How to Use a Humidifier? (Step By Step Guide For Beginners)

To most people, a humidifier is a must-have machine in their homes or offices. According to research, over 17.2 million households use humidifiers at some point in a year.

The market share and size of these humidifiers also continues to rise by not less than 25% due to their continued demand. Humidifiers are not only used at home or in the office.

They can similarly be used in hospitals, industries, schools, theatres; you name them.

What is a Humidifier?

It is a device that increases moisture in a room or an entire building. They are helpful in many ways including helping people deal with congestion and dry skin.

It can also be used in dealing with day to day life effects, for instance, static energy. There are different types of humidifiers and each is designed differently.

Therefore, they might operate differently. However, they all serve the same purpose.


If you need a humidifier to use in your house, you can either go for point-of-use or whole-house humidifiers.

A point-of-use is for humidifying a single room while on the other hand, a whole-house humidifier provides average moisture for the entire house.

How Do You Use a Humidifier?

If you are looking to one day buy a humidifier, then it is crucial that you learn how to operate it. You also have to understand which humidifier to buy depending on where you want to use it.

For example, large humidifiers are meant for big places like hotels and churches. You can’t use these at homes. If you want one to use at home, then go for the smaller ones.

Types of Humidifiers

It is probably the best that you know so that in the process of using it, you know which one you are dealing with because they work differently. There are four types. Let us look at each type briefly.

Ultrasonic- These use vibrations to release moisture into the air. They come in both cold and warm steam thus they can be perfect for use at home. The water in the humidifier vibrates vigorously producing cooling steam.


Vaporizers- These work by heating the water first to remove impurities, the after the water cools it is released as fresh steam into the air. You got to be careful with this one because it can release hotter steam that can be dangerous.

Evaporators – They release cool moisture into the air by the use of a fan. As the cooling air is blown into the air, the dry air is pulled into the system to be cooled. These can be used in bedrooms as it is noiseless. They can also be used in larger rooms.


Warm Mist Ideal for the cold winter season. A soft boiling process traps air particles and releases clean, warm steam into the air

Step by Step Guide

Now have you the right type of the humidifier you want to use with you. What is next?

The Setting up Process

You have to set up your humidifier at the right place you want it to be. Be it in the living room, the bedroom or the study room.  A few steps are involved here.

1. Reading The Humidifier Manual

You need to remember that humidifiers come in different designs, each with their instructions on how to set and take care of them. Carefully read the instructions without any assumptions that they just the same with any other humidifier you have come across.

2. Assemble Your Humidifier if Need be

If your humidifier needs to assemble before use, then you do it. The manual should have the steps to guide you through the process. These may include the addition of wheels or if it is your personal preference like adjusting the aperture of the air.

Using Your Humidifier

After the set-up process, your humidifier is ready for use. The following are the steps you should follow;

1. Clean up the water reservoir

Wash the water tank thoroughly with clean water and soap. It is to remove any remains of impurities that might have stuck in there during the manufacturing process.

Do not always assume that when you buy the humidifiers, the reservoirs come clean. You will be running the risk of inhaling those impurities when the humidifier is turned on which can be dangerous to your health.

2. Add Water to the reservoir

After cleaning the water reservoir, you will be required to fill it with water. Though some humidifiers will allow the use of tap water, distilled water is the best.

This is because distilled water usually is free from additives that you can sometimes find in tap water.

Don’t add water past the marked water line. If it is a must that a filter is added to the water, then this is the ideal time.

3. Positioning The Humidifier

After step one and two, the humidifier is now ready for use. As a new user, learn the tips and tricks on how to your humidifier in a strategic position.

Place your humidifier on a level raised surface, at least 12 inches away from the wall. The chosen raised surface should be high and have nothing underneath.

For instance, you can place it on top of your dresser.

Do not place your humidifier under the bed or shelf, near curtains or paper. It is advisable also that you do not put any objects close to the humidifier as they will get moist from the moisture released from the humidifier.

4. Turn On The Humidifier and Adjust Settings

Here, you are required to plug in and power on your humidifier. They have knobs or buttons that enable you to alter the settings until they suit you.​

In case of any confusion on how to set your humidifier, you can always consult your manual.

You might want to check if your humidifier has small spaces that allow you to add things like vapor rub or oil to the mist while in the process of tuning. It will be the ideal time to add them.

If according to the manual your humidifier does not have this feature then don’t get concerned with using them.

The recommended humidity levels that you can set your humidifier up to are 30-50%. Turn it off when not in use. The humidifier should not be left running in an empty room.

5. Keep Your Humidifier Clean At All Times

For regular users, you should clean it at least two times a week. It makes your humidifier last longer. It also prevents the growth of bacteria around the humidifier and in the water.

For those who do not use regularly, it is best that you clean once in a while as bacteria and mold can grow in between the long intervals of time.

For cleaning, use water and mild soap, but if you want to kill the bacteria, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are recommended.

Those are the five steps that you should follow, and you will find using a humidifier such an easy thing.

However, there are things some people overlook while using their humidifiers that are entirely unacceptable. What are they? Let’s check them out.

Mistakes People Make While Using Humidifiers


1. Allowing Moisture Levels to rise too high

Excess moisture can be harmful to your health. For instance, it can make your allergy symptoms worse if you have allergies to molds or dust.

You should be keen to reduce the humidity if it feels dense and various things around the house start to feel damp and windows condensed. Do not let the humidity rise above 40%.

2. Use of Tap Water in Humidifiers.

If you fill the humidifier with tap water against the manufacturer’s instructions, then you will be making a big mistake. The mineral deposits in the tap water can cause bacterial growth in the humidifier, and you will inhale them when released into the air.

3. Not Cleaning Your Humidifier Often.

Some people assume that since they use their humidifiers once in a while, then there is no need for cleaning it regularly. If you do not clean often enough, your humidifier will breed bacteria, mold or even algae.

These get blown off into the air when the humidifier is in use, and you run the risk of inhaling them. Once you inhale, they can be dangerous to your health.

It is advisable that you regularly clean your humidifier with clean water and slight soap. It is also best that you clean it using hydrogen peroxide or vinegar to kill bacteria.

4.  Having Water Stay In The Reservoir For Long

Do not let water stay in the tank for long in between uses. It can breed bacteria. Always empty the tank and clean it before refilling it with fresh distilled water.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean your device because cleaning it otherwise will damage it.

5. Overlooking Humidity Levels In Your Home

The level of moisture in your indoor air can be either helpful or harmful to your allergy symptoms. The environmental protection agency recommends that you should keep your moisture below 60% in the summer season and 25-40% in the winter season.

Final words

Humidifiers are by far life-saving devices. By the look of their functions which include controlling allergic conditions, helping people with dry skin, congestion and even people with asthmatic conditions, it is a machine that is worth having in your home or at your workplace.

It would be a huge advantage to you if you learned how to use a humidifier effectively.  You could apply this knowledge in the comfort of your home and trust me it improves your living conditions will not be the same again.

Team Chooserly

A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!

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