How to Change Whole Home Humidifier Water Panels

Cold weather and dry air are here – it’s humidifier season again! To ensure your whole home humidifier is operating properly this winter, some simple maintenance steps are necessary. Changing humidifier water panels is a key step in helping your equipment run efficiently and eliminate dry air issues in your home.


humidifier water panel


What Are Humidifier Water Panels?


Humidifier water panels, sometimes called humidifier filters or pads, enable your whole home humidifier to generate moisture, adding it to your home’s air supply. Humidifier water panels are made of different media, typically paper, metal, or metal with a clay coating. Water from your whole home humidifier’s water line saturates the water panel and the water panel infuses air flowing through it with moisture.


Watch our video resources to learn more about humidifier water panels for popular Aprilaire whole home humidifiers.


Why Do I Need to Change My Humidifier Water Panel?


Humidifier water panels trap minerals and impurities from the water source, preventing mineral buildup on system components that can decrease humidifier performance and damage the unit. As these contaminants build up on the water panel, they negatively impact the water panel’s performance. A change is required to eliminate the burden this buildup places on your whole home humidifier. Changing humidifier water panels also improves indoor air quality, preventing humidified air from picking up impurities from the water panel and carrying them into your home.


Failing to change humidifier water panels have the potential to cause additional problems including:

  • Clogged humidifier drain lines, leading to water leaks and damage to the humidifier and area around it
  • Mold and bacteria growth in the humidifier from water backup, which can spread into your home through airflow
  • Decreased HVAC system performance due to the stress a clogged water panel places on the system’s fan motor
  • Not enough humidity indoors, causing static electricity and temperature control issues
  • Dry skin, nose bleeds, and respiratory issues caused by lack of humidity


When Do Humidifier Water Panels Need Changed?


Typically, humidifier water panels should be changed at least one time per humidification season. Set your whole home humidifier up for winter success by changing the humidifier water panel when you perform fall HVAC maintenance.

In some scenarios, more frequent water panel changes may be necessary. Homes with hard water may find the humidifier water panel clogged with mineral deposits more frequently, so a second water panel change may be needed over the winter. Households that use a whole home humidifier heavily during the winter may need a second water panel change over the winter, whereas a home that does not need as much humidification isn’t likely to experience excessive buildup of minerals on the water panel.



How to Change Humidifier Water Panels


Changing your humidifier water panel can be done in a few easy steps. The general process is as follows:

  • Find the panel cover on the exterior of the humidifier.
  • Open or remove the cover to access the water panel – your whole home humidifier may have a pressure panel or push button for easy opening.
  • Remove the humidifier water panel’s enclosure from the unit.
  • Take the used humidifier water panel out of the enclosure and throw it away.
  • Slide a new humidifier water panel into the enclosure.
  • Replace the enclosure within your whole home humidifier – make sure it is inserted in the correct direction and is secure within the humidifier.
  • Close/replace the panel cover.


Find Humidifier Water Panel Help on brings you numerous resources to help you best understand the function of humidifier water panels and how and when to change them. If you’re uncomfortable performing this humidifier maintenance step yourself, a qualified HVAC contractor near you can assist with this task!



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