You’ve taken the time to select and install the perfect ultrasonic cool humidifier for your home, complete with the proper placement and even a few essential oils for good measure.
Now it’s time to keep your machine in great condition for years to come. Let’s see how it’s done.
1. Read the Manual First
DIY-ers will scoff at the suggestion of reading the instruction manual for any type of appliance or electronic device.
But while television sets and game consoles might be operational without instructions, humidifiers are unique in that the manual actually contains useful info for proper usage and maintenance.
When unpacking your new ultrasonic cool humidifier, give the manual a front-to-back read-through and highlight the sections regarding assembly and maintenance. You’ll see exactly how components come together and the order of operations to follow when cleaning the machine.
2. Master the Cleaning Process
The instruction manual can only take you so far. Hands-on cleaning is the best way to master the process. You’ll be cleaning the machine at least once a week, so you might as well familiarize yourself with the steps, the tools, the components, and more.
Typically, a humidifier needs white vinegar and a dash of bleach, along with hot water and some targeted scrubbing to eliminate grime and bacteria buildup. Again, every unit is different and will necessitate a unique approach.
Don’t forget to clean those small bits and pieces while the larger components soak and dry. Caps, trays, connectors, and even cables should be cleaned with care.
Pro tip: assemble a humidifier maintenance checklist and print it out for quick, easy reference. This will ensure you follow the correct steps each time and avoid making rookie mistakes that might compromise the integrity of the machine.
3. Optimize with Improved Tools
Remember that tools don’t need to be fancy or complicated to make a difference in the cleaning process. For instance, you might find that a cheap toothbrush does a great job of hitting those hard-to-reach areas in the basin or filter area, so keep an open mind.
Some brands even sell dedicated cleaning kits for their proprietary devices, so that you don’t have to engage in trial-and-error tactics that may damage your unit.
4. Set and Stick to a Schedule
Try to get into the habit of cleaning your humidifier on a set schedule, and be sure not to miss a session. Ideally, you will clean all your machines at least once a week, which should take about an hour with only ten minutes of active effort.
That schedule is important because it reminds you that cleaning your humidifier is non-negotiable, just like taking out the trash or performing other household chores.
5. Air Dry to Completion (Be Patient)
So many humidifier maintenance tutorials tell you how to properly clean each component with the right tools and chemicals. However, they usually leave out a key piece of the puzzle: how to dry everything the right way before reassembly and usage.
The key to drying your humidifier is time, so patience is a virtue here. Perhaps a light breeze from a fan or natural wind can help dry components, but never use direct heat to try speeding up the process.
Only when every component is completely dry to the touch should you put the pieces back together for continued use.
6. Use Essential Oils Correctly
Lovely essential oils like peppermint and tea tree can add atmosphere and enjoyment to daily humidifier use. Unfortunately, many people haphazardly use these oils by adding them directly to the reservoir or basin. That’s asking for mechanical problems and possible health hazards.
Instead, find a machine with a designated tray for essential oils that harnesses their power without overloading the water supply.
Ideally, the mechanism will evaporate the essence and use it sparingly to take each drop further, saving you cash as well.
7. Keep Spare Parts On Hand
Some humidifiers are only used at night, while others work overtime in especially dry environments. The goal is to aim for that goldilocks zone between 30% and 50%, and your machine should be up to the task.
However, even the best machines will see wear and tear with time, and some units feature wicks and filters that need more frequent replacement. Be smart and plan ahead with plenty of extra components in your supply cabinet, so you always have backups.
Better yet, order replacement parts online so you never have to fret about last-minute repairs.
8. Know When it’s Time to Upgrade
Eventually, your machine will start declining in output or suffer electrical failure of some kind. It happens to appliances of all kinds, so don’t blame the manufacturer or your maintenance efforts.
The key is knowing the signs of performance decline before the whole thing goes kaput! Take note of metrics like mist volume, water quality, and listen for strange noises that may emit from the inner workings of your machine.
When it’s time to say goodbye to your machine, pledge to take care of your next one with even better habits and protocols.
Long Live Your Favorite Humidifier
There’s no reason to let your beloved ultrasonic cool humidifier fall by the wayside after just a year or two of use. Extend the lifespan of your unit and make the most out of your purchase, while keeping everyone safe and happy in the process.