Here are answers to some commonly asked questions involving humidifiers.

Q: The air in my home seems really dry. Whats the best indoor humidity level?

A: Generally, if a home has a relative humidity of less than 30 percent, that is too dry and can lead to several problems, such as dry skin, scratchy throat and nosebleeds, as will as cracking furniture, especially wood furniture. However, if your homes humidity level is more than 50 percent, that is considered too moist and can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. There is no one ideal level of indoor humidity, but most experts feel that 45 percent is as close to ideal as possible.


Q: How long should my humidifier run?

A: The average humidifier is designed to run 24 hours a day.


Q: I think it would be pretty cool to have an ocean mist effect in my bedroom, so Id like to add a little bit of salt to my humidifier. Will that be OK?

A: Not at all. You should never add any salt to any kind of humidifier. If you do, you might end up destroying the metal components of the unit and substantially reducing its lifespan. Plus, it can clog your filter and create other, more immediate problems.


Q: I have a cool mist humidifier, but its not producing mist. Whats the problem?

A: There may not be a problem at all. You may just have the kind of unit that produces a mist that is invisible. If the water level is dropping as it should, then the unit is working normally. Check your owners manual for verification.


Q: What size humidifier do I need for my bedroom?

A: That depends, obviously, on the size of your room. For the typical size bedroom, a unit with a capacity of 700-900 square feet should work fine.


Q: How often to I have to refill my humidifier?

A: A two- to three-gallon unit will typically run 12-16 hours, depending on if you have it set on low or high operation. You should simply try to fill it every night or every morning to make sure it is running continuously.


Q: What if my humidifier quits working?

A: First, check the level of your humidifiers water tank. Most models will automatically shut off when the tank is low or empty. If thats not the reason, then look at your owners manual for troubleshooting advice. You may need to change a filter, mineral pad, evaporator wick, demineralization cartridge or some other component. If it still doesnt work, call a technician to have it checked out.