Getting a humidifier is a good idea for health, respiratory and sleep reasons. Next, though, is using it in the best way possible. This includes knowing where to put a humidifier in your home or in a room.
Putting a humidifier in a good location can increase its efficiency – how well it puts humidity in the air and distributes the air – by more than 15%. A humidifier running in a poor spot can decrease its usefulness and create other problems, even black mold.
You don’t want to put a humidifier near a wall, on the floor, near the ceiling or too close to you. You want to find a place which lets the device work for the whole room evenly and a place that’s safe. What are some good rules for where to put a humidifier in your home?
Think About Airflow
One general idea covers a lot here. Think about a place in a room or area of the house where there is a good amount of airflow. You want a humidifier to have the best airflow possible.
A humidifier creates higher humidity in the air. If the air isn’t moving much near the humidifier, you can get a spot of high humidity, but no change or even drier air in the rest of the room. One common example is putting a humidifier in a corner of a room. You can get 80% humidity near the humidifier and 30% humidity once you’re more than just a few feet away.
When trying to guess at the airflow, think about openings which allow air to move. So, placing a humidifier closer to the center of a room and either between two windows or between a window and a door, are probably good ideas.
Put the Humidifier 2-4 Feet Off the Floor
You don’t want the humidifier on or close to the floor, or up near the ceiling. The easy, safe and effective height should be 2-4 feet off the floor.
Here’s why too low doesn’t work well.
- Airflow – Your airflow is usually not ideal right along the floor. This will make it likely to get uneven air movement and humidity distribution from the humidifier.
- Safety – Humidifiers have moisture, electricity, multiple parts and heat. You don’t want kids or pets hitting it, accidentally knocking it over, spilling the water and maybe causing a bigger hazard with the humidifier or other electronics around.
Too high doesn’t work either.
- Checking it – You might think airflow will be better near a ceiling fan or where air comes and goes from ducts. But now it’s hard to see the humidifier, make sure it’s not leaking and turn it on and off safely if it’s near a ceiling. It’s hard to see and easy to forget.
- Water damage and mold – High humidity can cause paint damage and black mold. Running a humidifier near a ceiling for long stretches can lead to mold growth, which will do more harm to your health and safety than the humidifier is helping.
Near a Heater Helps
Areas close to heaters usually have lower humidity levels. In winter, the humidity level of a house or room as whole can be “average” but there’s lower humidity, often about 30%, near heat sources.
If you put a humidifier near a baseboard heater, a heat vent or a space heater, it can help for the following reasons:
- Improving airflow – It’s taking warm air and helping it circulate, warm air will naturally rise anyway, but now with more moisture in it.
- Warmer temperature – Heated air is usually drier
- Lower relative humidity – The air near the heater is less humid than the room overall
Don’t Put it in a Corner
A lot of times, it’s easy, and it seems safer, to put a humidifier in a corner, sort of out of the way, in a bedroom or living room. There are reasons why this isn’t doing much good.
- Poor airflow – Corners get less or minimal airflow. It’s likely you’ll get humidified air gathered in the corner of the room, but that’s it.
- You’ll be moisturizing walls – The humidifier will be putting humidity into a confined space, including into the walls, where you could get mold growth.
As a usual idea, it’s best to put a humidifier in the center of the room, as best as possible while still putting it in a safe spot.
In bedrooms, especially, the exact center of the room won’t work. It could be where the bed is. It could be a place you walk through or near in the middle of the night and don’t want to risk hitting the humidifier. Yet, putting the humidifier, on a nightstand or chair, closer to the middle of the room rather than a wall or corner is better. If you can put the humidifier three feet or more away from a wall or you while you sleep, it should be effective.
Keep a Humidifier (Water) Away from Electricity
It should go without saying: Water and electricity are a very bad combo. It’s a good idea to put a humidifier on a towel so water doesn’t leak and run onto a cord or another nearby appliance or device.
Be careful with phones, laptops, radios and other devices being too near a running humidifier, especially overnight if you’re not able to watch it. The constant humidity can damage a device in a fairly short amount of time.
Even more important, this can be a serious safety hazard, including to kids or pets who might not understand the risk or see what’s going on.
At South End Heating and Air we specialize in HVAC and furnace repair, call us for a free consult. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? Give us a call 704-684-5339.