Humidifiers are heaven-sent, especially during the coldest winters. However, this device will only serve its purpose if it’s functioning well. For this post, we share tips on how to know if humidifier is working and what you can do to make it function more efficiently.
Take note that the steps discussed here may or may not apply, depending on the humidifier model that you have.
How to know if humidifier is working
If you’re wondering whether or not your humidifier is working, you should do the following steps:
Step 1. Check the water level
The first way to know whether your humidifier is working or not is its water level. If the water level on the tank is the same after an hour or two, it means the unit is defective.
In some cases, you just need to crank up the humidifier’s settings for it to start working. But if the water level remains unchanged at the end of the day, you may need to get the unit fixed or replaced.
Step 2. Use a hygrometer
If you want a more accurate way to check for your humidifier’s functionality, you should use a hygrometer. This tool measures humidity levels in the air, which will tell you whether the humidifier is doing its job.
First, we have to factor in the possibility that your room already has the ideal humidity range. It’s usually within 40% to 60%. If this is the case and your humidifier has a built-in humidistat, nothing is really wrong. It just happened that the humidifier isn’t kicking in because the target humidity is already reached.
Using a hygrometer will also let you know whether your humidifier is already releasing too much moisture. This could happen, especially if your unit doesn’t have programmable settings.
Step 3. Feel the mist
Next, you can try placing your palm close to where the mist should be coming out. If you don’t feel anything, your unit is probably not working.
In this case, you should check the power, settings, and your target humidity. You may need to tweak these parts for the unit to function.
However, if all your efforts fail, you should consider checking for damages. If the unit is already an old one, a replacement might be the best option.
Step 4. Listen for the humming
Lastly, you can try listening for the mild hum or buzz of the humidifier. This signifies that the unit is on and functioning.
However, you should know that this isn’t a gauge of how well the humidifier is functioning. You should still perform the three other steps I discussed here.
What to do if your humidifier isn’t working
If you confirmed that your humidifier isn’t working, here are the methods you can do:
✔️Restart the unit
Many problems in any electronic device can be fixed by simply restarting the unit. So if your humidifier isn’t working, turn it off, let it rest for a few minutes, then turn it on again. See if it will start to produce mist, and you’re good to go.
However, if your humidifier still isn’t working, you should proceed with the next steps.
✔️Check for mineral buildup
One of the common problems in humidifiers is mineral buildup. This happens if you use hard water or a unit without a filter or a slot for demineralization cartridge.
Note that mineral buildup can block the water from diffusing as mist. It can damage the unit and give way to bacterial proliferation in the long run.
If your humidifier indeed has mineral buildup, you can soak the tank in white vinegar. There are also water softeners that could help with this problem. Take note that you should do this with the unit off.
✔️Check for blockages
Another thing that you should check is whether there are any blockages on the humidifier’s hose. This can happen when the water becomes contaminated with insects, dirt, and the like.
If there are any blockages on the humidifier, you need to disassemble the unit to clean it up.
✔️Check the power cable
Before you conclude that your humidifier needs to be replaced, you should check the power cord first. This part can get damaged, which will technically cause the humidifier to stop running.
Overall, power cords are easier and much cheaper to replace than the whole unit.
✔️Check the filter
Lastly, a humidifier that’s not working might be due to a filter change. This is the case for units with evaporative types and those using demineralization cartridges.
Dirt and mineral buildup on the filter can block diffusing the water. This is why most manufacturers recommend changing humidifier filters every 30 to 60 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long does it take for a humidifier to start working?
A: Many humidifiers will take up to 15 minutes to warm up before it fully kicks in. However, you can find units that kick starts the moment you turn it on. Also, it’s important to remember that humidifiers will only work based on the humidity level in your room.
Q: Should you see mist coming out of a humidifier?
A: Not all humidifiers will have visible mist coming out since it depends on what type you’re using. Usually, evaporative humidifiers won’t have obvious mist coming out since the water is vaporized into tiny molecules. On the other hand, cold or warm mist types will usually have a visible mist.
Q: How long should you run a humidifier?
A: Generally, you should run a humidifier for around 12 hours a day or until you reached the target humidity level. Take note that over-usage of humidifiers isn’t a good thing either. The excess moisture can damage your furniture and allow the proliferation of molds.
Humidifiers are helpful devices to balance the moisture in the air. Still, the part of how to know if your humidifier is working is also a crucial thing. This way, you can maximize the device for your comfort.
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.”