Humidifiers can be a wonderful addition to homes with forced air or central heating. They keep the air comfortable to breathe and help prevent your skin from drying out, especially during winter or in places with naturally dry climates. But as wonderful as they are, can a humidifier cause water damage?
Can a Humidifier Cause Water Damage?
In a word, yes – humidifiers can cause water damage in your home. But it is important to note that this mostly happens with whole-house humidifiers.
Whole House Humidifiers
Whole-house humidifiers are installed alongside the furnace and produce moisture that is then distributed throughout the house along with the forced air. The potential for water damage occurs when condensation begins to form on the inside of windows, starts accumulating on walls, or moisture is trapped in attic spaces.
Older models of whole-house humidifiers need to be manually adjusted to compensate for the temperature fluctuations that occur throughout the day. Without this adjustment, the imbalance of temperature between the interior and exterior of the home lead to the buildup of condensation at night. Correctly setting and resetting these older models can help prevent condensation and moisture problems, but it does need to be done a few times a day.
Newer models have automatic sensors to accommodate temperature fluctuations, so it might be wise to invest in a newer model to spare yourself not just the trouble of changing the settings multiple times per day, but the risk of the humidifier causing water damage to your home.
Single Room Humidifiers
Single room humidifiers have less of a tendency to cause extensive water damage through the home, but they do need to be cared for properly otherwise they can lead to the same problems as whole-home humidifiers – just in a single area instead of throughout the house.
Usually, replacing the water daily and the filter as recommended by the manufacturer should prevent water damage from occurring. Clean your humidifier at least twice a week using a mixture of water diluted with hydrogen peroxide. It’s also recommended to fill your humidifier only when you plan to use it. Storing water in the unit can encourage mold and mildew growth and spread spores into the air when used.
The Pros and Cons of Home Humidifiers
Just like with most things, there are pros and cons to having a humidifier in your home. Whether or not the pros outweigh the cons will ultimately come down to a personal choice.
Cons of Humidifiers
Excessive levels of humidity can be problematic in homes because the added moisture provides the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow. Over time, extra moisture can also seep into wood structures, cause damage to upholstery and furniture, lead to mold and mildew growth, and negatively impact your health. The EPA recommends that humidity levels in the home remain below 50% at all times.
Using tap water might be the easiest option to refill your humidifier, but tap water contains minerals that are dispersed into the air when the humidifier is used. These minerals settle onto nearby surfaces and look a lot like white dust. While this might seem harmless, inhaling this dust over time can lead to health problems.
Benefits of Humidifiers
But humidifiers have a lot of benefits – that’s why they exist in the first place! They can help keep your wood floors from cracking. For people with certain lung conditions, extra moisture in the air can help ease breathing and prevent nosebleeds and dry mouths. And, let’s face it – some of us like the feeling of extra humidity in the home.
Tidal Wave Response Atlanta
If your single-room or whole-house humidifier has caused water damage to your home, call Tidal Wave Response. We are water and mold damage restoration experts servicing the metro Atlanta area. Our technicians are on-call 24/7 for those unexpected late night water damage emergencies.