Does your home feel like it is arid and dry? Or perhaps experience your skin is becoming drier than usual? These are signs of a home with low humidity levels. In most cases, you are likely to experience low humidity levels during the winter season or when living in dry regions. Low humidity is expected during the winter season because of indoor heating and low airflow to the house from outside. You can restore the required indoor humidity levels by investing in a humidifier. It is good to know that you can still use a humidifier without a filter.
A humidifier is an appliance that increases moisture in the atmosphere in your home. Increased moisture level in your home will help improve your skin, reducing the effects of respiratory illnesses caused by inhaling dry air and improving the health status of your houseplants.
Humidifiers also act as air-purifying tools. They take in contaminated air and disperses it out as fresh, clean and healthy air. The two roles played by a humidifier collectively improve the quality of air in your house and your overall health.
Humidifiers are available in different sizes and strengths, with different designs made with filters and others without.
The common types of humidifiers have a filter and one with no filter. So, between the two types, which one is safe to use? Filters in humidifiers are essential parts that prevent the emission of white dust and other unwanted contaminants from the water to the air.
If you are using a filter model, it is advisable that you replace them probably after every three months or if they are reusable, you clean them. You shouldn't use this device without a filter; however, if you don't have a filter replacement, you can still run the humidifier but ensure you are using purified or distilled water.
Ultrasonic and warm mist humidifiers are the common types of humidifiers that are not built to use a filter. They are filter-free humidifiers and yet effective like their counterparts built with one. If you are sceptic about cleaning or replacing a filter, you should consider going for one without a filter.
Even so, whether you are using a humidifier built with a filter or filter-free humidifiers also require proper maintenance for their best performances.
What is a filter in a humidifier, and what role does the filter play?
Since a humidifier filters-out air, it requires a filtration system. The filtration system's role is to remove any unwanted contaminants, making it purified air before the purified air is released into the atmosphere.
The air is taken through a filter where a considerable amount of moisture is added.
For healthy air, you should practice cleaning or changing the filters regularly. The latter is for the replaceable filters. This will also help in keeping your device in its best state.
When Is The Right Time To Change Your Humidifier Filter?
With reasonable dust control measures, you should replace a normal humidifier filter every three months.
In some humidifiers, you don't have to replace the wick filter, you only need to clean it by immersing it into the water, and you can return it on the device.
However, in regions with hard water, you will be required to change the filter frequently. Even though hard water contains minerals that are harmless when retained in water, these minerals can be dangerous when into the air.
For this reason, you need to ensure your humidifier filters are in the best condition to filter out mineral deposits before they are released into the air.
To extend your humidifier filters' life, keep the exteriors of your humidifier dusted and clean at all times; this will significantly reduce the amount of dirt collected on the filter.
Check the filters regularly to know how long it takes them to be blocked by debris. Before replacing the filter, always check whether the type can be cleaned or requests a replacement.
What if you don’t change the filter or clean it?
If you fail to clean or replace your humidifier filter, then the device will likely block and probably overheat when you switch it on. Additionally, it will strive to humidify your home’s air, meaning it will require more energy, increasing your power bill.
In the extreme, the humidifier will not absorb water which means it cannot humidify your house.
Secondly, ignoring to replace or clean the filter may lead to the growth of molds into the surfaces of the device and on the filter. A dirty filter can lead to dust and debris' dispersion into the air.
Before buying a humidifier with a filter, you should think about its maintenance requirements. If cleaning the filter or replacing it is too hard for you, consider going for a filter-free humidifier.
Is it safe to use a humidifier without a filter?
Yes, it is relatively safe to run a humidifier with no filter. However, you should only use filtered or distilled water when running the device.
Distilled or filtered water does not contain impurities and minerals present in tap water. Having said that, if you own an evaporative cool mist humidifier, you must use filters.
If you don't have access to distilled water, you can boil your water tap or install a reverse osmosis filter system in your house; this will filter out all impurities in your tap water, making it suitable to use in a humidifier.
You can also use demineralization cartridges in your humidifier.
The cartridges will reduce the disposition of minerals in your humidifier and diminish the occurrence of white dust.
Cleaning and disinfecting your humidifier water tank frequently will keep your humidifier free from bacteria and other contaminants hence guaranteeing you good quality air.
The pros of using a filter-free humidifier
A humidifier with no filter will save you the cleaning time and hassles involved in removing the filter.
Even though humidifiers require frequent cleaning for their best performance, filter-free humidifiers have one less step in cleaning them: they do not have a filter to clean.
Comparing filtered humidifiers to filter-free ones, the latter operates quietly. Humidifiers that have filters come with an internal fan which can be louder when running.
The noise created by such a humidifier might distract your toddlers' sleeping hours if you were to run the device in their bedrooms. A noisy humidifier may not be the best option for pets as well.
It will save you the cost of a filter replacement. If you are using a filtered humidifier daily, you need to budget for a filter replacement after every 2 to 3 months. The cost of replacing the filter may frustrate you.
The cons of using a filter-free humidifier
Using a filter-free humidifier, you risk spreading bacteria and other contaminants into your home’s air. A filtered humidifier would filter out the bacteria and other contaminants before they are dispersed into the air in typical cases.
Such can be stopped by using distilled water, which may be expensive, especially when running the appliance daily.
Even with the distilled or filtered water, you still have to clean the humidifier tank regularly. Continuous usage of the device may still leave traces of minerals, and white dust may be visible in your room.
If you have small children in your house, a filter-free humidifier may not be a perfect choice. Toddlers are vulnerable to allergies.
Filter-free humidifiers have the potential to introduce contaminated moist air into you're your house. This may have serious adverse effects on your children.
When thinking about using a filtered humidifier or a filter-free one, you should consider the above pros and cons.
How to clean a filterless humidifier
For your filterless humidifier to deliver the best results, you should clean it regularly. Here is an easy guide to follow.
Step 1: Unplug And Disassemble The Device
Before you start cleaning your filterless humidifier, you should first unplug it from the power supply. Disassembling it should be the next action, remove the water tank and empty it. If there are removable parts, unlock them cautiously.
Step 2: Clean The Water Tank
After pouring out the water in the tank, fill the tank with three cups of vinegar, swish the tank around to ensure vinegar gets to every part of the water tank.
If there is any form of grime, use a scrub brush to scrub it. Allow the solution to sit for at least 1 hour. This will allow the vinegar solution to loosen up any build-ups on the tank.
Step 3: Disinfect The Water Tank
It is a critical step in the cleaning of your filterless humidifier. Use one tablespoon of bleach or 3% hydrogen peroxide in a gallon of water, fill the water tank halfway and swirl the solution around. Ensure it covers all surfaces of the tank.
Allow it to settle for like 30 minutes before moving to the next step.
Step 4: Rinse The Tank And Other Parts With Water
You will need running water to thoroughly rinse off the cleaning solution from the tank, base, and other humidifier parts.
Shake the tank well to ensure that the stuck moisture has been dislodged. You can use dry towels to wipe all the watered parts of the humidifier; you can also place the parts in the open air to dry.
Step 5: Reassemble Your Humidifier
Once all the parts are dry, you can reassemble them back. Ensure every part has been correctly fixed back to its position. Fill back the water tank with distilled or filtered water, plug it back in, and you are ready to enjoy the functioning of your filterless humidifier.
What are the best filterless humidifiers?
Replacing or cleaning filters on humidifiers can be difficult, especially when running a busy schedule. The cost of replacing the filter can also be costly in the long run.
For these reasons, most people are now going for filterless humidifiers. Here is a review of the best filter-free humidifiers in the market:
UCareAir Cool Mist Humidifier
It is among the best filter-free humidifiers in the market today. It uses ultrasonic technology to ensure that it produces the lowest noise when running. It is an ideal humidifier for your study room, bedroom and office.
The device will automatically shut itself off when the tank's water level is low. It is cheap and easy to maintain. However, if the lid is not closed correctly, it may leak.
Pure Enrichment MistAire XL Humidifier
This filterless humidifier works in silence and automatically shuts off when the water tank is running low.
It is easy to clean and refill. With a 360-degree rotatable mist nozzle, it can quickly humidify every corner of your house regardless of the appliance's position.
It has two-speed levels that you can adjust. While the device is easy to clean, you should clean it regularly to remove any form of build-up before it clogs.
It is the best filterless humidifier for people suffering from breathing complications such as sinus congestion.
The device comes with a nozzle that rotates 360-degrees ensuring that every corner of your room is humidified.
The unit does not make any noise at all when using it.
Its stylish design allows you to place it anywhere. If you have a low budget for a filterless humidifier, this is the best option to choose.
The device requires regular cleaning it and a bright LED light that comes with it cannot be turned off even at night.
Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
It is one of the biggest humidifiers in the market today. It can humidify a large room with a mist output of approximately 270ml per hour.
The ultrasonic technology allows it to work, producing a silent frequency. This model also comes with an essential oil tray that will allow you to enjoy aromatherapy.
It has a steam output knob that you can use to adjust the humidity you need in your room. This device can reduce bacteria and airborne viruses in your indoor air, leaving you with quality air. It can automatically switch off when the tank's water levels are low.
You can use a humidifier without a filter. However, if the humidifier comes with a filter, it isn’t advisable to use it without, if you have to, ensure you are using filtered or distilled water. There are modern models of humidifiers built without filters, and their efficiency is as good as those with filters.