Can you put tap water in a humidifier?

Which type of water is ideal for a humidifier to deliver the best results and for its best functioning?  Can you put tap water in a humidifier? The answer is NO. This is simply because of the effects that the minerals in the tap water have on the humidifier.  This is a common question to homeowners who have installed this gadget in their homes. Here is what you need to know about a humidifier and whether you can put tap water in it.

What is a Humidifier?

A humidifier can be described as an electric gadget that can either be installed in the office or at home to increase the level of humidity in the air in the house or office.

Humidifiers are easy to acquire and use. It is an essential home appliance, especially during the winter falls. The use of heating and air conditioning systems can also necessitate the use of humidifiers because the systems can lead to a significant dropping in the level of moisture in the air.

Do you know humid air that comes from the humidifier can help you lower your utility bills during the winter season? Humid air has a warm feeling when compared to dry air.

Besides lowering the bills, a humidifier will increase the amount of moisture in the air which can be beneficial to those who suffer from dry skin, cracked lips, and even respiratory symptoms.

However, to achieve these and many other benefits of using a humidifier will largely depend on its correct usage and maintenance.

Perhaps you are wondering how an appliance can be used to increase moisture in the air, here is how the humidifier works.

While there are different types of humidifiers with different functioning, their main goal is the same, to emit water vapor in the air which rises the level of humidity. This device does so by drawing water from a reservoir and releasing it into the air in form of vapor. It is also good to know how long does it take for a humidifier to work ?

Common Types of Humidifiers Available

There is no one particular model of humidifier that I am going to recommend in this article, here are some of the available ones;

  • Steam humidifiers: This type of humidifier or vaporizes uses electricity to disburse steam which is first cooled in the unit before being released to the air. It is a risky type because it can cause burns hence not ideal to be sued where there are toddlers.
  • Central humidifiers: They may sometimes come built-in in the AC systems and performs their duty when the AC system is switched on. However, in some cases, one can connect their humidifier to a central AC system in their home to add moisture to the air when the AC is on.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers: Unlike other humidifiers that use electricity, this one relies on ultrasonic vibrations to release vapor into the atmosphere. It is one of the quietest and safe humidifiers on the market.
  • Impeller humidifiers: They rely on a motor to rotate discs instead of heat to generate vapor. These are friendlier to the toddlers.
  • Evaporators: This one works by blowing air via a damp filter which will then release humid air into your house.

Can You Put Tap Water In a Humidifier?

The answer is No! While people may argue that tap water in most states of America is safe to drink hence safe when used in a humidifier, this is not correct.

Even though you are not likely to experience the repercussions immediately if you used tap water, in the long term, the negative effects can be felt and witnessed. This is to say that tap water may work in your humidifier but after a long period of time, you will realize it was not a smart move.

Tap water which is considered to be safe for drinking has some mineral in it which includes; magnesium, calcium, sodium, and in other regions, zinc and fluoride may be present.

While some of these minerals may be beneficial to the body, tap water in a humidifier can lead to mineral accumulation in the filter and tank as well. When not attended, the accumulation of these minerals may lead to malfunctioning of the humidifier and in some cases be hazardous to the environment.

What of the building up of scale? To keep your humidifier functioning at optimum, it requires thorough frequent cleaning. However, if you are using tap water regular cleaning may not yield much.

This is because the minerals present in the tap water will accumulate scale deposits. The scale deposits can damage your humidifier which may cost you to restore it.

Putting water rich in minerals into your humidifier will be an easy option for the minerals to circulate inside your house via the air. These minerals can settle inform of residual deposits on the walls, furniture including bed or even floor.

Inhaling air contaminated with such deposits may trigger some allergic reactions and in the long run, lead to respiratory complications such as asthma. Yes, mineral residues can be that fatal. Do not risk putting tap water into your humidifier.

Besides the impact of the mineral, tap water may also contain bacteria. Putting tap water into your humidifier can be turn out to be a channel of bringing microbes to indoor air which can lead to breathing complications especially to children.

Do you have to risk your children this much? This may also answer the question. how long does it take for a humidifier to work?


Which Type of Water Is Ideal For Your Humidifier?

Water that is free from minerals, bacteria, and other impurities is the best for your humidifier. Distilled water, purified and demineralized water is free from minerals and other impurities. Let us see why distilled water, demineralized and purified water is best for your humidifier;

  • Distilled water

Distilled water is achieved from water that has been boiled to its steaming point and later cooled to liquid form. The cooling steam is what condenses to water that is free from minerals, bacteria, and other impurities. It is now pure water that can be used in your humidifier for you to get pure air moisture.

  • Purified water

This is water that has been purified like the distilled water but with purified water, the process is not through distillation but reverse osmosis.

This process removes any form of impurity and minerals in the water. Purified water is hence perfect for increasing air humidity in your home without any fear of air contamination.

  • Demineralized water

This is water that has been taken through deionization so as to remove any form of impurities and minerals.

The more the number of filtration processes that this water will be taken through the purer it becomes. It is a perfect choice for a humidifier.

Using Bottled And Boiled Water for Humidifiers?

Bottled and boiled water requires to undergo other processes before the two types of water can be declared fit for humidifiers.

While bottled water may seem to be a perfect option for a humidifier instead of tap water, this is not right. Bottled water contains a variety of minerals that may not be friendly to your humidifier.

Research has also proved that bottled water has a high percentage of bacteria compared to tap water. The presence of minerals and bacteria in bottled water disqualifies it as an option for a humidifier unless the water is taken through a purification process.

On the other hand, boiled water is free from most bacteria and viruses because of the process the water has undergone. However, the water is still rich in minerals and other impurities which requires another process to remove them.

Boiled water should still be taken through the distillation or purification process before being used in a humidifier.

What Is The Best Water Temperature To Put In A Humidifier?

Room temperature water is the best for a humidifier. This is because hot water may damage your appliance if it is not designed for hot water. Additionally, hot water may produce warm-mist which may be uncomfortable for people to breathe.

Moreover, hot water may create an ideal environment for bacteria and mold to grow in your reservoir which is not desirable.

Room temperature water can produce air moisture at the right temperature which is comfortable for everyone to breathe in.


Final Thought

Humidifiers are essential appliances to have especially for those people living in a dry climate. However, for this appliance to serve you right, you need to know how to use it right.

While there are different types of humidifiers, their end goal is to increase the levels of humidity in the air.

The water that you are going to put into your humidifier will determine the quality of humid air it will produce in your house or office and how long the device will last.

A humidifier with an accumulation of minerals in its reservoir is not healthy for you and even for the appliance itself.

Such an appliance may be producing moist air which is contaminated with fine particles of the minerals it has accumulated.

Additionally, the humidifier itself is likely to get damaged because of scale building up. To avoid this, avoid using tap water on your humidifier.

Give your humidifier quality water and it will serve you better by producing quality humid air.



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