Do You Put Hot Water in a Humidifier? Understanding Common Misconceptions

Do You Put Hot Water in a Humidifier?

No, you don’t need to put hot water into a humidifier. While it may seem logical, humidifiers like vaporizers that use steam have an internal mechanism to heat the water safely.
Adding hot water is not only unnecessary but can also pose safety risks, such as burns or damaging the humidifier. These devices are specifically designed to eliminate the need and hazard of using externally heated water.

Understanding Hot Water Usage in Humidifiers: Clarifying Common Misconceptions

Key Takeaways:

Aspect Detail
Hot Water in Humidifiers Not required; humidifiers heat water themselves.
Warm Mist Humidifiers Use internally heated water for steam.
Bacteria and Mold Warm mist humidifiers reduce mold and bacteria risk.
Water Type Room temperature or cold water is recommended.
Maintenance Regular cleaning is key for health and efficiency.

Demystifying Hot Water Use in Humidifiers

A question often arises among users of warm mist humidifiers: “Do you put hot water into a humidifier?” It’s a logical query, especially for those who understand that these humidifiers use steam to humidify a room. This article aims to clarify this point and guide proper humidifier usage.

The Role of Warm Mist Humidifiers

Warm mist humidifiers, also known as steam vaporizers, play a unique role in air quality control. Unlike other humidifiers, they heat water to produce steam, which then cools slightly before being released into the air. This process inherently makes the use of hot water redundant, as the device is designed to heat water internally.

Key Points:

  1. Self-Heating Mechanism: These humidifiers are equipped to heat water, negating the need for pre-heated water.
  2. Health Benefits: By boiling water, these devices reduce the risk of bacteria and mold, ensuring cleaner moisture output.

Why Adding Hot Water Isn’t Necessary

It might seem intuitive to add hot water to aid the process, but here’s why it’s unnecessary and potentially problematic:

  1. Design Efficiency: The humidifiers are designed to efficiently heat room temperature or cold water.
  2. Safety Concerns: Adding hot water can pose risks, such as burns or damage to the humidifier.
  3. Optimal Performance: These devices are calibrated to work best with water at room temperature.

Water Quality and Maintenance

Regardless of the humidifier type, the quality of water used is crucial. Room temperature distilled or demineralized water is often recommended to minimize mineral buildup and microbial growth.
Additionally, regular maintenance, including daily emptying and wiping, as well as weekly deep cleaning, is vital for health and efficiency.

Warm Mist vs. Cool Mist Humidifiers: A Comprehensive Comparison

In the pursuit of improved air quality and comfort, understanding the differences between warm mist and cool mist humidifiers is essential. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of each type, backed by authoritative insights, to help you make an informed decision.

Warm Mist Humidifiers: Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Alleviates cold and flu symptoms, enhances sleep quality, maintains healthy skin, preserves furniture and houseplants, provides heat in winter.
  • Cons: Safety risks (burns), requires frequent cleaning.

Cool Mist Humidifiers: Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Relieves sinuses, decreases asthma triggers, keeps skin healthy, aids in flu prevention, and protects your voice.
  • Cons: Requires regular maintenance, and potential allergen triggers.

Authority Insights: Mayo Clinic notes that both warm-mist and cool-mist humidifiers are equally effective in humidifying the air. Healthcare Business Today highlights the health benefits of cool mist humidifiers.

Specific Uses: Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier is ideal for quick relief from sinus congestion, but can make the room muggy for sleeping. Cool Mist Humidifier is better for continuous, overnight use.

Feature Warm Mist Humidifier Cool Mist Humidifier
Alleviates Cold/Flu Symptoms Yes Yes
Sleep Quality Improvement Yes, but can be uncomfortable due to warmth Better for continuous use, less likely to cause discomfort
Skin Health Maintains skin hydration Prevents dryness in skin
Furniture and Plant Health Preserves wooden furniture, aids plant growth Not specifically noted
Room Heating Can warm up the room slightly No heating effect
Safety Risk of burns Safer, no burn risk
Efficiency May increase heating costs Generally more energy-efficient
Noise Level Operates quietly May use a fan, potentially noisier
Maintenance Requires frequent cleaning Needs regular cleaning and filter changes
Health Risks Lower risk of dispersing bacteria/mold Can disperse allergens if not maintained
Comfortability Can make the room muggy, less comfortable for sleeping Generally more comfortable for continuous, overnight use


Warm Mist vs. Cool Mist Humidifiers: A Comprehensive Comparison

In the pursuit of improved air quality and comfort, understanding the differences between warm mist and cool mist humidifiers is essential. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of each type, backed by authoritative insights, to help you make an informed decision.

Warm Mist Humidifiers: Pros and Cons


  1. Alleviates Cold and Flu Symptoms: They release warm moisture, soothing sore throats, clearing congested nasal passages, and relieving dry coughs.
  2. Enhances Sleep Quality: Prevents dryness in the throat and nasal passages, reducing snoring and contributing to uninterrupted sleep.
  3. Maintains Healthy Skin: By maintaining optimal humidity, they keep skin hydrated and glowing.
  4. Preserves Furniture and Houseplants: Balances moisture levels, prolonging the life of wooden furniture and aiding plant growth.
  5. Provides Heat in Winter: Can warm up a room slightly, contributing to a cozier environment and lower heating costs.


  • Safety Risks: The hot water or steam can pose a burn risk, particularly around children.
  • Maintenance: May require more frequent cleaning due to the heating process.

Cool Mist Humidifiers: Pros and Cons


  1. Relieves Sinuses: Loosens thick mucus, easing congestion and sinusitis, especially during winter.
  2. Decreases Asthma Triggers: Adds moisture to the air, lubricating airways and reducing asthma symptoms.
  3. Keeps Skin Healthy: Prevents dry, itchy, or flakey skin caused by dry air.
  4. Aids in Flu Prevention: Maintains humidity levels to curb the spread of germs.
  5. Protects Your Voice: Helps prevent a dry, hoarse throat and supports better sleep for those who snore.


  • Requires Regular Maintenance: Needs cleaning and filter changes to prevent the dispersion of bacteria and molds.
  • Potential Allergen Triggers: If not properly maintained, can disperse allergens like dust and pollen into the air.

Authority Insights

Mayo Clinic: Notes that both warm-mist and cool-mist humidifiers are equally effective in humidifying the air, and by the time the water vapor reaches your lower airways, it’s the same temperature regardless of its initial state.

Specific Uses

  • Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier: Ideal for quick relief from sinus congestion, with a compartment for Vicks to add medicinal effects.
  • Drawback: Can make the room muggy, less suitable for continuous overnight use.
  • Cool Mist Humidifier: Better for continuous, overnight use, maintaining a comfortable humidity level without over-saturating the air.


Choosing between warm mist and cool mist humidifiers depends on personal needs and preferences. Warm mist humidifiers offer therapeutic benefits, especially in cold weather, but require caution around children and regular maintenance.
Cool mist humidifiers are safer and beneficial for respiratory issues but need diligent cleaning to prevent mold and allergen dispersion. Understanding these nuances ensures that you select a humidifier that aligns with your health, comfort, and safety requirements.

Essential Oils in Humidifier? What Are The Alternatives?

Essential oils in humidifier? What are the alternatives?

Most of the time you will find that essential oils are not recommended to put into the water of a humidifier.

Most experts agree that essential oils will eventually degrade the gaskets and the materials that your humidifier is made of. And clog it up so that it will not mist as efficiently. All which will significantly lower the lifetime of your humidifier.

That’s unless of course you have a humidifier That has been designed with a separate compartment for putting the essential oils.

And the caveat to that is, you usually have to purchase and use the blend of essential oil that the humidifier company supplies and sells. And not surprisingly, cost more than your typical drugstore variety.

You can of course dilute essential oils enough that you will not likely see too much deterioration in your humidifier, at least for a good long while.

But the amount you have to dilute the oils, can water them down to the point that they’re really not worth using in the first place.

That’s why we produced this article.

Alternatives to using essential oils in humidifier

Here we will give you a few suggestions for alternatives to using essential oils in a humidifier. We will also give you a description with the benefits that you may expect to get when using them.

Alternatives to using a humidifier for essential oils

Alternative Use Benefits Considerations
Vaporizer 5-10 drops per use Disperses aromatic vapors Use vaporizer designed for oils; don’t inhale too directly
Boiling Pot Humidifier 3-5 drops per large chamber Scent spreads through steam Clean frequently to remove oil residue
Diffuser 5-10 drops per use Ambiance, therapeutic benefits Protects oils from degradation
Candles/Oil Warmers Few drops in melted wax or oil Gradual aromatic ambiance Don’t oversaturate, may clog wick
Potpourri Few drops mixed into dry ingredients Provides room fragrance over time Monitor scent, add more oil as needed
Personal Inhalation, Baths, Cleaners Few drops diluted appropriately Direct aroma exposure Use proper ventilation and dilution


  1. Vaporizer
  2. Boiling pot humidifiers
  3. Diffusers
  4. Candles/oil warmers
  5. Poutpouri
  6. Baths, homemade cleaners, personal inhalation

1. Vaporizers

Vaporizers can disperse essential oils into the air. Use 5-10 drops per use. Provides aromatic benefits. Be sure to get a vaporizer designed for oils and don’t breathe the vapors too directly.

2. Boiling pot humidifiers

Old-fashioned boiling pot humidifiers allow adding oils to the boiling water. Use 3-5 drops per large chamber. The heat helps spread the scent. Clean frequently to remove oil residue.

3. Diffusers

Diffusers are designed for essential oils allow aroma dispersal. Use 5-10 drops per use. Provides ambiance and potential therapeutic benefits. Diffusers protect oils from degradation compared to humidifiers.

4. Candles and candle warmers

Adding a few drops of essential oil to melted candle wax or lamp oil disperses scent as the candle burns. Provides gradual aromatic ambiance. Be careful not to add too much oil as it may clog the wick.

5. Potpourri

Mixing a few drops of essential oils into dry potpourri ingredients helps provide aroma as the mixture releases the scent over time. Adds pleasant fragrance to rooms. Monitor scent levels and add more oils as needed.

6. Baths, cleaners, personal inhalation

Adding essential oils to bath water, homemade cleaners, or inhaling from a cotton ball allows personal direct aroma exposure. Take proper safety precautions like ventilation and dilution. Provides therapeutic aromatherapy benefits.

Alternatives to using essential oils in a humidifier

Category Options Amounts to Use
Water Soluble Oils Vegetable glycerin, jojoba oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, avocado oil 1-2 tbsp or tsp per gallon
Carrier Oils Fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, argan oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil 3-10 drops per gallon
Herbs/Potpourri Lavender, rosemary, spearmint, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon balm, chamomile, thyme, rose petals 1-4 tbsp per gallon
Fruits/Vegetables Lemon, orange, lime, cucumber, apple slices 2-4 slices or tbsp per gallon
Flowers Rose petals, jasmine, chamomile 1-3 tbsp per gallon
Spices Cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, vanilla beans 1-5 items per gallon

Water Soluble Oils:

What are water soluble oils?

Water soluble oils are plant-derived oils that can dissolve in water and provide aroma and humidity benefits when added to humidifiers.

Popular options include:

  • Vegetable glycerin – Derived from plant oils like coconut, palm, or soybean oil. Helps add moisture to the air. Use 1-2 tablespoons per 1 gallon of water. Has a mild, sweet flavor.
  • Jojoba oil – Liquid plant wax extracted from jojoba seeds. Has a light nutty aroma. Use 5-10 drops per gallon of water.
  • Olive oil – Adds moisture, has a mild herbal scent. Use 1-2 teaspoons per gallon of water.
  • Grapeseed oil – Very light scent, helps retain moisture. Use 1-2 tablespoons per gallon of water.
  • Sunflower oil – Light odor, high in vitamins E, A, D. Use 1-2 tablespoons per gallon.
  • Sesame oil – Has a nutty aroma, soothing for skin. Use 1-2 teaspoons per gallon.
  • Avocado oil – Has a rich texture and faint scent. Use 1-2 tablespoons per gallon.

Carrier Oils:

What are carrier oils?

Carrier oils are plant-based oils that can be combined with essential oils to diffuse their aroma. Carrier oils have mild scents and gentle properties that make them suitable for humidifier use.

Good options include:

  • Fractionated coconut oil – Extracted from coconut oil. Won’t solidify at room temperature. Has anti-bacterial and moisturizing properties. Use 5-10 drops per gallon.
  • Sweet almond oil – Extracted from almonds. Easily absorbed by skin, faint nutty scent. Use 5-10 drops per gallon.
  • Apricot kernel oil – Pressed from apricot seeds. Has a light, nutty aroma, good for softening skin. Use 3-5 drops per gallon.
  • Argan oil – Extracted from argan tree nuts. Easily absorbed, has a mild nutty smell. Use 5-7 drops per gallon.
  • Grapeseed oil – Very light, nearly odorless. Use 4-6 drops per gallon.
  • Olive oil – Has an herbal scent, smooths skin. Use 3-5 drops per gallon.
  • Jojoba oil – Mimics natural skin oils, has a faintly nutty scent. Use 4-7 drops per gallon.
  • Avocado oil – Rich and nourishing for skin and hair. Use 5-8 drops per gallon.


Dried herbs and potpourri ingredients can provide natural fragrance:

  • Lavender – Has a fresh, floral scent. Steep 2-3 tablespoons of dried buds per gallon of water.
  • Rosemary – Provides an energizing aroma. Steep 1-2 tablespoons of dried leaves per gallon.
  • Spearmint or peppermint – Helps open airways with a cooling scent. Steep 1 tablespoon of dried leaves per gallon.
  • Eucalyptus – Has an open, medicinal scent. Steep 2-3 leaves per gallon.
  • Lemon balm – Provides an uplifting citrus aroma. Steep 2-4 tablespoons per gallon.
  • Chamomile – Has a delicate, soothing scent. Steep 2-4 tablespoons per gallon.
  • Thyme – Earthy, herbal aroma. Steep 1-2 tablespoons per gallon.
  • Rose petals – Offer a fragrant, floral scent. Add 1-2 tablespoons per gallon.

Other Natural Additions:

Fruits, vegetables and flowers can provide pleasant natural fragrances:

  • Lemon, orange, or lime slices – Bright, citrusy aroma. Add 2-3 washed slices per gallon.
  • Cucumber slices – Cool, watery scent. Add 3-4 washed slices per gallon.
  • Apple slices – Fresh, crisp aroma. Add 2-3 washed slices per gallon.
  • Rose petals – Sweet floral scent. Add 1-2 tablespoons per gallon.
  • Jasmine – Rich, exotic floral aroma. Add 1-2 tablespoons per gallon.
  • Chamomile flowers – Delicate, soothing fragrance. Add 2-3 tablespoons per gallon.

Spices like cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and vanilla beans provide stronger scents so use sparingly:

  • Cinnamon sticks – Warm, spicy aroma. Add 1 stick per gallon.
  • Cloves – Strong, pungent fragrance. Add 3-5 whole cloves per gallon.
  • Star anise – Has a licorice-like scent. Add 2-3 pods per gallon.
  • Vanilla beans – Provide a soothing, warm aroma. Add 1-2 beans per gallon.

Start with small amounts of any additives and adjust based on scent strength and humidifier performance. Always monitor closely to prevent clogging issues.

vodka in humidifierWhat can you put in a humidifier to clean the humidifier while it’s running?

Here are some additional options that can be used in humidifiers to freshen and clean the air:

  • Vinegar – Helps kill bacteria and fungi. Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar per gallon of water. Provides a light, tangy scent.
  • Vodka – Has disinfecting properties. Use 1-2 tablespoons per gallon of water. Will provide a light alcohol aroma.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Natural oxidizing agent helps clean the air. Use 1-2 teaspoons of 3% solution per gallon of water. Little to no scent.
  • Essential oil blends – Look for antibacterial/disinfectant blends, like thyme, tea tree, rosemary, lemon, eucalyptus. Use 5-10 drops per gallon of water.
  • Dried herbs – Rosemary, lavender, mint provide light scent and cleansing properties. Steep 1-2 tablespoons per gallon of water.
  • Spices – Cinnamon sticks, cloves, give air cleaning benefits. Use 1-2 items per gallon of water.
  • Citrus peels – Lemon, grapefruit, orange peels help purify air. Add 2-3 peels per gallon of water.
  • Baking soda – Natural deodorizer and air purifier. Use 1-2 tablespoons per gallon of water.

Avoid using synthetic fragrances like perfume, fabric softener, and vanilla extract as they can clog up the humidifier.

Can you put perfume in a humidifier?

It’s usually not suggested to put anything synthetic and so humidifier because it can clog it up.

But there is an alternative that can work well with perfume and vanilla extract as well as fabric softener.

Old fashioned boiling humidifiers

When I was a kid, My family always had water boiling on the stove and on the floor furnace (Yes I realize that dates me somewhat badly)

Old-fashioned humidifiers that work by boiling water are a bit more forgiving when it comes to adding scented items. However, there are still some precautions to take:

  • Synthetic fragrances like perfumes, fabric softeners, and vanilla extract should still be avoided or used very sparingly. Just 1-2 drops per large boiling chamber.
  • Essential oils can be added more freely to boiling water, but still use caution – 3-5 drops per large boiling chamber is sufficient. The heat can break down the oils over time.
  • Dried herbs, citrus peels, cinnamon sticks and other natural items can be boiled along with the water to provide fragrance. Use 1-2 tablespoons or 1-2 pieces per large boiling chamber.
  • For vintage metal kettle-style humidifiers, ingredients can be placed inside the kettle as the water boils. Use a tea infuser to hold herbs.

The main thing is to use caution even with boiling humidifiers. Still start with minimal amounts of any scented additions. And give the boiling chamber a thorough cleaning regularly when adding anything other than plain water.

Christmas additives!

It’s starting to look low like Christmas again. Of course Christmas comes earlier every year.

If you got an old fashion boiling humidifier or you’re just boiling water on the stove to use as a humidifier, Here are some festive recipe ideas for sending the water to give your home a awesome holiday aroma:

Winter Spice:

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • Orange slices or peels from 1 orange
  • Dash of nutmeg

Peppermint Candy:

  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies or candy canes
  • A few drops of peppermint extract (optional)

Forest Pine:

  • 1 cup pine needles
  • 2 tablespoons fir or cedar branches
  • 2-3 drops pine essential oil (optional)

Cranberry Orange:

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • Orange slices or peels from 2 oranges
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1-2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2-3 tablespoons molasses

Standard humidifier Christmas scents

Many of the recipes for stovetop boiling humidifiers can also be adapted for use in standard cool mist and ultrasonic humidifiers with some slight adjustments:

  • Use smaller amounts of the ingredients since the water reservoirs are much smaller than old boiling chambers. Start with about 1/4 to 1/2 the amounts listed.
  • Avoid anything that could clog the humidifier filter or mechanism, like pine needles, cranberries, and pulp/rind from citrus fruits. Strain or blot these ingredients.
  • Skip the spices and extracts that contain oils, like cinnamon, nutmeg, and peppermint extract. The essential oils can leave residue in non-boiling humidifiers.
  • Crush hard ingredients like cinnamon sticks and candy canes so they will dissolve in the water more. Or place in a tea infuser.
  • Citrus peels, herbs, vanilla beans, and molasses can be steeped right in the water reservoir like tea.
  • Change the water daily to avoid buildup of oils from ingredients leaching into the water over time.

Some revised cool mist humidifier recipes:

  • Orange and clove peels
  • Crushed peppermint candies
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Cranberries and sliced ginger
  • Molasses and vanilla beans


Unless you have a humidifier that has a specific compartment to use essential oils in, it’s usually best not to put essential oils in the water of any humidifier. They can clog your humidifier as well as degrade the

Steam Humidifiers: Benefits and Considerations

Steam Humidifiers: Benefits and Considerations

What is a steam humidifier?

A steam humidifier is a device that increases humidity levels in a room or home by boiling water and releasing the resulting water vapor into the air. The steam provides moisture to dry indoor air.

Types of steam humidifiers:

Type Description
Console humidifiers Free-standing units with an internal reservoir, heating element, and fan to distribute steam.
Electrode humidifiers Use electrodes in the water that boil the water to produce steam.
Canister humidifiers Portable units with a removable water tank.


  • Console humidifiers: Free-standing units with a water reservoir, heating element, and fan. Good for large rooms.
  • Electrode humidifiers: Uses electrodes submerged in water to boil and vaporize the water. Compact and energy-efficient.
  • Canister humidifiers: Portable units with a removable water tank. Good for smaller rooms or travel.

How does a steam humidifier work?

  • The device boils water, producing water vapor or steam. This steam is dispersed into the air through a fan. As it evaporates, it increases the humidity in the room.

Benefits of using a steam humidifier:

  • Adds moisture back to dry indoor air, which can be caused by winter heating.
  • Helps prevent dry skin, sore throats, nasal congestion and cracked lips.
  • Reduces static electricity in the air.
  • Helps houseplants thrive.
  • Can help wood furniture and flooring avoid drying out excessively.

Who can benefit from a steam humidifier?

  • Anyone in a dry climate, heated home, or during dry winter months.
  • People with respiratory ailments like asthma benefit from proper humidity levels.
  • Musicians and singers who need vocal care.
  • Those with itchy, flaking skin in winter.

Choosing the right steam humidifier:

  • Consider the size of room to be humidified. Console units are better for large spaces.
  • Look at convenience features like timers, humidistats to control humidity levels automatically.
  • Consider noise levels, some models are very quiet.

Installing a steam humidifier:

  • Follow manufacturer instructions carefully.
  • Place on an elevated, waterproof surface. Have a drain nearby.
  • Connect to a water line or place where it can be easily filled.
  • Connect to a 120V electrical outlet, do not use extension cord.

Cleaning and maintenance:

  • Change water daily to avoid mineral deposits and bacteria growth.
  • Clean scale buildup with white vinegar or descaling solution.
  • Replace filters as needed. Disinfect reservoir regularly.
  • Follow all manufacturer maintenance recommendations.

Pros of steam humidifiers:

  • Add moisture quickly and efficiently to dry air.
  • Provide health benefits for skin, respiratory system.
  • Models available in wide range of sizes and types.


  • Can promote mold growth if not cleaned properly.
  • Mineral deposits can build up in reservoir.
  • Steam can feel uncomfortably hot for some people.
  • Risk of burns from hot surfaces.

Flow-Through HumidifiersTroubleshooting common steam humidifier problems:

  • Unit not turning on – Check power connections, fill level, settings.
  • Not producing steam – Limescale buildup; clean mineral deposits.
  • Leaking – Ensure tight seals, replace worn gaskets.
  • White dust – Mineral deposits dispersing into air. Clean unit.

This covers the key points for an overview article on steam humidifiers – their working, types, benefits, purchase considerations, use and maintenance. Let me know if you would like me to expand or modify any part of this draft. I can also add more troubleshooting tips or additional pros and cons as needed.

Is it true that steam humidifiers are the best for avoiding the dangers of humidifiers mold and bacteria?

There are some advantages to steam humidifiers when it comes to avoiding mold and bacteria, but they are not completely immune to these issues:

Steam humidifiers boil water, which can help kill mold spores and bacteria that might be in the water. However, this is only effective if the water reservoirs are cleaned regularly.
Steam humidifiers don’t require wicks or filters that can trap mineral deposits and microbes. However, the steam outlet and any surfaces the steam touches can still allow mold growth if not cleaned.
Steam humidifiers add dry steam to the air rather than cool mist, which is less likely to promote surface condensation that can lead to mold.

However, steam humidifiers still require proper maintenance to prevent mold and bacteria:

1.The water reservoir should be cleaned regularly with a disinfectant to kill any mold or bacteria.
2.Any surfaces the steam comes into contact with should be cleaned to prevent microbial growth.
Steam humidifiers, like other types, can spread microbes in the air if the water reservoir contains any contaminants. Always use clean water.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting.

Are Steam Whole House Humidifiers better at avoiding mold and bacteria than the other types of whole house humidifiers?

Yes, in general steam humidifiers are better at avoiding mold and bacteria growth compared to other types of whole house humidifiers:

1.Evaporative humidifiers require wicks and filters that can promote mold growth if not cleaned regularly. The standing water is also prone to bacterial growth.

2.Ultrasonic and impeller humidifiers produce cool mists that can condense on surfaces and promote mold.

By contrast, steam humidifiers boil the water, killing many microbes. And they don’t require wicks or filters.

However, steam humidifiers are not foolproof:

If not cleaned regularly, mineral deposits can accumulate in the water reservoir and provide an environment for microbial growth.

Steam can condense on humidifier surfaces, allowing mold if not cleaned.
Adding steam to air can make dust particles and allergens airborne.
So while steam humidifiers have an advantage, proper maintenance is still crucial

Do You Need A Boiler Present?

Steam humidifiers do have higher energy demands compared to other types of humidifiers, which can make them more expensive to operate, especially if a boiler is not already present.

Here are some factors to consider regarding the costs of steam humidifiers:

Steam humidifiers require heating water to boiling temperatures, which uses more electricity than cool mist options. This can drive up energy bills.

Installing a steam humidifier without an existing boiler/furnace can require running new steam lines, condensed water returns, and installing a water heater to generate steam. This significantly increases upfront costs.

Without a boiler, standalone electric steam humidifier units are available, but energy costs may still be high depending on humidification needs.

Ongoing costs are higher as mineral deposits in hard water can cause scaling in steam humidifiers, requiring frequent maintenance and part replacement.

However, in a large home a steam humidifier may be the only option capable of properly humidifying the whole space. Their higher output can justify the costs.

In summary, for homes without an existing steam system/boiler, the costs of installing and operating a steam humidifier are often prohibitive.

Cool mist and evaporative options are more affordable.

But steam systems make sense for larger homes if the initial investment can be accommodated. As with any system, considering long term costs and benefits is advisable.

Can a Humidifier Help with Dryness Caused by Central HeatingFAQ

How do steam humidifiers increase humidity?

Steam humidifiers boil water in a reservoir to produce water vapor or steam. This steam is dispersed into the air through a built-in fan or existing HVAC system ducts. As the steam evaporates in the air, it raises the humidity level.

What are the benefits of steam humidifiers?

Benefit Description
Add moisture to dry air Relieve dry air caused by indoor heating in winter.
Reduce static electricity The added moisture decreases static buildup.
Relieve sinus issues Added humidity can ease sinus congestion and dry nasal passages.

What maintenance is required for steam humidifiers?

To avoid mineral deposits and microbial growth, steam humidifiers require:

– Daily water changes
– Regular cleaning/disinfecting of tanks
– Descaling agents to remove mineral deposits
– Replacement of filters, wicks, and gaskets

How often do steam humidifier filters need replacement?

Most manufacturers recommend replacing steam humidifier filters every 1-2 months of use. Hard water and frequent operation may require more frequent filter replacements.

Can steam humidifiers lead to mold growth?

Yes, steam humidifiers can promote mold growth if not properly maintained. Mold can grow in mineral deposits or on surfaces where steam condenses. Proper cleaning and disinfecting of tanks, filters, and surfaces is essential.

Are steam humidifiers safe for pets?

Steam humidifiers are generally safe for pets as long as hot surfaces are out of reach to avoid burns. The steam itself is not hazardous. Proper maintenance is key to avoid mold and bacteria that could pose a health risk.

How often should the water tank be cleaned in a steam humidifier?

The water tank or reservoir in a steam humidifier should be drained, cleaned and disinfected daily to help prevent mineral deposits and bacteria growth. Weekly deep cleanings are also recommended.

Can I use a steam humidifier in a bedroom?

Yes, steam humidifiers can be used in bedrooms, but precautions should be taken. Avoid very hot steam emissions. Place the unit far from beds and aim steam away from sleeping areas. Monitor humidity levels to avoid condensation.

Are steam humidifiers energy efficient?

No, steam humidifiers require boiling water so they typically use more energy than other types of humidifiers. Their energy efficiency can be improved by insulating steam lines, proper sizing, and using energy efficient models.

Does water quality affect a steam humidifier?

Yes, hard water with high mineral content can cause scale buildup in steam humidifiers. This requires more frequent maintenance. Using filtered or distilled water can help reduce deposits.

How can I prevent white dust from my steam humidifier?

White dust is caused by mineral deposits from hard water. Change water daily, use distilled or filtered water, clean scale buildup regularly, and replace filters as needed to prevent white dust.

Can I install a steam humidifier myself?

Steam humidifier installation is complex, especially if steam lines need to be run. Hiring a qualified HVAC technician is highly recommended unless you have expertise in steam system installation.

Problem Possible Cause
Leaking Worn gaskets or seals
Mineral dust Hard water deposits
Not producing steam Limescale buildup


Expert Tips for Sizing and Installing Flow-Through Humidifiers


Introduction to Flow-Through Humidifiers

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on residential humidification systems, with a focus on flow-through humidifiers, an essential category of whole-home humidification.

Flow-through humidifiers are highly effective in evenly distributing moisture throughout an entire house, seamlessly integrating with your existing HVAC system.

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of flow-through humidifiers, covering their operation, types, installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and more.

If you’re new to the topic of residential humidification, consider starting with our main guide. Also, explore our series of articles that delve into different humidifier technologies, such as ultrasonic, evaporative, and steam models.

Now, let’s dive into the world of flow-through humidifiers, which offer automation, efficiency, and optimal indoor air humidity when properly installed and maintained.

What is a Flow-Through Humidifier?

A flow-through humidifier is a type of humidifier that connects directly to your home’s plumbing and HVAC system, adding moisture to the air. The process involves water flowing through the humidifier, where a filter, wick, or membrane absorbs the water and exposes it to the HVAC system’s airflow.

How Does a Flow-Through Humidifier Work?

Here’s a simplified overview of how a flow-through humidifier operates:

  1. Water enters the humidifier from your home’s plumbing system.
  2. The water passes through a filter, wick, or membrane that absorbs it.
  3. Air from the HVAC system flows over the moistened filter/wick/membrane.
  4. Moisture evaporates from the filter/wick/membrane into the airflow.
  5. The humidified air continues through the HVAC system into your home.

Benefits of Using a Flow-Through Humidifier

Flow-through humidifiers offer various advantages:

  • Evenly distribute moisture throughout your entire home.
  • Require less maintenance than portable humidifiers.
  • Do not take up space in your living areas.
  • Can provide automatic humidistat control.

Who Can Benefit from Using a Flow-Through Humidifier?

Flow-through humidifiers are ideal for:

  • Homeowners in dry climates.
  • Individuals with respiratory conditions aggravated by dry air.
  • Homes with forced air heating systems.
  • Large homes that are challenging to humidify with portable models.

Types of Flow-Through Humidifiers

Flow-through humidifiers come in two main types:

Bypass Humidifiers

  • Description: A portion of the air is diverted through a wetted pad or filter.
  • Pros: Less likely to breed bacteria, no water boiling required.
  • Cons: Require more maintenance than power models.

Power Humidifiers

  • Description: Air is blown through a rotating disk that disperses water into the airflow.
  • Pros: Require less maintenance, no stationary wick or filter to clean.
  • Cons: May allow more bacterial growth, require a boiling water reservoir.

Installation and Maintenance

How to DIY Install a Flow-Through Humidifier

  1. Determine the optimal location on your home’s HVAC system for installation.
  2. Shut off the water supply and power to the HVAC system.
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mount the humidifier and connect it to the water and HVAC ductwork.
  4. Seal all connections with tape to prevent air leaks.
  5. Turn the water and power back on and test for leaks.

How to Clean a Flow-Through Humidifier

  1. Turn off the water supply and power.
  2. Remove any scale buildup.
  3. For bypass models, replace the wick/filter per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Remove and clean the rotating disk on power models.
  5. Reassemble and turn the water and power back on.

Maintenance Requirements for Flow-Through Humidifiers

  • Perform annual cleaning as described above.
  • Regularly replace the filter every 1-2 months.
  • Check for leaks and test the humidistat calibration.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Why Isn’t My Flow-Through Humidifier Working?

  • Check if the water supply valve is turned on.
  • Test if the humidistat is set high enough.
  • Clean the filter or wick if it’s dirty.
  • Replace any defective parts like solenoid valves.

How Do I Fix a Leaky Flow-Through Humidifier?

  • Tighten any loose fittings.
  • Replace worn-out gaskets and seals.
  • Clean limescale buildup around fittings.
  • Repair any cracks in the evaporation chambers.

How Do I Get Rid of White Dust from My Flow-Through Humidifier?

  • Regularly clean and replace filters.
  • Use distilled or demineralized water.
  • Consider installing a reverse osmosis pre-filter.

Sizing Guide

Choosing the right-sized flow-through humidifier for your home is crucial to provide adequate moisture without over-humidifying. Follow these tips:

  • Calculate the square footage of your living space (generally, you need 1 gallon of moisture per 100 square feet).
  • Consider the number of occupants (around 10 gallons of moisture per person).
  • Check the capacity of your HVAC system and size the humidifier to the air handler’s specifications.
  • Select a model with an adjustable humidistat for fine-tuning moisture output.
  • For very dry climates or large, open floor plans, consider larger units or multiple units.

Humidistat Settings

The humidistat controls the level of moisture that the flow-through humidifier adds to your home. Follow these guidelines:

  • Start at 35% relative humidity and monitor comfort.
  • Slowly increase to 45% if more humidity is needed.
  • For infants and health conditions, 30-40% is recommended.
  • To prevent mold, keep it under 50% maximum.
  • Adjust seasonally to account for changes in climate.
  • Allow 24 hours for the humidistat to stabilize at a new setting before readjusting.

Health Benefits

Proper humidity levels between 30-50% can offer numerous health and comfort benefits, such as:

  • Alleviating symptoms of allergies, asthma, sinusitis, and other respiratory issues.
  • Preventing dry skin, cracked lips, bloody noses, and skin irritation.
  • Reducing the likelihood of cold and flu virus spread.
  • Soothing irritated eyes and contact lens discomfort.
  • Lowering the chances of vocal cord strain and respiratory infections.
  • Preventing dryness that can damage musical instruments.

Energy Savings

Maintaining proper humidity with a flow-through humidifier can improve your HVAC system’s efficiency:

  • Humidity allows the air to retain heat better, enabling a lower thermostat setting.
  • Humid air feels warmer, allowing you to lower the thermostat by 2-3°F without sacrificing comfort.
  • Fewer cycles of the HVAC system lead to improved moisture retention.
  • Estimated annual savings on heating and cooling costs range from 5-15%.

Sizing Recommendations

Here’s a general guideline for the humidity output needed based on home size:

  • 500 sq ft: 1-2 gallons per day
  • 1000 sq ft: 2-4 gallons per day
  • 1500 sq ft: 3-6 gallons per day
  • 2000 sq ft: 4-8 gallons per day
  • 250

0+ sq ft: 5-10+ gallons per day

Remember to consider climate and the number of occupants when sizing the humidifier.

Humidity Level Guidelines

Here are some recommended humidity ranges and their associated benefits:

  • 30-40%: Ideal for infants and allergy/asthma sufferers.
  • 35-45%: Comfortable for most homes.
  • 45-50%: Maximum humidity level before risking mold growth.

Monitor the humidity with a hygrometer and adjust the humidistat seasonally.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal humidity level for a home?
Between 30-50% relative humidity is recommended. Levels lower than 30% can be unhealthy, while levels higher than 50% encourage mold growth.

How do I know if my home needs a humidifier?
Signs include static electricity shocks, dry skin, cracked wood furniture, and windows fogging up. You can use a hygrometer to test your home’s humidity levels.

What size flow-through humidifier do I need?
Consider the square footage of your home and your HVAC system’s capacity to determine the appropriate moisture output, typically 20-30 gallons per day for an average home.

Can I install a flow-through humidifier myself?
Flow-through humidifiers require integration into your HVAC system, which should be done by an HVAC professional for optimal performance and safety.

How often do flow-through humidifiers need maintenance?
In general, it’s recommended to clean and replace filters annually before the heating season. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific model maintenance recommendations.

How much does it cost to run a flow-through humidifier?
Operating costs are low, similar to running a furnace blower. Newer computerized models can optimize moisture output for even more efficiency.

What temperature should the water be for a flow-through humidifier?
Cold tap water is suitable in most cases. Some evaporative types may require warmer water. Check your specific humidifier’s manual for guidance.

Can flow-through humidifiers over-humidify a home?
Yes, a malfunctioning unit or incorrect humidistat setting can make the air too damp. The ideal relative humidity is 30-50%.

How can I improve the air quality from my flow-through humidifier?
Use distilled water to reduce mineral dust. Replace filters as per the manufacturer’s schedule. Regularly disinfect evaporative tanks.

Are flow-through humidifiers safe for pets and children?
When installed correctly by an HVAC professional and maintained properly, flow-through humidifiers are safe and hygienic.


Pros and Cons of Using a Flow-Through Humidifier


  • Evenly distribute moisture throughout the entire home.
  • Automatic control with a humidistat.
  • Do not take up space in living areas.


  • Higher upfront cost.
  • Requires professional installation.
  • Additional maintenance is required.

Alternatives to Flow-Through Humidifiers

  • Portable humidifiers.
  • Built-in evaporative systems.
  • Steam vaporizers.
  • Smart WiFi-enabled humidifiers.


Vaporizer vs Warm Mist Humidifier ( 21 Answers-Updated )

Two peas in a pod. Six of one half dozen of the other. Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, must be a duck… These are all phrases that remind me of a Vaporizer vs Warm Mist Humidifier compared.

What is the difference between a Vaporizer and a Warm Mist Humidifier?

A warm mist humidifier is essentially the same product as a vaporizer. Only a Vaporizer typically comes with a chest rub additive to disseminate a soothing vapor into the air. Both the warm mist humidifier and a vaporizer use the method of boiling water to create steam. And steam happens to be a warm mist… A cool mist humidifier on the other hand does not create steam like a warm mist humidifier or vaporizer. It is a system of basically dispersing a cloud of fine water droplets into the air that are cool or at least room temperature.

Humidifier vs Vaporizer

Cool mist humidifiers according to Mayo clinic offer more relief for congestion and cold symptoms than warm mist humidifiers or vaporizers. Conclusion: Warm mist humidifier and vaporizer are two appliances that do the same thing. As humidity to the air through the creation of steam. A cool mist humidifier adds humidity to the air by dispersing cool humidity droplets into the air.

difference between Warm Mist Humidifier vs VaporizerWhat is a waterless vaporizer?

Imagine if you combined Vicks vapor rub with a Glade plug-in air freshener, That’s essentially what a waterless vaporizer is. If you are looking for a way to disperse Vicks vapor rub into the air without adding humidity through the air, Waterless vaporizers or an excellent product. And because most parents do not want to have a machine that is boiling water in their children’s room, waterless vaporizers are an excellent way to help your little ones breathe easier at night. Warning: Waterless vaporizers may not be safe for infants under 6 months old because they can be too strong and irritate their airways. Waterless vaporizers can also combine with a cool mist humidifier with no issues.

What’s the difference between a waterless vaporizer and a diffuser?

Both a waterless vaporizer and a diffuser disperse vapors into the air that can be beneficial and help with breathing. But the difference in price is somewhat significant. A waterless vaporizer is a convenient plugin that can be refilled easily for a small price. $12. On the flip side Although the diffuser itself is usually inexpensive, it does require essential oils to add in order to have something to disperse. That’s where the real price is. Some essential oils that are known to be good for colds and breathing like peppermint can run in the $30 range. Frankincense, another essential oil known for being very beneficial but can run in the $70 range just for the one oil.

Diffuser vs. HumidifierDiffuser vs. Humidifier

Do you get the feeling we’re going around in circles? Humidifiers and diffusers can share in a few functions but they are made for two different things. The humidifier is made to add humidity to the air and that is its primary function. A diffuser is made to disperse essential oils into the air and that is its central purpose. Where they have commonalities is that they are both made to help you breathe easier. And there are certain humidifiers that come with a tray to add essential oils making it essentially an essential oil diffuser / humidifier. Essentially… But though you can purchase a humidifier that can double as a diffuser, not all diffusers can return the favor. Here is the table comparing ultrasonic diffusers and nebulizers formatted in HTML:
Ultrasonic Diffuser Nebulizer
Mechanism of Action Uses ultrasonic vibrations to break down essential oils into micro-particles dispersed into the air. Uses compressed air to atomize medications into an inhalable mist.
Intended Use Aromatherapy – disperses essential oils into the air. Medical device to deliver medications directly to the lungs.
What They Diffuse Water and essential oils. Medications prescribed by a doctor, like asthma medications.
Particle Size Micrometer range. <5 microns to reach lower airways.
Treatment Effects Provides aromatherapy benefits. Delivers medications deeper into lungs to treat respiratory conditions.
Portability Available in portable, handheld battery or electric models. Available in portable, handheld battery or electric models.
Noise Level Very quiet. Noisier due to compressed air.

Ultrasonic diffuser vs nebulizer

Diffusers come in two different types. Ultrasonic and Nebulizer. Ultrasonic diffusers have a water basin that you fill with water and add your aromatherapy oils into. And just like a cool mist humidifier, it mist the air with tiny droplets of water. The difference is the water is combined with the scents. An ultrasonic diffuser can be used as a humidifier simply by leaving the oils out of the water. But.. A nebulizer diffuser does not use water and since the oils are not diluted in water, the nebulizer diffuser is much stronger. The takeaway is that if you’re wanting to combine the moisture of a humidifier with the therapeutic and medicinal effects of a diffuser, The only choice is the ultrasonic diffuser. What’s the Best choice? The Ultrasonic diffuser combines all the functions of a humidifier, a waterless vaporizer, and a essential oil diffuser. Of course, individually these appliances may have their strengths when bought separately, an ultrasonic diffuser who’s the best combination device to get the best out of all worlds. Do you want us to take it a step further? There is a device called a “Revitalizer” A revitalizer is a combination humidifier, essential oil diffuser, and air purifier. Imagine a humidifier that pulls air into a basin, slushes the water around to clean the air, then releases the air combined with essential oil aroma. That’s what a Revitalizer is and does. Still with me? How about an “Air washer”? Air washers are air purifiers that can clean the air up to about 250 square feet by using water as a filter. Air washers are also available with essential oils and double as humidifiers. But the caveat here is that both revitalizer and air washers supply their own essential oils that are formulated to not gum up any working parts on the machines. Sum it up So many machines that are so similar. Vaporizers, warm mist humidifiers, ultrasonic diffusers, waterless vaporizers, revitalizers, and air washers all share most of the same functions. They all add humidity to the air and they all diffuse aromas into the air. And with the revitalizer and air washer, you also have an air purifier to boot. As you can imagine, these machines all have their strengths when used individually. For instance, a vaporizer uses boiling water to create steam. That makes it a much cleaner machine and offers the benefits of steam to help with congestion. Ultrasonic diffuser vs nebulizerA nebulizer diffuser as an individual product is a much stronger aromatherapy diffuser than an ultrasonic diffuser that is combined with other functions. And a air washer is primarily an air purifier that can double as a humidifier with essential oil additives. But as a combination product I would choose an ultrasonic diffuser because it offers a good balance between humidifier and diffuser. And I would leave the air purification to other technologies that are much better at improving air quality than revitalizers. Q&A

Do warm mist humidifiers leave white dust?

Warm mist humidifiers do not release or leave white dust? The reason is, warm mist  humidifiers or vaporizers boil the water to create steam which essentially puts it through a distillation process. White dust from humidifiers comes from minerals and deposits in undistilled water. Do warm mist humidifiers use a lot of electricity? Warmest humidifiers or vaporizers compared to other types of humidifiers are the most expensive energy wise. But the initial cost is usually less expensive for a standalone vaporizer that doesn’t combine lots of extras.

Do warm mist humidifiers make the room warm?

Warm mist humidifiers or vaporizers create a sauna type atmosphere around the humidifier that can raise the temperature of the room, making the room feel warm, especially in the area surrounding the humidifier.

Do warm mist humidifiers cause mold?

Warmest humidifiers do not cause mold when correctly used. The purpose of a humidifier is to add moisture to the air when the atmosphere is too dry. Mold is caused by excessive humidity. A humidifier should be shut off when the humidity has reached 32-50%. A warm mist humidifier combined with a hydrometer or used with a hygrometer will not produce enough humidity for mold to take root.

Do warm mist humidifiers breed bacteria?

Warmest humidifiers or vaporizers breed less bacteria than other types of humidifiers because they boil water as a method of creating steam. The boiling process kills most bacteria in the process. But like any appliance that uses water that has a potential to sit, it must be clean regularly and emptied when not in use.

Does a cool mist humidifier make the room cold?

Cool mist humidifiers create a cool breeze directly in front of the humidifier. But the amount of cool mist it creates is not enough to change the temperature or cool off an entire room.

Can you overuse a humidifier?

The way to overuse a humidifier is to keep it running once the optimal humidity in a room is reached. Continuing to use a humidifier when the humidity is already adequate, you risk over humidifying which can lead to mold production and dust mites.

Can a vaporizer cause headaches?

A vaporizer will not cause headaches because it is basically a machine that emits steam. But some people can be sensitive to the additives like Vicks or eucalyptus because they contain camfor which is a strong methylated smell.

Can I add lemon juice to my humidifier?

Lemon juice is a great additive to put in humidifier water because it will not gum up any parts  and will add a fresh citrus fragrance to the air. It will also aid with hindering mold and bacteria growth and is an excellent natural way to reduce mold and bacteria.

Does a vaporizer increase humidity?

Vaporizers increase the humidity in a room by manufacturing and emitting steam into the air. Vaporizers are also called warm mist humidifiers. The primary function of a humidifier is to increase the humidity in a room.

Can I use essential oil in an ultrasonic humidifier?

You can put essential oils in an ultrasonic humidifier provided the humidifier is outfitted with an oil scent tray. Putting oils directly into the water is not advised because of the chance and likelihood of clogging.

What’s the difference between a Waterless vaporizer and a humidifier?

The difference between a humidifier and a waterless vaporizer is that the primary function of a humidifier is to add moisture to the air in a room. Whereas the primary function of a waterless vaporizer is to disperse medicated aromas is like Vicks into the air. A waterless vaporizer does not add any moisture to the air whatsoever.

What is the healthiest type of humidifier?

The healthiest type of humidifier is a humidifier that:
  • Uses Anti-Mold Materials or is equipped with ultraviolet light
  • Is equipped with a hygrometer and automatically shuts off when the optimal humidity level is reached.
  • Is capable of producing cool mist humidity or warm mist humidity
  • Has an aromatherapy tray to medicinal oils such as eucalyptus

Is warm or cool Mist humidifier best for sinuses?

Both a warm mist humidifier and a cool mist humidifier has their advantages when it comes to helping with sinus relief. A cool mist humidifier can help ease a dry nasal cavity quickly. But a warm mist humidifier can be used with essential oils that add medicinal properties to the air that aid with sinus relief. Cool mist humidifiers are usually better for sleeping but also have the greater advantage of producing mold and bacteria which can be an irritant to your sinuses.

Can a warm mist humidifier make you sick?

A warm mist humidifier has a lesser chance of making a person sick because it is able to keep mold and bacteria from growing in it easier than a cool mist humidifier. Any humidifier has a chance of making a person sick when it is under maintained or has been allowed to have water sit stagnant in it. Humidifiers require astute attention to maintenance and cleaning or they can become a source of illness and discomfort other than being the relief they are intended to be. Using a humidifier, regardless of whether it is a warm mist or a cool mist,  when the humidity is already adequate can also add too much humidity to a room which can promote mold and become a source of food for dust mites. Which both are known to be household allergens.

Does a vaporizer help sore throat?

A vaporizer can help a sore dry throat because it adds moisture to the air and dry air can be a big component of a sore throat. Furthermore, Vaporizers usually have an aromatherapy tray or compartment that you can add a medicinal oil or salve. Many essential oils that provide relief from cold symptoms are menthol based and can be compared to the same ingredients in throat lozenges. Vaporizers can supply a similar type of relief from sore throat.

Ozoning a House? Do’s and Dont’s

Ozoning a house can  produce good results when used properly. And produce some not so desirable effects when not properly employed.

How to use an ozone generator at home.

  1. Do not operate around people, animals, or plants.
  2. Use caution tape to clearly identify the area as a “Do Not Enter” zone.
  3. Let the ozone completely dissipate before re-entering the area. At least 30 minutes.
  4. Outlet Timer. Use a timer to turn the unit on and off. most ozone generators come outfitted with a timer, but if yours does not have one, you can use an outlet timer.
  5. Remove flammable gases. Though ozone is not flammable, it can help accelerate a fire if one were to break out.
  6. No smoking in the area
  7. Remove your clothes from the closet(s). The number 1 complaint about ozoning  a house is getting the smell of ozone out of your clothes.

    Getting the best results out of a ozone generator.

    1.Use the appropriate size generator for your area.

    Too small of an ozone machine will not accomplish much and only make the air unbreathable.

    Using too large of an ozone generator will increase the amount of time you will need to wait before re-entering the area.

    2.  Vacuum the carpets. getting the smell out of the carpets will be much easier if there is not debris and dust all over them.

    3. Mop floors and wipe down surfaces.

    The same principle as vacuuming the floors. Ozone will have a much easier time getting rid of deep smells if it doesn’t have to get through a film of dirt or grime.

    4.  Center the ozone machine in the middle of the room.

    5.  Start small. It is always better to use the machine for a shorter time then check the results.

    6. You can always run it again and turn it up a little if you need.

    The problem with ozone not dissipating the way it should can linked to too much ozone being blasted for too long.

    According to some experts, you can get into an arena where VOCs begin to break up and form other types of gases when exposed to heavy ozone too long.

    This is not result you’re after. It is much better to start small then have to deal with a problem like that.

    ozoning a houseHow long does it take ozone to dissipate after you use a ozone generator?

    The best answer is to err on the safe side and give it a few hours to ensure your safety.

    As you may guess, the answer varies with both strength of the generator and the length of time it is operated.

    That being said, ozone has a short life and most experts agree that it will revert back to breathable oxygen in about 30 minutes.

    Do ozone generators remove cigarette smoke odor?

    Yes. Ozone will oxidize the over 4000 chemicals that make up cigarette smoke and eliminate the lingering smell.

    Cigarette and cigar odors tend to travel to every nook and cranny they can find.
    And because of the tar residue that that is part of tobacco smoke, it adheres to everything, especially carpets, drapes, and furniture.

    That’s why cigarette and smoke odors seem so hard to get rid of and keep lingering on for years.

    Ozone will travel in a similar path as cigarette  smoke and break down the the molecules that are causing the odor, even the molecules that have glued their self to your furniture.

    Automobiles that have been used by smokers that smoked inside their vehicles can have a very persistent third hand smoke presence.

    Detailers use ozone to return a vehicle back to a new car smell that people love.
    XPOWER M-25 Axial Air Mover w/ Ozone Generator

    Does ozone kill bugs?

    Yes. Ozone will kill bugs when it is used but it is a temporary solution at best.  It does not take the place of a regular exterminator or a plan to keep bugs from coming back.

    Ozone is primarily used as an odor remover.

    And though any bugs that get trapped in the area while the room is being treated with ozone will be killed,

    Once the ozone has dissipated, the bugs will be back. Most bugs will just run away while the room is being treated, and come back when the coast is clear.

    Some more thoughts:

    • Ozone can kill bugs and bed bugs that are directly exposed during the ozonation process. However, it does not penetrate deeply into cracks, crevices, mattresses, etc. where bugs may be hiding.

    • Any bugs not in the immediate treatment area will likely survive and re-enter later. Ozone dissipates quickly once generation stops.

    • Ozone should not be seen as a full bed bug treatment on its own. It can help deactivate some bugs, but further chemical and heat treatments would still be required.

    • For other pest bugs like roaches, ants, etc. ozone may kill some adults and nymphs, but does not destroy nests/colonies or prevent re-infestation.

    • Ozone’s bug killing power is limited by its short half-life and inability to reach bugs in hidden areas. It can help temporarily but is not a complete bug treatment method.

    • Repeat ozone treatments would be required to attempt any ongoing control of pests. But the risks may outweigh limited benefits compared to conventional insecticide applications by professionals.

    • Overall, ozone has some bug killing capability, but should only be seen as a supplemental tool for temporary deactivation, not a stand-alone bug elimination solution.

    Does Ozone kill bed bugs?

    It is the same with bedbugs as any other bugs, If they are trapped in the room with the ozone, they will die.

    But when the ozone is dissipated they will come out of every outlet and nook and cranny.

    Ozone is not a good solution for bed bugs.

    Ozone Mold

    A Ozone generator will kill any exposed mold or fungus in the room it is operated in. Any airborne mold spores will be a goner.

    But similar to the effect you get with insects is what you get with mold.

    If you have a problem with mold before you use the ozone generator, you will still have a problem afterwards.

    Ozone will only treat the symptoms.
    It will not do any physical cleanup or identify and fix the original problem.

    Nor will it travel through to the inside of the wall cavities, where a great deal of mold can be found.

    Mold is primarily a moisture problem inside of the house or building. Until you find the source of the moisture and fix it, any type of cleaning is just going to be a temporary fix.

    Will ozone work on cat urine?

    The answer is mostly no. Cat urine typically gets deep down into the carpet underneath the floorboards.

    Ozone is a topical oxidizer and doesn’t get underneath the carpet or inside the walls.

    There are different oxidizer solutions you can put on cat urine if the problem is not too extreme.

    But you should be prepared to rip the carpet out if you have a strong stench.

    Ozone Generator Applications

    1.  Hotel rooms.

    A smoking room can be transformed into a non-smoking room.

    A non-smoking room that has been smoked in can be restored.

    Cooking smells. Many hotels come with kitchenettes that can produce strong lingering odors. A ozone generator can oxidize the strong odors and return the room to freshness.

    Bacteria, germs, and viruses.
    The amount of traffic a hotel room sees can leave all sorts of nasty germs. Ozone can sanitize everything in the room.

    2.  Vehicles

    Cigarette and cigar odors can permanently saturate the inside of a car or truck.
    Auto detailers can use a ozone generator to completely remove the smell of third hand smoke from the inside of the cab of the vehicle.

    3.  House flipping and rental remediation.

    The smell left behind from a tenant or previous owner that was a inside smoker,  can leave a big imprint on a property that is being flipped or rented.

    Ozone can remove the smell of smoke from walls and floors leaving the house free of smoke smells

    4.Mold remediation.
    Selling or renting a house with mold issues will bring down the value drastically.

    Once the source of the mold is identified and fixed, an ozone generator can be used to clear out mold spores as well as the musky smell left behind
    Here is a 20 question FAQ in HTML format for the original article about using ozone generators at home:

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. How long does ozone last?

    Ozone has a relatively short half-life and will typically revert back to regular oxygen within 30 minutes to 1 hour after generation stops.

    2. Does ozone remove VOCs?

    Yes, ozone is effective at oxidizing and destroying VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which cause odors.

    3. Is ozone safe for pets?

    No, pets should be removed from the area during ozonation. Ozone can be toxic to animals if inhaled at high concentrations.

    4. What smells does ozone remove?

    Ozone can eliminate odors from smoke, mold, mildew, paint, pets, cooking, and more. It oxidizes the odor molecules.

    5. Does ozone kill black mold?

    Ozone will kill mold spores on surfaces, but does not penetrate behind walls or under materials to treat mold roots.

    6. Can ozone remove cigarette smell?

    Yes, ozone is highly effective at permanently removing even stubborn cigarette smoke smells from rooms.

    7. Does ozone kill germs?

    Yes, ozone is a strong disinfectant and can kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms through oxidation.

    8. How long should you ozone a room?

    Start with short treatment times of 20-30 minutes. Length depends on ozone concentration and size of space.

    9. Is ozone bad to breathe?

    Inhaling concentrated ozone can be dangerous. Rooms should be well ventilated before re-entry after ozonating.

    10. Will ozone remove pet urine smell?

    Ozone has limited effects on urine odors that have soaked into porous materials like carpet and padding.

    11. Does ozone kill bed bugs?

    Ozone exposure will kill bed bugs, but does not penetrate deeply into cracks and crevices to reach all bugs.

    12. Can ozone generators catch fire?

    Poorly made ozone plates can overheat and pose a fire risk. Units should carry ETL or UL safety certification.

    13. Is ozone harmful to plants?

    Yes, ozone can damage plant health. All plants and gardens should be removed or sealed off during ozonation.

    14. Does ozone remove smoke smell?

    Ozone is highly effective at permanently eliminating odors caused by cigarette, cigar, and tobacco smoke.

    15. How do you get rid of ozone smell?

    The pungent ozone smell dissipates in under an hour. Baking soda or charcoal filters can help absorb any lingering odor.

    16. Is ozone safe for the environment?

    Ozone can harm lungs and plants. But it converts back to oxygen quickly to minimize environmental impact.

    17. Can ozone remove musty smell?

    Yes, ozone is effective against musty odors from mold, mildew, and dampness through oxidation of odor molecules.

    18. Does ozone kill roaches?

    Ozone has limited impact on roaches, killing some adults but not reaching egg casings or nesting areas.

    19. How often should you ozone your house?

    Occasional spot treatments for odor removal may be beneficial. But regular whole home ozonation is not recommended.

    20. Is ozone better than bleach?

    Ozone is a gas that can penetrate the air to destroy odors, while bleach is a liquid disinfectant ideal for surfaces.

    Let me know if you would like me to modify or add to this ozone FAQ in any way. I can also format it differently or provide the questions and answers separately.

Also this: What Does Ozone Smell Like? 

  1. Also this: Air Ionizer Dangers

23-Highest Oxygen Producing Air Purifying Plants

Want to improve your indoor air quality and add some green to your home? Certain houseplants are natural air purifiers, removing toxins and producing oxygen to create a healthier home environment.

This article features 23 of the top oxygen producing, air purifying plants to clean your air. We’ve compiled tips and details on the best plants to filter out pollutants like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.

You’ll learn which plants produce the most oxygen, which are best for different rooms and times of day, and some quick facts on where these plants get their unique names. With the right plants, you can easily turn your home into a cleaner, greener, and healthier space.

Let’s take a look at some of nature’s best air-purifying plants and how to successfully grow them in your house or apartment.

Highest Oxygen Producing PlantsPlants that Release Oxygen at NightIndoor Plants that Clean the Air and Remove Toxins
1. Peace Lily1. Peace Lily1. Devil’s Ivory
2. Aloe Vera2. Spider Plant2. Peace Lily
3. Mother-In-Law’s Tongue3. Orchid3. Boston Fern
4. Areca Palm4. Snake Plant4. Aloe Vera
5. Gerbera Daisy 5. Flamingo Flower
6. Rubber Plant 6. Lady Palm
7. Weeping Fig 7. English Ivy
8. Chrysanthemums 8. Snake Plant
  9. Dracaena
  10. Weeping Fig
  11. Dwarf Date Palm
  12. Spider Plant
  13. Rubber Plant
  14. Areca Palm
  15. Chinese Evergreen
  16. Bamboo Palm
  17. Philodendron
  18. Chrysanthemum
  19. Pineapple Plant
  20. Kimberly Queen Fern
  21. Gerbera Daisy
  22. Spider Plant
  23. Money Plant
  24. Orchid

Epipremnum aureum - Devil's Ivory/Golden Pathos1.Epipremnum aureum – Devil’s Ivory/Golden Pathos

It’s called devil’s ivy because it’s near impossible to kill and it retains its green color even in the dark.

Golden pathos as it’s also called is a highly oxygenating house plant that according to NASA’s study is natural air purifier responsible for removing such toxic substances as:

Pollutants removed

  • Benzene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Xylene
  • Trichloroethylene

Spathiphllum -Peace Lily2.Spathiphllum –Peace Lily

Peace lily basically means “spoon leaves” in Greek. But it is also become a recognized symbol for the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is popular during the Easter season and funerals.

Peace lily is also a top 10 NASA researched house plant that is responsible for air purification.

Pollutants removed

  • Benzene
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Xylene
  • Trichloroethylene

Nephrolepis exaltata v. Bostoniesis - Boston fernNephrolepis exaltata v. Bostoniesis –
Boston fern

How did the Boston fern get its name?
Apparently a Floridian nurseryman named John sear loved the look of the common sword fern so much that he sent his friend located in Boston so many that it took on the name Boston fern. Ok then…

Boston fern is a Hardy house plant that makes the list of air purifying plants responsible for removing dangerous gases from the air.

Pollutants removed

  • Formaldehyde
  • Xylene

barbadensis -Aloe veraA. Carbadensis –Aloe vera

Aloe Vera is also called the burn plant because of its medicinal properties that lend it to being good for treating Burns.
It is easily the most popular of all “first aid plants” and there’s not too many of us that don’t at least have a bottle of Aloe Vera sunscreen somewhere.

It also makes the list of highly oxygenating plants that are capable of purifying the air.

Pollutants removed

  • Formaldehyde

Anthurium andraeanum -Flamingo LilyAnthurium andraeanum –Flamingo Lily

Flamingo Lily or flower is also known as painters palette. It’s striking beauty is its calling card. It’s red pointed leaves almost look like they have been painted with nail polish.

But beauty isn’t everything and flamingo flowers have another allure.
They are one of nature’s top air purifiers.

Pollutants removed

  • Toluene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Xylene
  • Ammonia

Rhapis excelsa - Lady PalmRhapis excelsa – Lady Palm

Lady Palm is also called bamboo palm because of its likeness to bamboo.

Lady Palm makes an excellent and elegant house plant that grows best and like to heavy shade. And because of the denseness of it, it also makes a great privacy barrier.

As part of NASA’s indoor air plant plant study, Lady Palm has also been outed for its excellent natural air purification.

Pollutants removed

  • Formaldehyde
  • Xylene
  • Ammonia

Hedera helix - English IvyHedera helix – English Ivy

The English ivy is called exactly that if you are in North America, but if you are in it’s native environment, it would be called The Irish ivy or the Atlantic ivy.
Ivy is actually a word that means eternity, which can describe the evergreen nature of the English ivy well. It’s popularly known as a climber that can get up to 100 ft tall.

It also lands on NASA’s list of air purifying plants at number one. The top dog.

Pollutants removed

  • Formaldehyde
  • Benzene

Sansevieria -Mother-in-law's tongue / snake plantSansevieria –Mother-in-law’s tongue / snake plant

This plant has the most descriptive names that it goes by, and each one describe it very well.

Not only does the plant look like snakes that are being charmed and coming out of a basket, the leaves resemble swords that could fit right in St George’s hand.

Snake plant is one of those house plants that takes care of itself and needs very little attention.

It is also known to release oxygen at night making it a excellent house plant to keep in your bedroom.

Pollutants removed

  • Formaldehyde
  • Benzene
  • Xylene
  • Trichloroethylene

Dracaena Deremensis - Dracaena /Janet CraigDracaena Deremensis – Dracaena /Janet Craig

Dracaena is Greek for female dragon, which conjures images of a mythical origin. But the other name that goes by is Janet Craig. Which doesn’t exactly fit into the theme of a mystical fiery dragon.

But Miss Janet turns out to be a excellent house plant to help filter out airborne contaminants in your home.

Pollutants removed

  • Formaldehyde
  • Xylene
  • Trichloroethylene

Ficus Benjamina - weeping figFicus Benjamina – weeping fig

The Weeping fig gets its name from its sensitive temperament.
The ficus weeping fig is a delicate house plant that does not like to be moved. And when it does get moved, it’s leaves can start falling off like tears.

It is also said that Buddha became enlightened under a fig tree. Who knows?
But what we do know is that it is a excellent oxygenating house plant that can help purify your air.

Contaminants removed

  • Formaldehyde
  • Benzene
  • Trichloroethylene

Phoenix roebelenii - pygmy date palm/Dwarf Phoenix roebelenii – pygmy date palm/Dwarf 

Also called the dwarf date palm, the pygmy date is a much shorter palm tree hence the name pygmy which implies smaller.
One interesting feature that dwarf date palms have is what looks to be a pineapple at the base of the palms when it is pruned.

Dwarf date palms have been found to remove toxins from the air including:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Xylene

Chlorophytum comosum -Spider plantChlorophytum comosum –Spider plant

Spider plant is usually assumed to get its name from the spidery look of the plant. But the actual truth is entirely different.

Spider plant gets its name because it was once believed to be an antidote for spider bites. And not because anyone has ever been cured by a spider plant, but because it is easily mistaken for another plant, St Bernard’s Lily, that does have a history of being used as a treatment for spider bites…

Spider plants are one of the easiest plants to take care of which makes it a great house plant for beginners.

It also makes NASA’s list of natural household air purifiers with the capacity to filter:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Xylene

Ficus elastica - rubber plantFicus elastica – rubber plant

Rubber plan is another plant that you may assume that gets its name from the rubbery look of its leaves. Nope.

Rubber actually refers to the sap of the rubber plant that has a history of being used for making rubber.

One of the more striking plants, it can reach the ceiling within a few years with regular pruning.

As a indoor air purifying plant, it is able to help remove airborne contaminants like:

  • Benzene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Xylene
  • Trichloroethylene

Dypsis lutescens- butterfly Palm/ Areca palmDypsis lutescens- butterfly Palm/ Areca palm

The Areca palm there’s also called a butterfly Palm which gives a hint to how it is named. Its name is a reference to how it’s leaves bend upwards and flare around creating a butterfly look.

As part of NASA’s 50 household plants researched for their air purification qualities, Areca/ butterfly Palm is a large house plant that came in at the top of the list.

Contaminants removed

  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Benzene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Xylene
  • Trichloroethylene

Aglaonema modestum - Chinese evergreenAglaonema modestum – Chinese evergreen

Chinese evergreen is considered to be a good luck plant in its native China.
It is also called painted drop tongue or Silver Queen. Both which refer to its Silvery painted leaves with a green border.

Chinese evergreen makes an excellent apartment house plant because of it’s need of low-level light and it’s capacity as a natural air purifier.

Contaminants that the Chinese evergreen removes are:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Xylene

Chamaedorea seifrizii - Bamboo palmChamaedorea seifrizii – Bamboo palm

Bamboo palm resembles bamboo at the stems with rings around the trunk thus giving it it’s simple descriptive name. It’s leaves or distinctively deep green which give it a tropic foliage appearance.

Though not hard to take care of, they can easily outgrow you and get up to 12 ft tall.

As a natural air purifier, bamboo palm can filter the following airborne contaminants:

  • Benzene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Trichloroethylene

PhilodendronPhilodendron Philodendron

Philodendron goes by the name “Philodendron”. Who needs a nickname?

Philodendron is a beautiful plant with large imposing leaves. It also could be considered a “mothering” plant because it produces cataphylls that are leaves that are modified to protect new forming leaves.

It is one of NASA’s top 50 plants for removing formaldehyde in the home.

Chrysanthemums MumsChrysanthemums Mums

Chrysanthemums are known for their exquisite beauty and in some cultures symbolize long life and rebirth, but in some parts of Europe they symbolize death. And are only used and given out is a symbol of grief or bereavement.

With more heritage than your average floral, they have also become known as one of the best natural air purifiers for your home.

Keeping chrysanthemums around can help reduce airborne pollutants like:

  • Ammonia
  • Benzene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Xylene

Ananas Comosus Pineapple plantAnanas Comosus Pineapple plant

Pineapple, neither a pine or an apple. It’s actually a group of berries that have amalgamated. Pineapple plant can take up to 2 years to create one single pineapple.

The pineapple plant absorb CO2 and releases oxygen at night. This capacity to increase air quality at night has made it a “miracle cure” for snoring.

And if you’re lucky enough to live in a high altitude, you may eventually enjoy a slice of pineapple after you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

Nephrolepis obliterata -Kimberly Queen fernNephrolepis obliterata –Kimberly Queen fern

Kimberly Queen fern also goes by the name Australian sword fern and as you may have guessed it originates in Australia. Kimberly Queen is merely the trade name for the species.

Kimberly Queen fern grows best in high humidity so it’s capacity to reduce airborne pollutants that can be greater in areas with high humidity, make it not only a beautiful fanning plant but a excellent natural indoor air purifier.

Contaminants removed

  • Benzene
  • Formaldehyde

Gerbera jamesonii - gerbera daisyGerbera jamesonii – gerbera daisy

The Cabrera Daisy gets its name after a naturalist in the 1970s named Traugott Gerber. Who named after the German botanist, it was actually hey Scott’s man named Robert Jameson that was responsible for discovering the flower.

Gerbera daisies are not only bright and colorful they are great for filtering your air and release their oxygen at night.

Air pollutants removed

  • Benzene
  • Trichloroethylene

Crassula ovata- Money PlantCrassula ovata- Money Plant

The origins of how money plant gets its name range from the leaves look like silver dollars to the belief that the plant brings you luck which in turn brings you wealth.

Also called the jade plant, money plant absorbs CO2 and releases oxygen at night. It is also a NASA researched air purifier that can reduce chemicals like:

  • Benzene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Xylene
  • Toluene

Orchidaceae -OrchidOrchidaceae –Orchid

How did the orchid get its name? A little shocking.

The story goes that Orhis in Greek mythology was the son of a nymph and a satyr. On the occasion of a festival of Dionysus, he became belligerently drunk and attempted to rape a priestess. For this, the God’s turned him into a flower.

Orchids absorb carbon monoxide at night and release oxygen as well as filters xylene from the air.

Making them an excellent plant for your bedroom.

Does that mean that Orchis was repentant and decided to become a giver instead of a taker?


1. What are some of the best air purifying plants?

Some top air purifying plants are peace lily, snake plant, aloe vera, English ivy, and philodendron. NASA research has shown these are very effective at removing pollutants like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from indoor air.

2. Which plants are best for bedrooms?

The best plants for bedrooms are those that release oxygen at night like peace lily, spider plant, orchid, and snake plant. Having these plants in the bedroom improves air quality while you sleep.

3. Do all houseplants purify air?

No, not all houseplants are effective air purifiers. Some great air purifying plants are ferns, palms, peace lilies, aloe vera, and rubber plants. Choosing plants from NASA’s list of top air purifiers ensures you get plants that actively filter toxins.

4. Where should I place air purifying plants?

Place air purifying plants in rooms where you spend a lot of time, like living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. Grouping several plants together boosts their air cleaning power.

5. How often should I water air purifying plants?

Watering depends on the specific plant and conditions in your home. Check each plant’s soil before watering and water when the top inch is dry. Most indoor plants need watering every 1-2 weeks.

6. Should air purifying plants be kept in sunlight?

Most air purifiers thrive in bright, indirect light. Some, like snake plants and orchids, tolerate lower light. Avoid direct hot sunlight, which can scorch leaves.

7. Can air purifying plants be harmful to pets?

Some plants like aloe vera and orchids are pet safe, but others like peace lily are toxic for cats and dogs. Check toxicity before bringing a new plant home if you have pets.

8. What’s the best air purifying plant for a small apartment?

Snake plants, spider plants, and philodendron are compact, tolerate low light, and efficiently purify air, making them great choices for small spaces.

9. Should air purifying plants be kept indoors or outdoors?

These plants are intended for indoor use to purify and enhance home air quality. You can place them outside for summer but bring them back in before temps drop below 65°F.

10. How often should indoor air purifying plants be fertilized?

Fertilize every 2-3 months in spring and summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength. Don’t fertilize in fall and winter when plants are dormant.

11. What are the easiest air purifying plants to care for?

Some of the easiest air purifying plants are philodendron, pothos, spider plant, bamboo palm, peace lily, and snake plant which adapt well to indoor conditions with minimal care.

12. Should I get air purifying plants as cut flowers or potted plants?

Get air purifying plants as potted, live plants. Cut flowers don’t actively purify air and live longer in soil where they can grow larger to increase air cleaning capacity.

13. How many air purifying plants should I get for my home?

Get at least 1-2 plants per 100 square feet. The more plants, the better the air purification. Aim for 5-10 plants in a standard 1,000 square foot home for significantly cleaner air.

14. Do air purifying plants remove odors?

Yes, many air purifying plants help remove odors like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene that pollute indoor air. Plants help create cleaner, fresher indoor air.

15. Do air purifying plants increase humidity?

As plants release water vapor through their leaves, called transpiration, they can increase humidity levels slightly. This helps counteract the dry air caused by heating and air conditioning.

16. Can air purifying plants make me sick?

No, air purifying plants improve air quality by reducing pollutants. They don’t release any toxic compounds. Ensure plants are pest and disease free and properly cared for.

17. Do air purifying plants reduce CO2 at night?

Yes! Plants switch to taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen at night, reducing CO2 levels in your home while you sleep.

18. Do air purifying plants require special care?

Air purifiers don’t require special care beyond their individual water, light, and fertilization needs. Ensure pots have drainage holes and use well-draining soil.

19. Where can I buy air purifying plants?

You can find a great selection of air purifying plants at your local garden center, nursery, or hardware store. Many big box stores and online retailers also carry them.

20. Are air purifying plants safe for children and pets?

Many air purifiers like bamboo palm, orchid, and aloe vera are non-toxic for kids and pets. Check plant toxicity before bringing a new plant home or keep them out of reach of children and animals.

Bypass Humidifiers: The Complete Guide to Integrated Whole Home Humidification

Bypass Humidifiers: A Buyer’s Guide

This article on bypass humidifiers is part of our series focused on the different types of whole house humidification systems.

We highly recommend checking out our main guide that provides an overview and comparison of the key features for all the major whole house humidifier options.
This article will specifically cover bypass humidifier technology, pros and cons, typical applications, installation and maintenance recommendations.

Bypass humidifiers are one type of whole home system that gets installed into a home’s HVAC ductwork. They work by adding moisture into the air stream when the humidity drops below a set level, as measured by the humidistat. Excess water gets channeled back into the plenum via a bypass duct to prevent over-humidification.

Below we’ll dig into the details on how bypass humidifiers function, their benefits and downsides, tips for proper installation and maintenance, the top brands, and recommendations for choosing the right unit.

How Bypass Humidifiers Work

Process Description
Water supply Water is supplied to the humidifier from a home’s plumbing
Evaporation The water is evaporated into steam
Distribution Steam is injected into the HVAC system’s supply ductwork
Humidity control A humidistat monitors and adjusts moisture levels

Bypass humidifiers integrate into the ductwork of a home’s forced air heating and cooling system. They consist of a water panel or pad installed horizontally across the supply plenum, often using a duct tee fitting. Some key features:

  • Bypass duct – Excess water gets channeled here rather than into the air stream. Prevents saturation.
  • Water panel – Absorbs water from the tray and evaporates it into the airstream when humidification needed.
  • Solenoid valve – Controls water flow into the tray based on humidistat reading.
  • Humidistat – Senses relative humidity and signals the solenoid when moisture needed.

As air passes from the HVAC system into the supply plenum, it flows through the humidifier water panel when the humidistat determines moisture needs to be added.
Excess water gets funneled into the bypass duct so only the required amount of humidity gets into the home.

Benefits of Bypass Humidifiers

Bypass humidifiers have some notable benefits:

  • Energy efficient – The bypass prevents over-humidification which wastes energy trying to cool excess moisture.
  • Prevent condensation – The controlled moisture level also minimizes window condensation issues.
  • Effective for multi-level homes – Duct integration allows even humidity on all floors.
  • Automated maintenance – New models have auto-flushing and cleaning features.
  • Variety of capacities – Units sized for homes 2,000 – 6,500+ sq ft.
  • Flexibility – Can work with hot water or steam heating systems.

Potential Downsides

The downsides of bypass humidifiers include:

  • Higher install cost – $500-$1,500 range for equipment and professional installation.
  • Need HVAC expertise – Proper integration into existing ducts is crucial and requires a specialist.
  • Ongoing maintenance – Water panels need replacement every 1-2 years. Annual cleaning required.
  • Older homes may need ductwork upgrades – Bypass systems require adequate space and airflow.
  • Not as customizable – One unit for whole home, not room-by-room control.

Typical Bypass Humidifier Applications

Some common uses of bypass humidifiers include:

  • Whole home humidification in cold winter climates where low moisture is a constant issue.
  • Maintaining humidity in large, multi-story houses where portable units are insufficient.
  • Commercial buildings like offices, hospitals, schools, museums to evenly humidify all connected spaces.
  • Homes with updated, sufficient HVAC systems for integrating the humidifier.
  • New home construction where ductwork can be designed to optimize humidifier performance.

Bypass Humidifier Maintenance Tips

Maintenance Task Frequency
Replace water panel Annually
Clean water supply line Annually
Check drain lines Twice a year
Inspect steam distribution Annually
Clean humidistat Annually


  • Professional installation is recommended to properly integrate the humidifier into existing ductwork. Costs range from $200-$600.
  • Absorption panels or pads require replacement every 1-2 humidifying seasons. DIY’able but messy job.
  • Annual cleaning to flush out mineral deposits and debris in the water tray.
  • Inspecting for leaks around plumbing and duct connections. Seal any cracks found.
  • Checking that bypass flaps/dampers are functioning properly each season.

Top Bypass Humidifier Brands

Some of the top names in bypass humidifiers include:

  • Aprilaire – Leading manufacturer, range of capacities and features. Models like the Aprilaire 600M suitable for many homes.
  • Honeywell – Reliable bypass humidifiers like the TrueSTEAM, integrated humidistat. Known for quality and support.
  • DregeSteam – Commercial grade humidifiers built to handle large spaces. Higher price tag but robust construction.
  • Carrier – Strong reputation in HVAC, bypass models integrate well with Carrier systems.
  • Trane – Similar to Carrier, Trane bypass humidifiers pair best with their heating/cooling systems.

Key Considerations for Choosing a Bypass Humidifier

  • Size the humidifier based on square footage, number of levels, and desired humidity range. Check manufacturer sizing guides.
  • Evaluate your home’s current HVAC system – age, capacity, layout – to ensure compatibility.
  • Consider automation features, capacity, run time, plumbing fittings, warranty period, and brand reputation.
  • For DIY installers, Aprilaire and Honeywell have models feasible for self-installation if you have HVAC expertise.
  • Budget for professional install costs if not doing it yourself. And remember to factor in ongoing maintenance expenses.

Installing a Bypass Humidifier: A DIY Guide

While professional installation is recommended, it is possible for handy homeowners with HVAC skills to install their own bypass humidifier. Here are the steps involved:


  • Review the manual and installation diagram for your specific model. Account for any unique specifications.
  • Confirm your HVAC system has adequate airflow and space in the plenum for the humidifier and bypass.

Mounting the Humidifier

  • Turn off power and water supply before beginning work.
  • Select the plenum installation location, typically high on the supply side.
  • Cut a rectangular opening per dimensions in the plenum using tin snips.
  • Mount the bypass tee fitting aligned with the plenum opening. Use sheet metal screws.
  • Set the humidifier cabinet in place and secure using mounting flanges and screws.

Water and Drain Connections

  • Attach the drain line tubing from the bypass outlet to the condensate pump line or HVAC drain port using provided hose clamps.
  • Connect the water supply line to the fill valve using compression fitting.

Ductwork and Wiring

  • Attach ductwork to the humidifier outlets and bypass tee outlet. Seal with aluminum tape.
  • Connect wiring harness to humidistat control panel and power supply wire to 120V source.

Startup and Testing

  • Reconnect power and water. Check for leaks and proper water flow.
  • Power on the humidifier to verify humidistat, solenoid and fan operation.
  • Adjust humidistat to desired relative humidity setpoint.

Take precautions working in tight plenums and allow time for careful installation. Follow all safety procedures when brazing, soldering, or cutting ductwork.


Overall, bypass humidifiers are an effective whole home solution when properly installed and maintained. The controllable moisture output and duct integration allows them to efficiently humidify homes in cold winter climates while minimizing window condensation issues. Just be prepared for the higher upfront investment and eventually replacing water panels. With a quality bypass humidifier from a reputable brand, you can maintain optimal humidity for many years.


How does a bypass humidifier work?

Bypass humidifiers have a water panel installed in the supply plenum that adds moisture into the airstream when the humidistat reads that humidification is needed. Excess water gets channeled into a bypass duct so levels don’t get too high.

What does a bypass humidifier do in an HVAC system?

A bypass humidifier integrates into a home’s ductwork to add moisture during heating cycles based on the humidistat reading. This balances humidity levels in the living space.

Where is the best place to install a bypass humidifier?

Bypass humidifiers are typically installed high on the supply plenum or ductwork so gravity helps excess water flow into the bypass duct as designed.

What maintenance is required on a bypass humidifier?

You’ll need to replace the water panel or pad about every 1-2 years. Annual cleaning to flush out mineral deposits is also recommended.

Are bypass humidifiers energy efficient?

Yes, bypass technology only adds the specific amount of moisture needed, minimizing energy waste from over-humidifying.

How long does a bypass humidifier last?

With proper maintenance like replacing pads and cleaning, a bypass humidifier will typically last 5-10 years before needing full replacement.

What size bypass humidifier do I need?

Check manufacturer sizing guides based on square footage and desired humidity range. Also account for home construction, number of stories, and HVAC capacity.

How much does it cost to install a bypass humidifier?

Expect $500-$1500 total for the unit and professional installation. DIY installation can reduce costs but requires HVAC expertise.

Can I install a bypass humidifier myself?

Some DIY-friendly models from Aprilaire and Honeywell allow self-installation with proper HVAC knowledge. But specialized tools and skills are needed.

Do bypass humidifiers waste water?

Minimally. The bypass recirculates excess water rather than wasting it, and the humidistat only activates humidification when needed.

Drum Humidifiers: A Buyer’s Guide

Drum Humidifiers: A Buyer’s Guide

This article on drum humidifiers is part of a series examining the different types of whole house humidification systems.

Our main guide provides an overview of the key differences between all the major whole house options.

This specific guide will provide a buyer’s guide focused on drum humidifiers – how they work, pros and cons, maintenance tips, and recommendations.

Please check our other individual humidifier type articles to help determine the best whole home humidification solution for your needs.

How Drum Humidifiers Work

Drum humidifiers contain a drum or cylinder that holds replaceable evaporative filter pads or belts.

A motor rotates the drum to expose the pads or belts to the air flow. A fan then blows air through the moistened pads, releasing water vapor into the home’s ductwork to humidify the air.

Component Function
Rotating drum Holds evaporative media pads or belts
Evaporative media Absorb and release water vapor when air passes through
Fan Blows air through media to add moisture
Water supply Auto-filled from home’s water line
Humidistat Senses and controls humidity levels

Water is automatically refilled from the home’s supply line via a solenoid valve.

The humidistat senses humidity and activates the drum and fan to maintain the desired level.

Where You’re Most Likely to Find Drum Humidifiers

Drum humidifiers are more commonly used in commercial and industrial settings than in residential homes.

Some examples where drum units are typically installed:

  • Warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and fabrication shops where a rugged humidifier is needed. The drum design is durable in these environments.
  • Greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural grow facilities that require supplemental humidity over large spaces.
  • Museums, archives, and art galleries, as the evaporative technology doesn’t over-humidify sensitive collections.
  • Commercial office spaces, schools, churches and theaters for cost-effective humidification.

When to Choose a Drum Humidifier

Drum humidifiers can make sense in these residential or commercial circumstances:

  • Humidifying large, open floor plan spaces. The drum units can effectively disperse moisture over an expansive area.
  • In spaces where regular maintenance access is possible. The frequent pad changes are easier with readily available access.
  • For supplemental, seasonal humidity rather than continuous year-round humidification.
  • When a humidifier needs to be mounted separate from existing ductwork. Drum units use exterior hoses.
  • Cost is a significant factor. Drum models are cheaper than most other types.
  • Easy installation is desired. Drum humidifiers require minimal duct modifications.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Drum humidifiers have some pros but also come with downsides:

Pros Cons
Don’t need duct integration Frequent pad replacement
Easier for DIY install Can breed mold/bacteria
Lower upfront cost <$500 Allow mineral buildup
Affordable replaceable parts Prone to leaks
Adjustable humidistat Noisier operation
Limited moisture output
Less precise control
More parts to replace
Shorter lifespan
Not for large homes

Maintenance Tips

Proper maintenance is crucial to extend the lifespan of a drum humidifier and avoid issues. Recommended maintenance includes:

  • Replace pads/belts – This is needed every 1-2 seasons, more often if micobial growth observed.
  • Clean fill valve – An annual flush and cleaning prevents valve clogs.
  • Clean fan/housing – Wipe down and remove dust/debris from fan and drum housing.
  • Flush supply lines – Periodically flush supply lines to reduce mineral buildup.
  • Check for leaks – Inspect around joints, seals, and drains. Repair leaks immediately.

Troubleshooting Problems

Some common drum humidifier problems and their causes:

Problem Cause
Pads drying out quickly Clogged fill valve not refilling
Mineral deposits/dust Hard water, lack of flushing
Water overflow Stuck fill valve or solenoid
Fluctuating humidity Dirty humidistat sensor
Fan not spinning Jammed drum, faulty motor

Replacement Parts

With periodic maintenance, drum humidifiers can operate for 5-10 years.

Eventually parts wear out and need replacement. Common replacement parts include:

  • Evaporative pads/belts
  • Water solenoid fill valves
  • Humidistat control boards
  • Fan motors
  • Drum motor and bearings
  • Cabinet housing<

    How to Clean a Drum Humidifier

    Regular cleaning and maintenance is key to extend the life of a drum humidifier. Follow this process to thoroughly clean your drum humidifier:

    1. Turn off power to the unit at the breaker.
    2. Remove the front cover of the drum housing.
    3. Carefully slide out the drum, removing it from the motor shaft.
    4. Remove old evaporative pads/belts and discard.
    5. Rinse and clean the drum cylinder thoroughly with a hose.
    6. Use a stiff brush to scrub out any mineral deposits.
    7. Rinse and wipe down the humidifier housing interior.
    8. Install new replacement pads or belts.
    9. Slide drum back into place and replace housing.
    10. Turn power back on and test operation.

    Key Takeaway

    If you need an affordable whole home humidification option and want to tackle installation as a DIY project, a drum humidifier may be a suitable choice.

    The ability to mount the drum units externally without duct integration provides more flexibility for installation. Just be prepared for frequent maintenance like changing evaporative pads and belts.

    However, for larger homes needing maximum moisture output or for those wanting a true set-and-forget solution, other types like steam, warm mist, or flow-through humidifiers would likely be better options.

    Though at a higher upfront investment, they provide higher capacity humidification and less long-term maintenance when properly installed.

    Carefully weigh the pros, cons, and your specific needs when choosing between drum humidifiers and other types.
    For moderate humidification needs on a budget, drum models can potentially get the job done.
    But they require more diligent care and have performance limitations compared to other available technologies.


Drum humidifiers can be an affordable DIY-friendly option.

However, weigh the pros and cons carefully.

Their high maintenance needs, potential for leaks, and limited moisture output make drum models less ideal for large, multi-room homes.

With proper care and part replacement, they can sufficiently provide supplemental humidity.

But other types like bypass and steam may be better long-term solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do drum humidifier pads need replacement?

Pads typically need replacement every 1-2 seasons, or more frequently if microbial growth is observed.

What causes leaks in drum humidifiers?

Leaks most often occur due to worn seals or improper installation. Checking for cracks and ensuring tight seals prevents leaks.

Do all drum humidifiers have a humidistat?

Most models have a built-in humidistat to control moisture output. Some basic units lack this feature.

How often should I clean the water supply valve?

Cleaning the fill valve annually is recommended to prevent sediment buildup and ensure proper water flow.

What causes mineral dust from a drum humidifier?

Mineral dust results from hard water not being properly filtered. Annual flushing and using distilled water can help.

How can I reduce noise from the drum humidifier?

Check for debris stuck in fan intake or drum. Lubricate motor bearings. Replace worn out fan motor if needed.

How do I check for leaks?

Inspect seals, gaskets, and drain connections for moisture and cracks annually. Leaks will require new seals or parts.

What is the lifespan of a drum humidifier?

With proper maintenance, a drum humidifier typically lasts 5-10 years before needing replacement.

How long do replacement belts last?

Evaporative belts need replacement every 1-2 humidifying seasons, or more frequently if heavy mineral buildup occurs.

What causes humidity fluctuations?

A dirty or malfunctioning humidistat sensor can lead to improper humidity control and fluctuations.

Standalone vs Whole House Humidifiers. How Do You Choose?

Standalone vs Whole House Humidifiers: A Complete Buying Guide

Maintaining proper indoor humidity levels between 30-50% is important for health, comfort and protecting your home. Humidifiers raise moisture levels to alleviate issues caused by excessively dry air. 1

There are two main types – standalone humidifiers designed for single room use, and whole house humidifiers integrated into a home’s HVAC system to humidify the entire space.

Standalone humidifiers are compact, self-contained units that can be moved room to room. They contain water tanks requiring manual refills and cleaning. Whole house units are installed by HVAC professionals and have automated features to humidify throughout a home.

This guide covers the key differences between standalone and whole house humidifiers to help you choose the best system.

Key Differences at a Glance

Coverage Standalone Whole House
Cost $30-$200 $500+ installation
Maintenance Manual refilling and cleaning Automated
Convenience Portable, targeted use Set and forget
Installation Plug into outlet Professional HVAC integration

How Humidifiers Work

Humidifiers contain reservoirs that are filled with water, which is dispersed into the air to increase humidity. Standalone units use internal fans to circulate moisture. Whole house systems integrate with existing ductwork to humidify through vents. The added moisture helps alleviate issues caused by dry air.

Standalone Room Humidifiers

Standalone humidifiers are designed for use in single rooms or spaces up to 500 square feet. They contain tanks/reservoirs ranging from 1-5 gallons that requires manually refilling with water when empty. Types of standalone humidifiers include:

  • Cool mist – Absorbs water into a wick filter to humidify. Does not heat water.
  • Warm mist – Heats water to produce visible steam vapor. Provides soothing humidification.
  • Ultrasonic – Uses high-frequency vibrations to create microfine water droplets.
  • Evaporative – Fan blows air through a wet wick to add moisture.

Benefits of Standalone Units

  • Compact and portable design allows use in any room based on need. Great for bedrooms and nurseries.
  • Affordable price point between $30-$200 makes them accessible to most homeowners.
  • Variety of cool/warm mist options suit different preferences and rooms. Some have aromatherapy features.
  • Can target problem areas in a home rather than humidifying empty rooms. Uses less energy.

Drawbacks of Standalone Units

  • Small tank capacity requires frequent manual refilling every 1-2 days. Ongoing daily maintenance.
  • Only humidifies the room it is placed in. Not effective for whole home coverage.
  • Ultrasonic and warm mist models consume more electricity.
  • Evaporative types require regular replacement of wick filters.

Standalone Humidifier Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Compact and portable design Small tank capacity requires frequent refilling
Affordable price point $30-$200 Only humidifies room they are in
Variety of warm/cool mist options Some models use more energy
Can target problem areas selectively Evaporative options require filter replacement

Whole House Humidifier Systems

Whole house humidifiers integrate with a home’s forced air heating and cooling system to humidify the entire space.

Models include:

  • Bypass – Installed on supply ductwork with a bypass duct to humidify air.
  • Fan Powered – Has internal fan to distribute moisture into air ducts. Allows precise humidity control.
  • Steam – Generates steam to humidify air. Provides even coverage in all weather.
  • Ultrasonic – Uses high-frequency vibration to create water droplets to distribute.
  • Flow Through – Mounted inline on supply ducts with wetted media that humidifies passing air.

Benefits of Whole House Units

  • Provides balanced humidity throughout the home by integrating with existing ductwork.
  • Convenience of set and forget automated operation. Less daily maintenance than standalone models.
  • Single unit can humidify a large multi-room home of any size and layout.
  • Steam types increase efficiency of home heating systems.
  • Reduce need for frequent refilling compared to portable humidifiers.

Drawbacks of Whole House Units

  • Higher upfront equipment and professional installation costs.
  • Ongoing maintenance like replacing pads/filters has higher labor costs.
  • Not as customizable as portable models – can’t adjust room-by-room.
  • Risk of leaks and overflow if not properly maintained.
  • Ultrasonic types may produce white dust requiring drain line cleaning.

Whole House Humidifier Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Provides balanced humidity throughout home Higher upfront installation cost $500+
Set and forget automated operation Higher maintenance costs and labor
Single unit can humidify large homes Not as customizable room-by-room
Some types increase heating efficiency Can cause HVAC issues if not maintained
Reduce need for frequent refilling Ultrasonic models produce white dust

Key Factors in Choosing a Humidifier

There are several factors to help determine if a standalone or whole house humidifier is right for your situation:

  • Home size – Standalone units suited for smaller spaces up to 1,500 sq ft. Whole house models better for larger homes.
  • Number of levels – Multi-level homes benefit more from whole house systems for even floor-by-floor coverage.
  • Problem rooms – If only need to humidify 1-2 rooms, a standalone can selectively target those spaces.
  • Allergies and health issues – Whole house models provide complete air quality control for issues like asthma.
  • Dry climate – In arid regions, whole house integration necessary to combat very low baseline humidity.
  • Existing HVAC system – Age and capacity of heating/cooling system affects whether it can accommodate a whole house humidifier.
  • DIY installation – Some whole house models like drum or flow-through types are feasible for handy homeowners to self-install.2

Recommended Humidifier Products

Here are some top humidifier models to consider:

Standalone Humidifiers

Whole House Humidifier Systems

Whole House Humidifier Installation

Installing a whole house system requires hiring an HVAC professional to integrate the unit into your existing ductwork. Costs average $800-$1200 including labor for a 2-4 hour install. Ongoing maintenance like replacing filters and water panels is also required annually, around $100-250 per service call.

DIY installation is possible depending on model but requires HVAC expertise and care working on ducts. Bypass, flow-through, drum and some ultrasonic humidifiers are the most DIY-friendly options.

Sizing Your Humidifier Properly

To size your humidifier, measure current moisture levels in your home using a hygrometer. Calculate the recommended moisture output for your square footage at 30-50% relative humidity. Also factor in features like runtime, tank output, coverage area and automatic controls when selecting a model. Undersizing and oversizing are common problems that lead to poor humidity control and higher energy costs.


Choosing between a standalone and whole house humidifier depends on your specific needs and home details. Evaluate your humidity goals, layout, problem rooms, climate and budget. Standalone humidifiers provide affordable, targeted room solutions. Whole house models are an investment but deliver convenience and whole home coverage. With proper selection and maintenance, you can enjoy ideal humidity levels year-round.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often do you need to change humidifier filters?

A: Standalone humidifiers need weekly cleaning. Whole house replace filters 6-12 months.

Q: Where is the best place to install a whole house humidifier?

A: They are typically installed on a home’s supply plenum or ductwork to humidify air before circulation.

Q: What humidity level is best for my home?

A: Ideal indoor humidity is 30-50%. Use a hygrometer to measure and adjust humidistat accordingly.

Q: Can I install a humidifier myself?

A: Some standalone and whole house models allow DIY install if you have HVAC expertise. Otherwise hire a pro.

Q: How do I know if my HVAC system can accommodate a whole house humidifier?

A: Consult an HVAC technician to assess your existing system capacity and design to see if it is compatible.

Q: Should I run a humidifier 24/7?

A: Most should run constantly during dry months to maintain humidity. Adjust the humidistat to desired range.

Q: What causes white dust from my humidifier?

A: Ultrasonic and evaporative models can spread mineral deposits. Change filters regularly and use distilled water.

Q: How often does a whole house humidifier need maintenance?

A: Annual service by an HVAC technician is recommended to check, clean, and replace parts as needed.

Q: Can too much humidity cause issues?

A: Yes, mold and mildew growth can occur if humidity exceeds 60%. Keep levels 30-50%.

Q: Can I install a whole house humidifier myself?

A: Some DIY-friendly models like drum, flow-through, and bypass humidifiers allow self-installation with HVAC expertise. But professional installation is recommended for optimal performance.

Q: Do whole house humidifiers cause mold?

A: If humidity levels exceed 60%, it can lead to mold growth. Proper maintenance to keep 30-50% humidity prevents mold issues.

Q: Are there types of whole house humidifiers that don’t cause mold and bacteria?

A: Steam humidifiers that boil water before dispersing moisture minimize mold/bacteria concerns. Models with UV lights also help.

Q: Does a whole house humidifier work off the regular thermostat or do I need a separate thermostat for it?

A: Most whole house humidifiers have a built-in humidistat. Some can connect to a Nest or smart thermostat to integrate humidity and temperature control.

Q: Does having a whole house humidifier raise the value of the house?

A: Yes, whole home humidification systems can increase property value 1-4% by appealing to buyers and being flagged on home inspections.