to be the hardest to filter because it contains high levels of various minerals.
Also, water filters alone won’t remove organisms and pathogens that might be contaminating the water. The likes of viruses, bacteria, and mold spores can bypass water filters quite easily. When that happens, you’ll likely diffuse the germs into your air when you only use filtered water in your humidifier.
Is it possible to use tap water on my humidifier?
If you don’t want to spend on distilled water, you can still use tap water to save money. However, there are a few things you have to keep in mind.
First, using tap water will lead to white dust in your home. This white dust is the mineral content of tap water, which gets worse depending on the hardness of the water in your area.
Take note that this white dust can trigger respiratory irritations and even skin problems. To prevent this from happening, you can try these solutions, so you can still use the water from your faucet:
Get a humidifier with a water softener cartridge.
If you don’t want to spend extra money on distilled water, you should consider getting a humidifier equipped with cartridge slots. This water cartridge softener slot will help eliminate mineral content, so you can still use water from your faucet.
Take note that like filters, such cartridges must be replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Most can last for 30 days of regular use.
With that being said, humidifiers with water softener cartridges will have a slightly higher operating cost. While some cartridge replacements are affordable, many brands sell such accessories at an exorbitant cost.
Get a humidifier with a wick filter.
If you prefer an evaporative humidifier, you’re better off using one with a wick filter. This filter will help prevent airborne particles from getting recirculated as well as minerals from being diffused.
However, you should know that wick filters also need replacements. The harder the water, the more frequent you need to replace this part.
Moreover, wick filters won’t remove all the mineral content of your tap water. If you have hard water in your home, you may still notice white dust from time to time. In this case, it might be best to stick to distilled water.
Boil the tap water first.
Another way to reduce the mineral content in your humidifier water is to boil it first. It can help remove bacteria and other solid matter. However, this will do little in removing minerals and other contaminants.
There has been a misconception that distilled water is merely boiled water, though boiling is a part of the process. Take note that distillation is a process of turning liquid into vapor and transforming back into liquid. Through this, all contaminants can be filtered out.
Use a water purification system.
If you want to keep your humidifier clean without using distilled water, you can consider installing a purification system on your water supply. While it’s not as pure as distilled water, the purification system can make your tap water almost potable. This helps a lot in softening water and removing contaminants.
Overall, the purified water coming from this system is safe to use in humidifiers. It will drastically reduce the occurrence of white dust and potential irritations on your part.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What kind of water do you use in a humidifier?
A: The best water to use in humidifiers is distilled water. It’s because distilled water has very little to no mineral content that could be accumulated inside the humidifier. Also, distilled water is safe to inhale and get in contact with your skin. While it’s an added cost, it’s just a small thing compared to the benefit you’ll experience.
Q: Can I use boiled water in my humidifier?
A: Boiled water that has cooled down can be used on humidifiers. It has fewer salts and minerals, but it’s not as pure as truly distilled water. But if you don’t have the latter available, boiled water will be a good alternative as long as you let it cool down to room temperature first.
Q: Can you put any water in your humidifier?
A: Technically, you can use any type of water for your humidifier. However, not all of it will be healthy and safe to use. Instead, you should stick to distilled water, especially if you tend to have respiratory or skin issues.
Q: Can I put purified drinking water in my humidifier?
A: Yes, it’s totally fine to use purified drinking water on your humidifier. This is a safe choice as purified water has very little to no mineral content that could damage your unit or be diffused as white dust. Using purified drinking water on your humidifier can help increase its lifespan in the long run.
Q: Can I use spring water on my humidifier?
A: It’s important to remember that spring water isn’t the same as distilled water. It comes from below the ground, which flows to the surface. With this, spring water contains a lot of healthy minerals beneficial for the human body. However, these minerals can be an issue once you use spring water on your humidifier.
Q: What happens if I use hard water on my humidifier?
A: If you use hard water on your humidifier, the mineral content will soon accumulate. Over time, the mineral deposits will block the water from being diffused. It will also pave the way for molds and bacteria to proliferate, which will wreak havoc in your home. Overall, hard water will shorten your humidifier’s lifespan and potentially cause health problems.
Q: Can you use cold or hot water in a humidifier?
A: For most humidifiers, room temperature water is the ideal choice. This applies even if you’re using a hot mist type since it will be the machine to heat up the vapors. Also, pouring hot water into the humidifier may damage its parts.
Using bottled water for humidifier will help keep the device clean and your lungs safe. Although tap water is surely a convenient choice, it could cause problems, especially if your place is notorious for hard water.
Nevertheless, there are methods to help curb this problem. The use of water softeners and purification systems are some of the ideal solutions.
Home Air Quality is founded by Bernard K to provide information on Indoor Air Quality in Homes and enlighten people about what they need to know about creating and maintaining a comfortable and healthy home environment.
We believe that “Quality air brings a healthy life.”