Air Quality HVAC

What Type of Water You Should Use In a Humidifier?

Type of Water You Should Use In a Humidifier


Winter often brings dry air, leading to various discomforts such as cracked skin, swollen lips, and congestion. While a humidifier can alleviate these issues by maintaining a comfortable humidity level in your home, improper usage can have drawbacks, affecting maintenance costs and indoor air quality. Question arises, what type of water you should use in a humidifier.

The Importance of Water Selection:

To ensure the effective and safe operation of your humidifier, choosing the right water is crucial. Distilled water emerges as the preferred option due to its purity, devoid of minerals, bacteria, and particles harmful to the humidifier.

Advantages of Using Distilled Water:

1. Maintenance and Cleanliness:

Distilled water keeps the humidifier clean by eliminating dissolved solids found in tap water, preventing mineral buildup that can affect performance.

2. Mold Prevention:

Distilled water reduces the likelihood of mold colonies forming in the humidifier’s tank, contributing to a healthier indoor environment.

3. Improved Air Quality:

The use of distilled water eliminates the occurrence of white “humidifier dust,” caused by dissolved minerals, enhancing overall air quality in your home.

Tap Water: A Not Recommended Option:

Tap water, containing dissolved minerals and solids, is not advisable for use in humidifiers. The minerals can lead to limescale buildup, providing a conducive environment for microorganism growth, adversely affecting both the humidifier and indoor air quality.

Alternatives to Distilled Water:

1. Bottled Water:

While bottled water may seem like a temporary solution, it is not recommended due to the persistence of dissolved minerals.

2. Filtered Water:

Water filtered through a humidifier is not ideal, as most filters do not completely purify tap water, leaving behind minerals.

Temperature Considerations:

1. Hot Water:

Using excessively hot water is discouraged as it can lead to mineral deposits, shorten the humidifier’s lifespan, and promote bacterial and mold growth.

2. Cold Water:

Cold water may reduce the effectiveness of the humidifier, especially with warm mist humidifiers, as the water must be heated to function properly.


Maintaining optimal humidity levels in your home is essential for your well-being. By choosing distilled water and understanding the potential pitfalls of using tap water or alternatives, you can ensure the longevity of your humidifier, improve air quality, and enjoy a comfortable living environment during the dry winter months.

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About the author


I am Ben , a seasoned HVAC specialist with over 6 of experience in the HVAC industry. I holds HVAC Certification and has a proven track record in providing expert advice on HVAC systems.