Do I need to baby my humidifier?
January 28, 2007 7:58 PM   Subscribe

We have a Air-O-Swiss 7135 humidifier. Is it necessary to fill its tank from Brita-filtered water, or will straight tap water do?

Filling it through the Brita filter on the tap is really, really slow. What's the trade-off of giving it the 'dirtier' water? If it matters, we live in a suburb of Philadelphia, and our water is not particularly hard.
posted by dmd to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My wife used to have a different humidifier, but I imagine one ultrasonic humidifier is like another. She would fill it with regular city-treated tap water, and over time, the thing would get gunked up with a mineral build-up. You might want to consider as an alternative using a service like Peapod and having them deliver bottled spring water or even distilled water. Or just assume you'll either need to scrub the thing every couple of weeks or buy a new one every year or two.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:19 PM on January 28, 2007

you might try distilled water, to keep the mineral build up down.
posted by nola at 9:31 PM on January 28, 2007

Distilled / Reverse Osmosis water is the trick.

But if you have gunk build-up from using tap water, using water with a bit of vinegar dissolved in it (about 1:4 ratio) should clean it up nicely.
posted by Jimbob at 9:50 PM on January 28, 2007

Ultrasonic humidifiers will spray the water as well as everything in it. Thoroughly filtering the water first helps reduce the 'white dust' of particulate.

I thoroughly cleaned out and sterilized a plastic gallon jug, and gradually fill it from the Brita pitcher. This is easier than removing and filling the humidifier tank several times a day.
posted by ardgedee at 3:15 AM on January 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Unless you enjoy the idea of wiping a thin film of white dust off everything in the room every couple of days, you need to use water that is as pure, filtered and mineral-free as possible.
We switched to evaporative humidifiers for this very reason. (Though, with those, you still need to treat the water to avoid scale build-up.)
posted by Thorzdad at 4:32 AM on January 29, 2007

I use an evaporative but if I use straight water the air gets VERY stinky very fast so I treat the water with a bacteriostat. I just go to Sears and pick up a couple bottles of it each winter and mix a small amount with the fill water. It keeps anything from growing on the evaporation filter and you don't smell anything in the air.
posted by Thrillhouse at 4:45 AM on January 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

« Older Midlife crisis?   |   No blue box for you! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.