Common Whole-House Humidifier Issues

A whole-house humidifier attaches to your furnace or HVAC system and helps spread moisture throughout your home. The additional moisture is a great way to not only help keep your skin and hair moist during the winter, but the humidifier also helps prevent nasal and throat irritation. Unfortunately, just like the other components of your HVAC system, the humidifier can break and requires professional repair.

Here are a few of the most common whole-house humidifier issues.

Mineral Residue Coming from the Humidifier

White powder coming from the humidifier is a very common issue that is no cause for alarm. The powder is not mold — it's mineral buildup inside the unit. If you have hard water, the minerals found inside the water will collect inside the humidifier. Over time, the mineral buildup can become a serious problem and might cause your humidifier to stop working.

Removing the mineral buildup is a labor-intensive process that should be left to the professionals. An HVAC technician can not only diagnose the problem but also eliminate the hard water buildup and if necessary, replace the filter inside the humidifier.

Lack of Water in the Humidifier

Just like your free-standing humidifier, the whole-home humidifier requires water to function. If you open the humidifier's reservoir and it is empty, contact a professional immediately to discover the problem. For example, the issue might be a clogged water hose, or the reservoir might have a leak. There might also be hard water buildup inside the hose that delivers water into the reservoir.

Strange Smells Coming from Humidifier

When the humidifier is functioning properly, you will not notice any odors. As with other HVAC issues, there are several potential culprits. For example, if there is a musty odor, there might be mold somewhere inside the humidifier, including the reservoir or hoses. A plastic burning odor could be an electrical problem.

An HVAC technician will pull the humidifier apart and determine the cause of the odors. If the odor is from mold or mildew, a thorough cleaning might be necessary.

Humidifier Stops Working

Finally, if you are experiencing dry skin, dry hair, or sinus issues, your whole-home humidifier might have stopped working. If the unit is older and outdated, an HVAC technician might recommend replacing the humidifier with a newer, more energy-efficient model. If the filter is dirty, the unit could stop functioning. In this case, a simple filter change is all that is required.

From a noticeable odor to mineral residue, there are several common whole-house humidifier issues that require immediate attention. For help with humidifier repairs, contact an HVAC contractor in your area.