What Causes Home Humidifiers to Smell Bad?
One of the best ways to avoid those dry and uncomfortable winters in your home is to have a good quality humidifier in your house adding much desired moisture to boost your indoor air quality. It can help to lower the severity of allergy and cold symptoms and even lower the risk of asthma attacks. However, if you smell a musky or strange smell coming from your machine when you switch it on, you might not want to use it.
When my first humidifier started smelling, my husband noticed it before I did. I had just had plastic surgery on my nose and couldn’t smell much of anything for several weeks. (Note to the ladies out there: If you ever decide to have rhinoplasty surgery, make sure you have someone who can smell things for you.)
So, what might be causing the bad smell of your humidifier?
Bacterial development in your humidifier’s water tank might be the cause of the bad smell originating from the house appliance. If your machine isn’t cleaned well, it can spread bacteria inside your house when it is in use and even get the whole household sick.
Water contains different minerals such as sodium, lead and sulfur which can build up in your humidifier and result to toxic smells. If you come across white spots of dust on your furniture, which are situated in the same house with your working machine, mineral drops in your gadget are highly likely to be the cause of the smell. If not cleaned, mineral build ups can enter your air supply system and be inhaled by you as well as other family members.
Mold and fungus
Stagnant water in your humidifier can encourage the development of mold and fungus which can produce a musty smell. Fungus and mold create equal health risk to those who inhale the water vapor produced when the dirty gadget is in use. Mold is dangerous and can cause mild or severe lung issues, which affect the elderly and young with greater regularity than adults with good immune systems.
What can you do to get rid of the smell?
The only way to eradicate this bad smell is to clean your humidifier. But before you begin, you need to unplug your machine. First, you need to remove the filter and install a new one. In most cases, this will take care of the whole problem and you don’t need to waste any more time on the machine. If your machine does not have a filter or the odor persists even after you have changed the filter, a thorough cleaning might be required.
• Start by eradicating the water in the tank and then wash it well.
• Then, scrub all the interior surfaces of the machine you can reach with water and bleach. Ensure that you scrub the evaporation pipe while you’re in there (it can be the cause of musky odor.
• Next, rinse the bleach well or it will be brought into your indoor atmosphere when you switch on your gadget.
• Once you are done, reassemble your machine and run it with fresh water.
This should resolve the issue, but to prevent it from occurring again, there are a few simple steps that you can follow.
• Avoid leaving stagnant water inside the tank for a very long time.
• When you aren’t using your gadget, drain any excess water and dry its interior well to prevent the development of mildew and mold.
• Finally, you consider adding baking soda or vinegar to the water in the humidifier to prevent any unwanted odors from reoccurring.