9 Super Easy Steps to Replacing a Humidifier Filter

A staple in southern states to regulate humidity levels, humidifiers add moisture to your home during winter and help to slow mold growth during the summer. They also keep your home air fresh and allergen free, but that requires you to replace the unit’s air filter (a.k.a. water panel or evaporator pad) frequently.

Recently, a member of the vipTeam replaced his whole-house humidifier’s air filter, so he created his step-by-step guide to help you how to replace your humidifier filter, too!

(Please note: The unit referenced in this article is an Aprilaire Humidifier, so while this guide gives a general overview of the humidifier filter replacement process, different types of humidifiers and different humidifier models may require additional – or even slightly altered – steps.)

Step #1: Turn off power to the unit

a person unplugs a humidifier from the outlet
Unplug the unit.

For extra safety, unplug the unit’s power cord, and if you’re not sure where it is or can’t get to it, then turn off the corresponding breaker in your home’s electrical panel.

Step #2: Open the front cover

a finger opens the front cover a humidifier
To change your filter, you need to get to it.

Depending on the unit, the cover may have two locking mechanisms – one on the top and one on the bottom. Squeeze them at the same time and pull the cover off.

Notes our teammate, “I could just open the bottom of the unit and replace the filter; however, I open the top to remove the cover completely for easy installation and cleaning of the tray.”

Once you have the unit open, you might need to disconnect the water tube or even shut the damper, depending on your unit’s make and model.

Step #3: Remove the filter

A black and gray humidifier tray inside a humidifier
This is what a filter looks like in a humidifier.

A few quick tugs should dislodge the filter’s tray. Make a note of any colored dots and the positioning of the water tube, so you know how to replace the filter tray later. (You can add this information to the Notes section of the vipHome.app!)

Then unsnap the top of the tray and pull the filter through the open section. Discard the used filter.

Step #4: Clean the tray

a garden hose hung up on the side of a hose
Use a garden hose to clean the tray.

The tray may have mineral deposits, dirt, dust, and other build-up. Take the tray outside and hose it down, removing all the materials. Dry.

Step #5: Replace your humidifier filter

This is the main event! Slip the new filter into the tray, making sure that the color mark (or dot) is on top. Snap the tray’s top into place and then put the filter tray back into the unit. The hose hole should be on top and the drain hole on the bottom. If you need to fit the hose back into the tray or open the damper, now’s the time.

Step #6: Reattach the cover

 This should snap back into place, too.

Step #7: Plug back in the power source

an outlet on the side of a humidifier that's plugged in
Plug back in your unit.

You might also need to turn on the breaker in your home’s electrical panel.

Step #8: Turn the humidistat back on

If you hear a click in the unit and see or feel water running through the drain tube, then the humidifier is working. If you don’t see any of those signs, you should contact a professional to service the unit.

Step #9: Buy a replacement air filter for next time

the box of a Aprilaire air filter for a humidifier
Be ready for the next time.

This unit needs the filter replaced annually, usually during autumn. By buying a new filter once you replace the old one, you can make sure you’re all set for the next replacement. This will also help to ensure you buy the right filter since using the wrong one can damage the unit.

Our teammate ordered two more Aprilaire humidifier filters after changing his current one. Together, the filters cost approximately $23.00. (No word on if he scored free shipping.)

How often should you replace a humidifier filter?

Upload your unit’s manual into our home management app, so you’ll always buy the right filter. You can also use the HomeLog section as a quick reference guide for all your essential home maintenance replacement parts, such as air filters for furnaces, air conditioning units, HVAC units, and, of course, humidifiers.

If you need to order a new filter every season, then it’s important to have the filter’s specifications on hand. If you need to buy one annually, like the vipTeam, then it’s important to have the information in a place you can easily find it every 12 months.

It’s also imperative to get personalized reminders (which our home management app can send), so you know when it’s time to change your humidifier filters. This will help to keep the unit running properly and your home’s air smelling spring-time fresh – all year round!

Stay on top of home maintenance

Homeownership can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. The vipHome.app can help. In less than four minutes, enjoy a new way to manage your home. Simply download the app, register your home, and enjoy a simplified homeownership experience.

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