Is Your Humidifier Contaminating Your Indoor Air?

Mold, Viruses, and Bacteria

As the winter months’ pass, many people turn to a portable humidifier to combat seasonal dryness. What many people don’t know, is that humidifiers can introduce harmful viruses, bacteria, and toxic molds into your home’s air. Both the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency warn that emissions from dirty humidifiers can cause health problems, especially for people who suffer from asthma or allergies.

Humidifier Helping or Hurting Your Health?

Your humidifier might look normal on the outside, but what’s on the inside? You might be surprised.  The machine could very well be concealing  mold and yeast. Accumulation often occurs on the vent, fan blades, or inside of the water tank. While you may not be able to see harmful mold spores on the surfaces inside of your humidifier, they can still contaminate the air.

Another danger of using a humidifier inside of your home is a direct result of the increase of moisture you are introducing. Excessive wetness or humidity can accumulate, causing mold to start growing on porous surfaces such as windowsills and walls.

General Cleaning Tips

Consumer Product Safety Commission Recommended
  • Clean the unit on a regular basis. This includes emptying all leftover water, wiping all of the component’s surfaces with a towel, and refilling the humidifier with clean water.
  • Sanitize weekly. First, empty any leftover water from the humidifier. Then, fill the water tank with a weak bleach solution (around one teaspoon of bleach for every gallon of water). Leave the bleach solution in the water tank for around 20 minutes, swirling it around every few minutes to make sure that the sides of the water tank are coated. Next, pour out the bleach solution and rinse the tank with water until you cannot smell the bleach anymore. (Note: The EPA states that you can also use a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide in place of a bleach solution.)
  • Remove scale and mineral deposits. You can do this by creating a vinegar solution (one cup of vinegar per cup of water) and using it with a soft brush or towel to remove any visible mineral buildup.
Detect Active Mold

The well-being of our employees, our customers, our communities, and our environment is at the heart of our business here at Prism Analytical Technologies (Home Air Check's Laboratory). Now, more than ever, we must come together as we adjust to the challenges resulting from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). I am reaching out to let you know that we at Prism Analytical are committed to operating in a safe and responsible manner while maintaining the highest standards of quality in these troubled times.   

Prism Analytical continues to follow the direction of federal, state, and local governments regarding our operations, and we are closely monitoring the latest reports from the CDC and WHO.  We have instituted recommended cleaning and disinfection procedures of all our sampling equipment as well as the work spaces of all our personnel. We have also enabled staff to work from home where possible, delayed or cancelled upcoming travel plans, and are restricting access to our work spaces.

Our business will continue to operate as usual; from shipping equipment to laboratory operations to reporting. As always, we are here to help you be successful and are available via phone and email to help you plan projects, review data and answer questions.  

This is a constantly evolving situation and we will continue to closely monitor conditions and evaluate additional measures to support our customers, team members, and communities as needed. We will provide prompt updates regarding any adjustments to our procedures or operations.

We sincerely appreciate your patience during this time and are committed to maintaining transparent and open communication with you. Please reach out to me or any of our staff if you have any questions or concerns.

As a reminder, as more people spend time at home it’s more important than ever that they maintain good indoor air quality to help keep everyone healthy and facilitate successful remote learning and working.

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