Winter air is low in moisture. The dry air can lead to all kinds of respiratory irritations. The best way to alleviate the situation is to add moisture back into the air with the aid of a humidifier. The cost is minimal (pennies per day), but the benefits can be significant. We recommend getting a unit which can detect the ambient humiditiy. This way, you can just leave it on and it will kick in when necessary.
While our unit has a built-in germ-killing UV light, it is unclear as what is being sanitized (air, water, etc.). As the humidifier filter is in direct contact with water, it is the perfect environment for all kinds of undesirable cultures to flourish. Now that the weather is getting warmer and the air more moist, our unit has been kicking on less and less. It won’t be long before we’ll be putting it away for the year. As part of our Spring Cleaning series, we want to remind users to take a look at the filter in the humidifier and swap it for a new one if it looks dirty or clogged.
For our vacuum cleaner bag replacement filters, our “go to” source is TotalVac.com. However, they also carry other types of filters. We found this aftermarket humidifier filter which is actually better designed than the OEM unit. The OEM unit does not have a supporting cage to hold up the filter. Over time, the filter tended to collapse due to the weight from the water. We think this new filter has a much better design.
After a few months of use, the filter has trapped quite a bit airborne particulates. We were surprised to see how much, uh, stuff, the filter trapped that had been originally floating about in the air (and delighted that none of it made it into our respiratory systems). We like to check the filter every three months and replace as necessary. The few seconds it takes to change a filter can have a huge impact on the quality of air coming out of the unit.
It is Spring and is time to clear out the cobwebs, let in some fresh air, and get ready to enjoy the warmer temperatures. However, if you live in New England, there may still be another month or so before we can put away the humidifier. Take a look at the filter now and see if you need a new one. You may just be in for a surprise.