In response to the great reader question I received the other day, I decided to do some research on the types of water that are suitable for use in a portable house humidifier. My research led me to the website of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which indicated that the tap water I had been using could be potentially lowering the quality of the air I was receiving and increasing the likelihood that the unit would need product repair at some point.
One topic I didn't touch on yesterday, however, was the use of specific types of bottled water in the humidifier. (Again, I recommended using water from a purifying filter or a refrigerator attachment over expensive bottled water, as this cost can add up.) But, if you decide to buy bottled water, the EPA advises that you don't purchase mineral water for this purpose.
According to the agency, bottled waters that are labeled "spring," "mineral" or "artesian" are not treated by the bottlers to remove minerals. As such, the humidifier is likely to blow these substances out into the air. Even worse, the minerals that aren't quickly expelled out of the unit could build up on the inside, potentially causing the need for more frequent cleanings.
If you have used mineral water in a pinch in the past, you can spot for signs of damage by looking for "white dust" either in or around the machine, according to the organization. This would indicate that your particular model may need a cleaning.
In addition, even those who don't find this buildup may want to make sure to observe regular maintenance schedules, as this can ensure that the humidifier continues to provide quality air while helping to improve your winter heating bill.