Should the humidifier run all night? Balanced answer

Humidifiers can improve the comfort of a room in dry climates or during the winter. They can add more moisture in the air, making it more pleasurable to be in a room. Waking up in a room that is dry can be quite annoying. For this reason, a lot of people let their humidifiers run all night. The question is if this is the right approach. Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of running a humidifier at night.


Why you shouldn’t run your humidifier all night

If you have not been using humidifiers all this while and planning to buy one soon, please read this article till the end. You need to be aware of the risk factors and the safety precautions you need to take while using the humidifiers.

Make sure that the electric system is safe. Electricity and humid air don’t mix well so it is important that you have a surge protector in place and that everything is grounded. This might not be the case in older homes and it can lead to fires or other issues. This is something that you want to avoid at night.

Let’s take a look at some other reasons why you shouldn’t run a humidifier at night.

1.    Manage humidity

Adding too much humidity will not be good for your house. Ideally, the humidity percentage should be between 30-50 for living comfortably. If the room becomes more humid than 50%, it gives birth to bacteria, mold, dust mites, and other microorganisms. They will impact the health of your family and if you have someone with low immunity in your family, they will be impacted first.

If your humidifier does not come with an attached hygrometer, we advise you to buy one. This will ensure that you can monitor the humidity levels in your home. You need not run the humidifier all the time. Run it for a while, and once there is enough moisture in the room atmosphere, please switch it off. Hence, humidifiers should not be run all night if they don’t have a sensor to stop them when the room is too humid. When we are sleeping, we might not be aware of what’s happening in the room atmosphere.

A humidifier with a special sleep modus

2.    Keep interior doors open and save on energy

Have you realized that when you take a bath with hot water, your bathroom becomes misty and stays humid for a long time? That is primarily because a lot of steam is released in a small area and it does not get an outlet to flow out. Since the windows and doors of a bathroom are kept closed while taking a bath and afterward, the place remains humid for a long time.

The same thing will happen to your bedroom or your kids’ study rooms if the humidifier is kept on and the doors are left closed. Allow the air inside your home to circulate freely and carry the humidity to other rooms too. Keep the interior doors and a few windows in your house open while using a humidifier. You can consider opening up a window or door if needed.

Why you should run your humidifier overnight

Most modern humidifiers have sensors that determine how much moisture should be added to the air. Some of them even have special settings for at night. This makes them less active during this period, making sure that you have a comfortable room at any point in time.

Check the manual of your humidifier to make sure that you can run it overnight. Some people prefer this as it can make the room feel cooler and the air less dry. If you plan to run the humidifier overnight, you should spend more on a device that is energy efficient and has great sensors. Often humidifiers can connect with your phone. You can then select when it should be active.

You can use sleep sensors or check for yourself if you sleep better when the humidifier is running. Everyone has a unique experience when it comes to this. Some people believe that they sleep better when the device is running.

It is possible that you forget to plug the humidifier in again if you turn it off at night. This requires a lot of management as you have to plug and unplug the device often. It is easier and more convenient to keep it plugged in.

Other things to take into consideration when running your humidifier overnight

1.    Use distilled water

Water often contains mineral particles and if tap water is used to operate the humidifier, the steam will contain those particles. This can make a room dirty. Hence it is advisable to use distilled water for humidifiers. It does not contain many mineral particles and will safeguard you and your family completely.

2.    Keep your machine clean

This is the most important part of using your humidifier. Whether you have a central humidifier or impeller humidifier, you need to keep the filters clean. Cleaning the filters and the water tank is imperative. Else bacteria and mold will grow and it will expel vapor containing them. This can cause a lot of damage in a house.

It is always advisable to completely throw away the residue water every night, and clean the filters at least once in a fortnight. The lime deposits on the filter do not allow it to function properly and the steam your humidifier will emit will contain particles of lime. Lime is very harmful.

You need to throw away the old filters after using them for three months. If you have been cleaning and maintaining them properly by washing them in a solution of vinegar and bleach, then you can use them for three months. However, if you failed to take care of your filters, throw them away and buy a new one. Start taking care of the new filter so that it lasts at least three months and you need to buy only four of them in a year.


So as per our research and understanding, humidifiers should never be left on for very long durations if the system doesn’t have a sensor to measure the moisture in the air.

However, if you have an all-home humidifier fitted with a thermostat that can control the humidity at night, you may choose to leave it on for the entire night without any issues. Check the manual of your device to see what the manufacturer recommends.

You can also consider an air purifier instead of a humidifier.