How Often to Change the Filter in Your Whole Home Humidifier

windy dry air in Kansas

Here in Kansas, we know all about the problems of dry winters. That cold harsh wind makes low temperatures feel even colder. Cold air in your home also contributes to problems. Dry air can also cause problems like dry skin and static throughout the home.

The best way to tackle dry air is with a whole home humidifier. While these devices work great, it is important to realize these units require regular maintenance. The main task homeowners need to be aware of is to regularly change the humidifier filter.


Humidifier Filter water padStandard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning provides complete service of whole home humidifiers that work directly with your HVAC system and ductwork. Whether it is an AprilAire humidifier, Honeywell, or some other brand, you need to change the humidifier filter on a regular basis. These humidifying systems are excellent at maintaining comfortable humidity levels, but they require basic maintenance.

Whether it is an AprilAire humidifier, Honeywell, or some other brand of unit, it is vital that you change the humidifier filter regularly. For a home humidifier to work well for many years, you need to keep it maintained, primarily by replacing its water panel.


What is a Water Panel?

how to change a Humidifier Filter Inside your humidifier unit is something called a water panel. It is also referred to as a humidifier filter or humidifier pad. It is important to know these different terms for when you need to purchase your replacement filter. You will often see it listed as a “water panel.”

This water panel is a rectangular piece that works to disperse moisture that passes through the humidifier into the air throughout your house.

You will see it immediately upon opening your humidifier. Different types and brands of humidifiers will open differently.

You may see a screw at the bottom to undo to open the unit to access the water panel. The image to the right shows a Honeywell humidifier. Others open from the side.


How Often do you Need to Change the Humidifier Filter?

Much like the air filter you change at your furnace, this water panel gets dirty and needs to be replaced regularly. If ignored, it will get clogged over time with the dirt and particles.

You may notice when your humidifier filter is dirty. The air will feel less comfortable, drier and colder in the winter months. Look at your thermostat to see what your current humidity levels are.

You should replace your house humidifier filter about once a year. You can schedule this water panel replacement to coincide with one of your air filter changes in the fall. Another great idea is to set a recurring reminder or task on your calendar to change it September 23.

September 23 is the first official day of fall. That is also typically when homeowners turn on their home’s heating system for the first time of the season. This will also serve to remind you to turn your humidifier on. There is usually a knob for you to switch it from on to off.

humidifier setting for winter and summer

Some homeowners may find they need to change their humidifier filter more often. If you notice signs of a dirty water panel, take it out and inspect it. If it’s dark or covered with dirt, you should change it again right then.

humidifier open

How to Change a Water Panel

Changing a humidifier water panel is rather simple and quick! While manufacturers create each model differently, here are the basic steps:

  1. Set your unit to Off or to change water panel in humidifier
  2. Open the humidifier unit’s cover. Many just pop right off.
  3. Find the hose connected to your water supply and take it off.
  4. Pull 2 tabs at the top to pull out the humidifier filter.
  5. Simply slide the panel out of the frame (you will need this frame later) and dispose of this old panel.
  6. Put the new filter in. Be sure to install it in the right direction. You will see colored marks (it doesn’t matter what color). Those need to be pointing up.
  7. Put the frame back into your humidifier unit with the drain hole at the bottom of the frame. That goes above the drain coming out of the bottom of your humidifier.
  8. Put that hose you removed earlier back into the hole at the top of the frame.
  9. Replace the humidifier front cover and you’re done!

If you are doing these steps at the beginning of the cold season, now is the time to turn your system back on.


When Humidifier Maintenance Doesn’t Happen

Not changing the water panel when needed can cause problems, even damage to parts of your home. A clogged humidifier filter can potentially lead to basement flooding problems. It can affect your home’s heating and cooling systems. A humidifier with a very dirty filter can cause the furnace fan to work harder, putting a strain on your HVAC system.

If you have any problems with replacing your humidifier filter or need any other type of service on it, contact us at Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air. Call us at (785) 776-5012 or you can request service by sending us a message online.