How Long Do Humidifiers Last? 3 Legit Hacks To Prolong Your Humidifier Life Without Spoiling Again!

How long do humidifiers last

It is tempting to leave the humidifier on all-day especially that winter is not yet over. If you live in a place where the cold season lingers, it might be horrifying when your humidifier suddenly stopped working.

Dry air causes a lot of problems including flaky skin and chapped lips.

High humidity also affects your respiratory system by increasing congestions, infections, sore throats, and even nosebleeds. Hence, dry air is terrible for those suffering from asthma and allergies.


During these times, humidifiers can save you from all these possible health issues. So far I have incorporated numerous tips and guides about this useful device and its types.

I even talked about how to clean humidifiers to avoid bacteria contamination and to ensure its smooth working condition. My expertise as a professional meteorologist widened my study about air humidity and allowed me to evaluate various brands of room humidifiers that are perfect for your home and needs.

Unfortunately, there are incidents where humidifiers stopped working such as the power light is on.  But, is not turning on, or there is no mist exposed into the air, unusual noises, and more.

Why Your Humidifiers Fail Sometimes

why humidifiers fail sometimes

I frequently receive concerns regarding why some humidifiers last a few months, and it stopped working. This happens even without doing anything that may cause any harm to the device.

This scenario can be frustrating especially when you just bought a brand new machine. No matter how you tried saving using the tips and quick fixes I wrote from the previous articles, yet it seems that your humidifier eventually gave up on you.

There are reasons why your humidifier gave up, maybe, somewhere along the line, there might have been underlying causes which you were unaware.

Understanding Humidifiers

You can’t just let airborne viruses, allergies, and other harmful elements get in the way so this is why you are reading this to know exactly how long does a humidifier last.

There are a handful of articles on how to keep humidifiers, but none so far explains how long these devices last. There is more to know about humidifiers, considering the various factors including brand, price, and types.

Humidifiers are simple appliances that are easy to use and with manageable troubleshooting steps.  All you need to know is how humidifiers work to get to know better and understand the different types of humidifiers, where to use, and how to use it efficiently.

From here, you will get a thorough and efficient knowledge that can help sustain and increase the life of humidifiers.

Humidifiers can last for the right amount of years as long as you highly consider and note the things that can shorten its life. You will be surprised that these are the usual things we do!

What Affects Humidifier Life

How frequent we use humidifiers immensely affects its durability. The longer and more exhausting its span of use is, the more prone it is to breakage. Just like any other appliances we got at home.

However, you can avoid equipment breakdown when you completely understand how they operate. Humidifier types are filtered evaporative, warm mist ultrasonic, and filter-free cool mist ultrasonic.

Each of its types has its pros and cons and identifying them can significantly help you extend lifespan.

Regular Filter Change

regular filter change

Evaporative Humidifiers use a filter to block the minerals and evaporate in the air which is why you don’t see any mist as compared to other humidifiers. 

Because it uses filters, you have to make sure that there are no impediments such as the presence of smoke, pets playing or dust that may cause filter clogging.

I also talked about routine cleaning which is essential and crucial for this type. Although, it is not a consequence of a big deal you have to change the wick filter to optimize its performance regularly.

Cleaning or replacing a wick-type humidifier filter is simple and only needs a few steps. Because when the wick absorbs the water, it can efficiently transmit bacteria that requires to be removed or else, the bacteria will be spread back into the air and cause more health problems such as bronchitis.

Water Type and Level

Water Type and Level

Warm and cool mist humidifiers do not use filters but rather a different system which breaks the water into a subtle mist that is evident and released out in the air.

However, it is important to note the water level from their tanks. Water plays an essential role in humidifying our homes so you should spend some time and effort into understanding what water type to use and the correct water level.

If you use your humidifier let’s say a few times a week, I suggest that you pour the water out from the reservoir and wipe it clean. Stagnant water is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and mold spores.

Distilled water is the best water type to use for all kinds of humidifiers since it has less mineral content than regular tap water.

Essential Oils

can you use essential oils in humidifiers - essential oils

Another important thing to note is that if you are using essential oils in your humidifiers, which have greater tendencies to clog the filters. Essential oils can deteriorate the plastic components and later on build issues.

For you to still appreciate the calming effect of your lavender oil or the invigorating scents of peppermint, use cool mist humidifiers with exclusive trays for essential oils.

I suggest that you find humidifiers with a separate box for essential oils. The aroma case houses the essential oils and then the fan distributes the oils in the mist giving you to pure and cleaner air with your favorite scent.

What To Consider When Buying Humidifiers

what to consider when buying humidifiers

Like I said earlier, humidifiers can actually last for about 2-5 years depending on the brand and type plus how well you maintain and clean your equipment. Like your other home appliances, you should regularly check on and keep your humidifier to ensure that it can operate effectively and efficiently.

Prices also range from as cheap as $10 to $100 for more sophisticated models. However, humidifiers work the same way regardless of the costs; they usually differ on the system used like filter-type and ultrasonic warm-mist and cool-mist.

Humidifier Considerations

When choosing a humidifier, you have to bear in mind these three important points to consider:

  • Room Size-  Sometimes we can’t feel the presence of humidifiers at home, and so we think that maybe it is broken or needed servicing. More often than not, your humidifier is not broke, and perhaps you just got the wrong type.

Remember that upon buying humidifiers, your primary goal is to achieve the right humidity level which goes between 30 to 50 percent. Less humidity can cause dryness, and too much moisture promotes the growth of bacteria. You can calculate the width and the length of the desired room to humidify and multiply them.

The result should give you the surface of the room, and by using this detail, you can determine a humidifier that cloaks the entire room size.

  • Water Hardness - I recommend using distilled water for your humidifiers but considering the cost of it, you may not be able to cope up with the expense that will last the entire season. I wrote an article on how you can experiment doing your own distilled water.

Determining the water hardness is crucial in choosing the right humidifier for you. You can call your local water supplier and ask for the hardness of your house water.

Water hardness describes the number of minerals present in the water, so if you are aware of the water hardness at home, you can easily find the right kind of humidifiers.

  • Correct System- Since you now understand water hardness, basing from this, you can choose the right humidifier system such as an evaporative humidifier, ultrasonic humidifier, and hot steam humidifiers.

How to Prolong Humidifier Life

humidifier lifespan

Often when we buy gadgets and appliances, we ask how long this equipment will serve me? And many more questions follow right after one.

Whole-house humidifiers can last from 3 years to decades while room humidifiers can stand from 6 months to 5 years. Tabletop humidifiers are short-lived appliances, but, its length depends on how you maintain the device.

So to give you peace of mind, I have decided to collect all the essential facts you need to keep your humidifiers long-lasting.

If you notice, I am keen regarding the proper cleaning of humidifiers since they contribute to the spread of bacteria and air-borne diseases if left filthy.

At some point, humidifiers only last a few months, and it started to show some problems, or not even working at all, it could be because of the lack of regular maintenance. Maintenance includes filter change, excessive usage time, and incorrect water refill.

Tips to Ponder

Note that keeping your humidifier at its peak performance is so easy. You need to make a routine checkup and do these:

  • Set Timeframe- Humidifiers can keep up for a good number of hours and leaving it on at all times could cause it to deplete sooner, and not to say it but it may add more to your electricity bill if you use warm mists.
  • Care and Maintenance - More often, the common reason why most humidifiers don’t last long is due to poor maintenance. I received a lot of questions regarding proper cleaning and how often it should be. Regular dust maintenance and room vacuuming, especially near the area close to your humidifier, can significantly extend its filter life.

These are the two essential areas you need to consider to prolong your humidifier lifespan.  Proper cleaning does not just extend the lifespan of humidifiers but also ensures that you breathe clean air and free from pathogens.

Filter Replacement

filter replacement

If you use an evaporative humidifier replace the filter at least once in every three months. If you use it daily, replace the filter at least every two months. Or, you can also check and review its manual for the recommended filter replacement.

I suggest doing this as routine to ensure there are no dust and other harmful elements exposed to air. Filters remove minerals and pollutants from water & help prevent white dust in hard water areas, providing clean moisture to your home.

To replace your filter, get your humidifier make and model number to find the best fit. Usually, you can get filter replacement at the local hardware stores, groceries and even on Amazon.

During filter replacement, you can also thoroughly clean the humidifier itself and its other parts, most especially the water tank.

  • 1
    Only use a soft-bristled brush for cleaning the tank
  • 2
    Use bleach or white vinegar in cleaning to kill bacteria and remove molds surrounding the tank
  • 3
    Let the solution sit for about 30 minutes and give it a good shake afterward
  • 4
    Rinse the humidifier entirely many times to remove the bleach

I have listed some effective cleaning solutions too that you can use to regularly clean and maintain humidifiers.

Whether you are planning to purchase a new one or maybe trying to decipher how a humidifier is working, it is best to understand its different types and consideration to prolong its use.

Water Hardness

Water hardness

If you notice, the type of water use in the humidifier is fundamental. Like what I advised, distilled is the best option. However, tap water also works as long as you understand the water hardness level. 

De-mineralized water types make your humidifier less likely to discharge white mineral dust and less likely to cause lung issues.

Distilled water lasts longer than tap water which only stays around seven days or lesser. Tap water might have the possibility of minerals piling up in the filter.

Storing Humidifiers

storing humidifiers

After a season of use, we usually just keep humidifiers somewhere in the cabinets or in the storage room. However, it is also important to note that storing humidifiers need attention too.

If possible, keep the humidifier box upon purchase so you can still use this to preserve the device later on when its offseason, when you are traveling, or when you plan to simply store it.

Proper storage also affects its lifespan. Storage is also a critical aspect since you will no longer use the device. It may now be susceptible to wearing if you do not take care of it.

  • If you are storing your humidifier for some time, remove its filter and replace with a new one.
  • Don’t forget to empty the humidifier’s water tank and wipe it dry.
  • Never store your humidifier with the old filter and water because it can breed bacteria, molds and even foul odor.

Cleaning humidifiers after storing are also essential since dust and bacteria may have contaminated the device while not in use.

Ok, I have covered all the essential aspects on how to prolong the lifespan of humidifiers. I hope that this article helped you better understand how to protect your device from possible damage and keep it at an excellent condition

2 thoughts on “How Long Do Humidifiers Last? 3 Legit Hacks To Prolong Your Humidifier Life Without Spoiling Again!”

  1. Hi Leona! Great article.

    I think that the quality of water matters a lot when it comes to humidifiers life. You pointed very well that distilled water is better than regular tap water when you use it in your humidifier. Also, it matters if you put cold or hot water in the device.

    PS: I linked to this great awesome article from my blog.

    • Hi George! Thank you for linking out! Water is like a double edged sword when it comes to humidifier, but with the right water quality, one can definitely have their humidifier last for years to come!

Comments are closed.