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Humidifiers: Do They Ruin Wooden Furniture? – What You Need To Know

Humidifiers: Do They Ruin Wooden Furniture? - What You Need To Know

When adding moisture to the air, the majority of humidifiers spray a relatively little amount of water. Although it is light, the eye can still see it. So it only makes sense to ask: Do humidifiers harm goods like furniture? What about wood, which is particularly vulnerable to moisture? Experts in flooring and furniture have been consulted for their opinions.

Humidifiers do need to be handled carefully to prevent damage to the room’s other furnishings or materials. Normal humidifier operation is unlikely to be the culprit, although unusually high or low humidity levels can be damaging to wood. Additionally, you need to guard against humidifier leaks.

To discover more, keep reading. We’ll discuss why placing the humidifier on a hardwood table is probably not a good idea and what to do if there is nowhere else for it to go.

We’ll discuss the negative effects of both high and low humidity levels as well as how to safeguard your hardwood furniture from them. Then, we’ll discuss the potential causes of mold growth in your home (one additional source of damage!) and how to stop it.

Do Humidifiers Work On Wooden Tables?

Humidifiers: Do They Ruin Wooden Furniture? - What You Need To Know

The ideal location to set a humidifier is not on a wooden table or any other wooden surface. Water doesn’t naturally go well with wood. The veneer may lift or discolor, break, crack, bloat, or endure other symptoms of water damage if the table becomes overly moist.

Avoid the ground, though. It’s too low for the humidity to properly combine with the air, and it’s too likely to spill. Even though the small amount of water probably won’t cause too much damage to your floor, it won’t help you much if it doesn’t get into the air of the room. Additionally, slippery flooring are a risk.

Try to protect the tabletop if you can’t think of anyplace else to put your humidifier. Set the humidifier down on a plastic tray; this will also catch and collect any spillage. Additionally, you might place a waterproof table cover or protector underneath.

Of course, over time, the humidifier’s spray alone can add moisture to the surface of the table. However, it’s unlikely that this will be sufficient to harm anything. What if, though, the humidifier leaks or tips over and spills? That may be a bigger problem. Although it’s a little risky, you might attempt to be careful when leaving a humidifier on a hardwood table. Just locate another place would be preferable.

What Occurs To Wood When The Humidity Is High?

When it comes to a humidifier in the winter, it could appear that there is no such thing as “too much.” But regardless of how dry the outside air may be, you should continue to monitor the air quality. Concern should be expressed about high humidity levels, especially when it comes to wood.

A lot of moisture simply doesn’t work well with wood. Too much moisture can cause swelling in wood, which can happen to wooden furniture, floors, or even the wood that frames your windows.

Several issues arise as a result of this. For instance, wooden joints may separate or split. Warped doorframes can make them challenging to close properly. Other moving pieces, such as drawers, could jam.

Even though it may be difficult to imagine, excessive humidity can cause wood to swell by up to two inches. The harm caused by this could persist even after you recover to more normal levels. For instance, it is impossible to fix a wooden floor that has buckled. Always keep an eye on the humidity level and take precautions to prevent problems.

How Can Wooden Furniture Be Protected From Humidity?

Controlling the temperature is the first step in preventing humidity damage to indoor wood surfaces, including furniture. Ensure that all appliances, including dryers, have an outside vent. Make sure there is adequate ventilation if it is an attic or basement location. Use fans over the stove or in the bathroom.

Make use of a humidifier and monitor the humidity levels. You can use a hygrometer to determine when the humidity is at its ideal levels. The ideal indoor humidity level for winter is between 30 and 50%, therefore try to maintain a humidity level of around 40%.

Adding a coating to wood furniture can also help shield it from dampness and moisture. A layer of defense is provided by painting a varnish, shellac, lacquer, or even just paint. Apply a total of three coats for optimal effects.

Once the wood is correctly treated, using a wood polish or wax on a regular basis can help keep it looking good. Wax requires a little more work but provides superior coverage.

Are Humidifiers A Mold Risk?

Humidifiers: Do They Ruin Wooden Furniture? - What You Need To Know

Yes, humidifiers can lead to the growth of mold. Two things cause this.

  • Mold growth may be aided if humidity levels are not checked and maintained at a healthy level. In the excessively moist air, mold swiftly spreads and multiplies.
  • If the humidifier isn’t cleaned out frequently, mold may start to grow inside of it. People with allergies should be especially concerned since the mist can unleash bacteria and mold spores. The filter on your humidifier may potentially develop mold and begin to smell if it does.

Regularly rinse and refill your humidifier to prevent this issue. Do not let water sit in the tank if you are not planning to use it that day. Instead, empty the tank and wait to utilize the water until you do. Additionally, avoid placing the humidifier in direct sunlight, since this may cause algae to form.

Give it a thorough washing and disinfecting once every week. Clean everything off. White vinegar can be used to clean it and get rid of any mineral buildup. Then use a diluted bleach solution to disinfect. For exact instructions, refer to your user guide, and always heed the manufacturer’s advice.

Are Hardwood Floors Damaged By Low Humidity?

Humidifiers: Do They Ruin Wooden Furniture? - What You Need To Know

We’ve talked about a variety of ways that high humidity might cause damage. You might be saying to yourself, “Well, I guess I’ll just keep the humidity low then, and not risk it.”

Unfortunately, that’s equally difficult. Just as damaging to wood, such as your hardwood floors, is low humidity. In contrast to low humidity, high humidity results in edema. Both scenarios are not desirable and have the potential to result in long-term harm.

Additionally, drying out can weaken or fracture wood. The polish of hardwood surfaces, such as floors, may be harmed.

Health problems might also result from low humidity. While low humidity favors the growth of viruses and germs, high humidity can encourage the growth of mold. Additionally, dried-out mucus membranes are less effective in shielding you from those bacteria, leaving you more vulnerable to diseases.

You might also have eczema, a sore throat, and chronic dry skin, to name a few ailments. Unfortunately, low humidity is just as bad for you as high humidity. You should actually just keep an eye on the daily levels and make sure they stay between 30 and 50%, even though it takes a little more work from you.


In the winter, many households require humidifiers. Low humidity levels should raise some red flags. They can harm the wood in the house in addition to being uneasy and unhealthy.

Use your humidifier responsibly, though. Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels because too much humidity is bad. High concentrations can spread bacteria and mold and still harm timber surfaces.

At least once every week, wash and sanitize your humidifier. Every day, rinse and refill it. Try to set it down on a flat surface, off the ground. It is preferable to stay away from wood, or at the very least, use a waterproof cover. You can maintain the ideal humidity and comfort level in your interior environment all winter long with just a little effort!

Humidifiers: Do They Ruin Wooden Furniture? - What You Need To Know

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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