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Why Does My Humidifier Make Everything Wet? (Top 9 Causes)

Humidifiers are known to provide countless benefits, all of which are countered by the nuisance of soaked walls, floors, and furniture. Improper use of a humidifier can make the room much more uncomfortable than it should be.

Your humidifier makes everything wet because of these reasons:

  • Incorrect size
  • Excess moisture
  • Ventilation issues
  • Porous filters
  • Close proximity to obstacles
  • Broken hygrometer
  • Improper placement
  • Excess customizations
  • Low-end humidifier problems

Throughout this page, we’ll cover each of the problems that make your humidifier lead to soaked rooms, furniture, and fabrics. We’ll also provide quick, reliable solutions to each of these concerns.

The Humidifier Is Too Big for the Room

When choosing a humidifier for your home, it’s important to know which size you need. Getting a unit that’s too big will lead to excess moisture buildup, whereas a small humidifier won’t get the job done. Before you get started, you’ll need to know the room’s square footage (or the house’s sq. ft. if you have a whole-house humidifier).

How to Fix

The best solution for this problem is to get a smaller humidifier. Choosing the proper size includes knowing your home’s square footage, the ambient humidity, and where you’ll place the appliance. General Filters provides a helpful calculator that lets you determine what size you should get.

The good news is that most humidifiers have their square footage listed in their product details. Most portable humidifiers work well in bedrooms, living rooms, and garages. However, they typically can’t humidify an entire house. You’ll need several humidifiers or a whole-house humidifier built into the air conditioning system.

Check your humidifier to see if it’s the correct size. If it’s too big, it’s best to downsize or ventilate the room. There are many ways to improve the airflow and reduce moisture, all of which we’ll discuss later in the article.

There’s Too Much Moisture

It might be tempting to get the biggest humidifier and turn it to the highest setting when the air seems too dry. However, too much mist and humidity can cause more issues than too much dryness. Raleigh Heating and Air suggests keeping your home between 50% to 60% humidity to keep it comfortable and mold-free.

Several issues lead to excess humidity in a room from a humidifier, including high settings, mist plumes, and sending the room above the recommended humidity level.

How to Fix

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Check the room’s ambient humidity and temperature. You can use a hygrometer and a thermostat to find out where they’re at. The humidity shouldn’t be too high, especially if you want to add a humidifier to the mix. Too much moisture combined with a humidifier can soak your belongings.
  2. Only use your humidifier when it’s dry. Early mornings tend to be wet due to morning dew. You can set your unit on a timer if you don’t want to wake up to turn it off manually.
  3. If there’s condensation on the walls, floors, or furniture from the humidifier, it should be turned off. Some humidifiers have built-in hygrometers that you can use as indicators to turn off the unit before it gets damp.
  4. Look for signs of mold and mildew. These pollutants show there’s water in the air, which means there’s no need for additional humidity. Clean the mold with white vinegar and monitor the room’s humidity until it’s time to use the humidifier.

Not Enough Ventilation

Ventilation is a crucial and often overlooked part of using a humidifier. If you don’t ventilate a room, the moisture absorbs into the fabric, paint, and other surfaces. This process leads to mold, mildew, wood rot, rust, corrosion, and puddles. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to ventilate a house if you have a humidifier.

How to Fix

Lack of ventilation is often the sole cause of excess moisture from a humidifier. The good news is you can use the following suggestions:

  • Open nearby windows to create a cross breeze. Consider opening a window on one end of the house (or room) and a door on the other. The goal of cross ventilation is to have them as far away from each other as possible. When the wind blows through the window, it dries the moisture from the humidifier.
  • Turn on a couple of fans in the room. Much like the previous example, it’s best to keep the fans as far apart as possible. You can enhance the aforementioned cross breeze with the fans or point them directly at the water puddles.
  • Run your air conditioner when your humidifier is on. This process moves the air with the humidity, keeping it from settling in one spot. If you have a whole-house humidifier, you can set them to run simultaneously.

Broken or Damaged Filter

According to Cement Answers, your humidifier’s filter plays an important role in puddling, even water distribution, and more. If the filter is broken or too porous, there’s nothing to slow the water flow. This issue quickly puddles moisture, preventing it from moving throughout the room. It often combines with the ventilation concerns mentioned above,

How to Fix

If your humidifier’s filter is broken, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the humidifier to prevent it from releasing too much much water. The filter often keeps water from flowing in a stream.
  2. Remove the filter from the humidifier and inspect it for holes, tears, and ensure it’s the correct size. Using a filter that’s too big or small won’t let the humidifier work properly.
  3. Replace the filter with one recommended for the make and model. It’s essential to use the proper dimensions, but people often overlook how fine the filtration is.

Note: Follow your humidifier’s recommended filter replacement schedule. The company should list how often the filter has to be replaced to avoid puddles, clogs, and similar issues.

It’s Too Close to Furniture

Placing a humidifier right next to furniture, bedding, and other objects is a surefire way to promote humidity issues. Humidifiers need several feet of distance between the unit and anything else. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to determining the proper placement and distance.

How to Fix

Humidifiers can’t be too close to furniture because they can overheat, cause excess moisture buildup, and more. So, how can you fix this issue? Try these suggestions:

  • Keep all portable humidifiers at least 1.5 feet away from nearby furniture.
  • Check the manufacturer’s guidelines about how far it needs to be from other objects (bigger humidifiers often have to be further from nearby furniture because they release more moisture).
  • Never set anything on the humidifier, including sheets, blankets, clothes, and so on.
  • Keep portable humidifiers unplugged when they’re stored and not in use to prevent them from turning on with automatic timers.
  • Never run a humidifier from the inside of a cabinet, drawer, closet, or other partially enclosed space.
  • Check which way the humidifier is misting (some of them spray water in different directions; Point it away from the furniture).

Malfunctioning Hygrometer

Humidifier Geek dives into the importance of using a hygrometer with any whole-house humidifier. A hygrometer is a tool that senses, provides, and occasionally adjusts the humidity in the house or room. Installing one or buying a humidifier with a built-in hygrometer will help you prevent excess moisture issues.

How to Fix

If you have a whole-house humidifier, you’ll need to hire a professional to install a hygrometer. It’s not worth risking ruining the system with a DIY repair. Most whole-house units have a hygrometer to test and adjust the humidity. However, you can use several portable hygrometers to manage the room’s humidity.

Whether you have a portable humidifier or a whole-house humidifier, you can use the BALDR Mini Digital Hygrometer and Thermometer. This budget-friendly solution monitors the humidity and temperature, letting you know when you should use a humidifier. It’s magnetic, so you can attach it to the side of metal humidifiers, refrigerators, and similar surfaces.

Hygrometers are important because they prevent water from puddling or causing mold. If your system doesn’t have one, we highly recommend getting it as soon as possible.

The Humidifier Is on the Floor

If you have a portable humidifier, placement is everything. Leaving it on the floor causes two problems:

  1. The water will fall down the sides if there’s not enough power. Most humidifiers work by propelling mist into the air, but it requires elevation. If the humidifier sits too low, the moisture goes up and down before it has a chance to catch a breeze or flow with fans and other ventilation sources.
  2. Some portable humidifiers need to be elevated to prevent condensation. When the water tank touches the floor, condensation pools around it. You might not notice it at first, but long-term condensation will rot damage the floor under the humidifier. Lifting it a little bit can make a world of difference.

How to Fix

Keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Consider putting the humidifier on a non-porous, stable surface. Wood, some plastics, and other porous materials can soak up the water and create mold and mildew. Make sure the surface is stable enough to prevent the humidifier from falling over.
  • Blankets, sheets, and other fabrics placed under the humidifier won’t do anything. The humidifier has to be raised off of the ground, not placed on fabrics. These materials will soak the water and lead to mold.
  • You can use milk crates to elevate the humidifier in a pinch. They might not be the most sightly solution, but these crates offer excellent elevation and ventilation. Secure stacked crates with electrical tape or nuts and bolts to prevent them from loosening.

Unnecessary Special Humidifier Features

Sometimes, the main reason your humidifier is causing water issues is that it has too many features. Excess features are often found on low-budget models, which might seem a bit strange. Companies often add unneeded features because they think it’ll improve their sales and attract more buyers.

These features include the following:

  • Manual water sprays
  • Fluctuating pressure
  • High-set built-in hygrometers
  • Temperature-regulated humidity
  • Excessively high day/night cycles

How to Fix

Perhaps the most obvious way to fix this issue is to turn off all of the unnecessary features. It might be tempting to spray way manually, but it drastically increases the chances of puddling. Once the water pools on the ground, it takes a lot longer to evaporate. The same logic applies to using fluctuating pressure tools.

If your humidifier has a built-in hygrometer, ensure it’s not set too high. High settings for the humidifier to run until the room is far too humid. They’re typically used in dry climates, but a lack of ventilation can quickly cause problems. Lower it to about 45% to 60% if possible.

Some advanced machines regulate the humidity based on the temperature. High humidity and heat combine for the perfect storm of mold. It’s important to turn off these features unless they were set by a professional. When it comes to humidifiers, the fewer features, the better.

Low-Quality Humidifier Issues

If you recently bought a low-end humidifier, you’ll likely run into a handful of issues. Poor pressure leads to water puddles, loose seals drip moisture around the bottom of the tank, and small filters don’t reduce or contain the flow.

Unfortunately, most of these common problems can’t be fixed by choosing a low-budget humidifier. There are plenty of high-end, budget-friendly models, though. Choosing the right humidifier for your home can make a significant difference when it comes to preventing water damage in your home.

How to Fix

Follow this process if you have a low-end humidifier:

  1. Inspect all of the seals and replace the leaky ones. You can add silicone sealant for an additional barrier.
  2. Replace the filter regularly. Low-quality filters rip and clog much quicker than high-end models.

If your portable humidifier has poor pressure, the only thing you can do is replace it. The AquaOasis Cool Mist Humidifier has a 360-degree rotation and automatic features for effortless use. It’s great for bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms, and more. It even includes safety features, such as anti-tipping protection.

Author

  • Steve Rajeckas

    Steve Rajeckas is an HVAC hobbyist with an avid interest in learning innovative ways to keep rooms, buildings, and everything else at the optimal temperature. When he's not working on new posts for Temperature Master, he can be found reading books or exploring the outdoors.

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