Humidifier Placement Guide – Where Should You Place Your Humidifier?

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Having the right amount of humidity in your home is critical to maintaining comfort and well-being. During the wintertime, cold dry air can irritate your lungs and skin, making it uncomfortable inside your own home.

Fortunately, a humidifier can help prevent the troubles brought by dry air. Humidifiers will add moisture to the air, making breathing easier and the indoor climate more comfortable.

When used properly, a humidifier is a simple, effective solution for dry indoor air. But it is important to place your humidifier in the correct location if you want it to work effectively.

General humidifier placement factors

The placement of a humidifier is just as important as the size and strength of the humidifier. A large, strong humidifier will only be as effective as where it is put to operate.

Generally, there are three factors to consider when looking for the best place to put your humidifier:

  1. Vicinity to objects. Humidifiers add moisture to the air from a tank of water. Therefore, it is important that the humidifier is kept away from things that will be negatively affected by getting wet. Humidifiers can sometimes cause excess moisture in the air that will condensate on nearby objects. All humidifiers also run the risk of leaking. Be sure to keep your humidifier away from any electronics or wooden objects that can get damaged by water. Also, remember that you will have to refill the tank on a portable humidifier, so make sure that it is accessible.

  2. Airflow. Humidifiers require adequate airflow in order to add moisture to the air evenly. Restrictions to airflow will cause excess moisture to build up in a small area. Also, keep your humidifier away from any windows or air vents – these tend to mess up your humidity readings.

  3. Room size. How big is the room that you need to humidify? A large space such as a living room will require placement in a more central location in order to ensure that moisture is distributed evenly throughout the space. You also need to ensure that the size of your humidifier is adequate for the size of the room that you want to humidify.

When it comes to using a humidifier in your home, another factor to consider is safety. Safety is always more important than convenience.

Steam humidifiers get hot and can cause burns if mishandled. If you are using a steam or warm mist humidifier, be sure that your humidifier is kept out of the reach of children.

What room should you place your humidifier in?

Simply put, you should place your humidifier in the room that needs to be humidified. But it goes a little bit deeper than that. If you have a large house with an open floor plan, then you will need to place your humidifier in the area that people tend to congregate in. This means that if the people in your house like to hang out in the kitchen, then put your humidifier in the kitchen.

If you don’t know what the humidity is inside of your home, you can use a hygrometer to measure the humidity level. Place the hygrometer in a space to take a humidity reading. After about 5 minutes, the hygrometer will read what the humidity level is in the space.

It’s also a good idea to put your hygrometer in the same room that your humidifier is in. Many portable humidifiers do not have a built-in humidistat, so they have no way of telling you what the actual humidity reading is inside of the room. This is where your hygrometer comes into play. You’ll be able to see what the humidity level is inside of the room and adjust your humidifier’s settings accordingly.

During the wintertime, it’s best to aim for a relative humidity of about 30-50%. This is a good balance between air that is too dry or too wet.

Should you place the humidifier on a table or on the floor?

Figuring out whether to put your humidifier on the table, shelf, or floor depends on a couple of factors:

  1. Is the humidifier designed to be placed on the floor? Some large humidifiers are designed to be put on the floor. If the humidifier is tall or has wheels on it, that’s a good sign that it is designed to be placed directly on the floor. A good rule of thumb is that if the humidifier is over 2’ tall, then it can be placed on the floor.

  2. Is it an ultrasonic or evaporative humidifier? Ultrasonic and evaporative humidifiers work differently from each other. Generally, ultrasonic humidifiers should be placed up high to work effectively. If an ultrasonic humidifier is placed too low to the ground, then mist droplets may accumulate on the floor. Evaporative humidifiers do not have this issue. However, warm mist (steam) evaporative humidifiers generate heat – so it can become a safety hazard if a child is nearby.

Generally, you can’t go wrong with putting your humidifier on a table. Just make sure that you have a tray or cloth in place to collect water in case of leaks.

If you need to place your humidifier on the floor, be sure that it is designed for that purpose. If it is a cool mist humidifier, make sure it is tall enough to dissipate moisture into the air.

Humidifier placement for bedrooms

Bedrooms are one of the most common locations for a humidifier. A lot of time is spent in the bedroom while sleeping. You don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night with dry sinuses or itchy skin.

One important distinction for humidifier placement in bedrooms is to keep it at least 3 feet away from the bed. This is because you don’t want anybody to directly breathe in the humidifier’s moist discharge.

A better place for the humidifier is on a shelf or on the floor away from the bed. Just be sure that the humidifier won’t damage anything if a leak happens (they do happen!). If you can’t get away from placing the humidifier on a wooden shelf or carpeted floor, placing the humidifier on a plastic tray to catch water is a smart move.

Also, remember to keep your humidifier away from any windows or sources of sunlight. Sunlight on a humidifier may trigger algae growth in the water, so keep your humidifier away from the light.

If you are using an ultrasonic humidifier, then you will want to place your humidifier in a location that is elevated above the floor. This is to help prevent the humidifier’s mist from accumulating on the floor. In this situation, placing an ultrasonic humidifier on a nightstand would be appropriate, as long as the mist is directed away from the bed.

Quick Pick: Bedroom Humidifier
Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Humidifier

The Pure Enrichment humidifier is one of the easiest-to-use humidifiers on the market today. It has four different settings of humidification so you can dial in the right amount of humidity for your room. When running, it is so quiet that you won't even notice that it's on.

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Humidifier Placement for Living Rooms

Finding the best place for a humidifier in a living room is tricky. Since the living room is usually the biggest room in a house, you’ll have to think about a few factors before placing your humidifier.

First, consider where people tend to congregate in your living room. You’ll want to place your humidifier near where the people are, but not too near where it will get in the way. For this purpose, placing the humidifier on a shelf or table usually works fine. Just be sure that the humidifier won’t damage anything in case it leaks, or it has a tray underneath it to collect water.

After running your humidifier for a couple of hours, use your hygrometer to take the humidity readings around the living room. Place the hygrometer in areas where people are, such as the couch, table, or sitting area. If you find that the humidity readings are not consistent, you can adjust the nozzle on the humidifier to make it spray in a different direction.

Quick Pick: Living Room Humidifier
Levoit 6L Ultrasonic Humidifier

The Levoit 6L ultrasonic humidifier packs a multitude of features, including a programmable humidity setting, warm and cool mist options, and a large tank. It is capable of keeping an accurate humidity level for days on end.

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Final Thoughts

When determining the best place to put your humidifier, remember that proper placement is crucial for a comfortable space. In any situation, keeping the humidifier up high and away from objects is a smart move.

Also, remember that all humidifiers run the risk of leaking, so be sure that your humidifier is not on or near anything that can be damaged by water. Putting your humidifier on a tray to catch any leaks is generally a smart move.

Before and after starting up your humidifier, use a hygrometer to measure the humidity levels inside your room. Use those humidity measurements to make an informed decision on any adjustments you might need to make.

Hi, my name is Trey Lewis and I’m the founder and chief editor at HVAC Training Shop. My goal for this website is to help homeowners troubleshoot and maintain their home’s HVAC systems. Whether it’s changing an air filter, troubleshooting a blower motor, or just buying a new humidifier, I want to make sure that you’re covered.

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