FAQs: How do I set up and use my humidifier?

Humidification adds moisture to the air that you breathe and can make your CPAP, APAP or bilevel therapy more comfortable. To help you get the most out of your therapy, we've provided answers to some commonly asked questions about setting up and using your humidifier below.

Should I turn on my humidifier before I go to bed to make sure the water is warm first?

If you find the air dry and irritating, you may want to turn your humidifier on 20 minutes before going to bed.

I usually use my humidifier only in the winter months when the heater is on and the air is drier. Should I be using it all year round?

If you're finding that you have nasal symptoms at other times of the year, then you should probably use your humidifier. The added humidification should make your therapy more comfortable, as the air will be more fully moisturised.

Does heated humidification wear out my mask and hoses faster?

No. The tubing supplied with devices can withstand far higher temperatures than the heat generated by the humidifier.

How often should I change the water in the humidifier tub? I never seem to use it all in one night.

You should change the water in the humidifier tub every day, even if you don't use it all in one night.

How much water should my humidifier use overnight?       

A number of factors determine how much water a humidifier will use. These include the model of humidifier, the temperature and humidity of the room, the settings of the humidifier, and the characteristics of the individual patient.

The water level in my H5i™ doesn’t seem to drop very far, even when I use it for a full night. Is this normal?

Yes. The amount of water left in the humidifier tub isn't the best indication of how your humidifier is functioning. As the H5i provides constant moisture output, it only uses the amount of water needed to provide the required level of moisture. If it's set at the same Climate Control temperature throughout the year, the H5i will use significantly less water during the summer than it will during the winter.

My humidifier sometimes runs out of water during the night. Most other nights it is almost empty by the morning. What should I do?        

Different humidifiers use different amounts of water in different conditions. For example, the water delivery output from an H5i Heated Humidifier depends on the temperature and humidity levels in the room, the settings on the humidifier, and the therapy pressure delivered by your sleep therapy device. If the room conditions change from night to night (e.g., one night the heater is left on in the house, and the next night it’s turned off), this can result in different volumes of water being used.

It may also be that you’re breathing through your mouth, or have mask leak. Mouth breathing and mask leak both allow air to escape, which can decrease the efficiency of the humidifier.

If mouth leak is under control or you are using a full face mask, trying one or more of the options below may help:

  • ClimateLine™ heated tubing (for ResMed S9™ users)
  • Tubing wrap
  • Lowering your humidity level setting
  • Adding a humidifier to the room

If you are concerned about the amount of water that your humidifier is using, or if you are worried that your device is not operating properly, please contact your equipment supplier or care provider.

What kind of water should I use with my humidifier?

Tap water is fine for everyday use when you are using a cleanable water tub. If you have a standard humidifier tub, we recommend that you use distilled or deionised water. The water should be changed after each use—even if it is not all used within one night.

Please do not use any of the following in your humidifier:

  • Bleach, alcohol, chlorine or ammonia-based solutions 
  • Moisturising, antibacterial or glycerine based soaps
  • Additives like eucalyptus oil or other scented oils
  • Water softening and unapproved descaling agents

These products could damage your humidifier and its function, or leave harmful residual vapours that could be inhaled if not rinsed thoroughly.

I have a full face mask. Will I need more water during the night?

A full face mask should not change the amount of water your humidifier uses each night. If you have started using a full face mask because you had problems with mouth leak, you will probably find that your humidifier now uses less water because you will no longer be losing air and humidity through your mouth.

Is there a simple way for me to check that my H5i heater plate is working properly?

Yes. To confirm whether your H5i is functioning properly, complete the following steps:

  • Disconnect the ClimateLine tubing and remove the water tub.
  • While the S9 is NOT running, place your hand on the heater plate to assess the temperature of the H5i heater plate. NOTE: Do NOT place your hand on the heater plate if the H5i has been running within the last 10 minutes as it could still be hot.
  • Set the humidifier output to 6.
  • Place the unit in warm-up mode and let it run for 1 minute.
  • Place your hand above the heater plate (without touching it) to confirm an increase in heater plate temperature. Don’t place your hand directly on the heater plate as it will be hot.
  • Press the dial for three seconds to enable cooling down mode.

Do you have a question about setting up your humidifier that isn't addressed here? Click here to submit an online inquiry.

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