Humidifier Dust

During one of EH's worst colds, we purchased a new humidifier that put out more moisture into the air.  Previously we had been using a vaporizer, which was noisier and released perhaps

A few weeks ago we started having problems with our furnace.  It was not heating our house, but was running constantly.  We could hear the blowing shutting off but then starting up again instantly.  Much of the time it was not producing heat and the amount of air coming out of the vents was weaker than normal.

We called in a heater repair guy who chastised us for closing so many vents. It was our attempt to warm EH's room past 63 degrees.  So we opened all of the vent, he changed the air filter (which was filthy disgusting), and it seemed to solve the problem.

But 3 weeks later and the problem started up once again.  We were flabbergasted - the vents were open so clearly that wasn't the problem!  Fortunately we were still within the 30 day warranty window so they sent someone out again to recheck the furnace.

Same problem as before - the unit was overheating and the filter was clogged with a fine white dust. The filter from only 3 weeks ago was warped because it was so clogged it was getting sucked into the blower. When he pulled it out the temp in the furnace immediately went down to normal.  When he slid it back in it shot up to over 220 degrees.  That was clearly the problem.  The guy recommended changing the filter every 3 weeks or so, or as soon as we noticed the problem and to leave it at that. 

When we thought about what could be causing the white dust, there were really only a few things it could be, and the new humidifier was the top culprit on our list.  We have known for a long time that our water is crap and that it leaves behind white particles.  Our ice cubes have white flakes in them.  Our pots that we use to boil water always have a white film where the top of the water line was.  Our water is the worst thing about this house, and it would cost us about $70k to fix it for good (city water.)  Not happening.

So anyway, at that time we stopped using the humidifier and and I think it's safe to say that we were right in thinking that was the problem.  We haven't had to change the heater filter in about four weeks and EH has been waking up less at night from coughing.  When we realized that his coughing could have caused by him inhaling particles that we were spreading into his air, we really felt awful. 

After we got rid of the humidifier (I gave it to my sister, who mentioned that she wanted one and has the luxury of city water) I set about cleaning EH's room to get all of the white dust off of his stuff.  I figured his room was just particularly dusty because it's where the attic access is and that dust was coming down from there, but now I know that it was from the humidifier.

Here is a before picture of EH's nighstand with the white dust on it:

And here is a picture after:

Remarkable right?

So, no more humidifier for us.  And since EH hasn't been sick since he started A-Care (knock on wood) we're hoping we won't need to even think about a humidifier until the next cold and flu season. 


Post a Comment