Enjoy clean fresh and healthy air from your humidifier.

As reported by several researchers and institutions a relative humidity between 40 and 60 % RH is essential for your health and value preservation of your property. Especially during the heating period in which the air inside the house is very dry, your humidifier provides a substantial amount of water vapor in the air.  It is therefore essential that the water been vaporized into the air is clean and safe. Thus, proper hygiene of the humidifier is key to your well-being.

In addition, increased humidity decreases aerosol transmission and thus airborne concentrations of bacteria and viruses by increasing their settling velocity: The more water vapor in the air the faster the growth rate of the aerosol and the faster it is influenced by gravity, falling to the floor (learn more).

Your Condair humidifier is designed and manufactured according to the highest hygiene standards and if it is maintained according to the instructions in the owners manual, you will benefit from clean fresh water vapor over its complete life cycle. Cleaning and disinfection instructions are according to rules and recommendations in Hygiene management plans, such as VDI, DGUV, L8, ISO 22.000 and ASHRA 188.

Why is it necessary to clean and maintain your humidifier?

Even though your humidifier should be operated on clean and fresh drinking water, the water will still contain a few bacteria. This is normal and in accordance with even the highest standard of drinking water regulations such as the DVGW in Germany or EPA in North America. If these bacteria are allowed to proliferate to a higher concentration, there might be the right that the bacteria enter the air we breathe.

Most of the bacteria found in drinking water are completely harmless, but a few of them can be pathogen – or cause different diseases, if they enter our lungs.

The intention with this informative page is to make sure you are aware of these risks.

Bacteria - what are they?

Bacteria are small single-celled microorganisms that are found everywhere in our surroundings, in the air, water, soil, our food, even the human organism. Bacteria are so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. They are between 0.2 and 50 microns (millionths of a meter) in size. Once bacteria gain access to a growth-place and nutrition, they can proliferate. The proliferation is very much influenced by environmental factors such as temperature, pH value of the water, flow velocity of the water or choice of piping material, just to name a few. In addition, growth is also influenced by any number of (cleaning and disinfection) chemicals.

Bacteria in drinking water

International and local regulations generally set limits for the maximum number of bacteria in drinking water, and in general it must not contain any disease-causing bacteria. For total bacteria in drinking water the maximum is set to 150-200 cfu per ml of water, which are able to proliferate at 22°C and 50 bacteria per ml which are able to proliferate at 37°C.

These limits apply to drinking water entering your home from the central pipe running outside your house. Experience and measurements have repeatedly shown that the bacterial count can easily be higher within the house, e.g. in basements or technical rooms due to stagnation of water or changes of environmental parameters such as temperature.

When this water is used for drinking, it is typically not posing a health problem because our stomach acid and organism is equipped to fight a relative high number of bacteria.

Bacteria in the air:

We do not have the same protection in our lungs, so it is important that the aerosols generated from the humidifier do not contain further bacteria, when they enter the air we inhale.

Legionella bacteria:

One of the most dangerous bacteria that exists in water for humidification is Legionella Pneumophila. It is found naturally in our surroundings and can also occur in low numbers in drinking water. If they are allowed to proliferate to a higher concentration they can be dangerous, if we inhale aerosols containing these bacteria.

The good thing about Legionella is however, that they do not occur water systems alone, but always in combination with a large number of other bacteria. Condair has determined optimal maintenance cycles for your humidifier which are programmed into the units. If these cycles are followed and thus your humidifier kept clean and maintained according to the instructions in the manual, the total number of bacteria is kept at a minimum, and hence the risk for Legionella being able to proliferate. The better the hygiene the lower the risk.

12 simple rules you can do yourself to keep your humidifier clean and hygienic.

  1. Connect your unit to fresh cold drinking water only. In case a water treatment system is attached upstream, follow closely the maintenance cycles and service routines described in their manuals.
  2. Follow the recommendations in the user manual for maintenance intervals.
  3. Wash hands thoroughly or use plastic gloves when performing any maintenance work or touching any of the parts openly exposed to air or water within the air ducts. The same holds true for parts exposed to the inner water cycle of the humidifier unit.
  4. Do not stop your system, unless it is taken out of service for a longer time. If your system has been stopped for more than 48h, it should be disinfected according to the user/service manual before being restarted.
  5. Replace filters etc. always with clean, properly packed parts according to intervals stated in the user/service manual. Check the packaging beforehand and do not use the part if the package was damaged or the parts shows dust / dirt / discolorations on surfaces exposed to duct air or humidifier water.
  6. Use only original Condair spare parts when repairing.
  7. Stop the unit immediately if any unexpected smell, dirt or discolorations are observed – clean and disinfect according to the user/service manual.
  8. Disinfect and descale the unit following to instructions in the latest version of the manual. Only use the approved and registered disinfection liquids that are available from your local Condair agent. The use of any other chemical might damage the humidifier or will not have the same cleaning / disinfection effect compared to the approved chemical.
  9. Do not add any additives to the water, except when recommended by Condair in the respective humidifier manual.
  10. For critical installations it is advisable to test the inlet water for the humidifier for bacteria once a year.
  11. Stop your system immediately if your drinking is contaminated. Before the humidifier and any upstream water treatment system can be set into normal operation again, it needs to be disinfected according to the user / service manual.
  12. Reach out to your local Condair agent to get informed about service material, consumables and to hear about our service offerings. Condair offers various service programs, to ensure that the water vapor from your humidifier will not pose a health risk to you and your family. Service agreements may be periodic, scheduled visits or on the spot, depending on the application and the installed system. In combination with all service visits, our technicians can take water samples and test their microbiological quality. After each visit you will receive a report showing the hygienic quality of your water.