Which Type Of Water Is Best For A Humidifier?

Dry winter air can cause skin to crack, dry lips, and stuffy noses. These problems can be worsened by the indoor air quality in your home. A humidifier’s primary function is to increase indoor humidity to improve your comfort. But there are some drawbacks to using a humidifier. Improper use of a humidity system can lead you to paying higher maintenance fees. The first thing to do when using your humidifier properly is to determine the type of water you should use. The type of water you use in your humidifier can make or break its performance and effectiveness. Although tap water is still an option for humidifiers, it’s not the best. Why? Let’s find out. Also, we’ll discuss which type of water and what temperature are suitable for humidifiers.

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Is it a bad idea to use tap water in the humidifier?

Yes. It is not smart to add tap water to a humidifier. Although your humidifier will not go off the rails immediately, it can cause long-term damage to your health and the machine itself. Your tap water contains many minerals such as calcium, magnesium and sodium. The problem is that tap water can cause mineral deposits in the tank. It builds up over time, clogging your machine and leading to malfunctions. Tap water may contain viruses and bacteria depending on where you live. You can add tap water to your humidifier and it will release all these microbes into your indoor environment. This could pose a risk to children’s health.

The humidifiers, which are warm and moist based on their design, provide a perfect environment for bacteria growth. The humidifier’s functionality is also severely affected by mold growth and mineral buildup. 85 % of the US water is hardwater that contains minerals like calcium and magnesium.  These impurities, minerals, and other contaminants can damage your humidifier and the indoor air quality you inhale. You should clean your humidifier’s filters often and remove any mineral buildups. 

A demineralization cartridge is an option if you want to use tap water for your humidifier. A demineralization cartridge can remove minerals from your tap water. This will keep your humidifier clean, and your home clear of white dust.

Are humidifiers more effective when used with distilled water?

Many humidifier manufacturers encourage customers to only use distilled or purified water. Distilled water is treated to remove bacteria and minerals. Distilled water is able to run the humidifier efficiently without causing damage or mold growth. Clean, distilled water has another benefit, it is good for your health. Distilled water is used often in medical equipment and laboratories due to its purity.  It’s a good idea to use it for humidification to make sure your air is as clean and pure as possible.

Good news is, you don’t have to spend hundreds on distilled water bottles. Instead, you can make your own distilled water at home. You can boil water until it reaches boiling point. Then, heat the water to make vapors. The next step is to collect and condense these vapors, which eventually turn into pure water. Some impurities may still be present in the container from which the water was first boiled. Double distillation is more efficient in producing pure water suitable for humidifiers.

Does purified water have the same quality as distilled water?

This water is nearly identical to distilled water. The only difference lies in how it was purified. Purified water undergoes processes such as reverse osmosis and ion exchange. Distilled water is steam-condensed. Because it is as safe as distilled water, you can use it in humidifiers.

Can I use filtered water in my humidifier?

For humidifiers, it is not a good idea to use filtered water as it doesn’t remove all the dissolved minerals. Although a water filter is a good step in the right direction, but it cannot completely treat tap water to be used in a humidifier. Water filters are not effective in eliminating microscopic organisms like viruses. The filtration system will determine if you can use filtered water in your humidifier.

Can I use bottled water in my humidifier?

FDA is responsible for regulating the bottled water industry to ensure safe and healthy consumption. It is safe and healthy to consume regular mineral, sparkling, purified and glacier water. But bottled water can quickly clog your machine with a variety of minerals.

But please keep in mind plastic bottles release synthetic polymer particles. These particles can not only cause harm to your health, but they also cause damage to the humidifier. It is better to purchase water in eco-friendly glass bottles.

Can I use boiled water in my humidifier?

Higher temperatures will only kill germs and pathogens. But boiling won’t get rid of harmful heavy metals, minerals and other contaminants. Water may contain trace amounts of fluoride and zinc depending on where you live. Boiling water in the humidifier can lead to mineral and whitish substance buildup. The humidifier releases minerals into the air, polluting the environment. Boiling water can’t prevent all the minerals and chemicals. However, boiling reduces water volume and can lead to an increase in the concentration of contaminants. Without double distillation, It is better to not use boiled water for the humidifier.

Can I use hot or cold water in my humidifier?

For hot mist, you can add hot water to humidifiers. This will help to relieve cold symptoms, such as flu and respiratory problems. But, it is important to ensure the humidifier design is capable of creating hot mist. Hot water can cause irreparable damage to the humidifier’s plastic reservoir. This hot water can also damage the mechanical and electrical parts of the humidifier, making it unusable. Hot water creates a favorable environment for mold growth. It is better to not pour hot water into your humidifier, as it can cause burns also.

This is why water should be kept at room temperature in order to prevent accidental spillage, especially for pets or babies. You can also enjoy a cool mist that you can breathe in comfortably indoors. You can purchase an advanced humidifier that adjusts the temperature manually or automatically. Depending on your needs, you can choose between ultrasonic or warm mist humidifiers.


In conclusion, it is better to use distilled water and filtered water in your humidifier than tap, boiled, or demineralized water. This will ensure that your family’s health. For those who live in dry areas, humidifiers are a great option. But, humidifiers of high quality can be costly and difficult to repair. To ensure the longevity of your humidifier and to prevent contamination, you must descale it and clean it regularly. If your area has high levels of mineral content in tap water, you should switch to mineral-free or distilled water to power your humidifier. The wrong type of water for a humidifier will not only affect the indoor air quality but also reduce the humidifier’s lifespan.

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