How Long Should a Humidifier Stay on?


The question that might likely run through the mind of new users is: how long should a humidifier stay on? This article gives a direct answer to this question.

There is no specific number of hours to which you can leave your humidifier.  It all depends on the humidity in your room and whether you are satisfied with it.  When fall arrives and brings cool, dry air, your humidifier may have to work overtime.  Like any device, no humidifier will last forever, but with proper care, you won’t have to worry about your device turning off when you need it most.  Typically, a two or three-gallon humidifier runs for eleven to sixteen hours, depending on whether the machine is on a maximum or minimum power before filling.

Depending on the type of humidifier used, your device may work in different ways.  Some use steam fans, while others boil water to create steam or vibrate it to break it down into tiny droplets.  While warm humidifiers that heat water use more energy than the cool mist machines that use vibration or evaporation, leaving them on all the time is not a good idea.  Leaving a humidifier on all the time can wear out faster and at least increase your electricity bill.

It can be tempting to run a humidifier during the cold months of the year, as it can warm the air in addition to humidity.  However, it is best to use it in moderation.  There are other ways to stay hydrated during the day, such as using a moisturizer on your skin and drinking lots of water.  This is not an option when you sleep, which means that a humidifier can be very useful when you go to sleep. In other words, you stand to gain tremendous health benefits when you use the machine overnight.  However, if you spend a lot of time in a room during the day or if your home is extremely dry, turning on the humidifier might be a good idea.

Even if you don’t plan on using your humidifier all day, it is recommended that you leave it on overnight for some reason, including:

Better Sleep Quality

When a humidifier runs all night, it keeps the humidity in the room at the ideal level.  Most people don’t sleep well when the humidity is very low.  You will experience constant irritation in your mouth, throat, and nose.  Dry air also increases mucus production in the nose, making it difficult to breathe with narrower airways.  Perhaps even more annoying is that the dry air has been attributed to snoring.  A common condition that will cause you to wake up gasping or disturb your partner’s sleep.  When you don’t want to sleep congested or have sleep apnea, keep your airways moist.

Stop Morning Nosebleeds and Sinus

If you wake up every morning with a stuffy nose or even bleed later in the day, consider sleeping with a humidifier on.  Dry air prevents mucous membranes from absorbing bacteria that can enter the lungs and cause allergic reactions.  Allergens cause colds, including chronic sinusitis, which is a chronic disease that occupies the space around the nostrils that is swollen or inflamed.  Atrophic rhinitis and malnutrition are some of the other common diseases associated with a dry nose.  Therefore, keep a humidifier on all night to reduce the risk of nausea and nosebleeds.

Faster Recovery

Here’s a fact that most people don’t know.  With a humidifier, you can heal cuts and illnesses even faster.  This is because water vapor provides more oxygen to our skin and body.  The higher the oxygen consumption, the faster a person will recover from sinus and other infections.  Moist air also thins out thick layers of mucus that are full of bacteria.  The more phlegm we can excrete, the faster we can overcome our illnesses.

Bid Farewell to the Morning Voice 

Running a humidifier all night can help dispel morning voice, also known as a deep or sexy voice. It is a symptom of people breathing through their mouths while sleeping, causing the vocal cords to dry out.  This usually happens because your nose is clogged with liver mucus from dry air.  This shouldn’t be confused with “reflux” affecting the voice in the morning due to a sore throat.

Less Static Electricity

Nobody likes getting surprise shocks anytime they are just minding their businesses.  With a humidifier active all night, you will experience fewer electric shocks during the day.  This is particularly true during the winter season when the heater you run dries the air much faster.  Staying in a humid environment can even reduce the static charge from developing.

Keep your Skin Hydrated

Our internal organ, like our skin, needs to recharge at night.  A humidifier hydrates our skin and stops water loss.  Moisturizing skin can absorb more nutrients and lock in dust and dirt.  Dry skin can cause nausea, ashy, cracking, peeling, itching, eczema, and redness.  It is also one of the main factors that accelerate skin aging.  Keep your skin glowing and radiant every morning by turning on a humidifier while you sleep.

Reduction of Electricity Bill

A humidifier reduces the cost of electricity bills as it relies less on heating.  HVAC and heating are popular electric hoggers, particularly in winter.  Rather than relying on the heater for the maintenance of the ideal room temperature, humid air can make it feel warmer than it should.  If a hot steam humidifier is running in the background, you can set the heater to a lower setting to use less energy.

Protect Wooden Furniture from Brown Rot

Brown Rot, also known as Dry Rot, can damage the wooden furniture in the house, including the door, the table, and the closet.  This creates rectangular crumbs and cracks on wood surfaces when they are constantly exposed to dry air.  Once the pieces of the wood begin to split and crack, there is nothing left to do but replace the damaged pieces.  A humidifier increases the resistance of your household items to wood rot.


In addition to limited use, you will need to take care of your humidifier to make sure it lasts as long as possible.  It starts with routine cleaning.  Change the water in the humidifier daily and dry the device before adding new water.  You should clean the machine more thoroughly every week or two.  Do not use detergent or soap to clean the humidifier or use sharp objects to remove mineral deposits.  Instead, soak each stain in a mixture of white vinegar and water for 20 minutes, then rub the device with water and a clean cloth.