Humidifiers are common home appliances used to improve home and bedroom air humidity. Other times, humidifiers are used to make conditions more suitable for houseplants. Either way, you are wondering if you should put a humidifier on the floor? In this post, we gather up-to-date information to thoroughly answer your question.
Generally, it is inadvisable to place most humidifiers on the floor. This is because the humidifier may cause a build-up of water on the floor and also presents a trip hazard. However, some humidifiers, especially larger ones and ones with wheels, are designed to be placed on the floor.
Keep reading the rest of this post for details on how to decide whether to place your humidifier on the floor or not. We include a guide on how to decide the best place in a home for your humidifier. To conclude, we answer several questions related to this post.
When to Avoid Placing Humidifiers on the Floor
The following subsections deal with the primary reasons to avoid placing a humidifier on the floor. This applies only to smaller humidifiers that are less than 2-feet tall.
One of the major reasons we use humidifiers is to improve the breathability and comfort of the air. If that humidifier leads to increased mold in the home, it produces the exact opposite result.
Humidifiers lead to mold if they are placed on the ground because of the increased humidity that soaks into the floor directly underneath their base.
This happens because humidifiers are pumping out so much water vapor that the vapor condenses onto the flooring.
As the water penetrates the flooring, it eventually leads to mold, no matter the type of flooring. This mold is not only hazardous to your health but also can permanently damage your flooring.
In extreme cases, the structural integrity of the home can be compromised.
Why can't you put a Humidifier on Carpet?
Carpet is particularly susceptible to mold risk from humidifiers. The fibers of the carpet function as a place for the water to sit and as a great habitat for mold.
Further, since the mold will grow under the carpet and carpet pad—you may not notice you have a problem until significant damage has already been done.
In the same way that water soaks into the floor as described above, it can also sit on more water impenetrable surfaces such as tile or linoleum.
In cases like this, the water from the humidifier can lead to a serious slip hazard. This can be particularly problematic for the elderly and others with trouble moving about the home.
The final reason to avoid placing humidifiers on the ground is the trip hazard they present. We all get used to the floorplan and layout of our homes and are easily confused when new items end up on the floor.
By placing a humidifier on the floor, we risk a late-night mishap that can lead to serious injury. This risk is often not worth the benefits a humidifier confers—especially because there are other better options for where to place humidifiers.
When you Can Place Humidifiers on the Floor
Many humidifiers are designed to be placed on the floor. Generally, you can identify these models by their increased height of about 2-feet or more. Alternatively, floor-appropriate humidifiers will indicate this in their accompanying literature.
These taller humidifiers are designed to locate on the floor because of two primary features. These features are their increased height and the fact that their bases are offset from the ground by legs and/or wheels.
However, be aware of the trip hazard that these humidifiers still represent.
The increased height of floor humidifiers allows the humid air to be released farther away from the ground. That humid air then dissipates into the room instead of building upon the floor.
This means that the risk of mold and slipping is greatly reduced.
Legs and/or Wheels
Humidifiers with small stands that separate their flat base from the floor also help reduce the risk of mold and slipping. This is because the airflow afforded by this feature allows the flooring to dry out with much greater ease.
However, if you notice moisture routinely building up under the humidifier or under the humidifier's legs—elevate the entire appliance of the ground to avoid mold and slipping.
How to Decide Where to Place a Humidifier
The above guide helps you decide whether to place your humidifier on the ground or not.
However, there are still many other decisions you will need to make when deciding where to place your humidifier. We cover some of those here.
Should a Humidifier be Placed High or Low?
It is counterintuitive, but humid air is less dense than dry air. This means that the humid air created by your humidifier will rise up. Because of this, and for the greatest impact, you should generally place your humidifier low.
For humidifiers designed for one room, low means placing them on a stand or stool that elevates them at least 20-inches or more off of the ground but not over 3-feet off the ground.
Consider placing them on the first floor for humidifiers that you hope will help humidity in your entire home.
Where is the Best Place to Put a Humidifier in a House?
In addition to the above advice, the best place for a humidifier in a home is wherever you need the humidity the most. Commonly, humidifiers are placed in bedrooms to help bring about a comfortable night of sleep.
Other times, the air in the living room or kitchen may feel dry. In this case, you will want to place the humidifier in those rooms.
It is also possible to move a humidifier from place to place as you change your location to maximize the positive impact of the appliance.
Where should I place my humidifier for my plants?
Plants, especially tropical plants, generally like humidity. If you want to get the maximum advantage for your plants, place your humidifier near the ground in the room where you grow most of your plants.
Be warned, some plants, like cactus and succulents, prefer air with low humidity. In this case, adding a humidifier may actually harm your plants and slow down their growth.
Does a humidifier fill the whole room?
Every humidifier is designed to add humidity for specified square footage. As long as the humidifier in question is sized appropriately, it should fill the whole room with humidity.
However, all rooms are not created equally. For example, rooms with vaulted or high ceilings are actually larger per square foot than rooms with standard ceilings.
In this case, the humid air may all gather in the high parts of the room without imparting the desired humidity effect.
Further, rooms that are especially full of tall furniture or have complicated floor plans (such as a big L-shape) are more difficult for the humidifier to fully fill.
Does a Humidifier Fill an Entire Home?
Even if the humidifier is rated for the square footage of your home, it may not fill the entire space with the desired humidity.
This is because the humid air your appliance creates is subject to the limitations and features of your home's floor plan and air movement.
For example, since humid air rises, the humid air may make its way up the stairs to the second floor without fully humidifying the first floor.
Or, if you have a central air conditioner or heater, the air handler of your unit will pull your humid air towards the return.
Even given the above caveats, a home with a whole-house humidifier will be more humid than a home that is not using this appliance.
Should you Use a Fan with a Humidifier?
Using a humidifier in conjunction with a fan is an efficient way to help the humid air disperse throughout a larger space. However, since the fan is blowing only in a specific direction, the additional humid air will concentrate in that location.
In this post, we answered the question of whether or not you should place humidifiers on the floor. In addition, we provide a guide on where it is appropriate to place humidifiers. To conclude, we answer a few questions related to the topic of this post.
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