honeywell humidifier red light

Honeywell humidifier red light can be a worrisome sight as it won’t be immediately clear what issue causes it.

Red blinking or glowing lights are usually an indication that your device needs to be serviced or the filter replaced.

To fix your Honeywell humidifier’s red light blinking, start by checking if the water level is appropriate and then clean the water tank. Next, check for clogs and debris buildup.

Before we attempt these fixes, let’s try to better understand what causes the red blinking in your Honeywell in the first place.

Why Does My Honeywell Humidifier Have a Red Light?

honeywell humidifier red light reasons

Honeywell produces a wide array of humidifier models, and all of them have their unique color-coded notifications.

Universally, a red light indicates an issue with the water level or filtration.

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In rarer cases, a red light can be caused by built-up mineralization blockages.

Here is an overview of the top common causes for Honeywell humidifier’s red light blinking:

  • Insufficient Water Levels
  • Dirty or Clogged Internal Components
  • Malfunctioning Water Level Sensor
  • Filter Degraded or Needs Replacement
  • Electrical Problems

Now that we are equipped with the knowledge of the underlying causes let’s try some fixes.

How to Fix Honeywell Humidifier Red Light?

Tip: A red blinking light on HCM350 models indicates a burnt-out UV bulb that needs changing.

Step #1: Clean the Water Tank

step 1: clean the water tank

The first step you should attempt is to ensure your Honeywell humidifier water reservoir is fully cleaned.

This is because mineralization deposits on the water tank can prevent your device from properly taking in water, resulting in a red warning light.

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Here is a breakdown of how to service your Honeywell water tank:

  1. Turn off your Honeywell device and unplug it from power.
  2. Remove any necessary panels, then take out and empty the water tank fully. 
  3. Fill the water tank with a mixture of water and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio.
  4. Leave the water tank to sit for around half an hour so the solution can loosen any plaque buildup.
  5. Rinse the water reservoir with clean water and dry it out. 
  6. Reassemble the Honeywell humidifier and restart it to see if the red light is gone.

If you wish to disinfect the water tank for health reasons, the procedure is similar, but instead, you pour only diluted bleach with water inside the water tank.

When disinfecting the tank with vinegar, never simultaneously mix bleach with vinegar.

Note: Avoid pouring boiling, hot, or overly cold water into your humidifier to prevent damage.

Step #2: Check for Clogs 

step 2: check for clogs

Clogged pathways can prevent your device from taking in water properly and turning it into mist.

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If you use mineral or calcium-rich tap water, a gradual accumulation of particles will form at every contact point of the water inside. 

Here is how to ensure there are no clogs on your Honeywell device:

  1. Turn off your Honeywell device and disconnect the power cable.
  2. Remove the water tank to access the water intake port.
  3. Dip a brush into vinegar and scrub off any debris on the water intake component.
  4. Disassemble the humidifier and remove the filter if present to access the water lines.
  5. Clean any tubing or internal reservoirs via the procedure outlined in previous steps.
  6. Ensure all parts are fully rinsed of cleaning mixtures, then dry them down and reassemble your humidifier.
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Furthermore, ensure you are not overfilling the water tank; check for a horizontal indication line for the maximum volume of the water tank.

It’s also vital that when closing the water tank with the cap, you ensure it’s securely set and not misaligned.

Note: A red light might indicate that your reservoir water level is too low or depleted; refill as needed.

Step #3: Clean the Heating Element

step 3: clean the heating element

If you are using a warm mist Honeywell humidifier, it should come with a small heating element that warms the water up before it turns into mist.

For such humidifiers, it’s imperative to clean the heating element in case you see a red light.

Here are the proper steps to ensure the heating element of your Honeywell is clean:

  1. Unplug your Honeywell from the electrical outlet.
  2. Wait for your humidifier to cool down for 30 minutes.
  3. Take out any removable trays from the humidifier base.
  4. Based on your model, you might have to remove a cover panel to access the heating element.
  5. Once you locate the heating element, pour non-diluted vinegar or white vinegar and let it soak for 15 – 20 minutes. 
  6. You may use a brush that has softer bristles to scrub off the heater while it’s soaking.
  7. When ready, rinse the heating element and base with water until the vinegar is washed off.
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After these steps, you have to assemble the humidifier, fill it with water, and turn it on to see if the red light is still blinking.

Please don’t turn on the device while the heating element is submerged in vinegar.

Note: Never dissolve essential oils or medicine into your humidifier's water tank, as this can damage it.

Step #4: Reset the Humidifier

step 4: reset the humidifier

If you notice the Honeywell humidifier red light on, a quick potential workaround is to power cycle the device.

With any electronic device that has a controlling circuit board, static electricity can cause it to malfunction. 

Here is how to safely power cycle your Honeywell humidifier:

  1. Unplug the power cord of your Honeywell device from the outlet.
  2. Leave your humidifier unplugged and turned off for at least 2-3 minutes.
  3. While disconnected, press and hold the power button to help dissipate any residual electricity.
  4. Remove the water reservoir and plug your humidifier into the power outlet.
  5. Turn your humidifier on, then insert the water tank so that it can reset.
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When using your Honeywell humidifier, always ensure it is placed on an even and flat surface so its water doesn’t spill or leak.

Note: Only use fully distilled water inside your Honeywell humidifier to prevent mineral deposit buildup. 

Step #5: Replace the Wicking Filter

step 5: replace the wicking filter

Some Honeywell humidifiers come with a wicking filter that helps purify the water before it goes on to become mist.

These filters, when congested or depleted, can cause your device issues when taking in water and raise a red warning light alert.

Here are the steps to replace your wicking filter for your Honeywell humidifier: 

  1. Make sure your Honeywell is powered off entirely before proceeding.
  2. Remove the water tank if needed and slide off any covering panels to access the filter compartment.
  3. If unsure how to reach the filter for maintenance, check the exact steps from the instruction manual.
  4. Carefully pull out and inspect the filter for signs of being congested.
  5. If your filter is not too dirty, simply rinse it under cool water and insert it again to see if the issue is resolved.
  6. Install a brand new replacement wicking filter if needed, then reassemble your Honeywell device.
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When you install a new filter, let your humidifier run for a few minutes so it gets thoroughly soaked.

Note: Be certain you are ordering the correct replacement filter, as Honeywell has a vast model lineup.

Step #6: Adjust Humidity Settings

step 6: adjust humidity settings

Some Honeywell humidifiers won’t work or will issue a red warning light if they detect too high humidity.

This can occur if you have a humidistat connected to the Honeywell that prevents use if ambient moisture levels are too high and pose a risk to health.

Here are some general tips on improving and optimizing humidity levels:

  • If you notice condensation on your windows when using a humidifier, it indicates that you should turn down the humidity settings.
  • Look for a wheel that controls the intensity of the misting; turn it down to lower the humidity levels.
  • If you have an external humidistat, ensure it’s correctly configured. You can try lowering its humidity threshold.
  • An optimal room humidity level should be around 50%. Anything above that exposes you to adverse risks like mold developing.
Note: Your Honeywell humidifiers should be maintained at least once weekly for safety and longevity.

Quick Recap

Honeywell humidifier red light can usually be fixed when the water tank and intake ports are cleaned.

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If you still face red light issues after maintenance, please contact Honeywell support.

Nicole B