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Imagine that your reach for the thermostat to turn on the air conditioner. Punch in a few settings to set the temperature in your house exactly how you want it. Then you feel the nice crisp, cool air rush into your home. Over the next few days though, you notice there is a tinge of stink in the air. You hop on the internet and learn something surprising, there is a water pad in your humidifier that requires changing! This stink in the air could be a result of keeping the same water pad in your humidifier for multiple heating seasons. In this article, we will discuss how often your water pad needs to be changed.

To start off, let us discuss why the water pad in your humidifier needs to be changed. Throughout the heating season, there are numerous amounts of particles and bacteria flowing through the water pad. All of the bacteria and particulates get caught up in the humidifier pad and remain there on the pad. When the water pad goes multiple heating seasons without being changed, the bacteria and particulates have enough time to grow mold and other bacteria. Therefore, increasing the chances of mold and bacteria being spread throughout your house. Even when your humidifier is turned off in the summer, there still can be air flowing through it.

Now that we know why your water pad needs to be changed, let’s talk about when. If you have read our When to Change a Furnace Filter article, you may be expecting an answer along the lines of ‘It depends.’ Since a water pad has a similar function as an air filter, you would think this would be true. In fact, with a water pad, this is not true. There is a more definitive answer when it comes to water pads. A water pad should, on average, be changed once every heating season. There is not much difference to when in the season it is replaced, just that during the season you switch it out for a new one.

Don’t think you will remember to change it next heating season? Sign up for The Southport Home Services Club today! We will send you an email and remind you each heating and cooling season when it is time for your Tune-Up, during which, any filter or water pad can be purchased from Southport Home Services.

Meet the Author
Thomas Suchla
Thomas Suchla


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