Can I use a humidifier without a filter?
Humidifiers do not need a filter to operate. The filter is not a part that will keep the humidifier from turning on or off or emitting moisture into the air.
The filter is primarily for filtering dust and particles out of the air before they get into your humidifier and muck it up.
It is not the type of filter that will filter the minerals out of hard water.
Water is not meant to pass through the filter whatsoever.
If that were the case, there would be no need for using distilled water in a humidifier.
If you have ever taken a filter out of a humidifier after it’s been used for a while, you will notice that it is more of a grimy dust. You’ll often see white dust forming around a humidifier, the air filter is responsible for reducing that as well.
But that doesn’t mean you should not keep a clean filter in your humidifier if it calls for one.
Keeping those particles from the air out of your humidifier will lengthen the life of the humidifier. And keep you from inhaling those particles.
But that being said, if you have a humidifier that is missing a filter, it will still do the job of moisturizing the air.
And it is not like you can’t physically clean the dust and muck off of the humidifier after you use it.
Humidifiers are meant to be cleaned often as a necessity because of the risk of bacteria growing inside of the water.
This is especially true when the humidifier has had standing water in it for any length of time.
The bacteria that grows on water and becomes airborne can be very hazardous to your health.
Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever are illnesses that are a direct result from inhaling airborne bacteria that has grown on water.
Humidifiers without Filters
There are quite a few models of humidifiers that do not even need filters.
And they are specific in the fact that they need to be cleaned often.
And usually the breakdown is that if you have a humidifier with a filter, you don’t have to clean the humidifier as often.
If you have a humidifier without a filter, then the directions call for the humidifier to be cleaned more often.
Regardless, the humidifier needs to get cleaned more often than most people do anyway.
The water that you use inside of the tank is equally responsible for mucking up your humidifier and diminishing the effectiveness of it.
You could have a perfectly clean air filter but using hard tap water and because of the water content still have issues with water stains and white dust settling around your humidifier that can be a breathing hazard too.
Waters that have heavy mineral content are not good on humidifiers. The minerals that these Waters contain can be a source of food for mold and bacteria to start growing faster.
Distilled is Best For Humidifiers
The general consensus is that distilled water should always be used in a humidifier because it goes through a process of removing the minerals.
But the price of only using distilled water in the humidifier can add a fast.
To offset the cost you can use hard water filters on your faucets to filter out most of the minerals in your tap water before you put it in the humidifier.
Hard water filters are fairly inexpensive compared to the gallons and gallons of distilled water you will be purchasing over the dry season.
Home water distillers and water purification systems are also a good ideal to remove chemicals and minerals from tap water.
The upfront cost can be substantial and some of these units. But they are an investment not only for your humidifier but for your own physical health.
There are also demineralization cartridges that you can purchase to put into your humidifier. These work a little bit like an ionizer in that they cause the particles inside of the humidifier to collect together so that they become too big to gather outside of the humidifier basin.
The only problems are that they primarily only work in ultrasonic humidifiers and they are a recurring cost.
Can you use a humidifier without a filter?
The removal filters that come in humidifiers are not necessary for the humidifier to moisturize the air.
They are primarily air filters to keep dust particles from mucking up your unit.
After all, there are many humidifiers that are sold as filterless humidifiers.
But if you do use the humidifier without the filter in place, you should be forewarned that you are looking at more cleaning the humidifier than if you had the proper filter inserted.
The ideal that the filter is in place to filter contaminants out of the water is not accurate.
It would be nice if it was, because that would negate the need of purchasing distilled water or buying a hard water filter or expensive water purifying system.
And some of the air quality issues related to humidifiers are because of the calcium buildup and white dust that occurs around humidifiers when they are run with tap water or other high mineral content Waters.
The minerals in tap water can also be a source of nutrients that can cause mold and bacteria to grow faster inside of a water basin.
Can you use tap water in a humidifier?
Humidifier will work fine with tap water in it for a while, but the mineral content in tap water will eventually reduce the effectiveness of the humidifier. And you will notice a lot more calcium deposits and white dust forming around your humidifier when you do use tap water.
But will it cause a humidifier not to work? No, it will still function exactly the same way regardless of the type of water. For the meantime anyway.
If you decide to use a humidifier without a filter or run it with tap water instead of demineralized water, then be prepared to do a thorough cleaning more often.
And you might want to step it up to a better humidifier soon.