Fraid not, it just creates a mist of the water ultrasonically and that
sees minerals that are in the water end up in the air as well, where
they deposit on surrounding surfaces as the water evaporates.
Use distilled water. I recall a high school experiment where a pot
of water was boiled down to 1/4", refilled, and boiled again down to
1/4". The remaining water was a filthy-looking sludge. That was in
Cleveland, Ohio where the water is very hard. The deposits on your
humidifier should be cleaned off per manufacturer's directions (or you
can use vinegar).
On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 20:28:04 GMT, "ghbt"
The dust is the salt in the water. Nothing you add to the water will remove
salts, including vinegar. There are two possible solutions to the
problem -- use distilled water or replace the humidifier with one that
evaporates the water rather than spraying it into the air. In the long
term, replacing the humidifier with an evaporative unit will probably be
cheaper. Large evaporative units cost about $100, room sized units about
$50 in the U.S. I use a larger unit for my 1200 sq. ft. house. It uses
from 3 to 5 gallons a day here in the desert southwest (mild, but dry,
winters). --- SJF
Yeh! I remember them now. Had one many years ago and it cost about $10.
Pretty sure you're referring to the boiler type -- gallon jug, two
electrodes and the resistance of the water heats it to generate steam. This
is the one that requires addition of salt if your water is too pure.
My reference to evaporative humidifiers was to the currently popular type
that draws air through wet filter pads. Guess the electric boilers are
still around but I overlooked them. --- SJF
The dust is from the mineral content of the water - it's probably calcium,
but I've never heard it referred to as "chalk" in this context. You can
either use distilled water which would be free of mineral content or switch
to a vaporizer-type humidifier, one which in essence boils the water and
emits steam. With this type, the mineral residue is left behind in the
That's what comes from using an ultrasonic humidifier. Dissolved
minerals, in my water its mainly calcium and magnesium sulphate, is
carried in the fine mist. When that mist water evaporates the mineral
content is deposited around the humidifier.
My solution for humidifying the house is to have a lot of house
plants. If they thrive it means their respiration had kept the air in
the correct humidity. I had disconnected the power humidifier in my
forced air furnace because of lime buildup and because the water in
the water tray was often slimy. That slime is probably mold and had
caused respiratory problems.
Yes, I believe so. You can keep a static, low-level algaecide in the
water. Such products are usually used (as slow dissolving tablets) in AC
condensate drip pans and are actually a quaternary ammonium chloride
When I die, I want to go where dogs go!
Not likely as the furnace draws air from the whole house to
recirculate. The sponge pad and the water tray make an excellent
growth medium. The nutirents were probably from all the dander and
other stuff picked up from the air. The humidifier disperses several
gallons of water a day so there is no effective way of neutralizing
the water tray contents either by adding chemicals. Who wants to
breath chemical vapours anyway. I am handy enough to put in a
home-made UV light source but thought better of it. The house plants
idea is a lot more satisfying. Plants give of as much water as is
required by them to thrive. If they thrive I do. They make the whole
hose look a lot better too.
It would take a lot of houseplants to use several gallons a day. If you
want to maintain humidity, infiltration may be the first concern. The
second may be a wet-dry thermometer to monitor humidity objectively.
My sister had no way to measure humidity, but for years she ran an
ultrasonic humidifier all winter because she thought it helped her
breathing. I think she finally concluded that the moisture was doing
more harm than good by promoting the growth of allergens.
With no added humidity, my wintertime drop is seven degrees. That's
about 65%, and that's dandy. If I wanted more humidity I'd dry my
laundry on a rack indoors. If I wanted a lot more humidity I'd hang wet
towels on the rack and use a 12" fan. Those fans are quiet and run
hours for a penny.
Years ago I used a fan and towel to clean the air. I'd just put a pan
of beans on high heat to boil when a neighbor came to the door for help.
When I got back, the acrid smoke was too thick to see through. I
ventilated, then for a week hung a wet towel in front of a fan. I
rinsed the towel frequently. It picked up a lot of soot and odor.
So a wet towel can be used to add humidity and remove pollution.
I took a look at my weather station - that fancy three dial thingy I
have, more for decoration than utility. The relative humidity reads
42%, and the temp is 70 deg F. That's my confort zone and I have
lived in my house for 23 years. I live in Alberta which is
comfortably dry all year round such that sweat evaporates fast enough
to keep the body dry even when I exercise. Summer temperatures can go
up to 80 deg F and I don't have air conditioning. But that's very
bearable because of the low humidity.
I have enough house plants pots to occupy three office desks. They
are spread out of course. They have adapted well enough that I need
only water them once in five days or once a week. Most of the plants
have been around since I moved in.
The rest of the humidity comes from cooking, from baths and from
laundry although as a single occupant this contribution will be less
than that of a family's. In cool or warm weather I leave the windows
open to let air circulate. I do see pollen collecting on the window
screens and some must get through. But rarely are there any fluffy
airborne seeds getting into the house. The best part is that there is
no condensation on the window glass and I have lots of glass in my
house. There are no moldy spot either.
I hardly if ever catch the flu nowadays, or have respiratory problems
although I have to admit that my place is quite dusty as I hardly ever
vacuum the place. I don't mess up so things look neat normally. A
once a year whole house commercial carpet clean takes care of the
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.