Humidifiers are sometimes used during dryer winter months to maintain our health and ensure the correct humidity or moisture levels are maintained to manage fluctuation in natural wood surfaces (i.e., hardwood floors). Most homes have a drum-type or drip type humidifier that is mounted on the side of the furnace. It usually includes an automatic water feed from a small hose that comes off of a nearby water line. Over time, the repeated evaporation of water within the humidifier will leave behind a deposit of minerals from water. Dust that circulates through the furnace in the air will also deposit in the humidifier. This becomes a breeding ground for various types of mould and bacteria that can spread throughout the home. It is important that the humidifier be checked and cleaned monthly.

General Maintenance

For more information on interior climate control, refer to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporationʼs useful ventilation articles and tips online. Visit and search “Ventilation.”

A number of anti-scale products are available to make it easier to clean your humidifier. If the unit has a float valve, ensure that it is opening and shutting down the flow of water to maintain the correct level of water.

During the spring and fall, relative humidity levels can be set around the 40 percent mark. During the winter, the relative humidity should be adjusted to approximately 20 percent. If ice or excessive condensation is accumulating on the windows of your home, reducing the humidifier settings even further can help in managing this buildup.