Woman reading by the windows on a sunny day

Should My Windows Be Open or Closed When the Humidifier Is Running?

In most climates, it makes sense to keep the windows closed in the winter and summer. When temperatures are too cold or warm outside, you probably rely on your HVAC system to maintain comfort in your home. But when the outdoor air is mild in the spring and fall, you still want to maintain optimal moisture levels inside. In this scenario, which is better: running a humidifier with windows open or closed? Let’s take a look.

Running a Humidifier With a Window Open or Closed: Which Is Better?

If the outdoor temperature is moderate, it’s a matter of preference whether you should run your humidifier with the windows open—but there are a few factors to consider.

Air Quality

One factor to remember is the outdoor air quality you’ll be introducing in your home. For example, if you live in an area with high pollution, you won’t want to compromise your indoor air quality by letting harmful particles inside. Likewise, pollen and ragweed are concerns if you experience seasonal allergies. Most people can only open their windows during the mild spring and fall weather. Unfortunately, allergens also peak during these seasons. Keeping the windows shut while running the humidifier may be a better solution for achieving a comfortable temperature, ideal moisture levels, and breathable air.

Outdoor Temperature

Woman setting up Canopy humidifier

It’s also important to consider the outdoor temperature, even if it feels mild outside. If the air outdoors is warmer than in your home, it may get hot fast when you open the windows. On these days, it’s better to leave the windows closed and only turn on the AC when needed to keep your home cool and comfortable.

Outdoor Humidity

Does opening windows increase humidity? It depends. If the outdoor air is already humid, then opening the windows will almost certainly increase the moisture levels indoors. In that case, you may not need to run a humidifier when the windows are open. Running the humidifier might add too much moisture, making your home feel sticky and uncomfortable, not to mention increasing the risk of mold development.

However, having the window open in humid conditions may not be a bad idea if your indoor air is arid. Open windows can promote airflow. As outdoor air moves inward, it can help your humidifier increase moisture levels throughout the home.

On the other hand, people who live in dry regions should leave their windows closed when running a humidifier. That’s because having an open window will be counterproductive, even if the temperature is mild. Moisture-rich air created by the humidifier will likely escape through the window, while dry air will probably enter the home. As a result, it could be challenging to maintain appropriate humidity levels.

Running a Humidifier With Open Windows

Bearing all these factors in mind, if you do decide to open the window while running your humidifier, there are a few tips to remember. For one, you’ll want to place the humidifier far enough from the open window to avoid having all the moisture-rich air escaping outdoors. Placing a humidifier in direct sunlight could also introduce the risk of bacterial growth. Keep it in a central location, ideally towards the center of the room.

You’ll also want to avoid overdoing it with humidity when keeping the windows open and running a humidifier. Consider tracking moisture levels using a hygrometer, which measures the humidity in your home. Aim to stay between 40 and 60% humidity.

From sensors that maintain optimal moisture around the clock to its mold-inhibiting, easy-to-clean design, Canopy is the best humidifier to help hydrate your home. Whether you prefer the original humidifier for smaller spaces up to 500 square feet or the Humidifier Plus for spaces up to 1,000 square feet, you’ll enjoy clean, hydrated air that makes your home feel more comfortable.