1. Home
Send to a Friend via Email

Humidifier Filters - How Long do Humidifier Filters Last?

Getting the Most out of Your Humidifier Filters


Portable Humidifier

Portable Humidifier

Photo © Mifflin
Extending humidifier filter life or at least attaining the estimated lifecycle of a humidifier filter is not too difficult, depending on what particular factors affect your humidifier's operation.

Estimated Humidifier Filter Life

Manufacturers generally recommend that wick-type portable humidifier filters be changed after 1 to 3 months. There are good reasons to clean or change your humidifier filter according to these recommendations, or even earlier. As a humidifier operates, it pulls in air and returns it to that room as either a cool or warm mist, depending on your type of humidifier. During this process, dust and other air particles become trapped in the filter and are not recycled to the room.

Over time however, these air contaminants tend to clog the filter and hamper proper operation of your humidifier. Your unit will work harder and less efficiently when the filter is dirty. A unit that works harder than it should will burn out more quickly and use more energy. It could also be returning dirty air and mold spores to your room, since proper filtration is not possible.

What Affects Humidifier Filter Life?

The presence of smoke, animal dander or dust can dramatically shorten humidifier filter life. These can quickly clog a filter. A good dust maintenance and regular vacuuming of the room, especially the area close to the humidifier, as well as cleaning the intake area of the humidifier can extend filter life.

Another thing that can hamper humidifier operation is your home's water quality. Hard water mineral deposits can also clog a filter. Unless you want to install water filtration and softening equipment in your home, this problem is not easily rectified. Using bottled water to run a humidifier is also not economical, nor practical. The only remedy for this problem is cleaning or changing your humidifier filter often.

Cleaning or Changing Humidifier Filters

With a good dust control, the average humidifier filter will only require changing about every three months. Some wick filters can be cleaned by submersing in water. Check your product manual to be sure, but this process does take awhile to ensure all dirt is removed. Humidifier filters are very economical to buy and are a time-saver. When you purchase a new humidifier pick up one or two filters, this can save you a few steps later.

Cleaning a humidifier or changing a wick-type humidifier filter is easy, just follow these steps: How to Change a Humidifier Wick Filter. Cleaning or changing your humidifier filter regularly will keep your unit operating to maximum efficiency. When storing your humidifier for the off-season, remember to complete a humidifier cleaning and filter change so the unit will be ready for the next season.

Helpful Humidifier Resources:

Promotional Feature: View this video series to learn how to take good care of your house.

Related Video
How To Buy A Humidifier
Plants to Use in a No-Work Perennial Garden

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.