Electronics have become more a part of our life than ever. They make our life much easier, more enjoyable, and more comfortable. However, many electronics are susceptible to humidity and temperature, and we need to take measures to protect them.
As a device to adjust humidity, humidifiers have often been used in our homes. When you place it in a room, you may wonder if the humidifier can damage the electronics, such as your computer or TV.
Luckily, a humidifier will not do any harm to electronics as long as you control the indoor humidity level properly. If you use it on dry days, it can help to protect them. However, it can damage electronics when used in an over-humidifying place.
So how does humidity level affect electronics, and how to use a humidifier to protect electronics? I will cover more details related to this subject in this post. Keep reading!
Is a humidifier bad for electronics?
It is hard to give a single clear-cut answer to this question. It depends on how humid the place where you put the electronic is.
Like human beings, the best humidity level for most electronics is also between 30% to 50%. Exposure to extreme humidity can damage them even though these damages are invisible at the beginning.
As you know, a humidifier works by adding moisture to the air. It is responsible for increasing the humidity level instead of decreasing it.
That being said, a humidifier is beneficial when the humidity level is extremely low, but it could be harmful when the humidity level is extremely high.
Therefore, it is important for you to keep the humidity level in check and only use a humidifier when the room is dry.
How does high humidity affect electronics?
Living in a humid place can pose health risks to us. Mold spores, bacteria, and dust mites will thrive, and our skin will be clammy. High humidity will also cause adverse effects on electronic devices.
When the air is full of water, condensation on the electrical components can happen. As many electrical components are made of metal, the thin film of water can cause corrosion. Even worse, since water is a good electrical conductor, the electric current will go to places that are easier to go, causing short-circuit and permanent damage to the devices.
These damages may not happen in a short time. But if you leave your laptop or TV in such a place for a long time, it will stop working eventually, and you don’t know why until you see the rust in the circuit board.
How does low humidity affect electronics?
The Winter months are usually arid. In addition to that, our heating system at home will dry out the air further.
The low humidity can cause dry skin and an itchy throat and decrease our ability to defend against diseases.
Low humidity can be bad for electronic devices as well. Many devices use an array of semiconductors, and they are sensitive to static electricity. More static electricity will accumulate when the indoor air is dry, leading to static discharge.
During this process, semiconductors have to deal with high electricity loads, which could damage or even break down the components entirely.
So your electronics are possible to be damaged suddenly because of the dry air.
Can a humidifier damage your computer?
Computers and laptops play a vital role in our lives, and many of us make a living through them. Therefore, we don’t mind accessorizing and protecting them as much as possible.
According to AVTECH, the recommended level of humidity for a computer is between 45% to 55% for the best performance. Putting it in a room below or exceeding this value can negatively affect it.
If you live in an arid region or cold and dry climate, turning a humidifier on in the same room as the computer can reduce the static electricity and let the computer run smoothly. Computers contain a lot of semiconductors. Therefore, preventing static electricity from accumulating is essential.
However, it won’t be a good idea to use a humidifier in a moist place in that it can boost the process of corrosion and increase the likelihood of short circuits.
So a humidifier can protect your computer when the air is dry but can damage it when the room is already too damp.
Can a humidifier damage your TV?
The same story applies to TVs. A humidifier would not damage your TV directly, but the water droplets released can.
When it raises the humidity level to over 60%, the condensation will gradually lead to corrosion and ruin your TV. Your TV could also become a petri dish for molds.
But in the winter months, a humidifier can keep your TV in a good state without being disturbed by static electricity.
Note that TVs are not as prone to electrical discharge as computers. But using a humidifier in dry climates is beneficial to it definitely.
How to prevent a humidifier from damaging electronics?
While a humidifier is not bad for electronics in most cases, there are a few ways to prevent it from happening effectively.
Position it 1 meter away from electronics
Don’t place a humidifier too close to the electronics. The mist coming out from the humidifier will create a concentrated area with a higher humidity level. If you put your device in this area, the condensation is easily formed, damaging your gadget.
Use a hygrometer
Some humidifiers come with a built-in humidistat, which will automatically turn it on and off when the humidity reaches a certain level. Or you can purchase a hygrometer to know when to use a humidifier.
Wait an hour before switching on
A rapid temperature change can result in an occurrence of condensation. When you place an appliance in a room, the temperature of this device will change accordingly. Therefore, to prevent harmful condensation, you need to give your electronics some time to adapt to the environment. Wait an hour or more before turning it on again in the new place.
Add some silica gel to circuit boards
Silica gel is a type of moisture absorbent that can be placed on circuit boards. It would be a good solution to prevent corrosion inside any electronics.
However, it would take some effort to disassemble the appliance and put it back. You may need to go to the local repair shop.
Is a central humidifier the best way to protect electronic equipment?
The central humidifier can adjust the humidity level in every house room. The moisture will disperse all over the house with the air circulation.
Nowadays, you can find an electronic device in any house room. In lieu of buying a few portable humidifiers, all of them will be taken care of together with a central humidifier.
However, using a portable humidifier alone in the room is powerful enough to offer an appropriate humidity level for electronics.
Other ways to add moisture to the air without a humidifier to protect electronics
If you are still concerned about whether a humidifier will damage electronics, you can apply another method.
For example, you can hang your cloth to dry indoors or plant some household plants in the room. Putting a pot filled with water near the fireplace or other heat source is also effective.
Another straightforward way is using a bottle sprayer to spray some mist in the air every hour if you are diligent.
Just get yourself a hygrometer in case these methods make your room over-humidified.
A humidifier is great at improving the comfort of our bodies. But how about the effect on other objects? For instance, is it bad for electronics? Actually, whether a humidifier can damage electronics depends on how humid it makes the room.
When the humid level is low, a humidifier can reduce static electricity, preventing electrical components, especially semiconductors, from damaging or breaking down. Nevertheless, if you continue to use a humidifier in a humid place, it would cause corrosion, mold growth, and a short circuit which is very dangerous.
Hence, as long as you can monitor the humidity level and use a humidifier when needed, it would help to protect your electronics instead of damaging them.