Heating furnace during winter reduces the amount of moisture making the indoor air feel dry. The heated air expands creating drier conditions that can have unpleasant effects such as dry skin and sore throat. Humidifiers help you to increase the relative amount of moisture in the air making your home more comfortable to live in during winters. Also, this helps to maintain optimal moisture conditions making it possible to avoid uncomfortable feelings like sinus passage that comes with dry air.
In most cases, and in the bid to cut immediate costs to fit tighter budgets, many people tend to use tap water for their humidifiers. Well, this makes sense if tap water is all that is available but can end up costing you handsomely when dealing with after effects.
Tap water comes with various minerals dissolved depending on the source and how the water is treated. One of the most common minerals is calcium. While some of these minerals may be important and healthy for our bodies, they are also unhealthy for humidifiers. They normally form deposits on the elements of your humidifier impairing its effectiveness and subsequently reducing its lifespan.
Preventing and getting rid of deposited calcium is both cheap and simple.
How does calcium buildup
Humidifiers work by evaporating water and turning it into a mist. Hard minerals are normally left behind setting themselves in the internal components of your humidifier. Calcium is the most common hard mineral. With time these deposits accumulate inhibiting the effectiveness of your equipment.
Signs of calcium buildup
If you see either of the following signs, beware calcium deposits are accumulating in your humidifier.
- Cloudy appearance of the water reservoir.
- Presence of white precipitates in your humidifiers components and also the surrounding.
- Foul smell from your humidifier.
- If your equipment has regular malfunctions.
Preventing Calcium buildup
You can have solutions for cleaning calcium buildup but maintenance and preventions are the best approaches to ensure a long life for your humidifier. It doesn’t matter what type of water you use-whether hard or soft, as far as cleaning and maintenance are done regularly, you don’t have to be afraid of buildups.
Check your water hardness
As stated in the earlier sections of this article, it is a common practice of using tap water for humidifiers. Most people do this not knowing the hardness of the water they are using.
You can have someone who knows about water hardness to test your water. But there are household signs that show your water is hard. This includes cloudy utensils and soap scums.
Hard water means a lot of minerals are in the water which includes calcium. These minerals will cause buildups and impair the functionality of your humidifier.
Knowing your water hardness is one step that should help you define the approach to prevent calcium buildup.
Soften your water
Water softening is the process of removing the calcium, magnesium, and other metallic elements in the water. These are the elements responsible for water hardness. By softening the water which you use for your humidifier, you reduce the rate of calcium buildups making it easier to clean and maintain your equipment.
There are many approaches to softening water. One of the best and simple options is to use softener tablets. You add them to the humidifier tank and by that, you also reduce the frequency of cleaning your humidifier.
Often change your humidifier water
Assumed by many, but changing your humidifier water regularly is one significant remedy for avoiding calcium buildup. How regular you do it will, however, depend on the capacity of your humidifier’s tank. In case your tank is a bit larger, you can change the water every 2 to 3 days.
If the tank is considerably small, it would be prudent if you change the water every single day. You will just lose five minutes of your time by doing that. Also, if the water you are using is hard, consider changing it on a daily basis and also remember to always clean the tank.
Regularly clean your humidifier using distilled white vinegar
How frequently do you do it? The answer to this question has a lot of factors to consider. How often you clean your humidifier greatly affects the buildup of calcium in the water reservoir.
If not regularly cleaned, or if poorly cleaned, the humidifier can be a perfect breeding hearth for bacteria.
On a regular basis, clean the humidifier by removing all removable components. Use cleaning ingredients like vinegar and rinse thoroughly. Distilled vinegar is the best household choice used in humidifier cleaning. Its ability to remove deposited masses of calcium makes it the best option. It has a less pungent smell compared to regular vinegar.
You can also consider using citric acid or decalcifier which is normally a blend of citric acid, sulphamidic acid, and aluminum sulfate.
Disinfect the humidifier
After using it, clean and wipe calcium sediments and excess water using a cloth. Use disinfecting solutions before storing the humidifier.