Where To Put Humidifier: 7 Tips From Industry Experts

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Deciding where to place your newly bought humidifier can be a challenge if you are not familiar with the workings of a humidifier. Placing them in poor positions would result in sub-optimal performances and may even cause you more harm than good.

In order to bring you the most accurate and updated information, we gathered our own research and also interviewed industry experts from major humidifier companies. This article will guide you through the best place to put your room humidifier in the house to achieve maximum results with the least effort.

For those in a hurry, these are the pertinent findings from our research on where to place humidifier in the house

  • Placement in the middle of the room leads to fast and even humidification
  • Keep humidifier 14 -17 feet (4-5m) away from walls and furniture
  • Place 3 feet (1 m) away from the bed 
  • Elevate the humidifier 2 feet off the ground
  • Keep the windows and doors shut when using the humidifier
  • Avoid running a humidifier and air purifier in the same room
  • Avoid placing humidifier in direct sunlight

Best Practices On Where To Place A Room Humidifier

Where To Place A Humidifier In The Living Room?

In most situations, the best location for humidifier is in the middle of the living room. 

According to Adriana, our expert from Levoit, the most central a humidifier is to the space, the more it will be able to affect the area around it. For example, if it is placed in the corner, the area immediately around it will be the most humid and the air farther away will be relatively drier. This is especially important if you are using a smaller humidifier in a large room. If placed incorrectly, you may find that the mist may never reach you and you won’t get the benefits of the humidifier.

On the contrary, if you are using a large humidifier in a small room, then where you place your humidifier would not make a great difference as the whole room would get humidified eventually with time.

It is also important to ensure that the humidifier is not too near to electrical outlets or electrical appliances for safety reasons.

Where to place a humidifier in the living room infographics

Where should you place a humidifier in your bedroom?

If using the humidifier in the bedroom, you might be wondering how close should a humidifier be to your bed. It is advised to place your humidifier about 3 feet (1 meter) away from your bed. This is the most ideal distance to get the beneficial effects from the moist air without hearing the annoying gurgling sounds that some humidifiers make. 

As you can see from the table below, some humidifiers may not be so conducive in terms of noise levels.

Humidifier Effective rangeNoise Level
Venta Airwasher LW4545m²44 dB 
Levoit Dual 100 Ultrasonic Humidifier 24m²28 dB
TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier30m²38 dB
Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Humidifier24m²20 dB
Dyson Humidifier + Cool75m²59 dB
Comparison of common humidifier and their noise levels

Some bloggers advise keeping a warm mist humidifier near your bed when you are nursing a cold or having sinus congestion. I would STRONGLY ADVISE AGAINST that. By having a warm mist humidifier near your bed, your bedding is going to be exposed to the warm water vapor all night long. Warmth, water and nutrients. That is the perfect recipe for mites and mold growth on your bed. Instead of helping your sinus infection, this might even make it worse!

Where should you place a humidifier in a baby’s room?

Similar to our own bedroom, you do not want to place the humidifier too close to the baby’s crib as it can make the area too moist. In addition, children have a habit of tugging at things and you do not want the humidifier falling onto them.

As mentioned above, some humidifier my be quite noisy so be sure to choose a model that is quiet during operation so that it does not disturb your child’s sleep.

A last pointer is to avoid warm mist humidifier in the baby room as it can contain very hot water which would be disastrous if it falls onto a young child!

Humidifier on the Floor or nightstand?

All of our experts were united on this. Placement of your humidifier on an elevated surface like a table or counter would yield the best results. Becky from Taotronics recommended a distance of at least 2 feet above the ground to increase the efficiency of your home humidifier.

Warm air rises and cold air sinks. Warm air has the ability to “hold” more moisture than cold air as the water molecules are more likely to go into the vapor phase. Therefore, by placing your humidifier in an elevated position, it needs to do less work to humidify the air in the room. Secondly, elevated placement also reduces the chances of you tripping over it in the middle of the night.

However, do not rush to buy a new counter or table top just yet. Placing your humidifier on the floor would also achieve the same results as elevated placement, just with a slightly longer time.

On the other hand, you also want to avoid placing it too high up. Some  humidifiers have large mist plume to spread around the whole room. If the humidifier is too close to the ceiling, the plume will just hit the ceiling and condense without being distributed effectively around the room.

Therefore, 2 feet off the ground is just about right.

However, no matter the placement, it is important to make your floor or table top water resistant as the mist may start condensing on the surface. If your humidifier is on a wooden table top, there may be water damage after prolonged exposure to moisture. If your humidifier is on the floor, the floor may become wet and slippery. A simple solution would be to place the humidifier on a towel. 

where to put humidifier in bedroom

Clearance From Adjacent Objects

After you have decided the general location of your humidifier, you would want to take note of the following pointers to improve the efficiency of your humidifier.

Raul Simonetti, HVAC Corporate Business Manager at CAREL told us, household stand-alone humidifiers typically produce humidity by boiling drinkable water or by producing fine fog: the resulting vapor humidifies the air.

Steam is hot (around 100 °C / 212 °F), and this condenses when it “strikes” a surface, as the surfaces in homes are always colder than the temperature of the steam; the humidifier’s outlets where steam exits should always be placed so that there is a free space without surfaces of at least 4-5 metres / 14-17 feet in front of them, to avoid condensation on walls, furniture, windows (especially in winter time, when these are cold and thus abundant condensate will form), etc. and, in particular, to avoid scalding people.

Fog on the other hand is simply wet, made up of tiny droplets that float in the air for some time while evaporating naturally and settling at the same time: fog wets anything it falls on, but is not hot, so the only concern is the moisture produced by the cold condensate.

Should I Close the Doors When Using A Humidifier?

Another aspect that our industry experts agree on is to shut the windows and doors when the humidifier is in use. By keeping the windows open, the dry air outdoors will continuously flow into the room and no matter how hard your humidifier works, they will never be able to keep up with that. 

Raul Simonetti, HVAC Corporate Business Manager at CAREL had this to say: Humidification is like heating/cooling from this point of view: if you heat/cool/humidify with open windows, the added heat/cold/humidity will escape outdoors, with the consequence that the desired indoor temperature/humidity set point will not be reached, AND you will waste both energy and water

Many humidifiers have humidity monitors that can detect when the desired humidity levels are reached. Once it has achieved the desired level, it will go into power saving mode. Therefore, to get the most cost efficient output from your humidifier, keep the windows and doors closed.

closed door sign

Where Should You Not Put A Humidifier?

Running Humidifier And Air Purifier In The Same Room

Adriana from Levoit cautioned against operating a humidifier and an air purifier concurrently in the same room as the mist from the humidifier may get caught in the filter of the air purifier. The moisture from the mist coupled with the residues in the filter may become a breeding ground for mold and fungi if the filter is not maintained regularly. 

However, she does recognize that it may sometimes be essential to run these two machines simultaneously due to climate issues. In these situations, she would recommend that these two units be placed at opposite sides of the room with a minimum of 10 feet from each other.

avoid running air purifier and humidifier together infographics

Placement Near Windows That Faces The Outside Environment

Satoshi from Ikeuchi Europe warned us that placing your humidifier too near to a door or window that faces the outside environment will reduce the efficiency of your home humidifier. Air coming in from outside is usually drier than the air in your indoor environment. As a result, the inbuilt humidity gauge in the humidifier would register a lower humidity than the true humidity of the room. This causes the humidifier to work extra hard to increase the humidity levels when it is not actually required.

The second reason for keeping the humidifier away from the window is to avoid direct sunlight to the unit. Long exposure to the heat from direct sunlight would cause the components in the humidifier to wear down faster and reduce the shelf life of your humidifier. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use tap water for my humidifier?

A: It is preferable to use distilled water or demineralized water. Tap water contains minerals which may form deposits in your humidifier. These deposits may be then released into the air as white dust particles.

Q: Can a humidifier cause mold in the house?

A: Just like how low humidity is bad, excessive humidity is also harmful. Levels above 60% may cause increased fungi and mold growth. The ideal home humidity level is between 40% to 60%.

Read our helpful guide on the harmful effects of poor humidity here! You will be surprised how much fungi can grow if given the proper humidity levels…

If you are suffering from humidity, find out how to dehumidify your home naturally in our guide to reduce home humidity levels without a dehumidifier!

Q: Can A Humidifier Kill Viruses?

A: A humidifier cannot kill viruses but it can make their lives difficult. Viruses has the best survival in humidity levels below 20%. Therefore, a humidifier will make the conditions not suitable for virus growth. However, virus also can survive in humidity levels above 80% so do not raise the humidity excessively as well. The ideal humidity level is between 40% to 60%.

Conclusion

Buying a humidifier to improve the humidity levels in your house is just the first step. Instruction manuals are frequently heavy on technical specification but limited in daily operation nuances. We hope this guide has given you some guidance on where is the best place to put your humidifier so that you can maximize the benefits from your purchase. 

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