How to Select a Humidifier to Use Around Parrots

Have you ever noticed how dry your hands get in the winter?  Or how the  texture of your hair changes?  Sometimes your throat and nasal passages can become dry and sore. This is due to the low humidity in the air, often during the winter months when our heaters are in use.

Underneath all of those beautiful feathers, a parrot has skin that needs care just as ours does.  When skin becomes dry, it gets itchy – when we’re itchy, we scratch.  Skin conditions are sometimes the underlying cause of plucking in a bird.   If you are noticing changes to your own skin, you might want to consider buying a humidifier.

There are many types of humidifiers on the market, all offering different advantages and drawbacks.  The purpose of any humidifier is to put moisture into the air, but this can be accomplished in different ways. An evaporative humidifier, which I find to be the best choice for those of us with parrots,  is energy efficient and has filters that prevent the introduction of microorganisms and minerals into the air. 

However, they have to be kept clean to avoid bacteria collection and eliminate stagnant water, and although most newer models include filtration to help with this, it will be a weekly chore.  Use vinegar and water or GSE (grapefruit seed extract) for cleaning. Make sure that the model you select is convenient to clean and check for any antibacterial options available.

A cool-mist evaporative humidifier eliminates the possibility of a scalding accident, however, vets recommend that we use a warm-mist humidifier with parrots because the heating of the water eliminates some mold spores and other fungals that might be dispersed into the air.  Also, a cool-mist humidifier takes several hours to bring the room to the desired humidity level (usually 50% or less) and tends to blow cool air- not a desired effect in the winter.

Be sure to note the tank size and buy one that is appropriate to the size of the room/s that you are humidifying.  This will save you the trouble of frequently having to refill the tank.  Also, make sure it has adjustable fan settings.

Remember that this will be operating around a parrot with a sensitive respiratory system.  Never add any chemicals, medicines or fragrances to the water and be aware that a dirty humidifier will throw unhealthful molds and bacteria into your breathing space.  Always be sure to place your humidifier in an area that distributes the mist evenly and is in a safe location away from prying beaks.

Author Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.

7 comments

Dwight Stewart

Is there a warm mist humidifier that is safe to use around birds without a teflon coated heating element? My cool mist ones are constantly creating mold and crap on the filters in no time at all even using distilled water. Thanks I just ordered a Honeywell warm mist humidifier but there is no information on it saying if teflon is used on the heating element.

Dwight Stewart
Barbara

I have been looking for a parrot safe humidifier for 4 yrs .My parrot needs the moisture and I have little nose bleeds in the winter.Ive asked everyone what brand and model I can buy even my avian bird vet but all to no avail.Could anyone please tell me the name and model I can buy .Iam frantic!!!!!

Barbara
Kirk

So i cant add any water treatments to the water to prevent bacteria and mold for my burbs?

Kirk
Barbara

I like what was said regarding humidifiers .I have an African Grey parrot and I have been needing a humidifier for 8 yrs an have a lot of trouble getting the name of one that would be safe around my parrot.I get bloody noses , dry cracked skin and my bird has dry itchy skin in the winter.I need the name of one that’s bird safe in regards to mold.I cannot have any nonstick bologny in it either.I have asked numerous people including my avain vet and for 8 yrs I do not get a definitive answer from anyone which is soo frustrating.Can anyone help me????

Barbara
Shawna marzett

Wanting to get a warm air humidifier but I can’t find one without PTFE or Teflon..any suggestions

Shawna marzett
Arline

Includes all necessary information I need to purchase the best humidifier for my parrots.

Arline
J

Kind of confused on this statement above. “vets recommend that we use a warm-mist humidifier with parrots because the heating of the water eliminates some mold spores and other fungals that might be dispersed into the air” Don’t you want to AVOID mold spores by NOT buying a warm-mist humidifier?

J

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