Humidifiers are wondrous appliances. When used correctly, they have the ability to improve the overall health and wellness of you and your pets by increasing the surrounding area’s relative humidity. They can also reduce the likelihood of contracting the flu, and they are able to ease asthma and cold symptoms. Due to the moisture they put out, humidifiers can lower static electricity and safeguard wood furniture.
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A portable humidifier can prove to have so many benefits at home. When looking for one to serve the entire house, there are a few qualities you’ll need to look for. This guide is made to ensure you have the right information to find you right humidifier to cover the entire house based on your needs.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Humidifiers
From keeping the humidity to the optimum percentage to ensuring your furniture and hardwood floors are well protected, to minimizing the risk of allergies and the flu, the perks of having a decent humidifier are almost too many to count. There are various positives to health and general protective measures that make have a humidifier a good investment in the long run.
When attempting to make what is to be a wise purchase, you want to be certain that you’ve considered every factor possible. That said, these are the things you need to look for when choosing a humidifier to serve an entire abode that can be easily transported.
Our Recommended Whole-House Humidifiers
Levoit Humidifiers Vaporizer (LV600HH Model)
This white, ultra-modern humidifier from Levoit is a sleek addition to any home. It uses ultrasonic technology to produce cool and warm mist while still managing to generate a mere 36 decibels of sound. This humidifier even contains an aromatherapy drawer where you can add your favorite essential oils.
With its 6-liter reservoir, this ultrasonic humidifier is able to release non-stop mist anywhere from 20 to 36 hours from its two adjustable nozzles, covering a 280-square-foot space. The exact time frame of the mist distribution depends on which one of the three mist levels you choose. To help you select the ideal setting, the LED display shows a readout of your home’s relative humidity.
Read our full in-depth Levoit LV600HH Humidifier review
Via the large, illustrated touch buttons, you can set the humidistat from 40 to 80 percent, allowing the machine to run in auto mode and change the mist output for you. You can also set a timer up to 12 hours through the touch panel or the remote. When the reservoir runs out of water, the ultrasonic humidifier immediately turns off to protect its internal components.
Pure Enrichment HumeXL Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
If you value peace and quiet, you’ll love the HumeXL by Pure Enrichment. Due to its use of high-frequency ultrasonic vibrations, the cool-mist humidifier never climbs above 35 decibels. The humidifier also has a soft white light on its underside, which turns off when the machine is in night mode.
This brushed-steel beauty can hold 5 liters of water in its tank, which boasts a three-sided viewing window that lets you monitor the water level at a glance. If you’re busy when the reservoir becomes empty, the humidifier automatically shuts down until you refill it. Since the tank has a wide opening, you can fit your whole hand inside, making maintenance a breeze.
Read our full in-depth Pure Enrichment HumeXL Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier review
On the humidifier, there are four touch buttons that let you choose between two mist levels, both of which can fill a 270-square-foot room with mist. In high mist mode, the machine can pump out 50 hours’ worth of mist from the fully rotating nozzles at a speed of 300 milliliters per hour. In low mist mode, you still get 16 hours of mist at a rate of 100 milliliters per hour.
URPOWER MH501 Humidifier, 5L Large Capacity
The URPOWER MH501 5L Ultrasonic Humidifier is proof that not every modern-style appliance has a complicated set of controls. With its matte black finish and silver accents, it’s hard to believe that only one button controls every function on this cool-mist humidifier.
When you short-press the humidifier’s power button, you can cycle among three mist levels to enjoy up to 17 hours of moisturized air. On its highest level, the ultrasonic humidifier delivers 350 milliliters of mist per hour from its wide, built-in nozzle. As soon as the water level gets low, the humidifier shuts down to eliminate the risk of it overheating.
Read our in-depth URPOWER Humidifier, 5L Large Capacity Review (MH501 Model) review
Inside of the 5-liter reservoir, there is an integrated filter that keeps the water fresh and clean. To help you carry it, URPOWER added a recessed tote handle on the back of the machine. There is even a sleep mode that turns off the machine’s beeps and indicator lights for a peaceful night’s sleep. Since the ultrasonic humidifier only draws 30 watts of power, your power bill won’t budge during the winter months.
TaoTronics TT-AH004 Cool Mist Humidifier
Glossy white and oh-so-contemporary – You’ll love the way this cool-mist ultrasonic humidifier from TaoTronics enhances your home by putting a unique twist on the concept of a mini-tower humidifier. However, it’s much more than just a lovely fixture.
Front and center on the humidifier is a circular LED display that’s flanked by six touch buttons. From this control panel, you can set a timer that automatically turns off the humidifier or delays its startup. Even though ultrasonic humidifiers are quiet by design, TaoTronics included a sleep mode that makes the machine nearly silent.
Read our in-depth review on the upgraded TaoTronics Warm & Cool Mist Humidifier Review (Model TT-AH007)
You may also run the humidifier in auto mode by selecting a humidity level, and there are four levels of mist from which to choose. When on the highest mist mode, the ultrasonic humidifier can operate for 24 hours when the 5-liter tank is full. This tank is even equipped with a handle on both ends to make refills a breeze. Plus, the humidifier instantly shuts down when it runs out of water.
VAVA Cool Mist Humidifier (VA-AH015 model)
VAVA included almost every feature you could ever want in a humidifier when it made this model. The black, truncated square pyramid holds 6 liters of water, so you won’t be making many trips to the sink. When you do need to refill the VAVA Cool Mist Humidifier, the tank’s hinged handle makes easy work of that task.
Although the humidifier produces cool mist, you can press the warm mist button on the touch panel, and the humidifier will heat the water to 100 degrees Fahrenheit in 30 minutes or less. With the touch slider, choosing one of seven mist outputs is effortless and fun. Above the slider, there is a large LED display that shows the room’s current temperature and relative humidity as measured by the accurate external sensor.
Read our full in-depth VAVA Cool Mist Humidifier Review (VA-AH015 Model) review
Other functions available on the touch panel include an LED light toggle button, a programmable humidity level, a timer and a super-quiet sleep mode. You also get the benefit of a built-in filter cartridge and two 360-degree mist nozzles that evenly distribute the mist. Features like the low-water shutoff mechanism and the child safety lock keep the machine and your family safe.
Hupro Premium Ultrasonic Cool & Warm Mist Humidifier
A 4-liter water tank helps you humidify up to 500 sq ft and will last up to 30 hours between refills. 5 speed levels, humidity controls and auto mode help you stay in control of your atmosphere. An ultra-quiet humidifier, the Hupro Premium has both a 12 hour timer plus sleep mode to help keep nights peaceful too, so you can keep it running all the time.
It’s leak proof and easy to clean, and its top filling water tank has an extra wide opening and sturdy built-in handle to help keep it splash proof and easy to maintain too.
Wake up refreshed. Keep humidity up at home and protect your family. With its special lamp, the Hupro’s water is kept clean and fresh for the ultimate humidity.
AIRCARE 831000 Whole House Evaporative Humidifier
With a maximum run time of 70 hours, plus its 6-gallon water tank, you can keep your home humid night and day with the AIRCARE 831000.
Digital controls and auto humidistat help you to keep on top of humidity levels and fan speed, so you can have the perfect atmosphere. Once your desired humidity level has been reached or the unit has used up all its water, the AIRCARE 831000 will automatically shut off, to keep you safe.
Trapmax filter technology helps trap bacteria and allergens in the air so you can wake up each morning feeling refreshed. Check Filter and Water refill indicators help you keep the AIRCARE well-maintained.
Elechomes UC5501 Ultrasonic Humidifier
Perfect for large rooms, the Elechomes UC5501 Ultrasonic Humidifier has a 6L tank which gives up to 40 hours of continuous work and 360° adjustable nozzles for the perfect dispersion.
With its intelligent humidity sensor, you’ll find the Elechomes UC5501 adjusts its strength to meet your needs, keeping the humidity level, and set just how you like it. A cool mist moistens the air for easier breathing during summer months and warms the air for comfort in winter, it’s the perfect humidifier, all year round!
Finally, keep the UC5501 running throughout the night for your best sleep ever. Sleep mode ensures that all noises and LED lights can be deactivated so you forget it’s even running.
Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Improve your home’s air circulation and breathe easier with the Honeywell HCM350W. This super quiet humidifier has a 1-gallon tank that can run for up to 24 hours.
Enjoy the filtered, cool moisture and never over-humidify your home at any time of day. It’s easy to fill and easy to clean with its extra wide opening and sturdy handle, eliminating spill risks and unnecessary mess.
Say goodbye to allergies as this intelligent humidifier keeps your homes humidity levels between 40-60% for that perfect easy breathing solution. With the Honeywell Humidity Monitor, you’ll always know the exact humidity level in your home.
Levoit Humidifier LV600HH
This Levoit humidifier helps kill bacteria and clear sinuses with its warm and cool mists. It’s perfect for large rooms with its 6L water tank capacity, which can be easily cleaned thanks to its wide opening, and can be used continually for up to 36 hours of easy breathing.
It’s ultra-quiet and you can even turn off the display features for the ultimate night’s sleep, and with its convenient remote control, you can even change the settings and start a timer from your bed or chair for the ultimate ease.
With its built-in sensor, the Levoit humidifier gauges humidity levels and adjusts them when necessary. It’ll automatically shut off when the tank runs out of water too, so you can even set it up and forget about it without damaging the humidifier itself.
There are portable humidifiers of many different scales, but nowadays, they can serve to function across an entire house.
You’ll want an approximate measurement of the square footage of your house to ensure that it can serve this purpose.
While it can be somewhat pricey, the benefits outweigh the cost many times. Some are made for more moderate sized houses, but some can serve up to 4000+ square feet, and this plays a major role in the price.
You’ll want to make sure that you’re not paying for something more than you need and not for something too small.
Modern technology has made many advancements in many different areas, and this is no exception for a quality humidifier.
Controlling the humidity in your home is now easier than it ever has been. With digital controls and 24-hour sensors, you’re able to keep humidity at a desired percentage (the ideal percentage being around or slightly above 40%), with the possibility of automatic shutoff. You can set this device to cease it’s work once it’s reached the level you desire, fighting off bacteria and fungi to keep your house healthier and cleaner than it might be otherwise.
The size of the water tank can vary depending on the brand, but some can hold several gallons, allowing hours of air humidifying water vapor to assist your living area.
It is recommended to clean the water tank regularly to prevent bacteria build up, but simple regular maintenance can work wonders to keep your house running at maximum levels of humidity.
In addition to preventing sicknesses, allergies and bacteria, this device can also serve to relieve dry skin and sore throats, providing additional benefits to household use.
A portable humidifier can prove useful by what it can do to help not only the body but also through extra qualities that serve the uses of the home itself. Good humidity levels work well to prevent the swelling of wood, which can cause troubles for the warping of hardwood floors, furniture and even the functioning of doors to the rooms of your house.
Hydration is important for several materials in your average household, including leather. Similar to skin, hydration is important to keep the coating of furniture and other materials in proper order.
The volume of a whole house humidifier can range in sound. Therefore, it’s important to look into what you’re dealing with compared to what you find acceptable in terms of volume.
What to some may seem like a pleasant white noise, may be too loud for others. Oftentimes, the decibels of a product may be specified in the information details of the product itself. Otherwise, it may be helpful to check out individual product reviews for items you’re considering if you feel that noise may be an issue.
The prices of portable whole house humidifiers can vary greatly. It’s important to do your research considering the previous details mentioned when making your choice with your budget in mind.
While some may be more expensive than others, you may find yourself aiming for one of the higher priced brands. While the cost for some of the higher end models may be deterring, some brands offer financing options. Rather than paying for the entire thing outright, you may be able to set up a payment plan and cover the cost in smaller increments through a longer period of time.
A balanced indoor humidity level is crucial to your health. That’s why you need a whole-house humidifier that can deliver consistent, reliable results year round. To find one that won’t let you down, we created a detailed guide of the most common features available on top-of-the-line humidifiers, so you can find the best humidifier that fits your budget.
Whole House Humidifier Mist Levels
Virtually every high-quality humidifier has a setting that allows you to change how much mist the machine emits. If you don’t want to make those adjustments yourself, many models are equipped with a humidistat that can take care of that for you.
The amount of moisture the humidifier puts out depends on the chosen mist level. The bigger the space or the drier the air, the higher the setting needs to be. Higher levels produce more mist; however, it takes longer for a humidifier to run out of water when on a low-mist setting. Often, manufacturers list the humidifier’s mist delivery rate in the model’s specs.
Whole House Humidifier Mist Temperature
While cool-mist humidifiers are the most popular among consumers, some of these machines also offer a warm-mist mode. This feature is great to have when you’re under the weather and need relief from a stuffy nose or a scratchy throat.
The time it takes for the humidifier to heat the water correlates with the capacity of its reservoir.
Whole House Humidifier Mist Nozzle
Pay close attention to the humidifier’s nozzle configuration. Some machines have one while others have two. The nozzle or nozzles may be stationary or movable.
Dual-nozzle setups usually cover the most cubic feet of air, especially if you can rotate them 360 degrees. If you buy a humidifier with only one nozzle, make sure the outlet is wide.
Whole House Humidifier Tank Size
You’re a busy person. As such, you don’t have the time to constantly monitor how much water is left in your humidifier’s tank. To reduce the number of fill-ups, opt for a humidifier with at least a 5-liter reservoir. It also helps for the humidifier to have a viewing area that shows the tank’s water level or a timer you can set to turn the machine on or off automatically.
Whole House Humidifier Control Panel
The design of the control panels on humidifiers varies greatly from one model to the next. For instance, some have one push button that controls all the functions on the machine while others have a touch panel with a multitude of buttons. A lot of humidifiers also have an LED display that shows the settings you select. What you should choose is entirely up to your personal preference.
Whole House Humidifier Sound Output
Humidifiers are machines with moving parts; therefore, it’s impossible to find a completely noiseless one. If you are sensitive to loud sounds, your best bet is to get an ultrasonic humidifier.
These humidifiers are quieter than other humidifiers such as fan-forced ones, and they never get louder than 40 decibels.
Whole House Humidifier Safety Features
Regardless of what appliance you buy, you want it to be safe to use, particularly if you have children or own pets. Most humidifier manufacturers integrate safety features into their products, like an auto-shutoff mechanism that activates when the tank runs out of water or becomes detached from the machine. Some even have a child lock that prevents little ones from pressing buttons.
Whole House Humidifier Essential Oils
Many people enjoy infusing the air around them with the scents created by essential oils. Although this is not a necessary feature to have, some humidifiers are built with aromatherapy in mind. To accommodate your essential oils, these humidifiers have a special drawer with a sponge that absorbs the oil, sending it to the mist-delivery system.
In turn, the mist pushed out of the nozzle will smell like eucalyptus, lavender, sandalwood or whatever scent you’ve chosen.
What Happens When a Home Has a Low Relative Humidity?
In the winter, cold weather can cause some homes’ relative humidity levels to drop to the teens, which is well below the minimum recommended 25 percent. In turn, the people who live in these homes experience dry sinuses and general malaise. In some cases, houseplants may begin to wilt and expensive items like artwork and musical instruments can sustain permanent damage.
How Does Dry Indoor Air Occur?
When there is cold air outside, people tend to run their home’s heating system to maintain a livable temperature. However, water evaporates at a more rapid rate when the indoor temperature is warm. Although a heater can rectify cold temperatures, it simultaneously causes the home’s relative humidity to plummet, leading to dry air.
Can the Relative Humidity Be Too High?
Ideally, the air inside of any home should hover around 50 percent relative humidity. When the humidity rises above this percentage, bacteria and mold can grow and dust mites will thrive, negatively affecting your health and even destroying your home on a structural level. Therefore, it’s crucial to regularly monitor your home’s relative humidity.
What Types of Humidifiers Are Available?
For clarity, humidifiers can be broken down into five major categories. There are evaporator humidifiers that blow air over a wet filter. These humidifiers are budget-friendly, yet they are only suitable for one-room humidification.
There are also cool-mist impeller humidifiers, which work similar to evaporators. Since impeller models don’t have a filter, it’s best to use distilled water in order to prevent mineral buildup.
Like their name suggests, steam humidifiers create steam by boiling water. Some models can be used in conjunction with vaporized medication for cold and flu relief. Alternatively, there are cool-mist humidifiers called ultrasonic humidifiers that utilize ultra-quiet high-frequency vibrations to generate mist.
Finally, there are whole-house humidifiers that hook up to an existing HVAC system to deliver humidified air throughout the entire home. As opposed to the other types, whole-house humidifiers require the expense and expertise of a professional installer.
What Is a Whole-House Humidifier?
The sole purpose of a whole-house humidifier is to raise the relative humidity of the home in which it’s installed. To get the water they need to function, some models glean it from the home’s plumbing system while others must be manually filled.
Either way, these humidifiers push mist throughout the home’s ducts to deliver soothing moisture to every room.
Often, whole-house humidifiers are set up near the home’s water heater on in the basement. You can even get one with a humidistat, which adjusts the relative humidity by itself according to the percentage you program.
What Are the Different Kinds of Whole-House Humidifiers?
There are four major kinds of whole-house humidifiers you can buy. One type is a steam humidifier. This version heats water to a boiling temperature. Then, it takes the steam made by the water and shoots it into the home’s ducts.
One downside to a whole-house steam humidifier is that it requires a ton of energy, driving up your power bill.
Another variety is called a bypass humidifier. This whole-house humidification machine utilizes the furnace’s heat to warm the water in its reservoir. As a result, mist forms and travels through the home’s vents.
There are also whole-house cool-mist options, such as a fan-powered humidifier that generates mist by blowing air across a panel of water. Unlike steam humidifiers, fan-powered models don’t need hot water to work, so they don’t dramatically impact your electricity bill.
Finally, there is the whole-house drum humidifier. Since it is easier and cheaper to install, drum humidifiers are a popular choice among homeowners. However, these machines use a belt-driven motor to evaporate the cold water; therefore, they require periodic belt replacements.
How Do Whole-House Humidifiers Compare to Portable Ones?
When looking at the benefits of whole-house and portable humidifiers, whole-house models have a leg up in certain areas. They usually don’t need as much maintenance as portable ones, and their filters tend to last for months without you having to clean or change them.
Whole-house humidifiers also use fresh water so quickly that it doesn’t have time to become stagnant and grow dangerous organisms.
There are many different quality options out there. As mentioned, the benefits can include better health and breathing, protected furniture, better skin, limiting dust and dander in the air and much more.
Using this guide and the information it provides, take your time, look around and find what’s right for you.
Our Recommended Humidifiers
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Last update on 2020-10-21 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API