Help! My Humidifier Smells Funny!

Do You Have a Smelly Humidifier?

“What’s that smell?” Those are three words you never want to hear your guests say, and as we roll into 2015, having a clean and odor-free Maryland home should be at the top of your priority list. But if you find yourself or your family and friends sniffing at an unpleasant odor in the air, the culprit may be a smelly humidifier.

A whole-house humidifier, or a portable humidifier, is a must-have in every Maryland (or anywhere in the mid-Atlantic) home, especially if someone is suffering from allergies or asthma. It places humidity in dry air, keeping moisture from getting lost and in turn keeping you warmer and breathing easier. The humidity in your home—if you have a whole-house humidifier—is controlled by the thermostat, which keeps the humidity levels where you and your family will be the most comfortable.

Smelly Humidifier: A Few Causes

There are a few problems that can arise with humidifiers in the Maryland area, just like with any household system, and a bad odor is one of them. There are a few reasons why your humidifier could be stinky, including:

Mildew and Mold – Since a humidifier relies on water, there is a chance of stagnant water becoming a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. If you don’t clean out your humidifier properly, this can build up over time, leading to an increasingly bad odor that gets pumped through you house. Lung problems can form from mold infections, caused by breathing in the water vapor that is emitted. Mold, mildew, and fungus pose health threats to those who breathe them, especially the extremely young and the elderly.

Bacteria Growth – Along the same lines as problems caused by mold and mildew, your smelly humidifier may be due to bacterial growth inside the humidifier’s water reservoir. You need to clean it properly to avoid bacterial growth, and as a result, a smelly humidifier.

Mineral Deposits – The water in your humidifier contains lots of minerals, including sulfur, sodium, and even lead. If you don’t maintain it properly and notice white specks on furniture, chances are your smelly humidifier has a build-up of mineral deposits. Different areas of Maryland may have different levels of mineral deposits, so check with your local water authority.

Smelly Humidifier Remedies in the Maryland Area

  • Use lemon juice to deodorize your humidifier by adding 4 tsp. of it, letting the humidifier run for an hour, and then discarding the lemony water and wiping out with a clean rag.
  • Use vinegar to clean the humidifier tank.
  • Replace water in your humidifier frequently, and clean at least once every week.
  • Use distilled or demineralized water to cut back on mineral deposits.
  • Change the humidifier filter regularly.
  • Always rinse the humidifier tank after cleaning.

While a humidifier is great for easier breathing in dry weather, you need to make sure to have proper maintenance done so it doesn’t become harmful. Dirty mist from humidifiers can not only cause a smelly odor, but also poses health hazards to you and your family. Keep it clean, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call the experts at All Seasons Heating and Cooling!

If you’re looking for whole-house humidifier installation in Maryland, contact the specialists at All Seasons Heating and Cooling today!

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