How Long Do Humidifiers Last? & When To Replace It?

These days, you can find humidifiers under $20, but you can also find models that cost you a few hundred dollars. When you decide how much you want to invest, you will want to know the lifespan of a humidifier. On average, a humidifier can last five to ten years. Furnace humidifiers tend to last longer than humidifiers for a single room. 

There are many ways to extend the lifetime and signs to remind you to replace it. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

How long does a humidifier last?

Generally, manufacturers provide a one to two-year warranty for regular humidifiers and a five-year warranty for whole-house humidifiers. But humidifiers can usually last longer than that. 

Regular humidifiers can serve you up to ten years, and furnace humidifiers can last twenty years.

Simply put, five to ten years is a normal range for a humidifier. Furnace humidifiers tend to last longer than regular humidifiers, but there is no big difference between evaporative and ultrasonic humidifiers

Many factors will affect how long a humidifier lasts, such as the material it is made of, how frequently you use it, how often you maintain it, etc. I will cover more on this when guiding you on how to prolong the lifetime later.

Signs that it is time to replace a humidifier?

You can reap an array of benefits by using a humidifier. However, you have to look for a replacement at some point in your life. There are some signs that can help you make the right decision.

Hard-to-remove deposits

Despite having operated routine cleaning, some deposits in the water tank are hard or even impossible to remove over time. Your humidifier has a high likelihood of being clogged, and it is a good time to get a new one.

Cracks and leaks in the base and tank

Most humidifiers cost less than $100 but hiring a professional to repair it can cost a lot. If you find cracks and leaks in the base and tank, it is possible that you can’t fix them on your own. In this case, you’d better purchase a new one, especially when it has been last for a few years.

Reduced mist after cleaning 

The mineral deposits can clog the internal parts that are hard to reach through cleaning. When these deposits get more and more, it will decrease the output rate of water vapor. 

When you notice the machine can’t produce mist as much as before after a thorough cleaning, it is a good sign for a replacement.

A humidifier stops working after ten years

A humidifier that serves you for ten years is already good enough. When such a device stop working, you can just get a new one. Rather than taking time to fix it, why not give yourself a chance to enjoy the advanced technologies in a new model.

How to extend the lifetime of your humidifier?

Even if you and your friends have purchased the same model, the lifetime of these two machines can vary a lot. You can take some measures to extend the lifespan, and some methods are very easy to operate.

Routine cleaning 

how to prolong lifespan of a humidifier

The blockage is the main culprit of why humidifiers will stop working, and regular cleaning is the best way to prevent it. 

Refilling water every day and cleaning the device once a week can remove and prohibit the growth of the mineral buildups, fungus, bacteria, and other impurities.

If you keep using stagnant water, your appliance will get clogged very soon and pose health threats to you due to the white dust, mold spores, and bacteria released into the air. 

Use distilled water 

Most American homes are using hard water, which contains high levels of dissolved minerals. If you add hard water to a humidifier, you must deal with more sediment and microorganisms.  

Distilled water is your best bet because it is free of any impurities. It can cause much fewer clogs than other types of water, which help with extending the lifetime in the long run.

Store it in the right place

Even though you can still benefit from using a humidifier in summer, many people choose to put it away after the heating season. 

If you want your machine can serve you as well as before the following year, you should make sure each part is dry off, put it in a box, and then store it in a dry and cold place.

Keep it away from sun exposure 

Sun exposure can promote the growth of alga and foster plastic weathering. As you know, almost all humidifiers are made from BPA-free plastics. Sun’s rays will lead to cracks from happening. 

Purchase a model from a reputable brand

Although you can find many models with an extremely low price tag, it is advisable to get a model from reputable brands with good ratings. In this way, you will have a better warranty, and more people will know how to fix the problems of your model. 


Like other household appliances, humidifiers need to be replaced every few years. Five to ten years is a standard expectation, but there are some ways to prolong the lifespan. 

Routine cleaning is crucial for keeping your device in an optimal state. Meanwhile, running your humidifier with distilled water is also helpful. You should also pay attention to humidifier placement and storage. 

Other than that, you shouldn’t purchase a flimsy one because of its low price tag. You will turn out to pay more since you will need to replace it after a few months.

About The Author

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested dozens of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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