A staple in southern states to regulate humidity levels, humidifiers add moisture to your home during winter and help to slow mold growth during the summer. They also keep your home air fresh and allergen free, but that requires you to replace the unit’s air filter (a.k.a. water panel or evaporator pad) frequently.
Recently, vipHomeLink’s VP of Ecosystems Paul Chadowksi replaced his whole-house humidifier’s air filter, so he created his step-by-step guide to help you how to replace your humidifier filter, too!
(Please note: Paul’s unit is an Aprilaire Humidifier, so while this guide gives a general overview of the humidifier filter replacement process, different types of humidifiers and different humidifier models may require additional – or even slightly altered – steps.)
Step #1: Turn off power to the unit
For extra safety, unplug the unit’s power cord, and if you’re not sure where it is or can’t get to it, then turn off the corresponding breaker in your home’s electrical panel.
Step #2: Open the front cover
Depending on the unit, the cover may have two locking mechanisms – one on the top and one on the bottom. Squeeze them at the same time and pull the cover off.
Notes Paul, “I could just open the bottom of the unit and replace the filter; however, I open the top to remove the cover completely for easy installation and cleaning of the tray.”
Once you have the unit open, you might need to disconnect the water tube or even shut the damper, depending on your unit’s make and model.
Step #3: Remove the filter
A few quick tugs should dislodge the filter’s tray. Make a note of any colored dots and the positioning of the water tube, so you know how to replace the filter tray later. (You can add this information to the Notes section of the vipHomeLink app!)
Then unsnap the top of the tray and pull the filter through the open section. Discard the used filter.
Step #4: Clean the tray
The tray may have mineral deposits, dirt, dust, and other build-up. Take the tray outside and hose it down, removing all the materials. Dry.
Step #5: Replace your humidifier filter
This is the main event! Slip the new filter into the tray, making sure that the color mark (or dot) is on top. Snap the tray’s top into place and then put the filter tray back into the unit. The hose hole should be on top and the drain hole on the bottom. If you need to fit the hose back into the tray or open the damper, now’s the time.
Step #6: Reattach the cover
This should snap back into place, too.
Step #7: Plug back in the power source
You might also need to turn on the breaker in your home’s electrical panel.
Step #8: Turn the humidistat back on
If you hear a click in the unit and see or feel water running through the drain tube, then the humidifier is working. If you don’t see any of those signs, you should contact a professional to service the unit.
Step #9: Buy a replacement air filter for next time
Paul’s unit needs the filter replaced annually, usually during autumn. By buying a new filter once you replace the old one, you can make sure you’re all set for the next replacement. This will also help to ensure you buy the right filter since using the wrong one can damage the unit.
Paul ordered two more Aprilaire humidifier filters after changing his current one. Together, the filters cost approximately $23.00. (No word on if he scored free shipping.)
How often should you replace a humidifier filter?
Upload your unit’s manual into our home management app, so you’ll always buy the right filter. You can also use the NOTES section as a quick reference guide for all your essential home maintenance replacement parts, such as air filters for furnaces, air conditioning units, HVAC units, and, of course, humidifiers.
If you need to order a new filter every season, then it’s important to have the filter’s specifications on hand. If you need to buy one annually, like Paul, then it’s important to have the information in a place you can easily find it every 12 months.
It’s also imperative to get personalized reminders (which our home management app can send), so you know when it’s time to change your humidifier filters. This will help to keep the unit running properly and your home’s air smelling spring-time fresh – all year round!