How Often Should I Change My Furnace Humidifier Filters?

Asian family in the kitchen together. How Often To Change Furnace Humidifier Filters?

Are you wondering what it means when your thermostat asks you to change your humidifier pad? An unknown error message can be a bit disconcerting, but have no fear- it’s just letting you know it’s time for some regular maintenance.

It may be referred to as a Water Filter, Water Panel, Evaporator Pad, or Humidifier Filter, but either way, when you need some humidity in the winter months, no matter what it’s called. It needs regular replacement!

Furnace humidifiers or whole house humidifiers are different from portable humidifiers and require different maintenance and attention.

How Often To Change Humidifier Filters for a Furnace?

We’re here to answer all your questions about whole-home humidifiers. You should change your humidifier filter once a year, which can be easy to lose track of. This is why new systems often have this reminder built-in. 

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It may need changing more frequently. For example, in the Greater Toronto area’s famously harsh winters, your humidifier is used more often, so the humidifier pad will wear out faster. 

In addition, some areas like Georgetown have hard water and high salt content, which will also cause it to wear out quickly, while areas like Mississauga or Brampton may require less maintenance.

Why Change Your Evaporator Pad? 

You may think it isn’t necessary to change your pad, after all, the humidifier is still running! That may be true, but not changing your humidifier pad may result in more significant problems than wasting electricity.

The first concern should be reduced efficiency. You will start having less moisture in the air, leading to dry, itchy skin and a sluggish HVAC system.

The moisture trapped in the old pad will cause bacteria and mould to grow- contaminating the air and causing damage to the unit. In addition, the unit itself will wear down quicker, and the drainage will clog as well. 

It is safe to assume you want good indoor air quality, so breathing in dust and mould is not ideal. Keeping your furnace’s humidifier filter clean and maintained will help.

It’s important everyone knows how a furnace humidifier works. Changing your pad is not a particularly difficult task, and we explain how to do it below. 

However, when you’re busy with enough on your plate- trying to figure out a new task can be a real pain! Let Dr HVAC handle the maintenance for you– it’s what we do! 

How To Change Your Whole House Humidifier Filter?

If you have your owner’s manual, make sure to check it and follow the instructions. If you have no manual available, you can follow these steps that are the same for most cases. The whole process should only take a few minutes and requires little to no technical knowledge.

Remember, it may be referred to as a Water Filter, Water Panel, Evaporator Pad, or Humidifier Filter.

  1. Turn off the heating system. Set the humidifier to 0 or “Off” and switch off the furnace.
  2. Remove the cover. It may be as easy as sliding it out, or you may need to remove fasteners or clips holding it in place. They’re located at the top and bottom of the humidifier. Keep any parts you remove in a secure place. 
  3. Disconnect the Water Tube. Is there a tube blocking you from opening the cover? Use a wrench to disconnect it and swing the tube out of the way. 
  4. Remove the evaporator pad and inspect. If it appears to be in good condition, you may just need a good cleaning with water and vinegar. Soak the pad until the calcification dissolves and rinse in clean water. If cleaning doesn’t help or it appears damaged, it may be time for a filter replacement instead.
  5. Prepare the Humidifier pad. If your filter is too damaged or old and needs replacing, unwrap and set aside the new filter. Make sure you buy the exact filter as there are different sizes.
  6. Insert the New, Clean Pad. There will be tracks that make sure you slide it into the correct spot. There will be colours on one side of the pad to indicate it should be at the top of the insert. There should be no cramming, jamming, or shoving. It should just slide in relatively easily. 
  7. Replace the Cover. Slide it back into place, or secure the cover with the clips or fasteners. Reconnect the water distributor tub as well. 
  8. Turn on your clean humidifier. Set the humidity level back to your desired setting, check that your connections are secure and turn on your heating system. Check to make sure the water is draining correctly, and you see no other signs of an issue. 

Now that your humidifier is clean and running make sure you have it set to the proper humidity level for winter

Need Help With Your Whole-Home Humidifier?

Whether it’s replacing your evaporator pad or repairing your humidifier, the experts at Dr HVAC are ready to help! Our team is trained in working with whole home humidifier installations, repair and maintenance. Give us a call and we’ll help you with anything you may need.

Request A Quote For Whole-Home Humidifiers


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