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.
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.
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.
What Is A Whole-House Humidifier?
The name alone would suggest that it is a humidifier that can humidify the whole home. Generally they are joined into your ventilation works close to the heater. The air is pushed into the heater, is then heated, then the air is humidified by the humidifier and this warm and clammy air is pushed out of the heater.
This humidifier receives water straight from your waterlines, instead of from a supply that you need to physically fill. It then pushes the moist air into your home heater- and air-conditioning ventilation system. The result is improved dampness levels for your whole home, as opposed to just in one room when utilizing the console-type humidifier.
What are the Benefits of Whole House Humidifiers Compared to other Humidifiers?
These units are very easy to use. You just need to have it installed, do maintenance whenever required and be on the lookout for any indication that might cause it to stop working. Be aware that these units are normally not where they can be seen, and can thus sometimes be forgotten – so do routine checks on them from time to time.
With this type of humidifier you don’t need to fill a tank continually or think of cleaning the filtration system. You basically just set it, and that is all. A few models do require that you change filters every 3 or 6 months, or maybe annually.
Some of the portable type humidifiers would expect you to add some kind of chemical to the water to stop any growth like bacteria or mold, and as such you would need to clean the filters regularly. These filters may not cost much at first, yet after some time the expenses to keep them working would add up.
If you compare them you would find that a central humidifier only utilizes water and is never switched off long enough for the water to become stale. On top of that they additionally utilize almost no power, thus saving you money, and in this way would pay for themselves in time because heating the house would cost very little.
The portable type of humidifiers are very cumbersome and occupy a great deal of space, regardless of whether they are the tower-tank type. The bigger your room, the bigger the humidifier would be that you need to add the appropriate measure of dampness to the area. You would presumably require one for every room to really make any difference.
The whole house humidifiers are significantly better and efficient as far as energy goes, than the smaller models that you would have to spread around the house. By using the ducting of your heater it is very helpful to provide every room with new humidified air.
How Do Whole House Humidifiers Work?
In contrast to other portable models, whole house humidifiers don’t have tanks that need to be filled at all as they are connected to the water supply of the house and also to your system that heats the house. It is thus very easy to increase the moisture in your home without worrying about filling tanks or falling over units in all the rooms.
A few models have a fitted humidistat which works like a thermostat, but is there to control the humidity in the house. This unit tests the moistness in your home and then consequently changes the humidifier’s settings to achieve the setting that you made. A lot of these humidistats can be controlled digitally.
Bigger single units that are normally placed in a cellar or any place where your heating system is, is substantially better and effective than the many units you would spread have around the house. The ducting that the heating system uses also routes air that is humidified to all the rooms.
Our Recommended Large Humidifiers in 2023
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.
- AROUND-THE-CLOCK MOISTURE: Produces up to 50 hours of continuous mist output on the low...
- INTUITIVE TOUCH-BUTTON CONTROL: Sleek, touch-button panel lets you easily power the unit...
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.
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.
- 6 Liter Capacity: Featuring a stunning 6L large tank and 360° adjustable dual nozzles,...
- Suitable for Home, Baby and Plants: You can finally breathe properly with this ultrasonic...
Our Recommended Whole-House Humidifiers in 2023
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.
- COVERAGE AREA: UP TO 2,700 SQ FT
- The Space Saver uses our 1043 Super Wick (your first one is included).
AIRCARE MA1201 Humidifier
The AIRCARE MA1201 is an evaporative humidifier that has a 3,600-square-foot reach. It has a maximum output of 2.4 gallons per day, while the tank holds enough water for three entire days. Lightweight and compact, lifting this unit from room to room shouldn’t pose any problems. The digital controls on the MA1201 make it incredibly easy to use.
It comes with a built-in humidistat that measures ambient humidity levels, and it also kills the motor when the desired relative humidity is achieved or if the tank is out of water. As a whole-house humidifier, the MA1201 is far from whisper-quiet, but it’s not obnoxiously loud like most models out there.
- Console-style humidifier for a whole house up to 3600 square feet. Standalone Type : Cool...
- Digital humidistat automatically maintains your desired humidity level with digital...
Honeywell Home HE280A2001 HE280A
The HE280A by Honeywell is a whole-house humidifier that connects directly to your home’s furnace. The benefit of such a design is that there’s practically zero maintenance required, unlike in-room humidifiers that require frequent cleaning, descaling, and filter replacements. This unit can bump up the relative humidity levels in over-3,000-square-foot homes in a matter of minutes.
Installation requires connecting a water line directly to the unit, so you don’t have to monitor water levels at all. An indirect upside of this humidifier is that it can reduce heating bills as humid air feels warmer than dry air. Installation can be tricky, but after it’s up and running, you hardly have to do anything else to the HE280A.
- Water-saving technology uses 30% less water than standard models
- Easy mounting on either warm air supply or return air duct of any forced-air furnace
Aprilaire 600 Whole Home Humidifier
The Aprilaire Model 600 whole-home humidifier is another furnace-mounted device that humidifies homes of up to 4,000 square feet. Setting the Model 600 up requires rotating the unit relative to the position of your furnace, connecting a cold water line to the unit, running the drain hose to a sink, and hooking it up to your furnace.
This whole-home humidifier has a maximum output of 17 gallons per day to easily maintain ideal indoor relative humidity levels throughout the year. The Model 600 also features an automatic digital controller that monitors both indoor and outdoor humidity to accurate readings, so the humidifier never starts or stops prematurely or too late.
- BUY WITH CONFIDENCE This humidifier was designed and manufactured in the USA by AprilAire...
- FULL COVERAGE up to 5,000 square feet in tightly built homes with a capacity of 17 gallons...
Aprilaire 700 Whole Home Humidifier
The Model 700 is a whole-home, fan-powered humidifier that connects to either the supply or return duct of your home’s heating/cooling system. A built-in fan evenly distributes 18 gallons of humidified air daily to all corners of a 4,200-square-foot home in mere minutes.
To set the unit up, you’ll need to connect the dual-sensor humidistat to the return duct of your home, after which it’ll automatically gauge indoor relative humidity levels before activating or stopping the humidifying process until it has reached the specified humidity levels. The Model 700 uses a natural evaporation process through hot air from your furnace, which is then pushed into your home by the fan. As a result, maintenance is limited to checking up on the water panel once every month or so.
- BUY WITH CONFIDENCE This humidifier was designed and manufactured in the USA by AprilAire...
- FULL COVERAGE up to 5,300 square feet in tightly built homes with a capacity of 18 gallons...
Aprilaire – 800Z 800 Whole Home Steam Humidifier
Prepare to be amazed by the Aprilaire Model 800, a whole-home steam humidifier that can raise the moisture levels in homes of up to 6,200 square feet thanks to the 34.6-gallon daily output. This unit doesn’t mount onto a furnace, but instead, it comes with a built-in boiler that converts cold water from a water line into steam, which is then distributed throughout your home via supply ducts.
As such, the Model 800 requires more energy to run, but it’s also much more efficient than fan-driven models. A dual-sensor humidistat gauges indoor humidity levels before automatically adjusting moisture output until the desired humidity level is reached.
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The most important fact is that you need a humidifier that can help keep your home’s dampness adjusted to the level that you require. A few models work so well that they can even eliminate static electricity by stopping your wooden floors from drying out. To choose the best humidifier for you, you need to consider a few things, like the environment you live in, how large your home is and of course the amount of money you want to spend – then find a unit that satisfies these needs.
While numerous humidifiers just address the moistness of the air in your home, others would do a bit more than that. For instance, some of them would also be able to spread the scents of oils around your home. Additionally, if your humidifier will be in plain sight in your home, you might need to consider a unit that fits in with the style of your decorations.
Ease of Use
Some units are just super easy to use, on the other hand some of the others are quite difficult. Some of them just plug into a wall socket and others needs the services of a professional to properly install it. Also keep in mind how large the unit’s water tank is and how frequently you’ll need to top it up.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Entire House Humidifier Types
There are two fundamental differences:
Built-in units, sometimes called entire house heater humidifiers and ducted humidifiers, are joined into the system that provides hot or cold air, and usually installed in a space next to the heater.
Stand-alone units that aren’t joined to the system in the home and can be placed anywhere in the home.
Ducted Units. These units, also called built-ins whole house, are constructed as three types of units:
1. Drum Units.
It has a drum that rotates, a drum pad that absorbs moisture as well as a tray to collect water. When the heating system is running, the drum turns and gets water, it then dissipates into the warm air and is then moved into you home via the ventilation system of your house. This is why the drum units are called evaporative humidifiers.
These drum units utilize less water than other types that need a filter, as well as the steam units. You will have to do regular maintenance as these units tend to grow mold and will also have some residue which will collect in the tray.
2. Bypass Whole House Humidifiers.
This unit has a piece of metal and the water is slowly streamed over it while warm air is circulated over it. These units are also known as evaporative units because air is pushed from the heater over the metal, and the name “bypass” is derived from that. “Pass through” is another term that is used for this unit as well. The bigger bypass units have fans that are used to move the air into the machine and into the ventilation system.
These units have very little maintenance and do not experience any problems with mold. Some units do waste a little water, because if the water is not used it is drained and lost in this way. Others units again have a better system and it is possible to save money and water wastage. In our list we have the Aprilaire 400 and this one does not require a drain for the water.
3. Steam Whole House Humidifiers.
This unit has a little heating system that produces steam. The unit is connected to the heater, and if the motor that powers the blower of the furnace turns on it would trigger the humidifier into producing steam.
These units produce the most moisture in the shortest amount of time. They utilize a huge amount of water to produce steam and for flushing the unit now and again. If you have to pay for your water instead of getting it from a borehole, keep an eye on your account for the water. You would also need a drain to get rid of the water that was used for flushing.
Independent Whole House Humidifiers
There are two kinds of stand-alone units – Console whole house-, and Platform whole house humidifiers. The names only have reference to the shape and size of the units. Both these units are not joined to the system that distribute air in your home. The Aircare units mentioned in our list use a system of evaporation, and the Holmes unit is a cool misting unit.
These units that are not joined to the system in your house are sold for homes that do not have a system that forces air into the home. There are however some points to keep in mind:
Homes with Forced Air HVAC
These units can also be used in houses with ventilation systems where air is forced into the home. The humid air is drawn into the cold air returns when the heater is running, and then equally spread to all rooms. So in a nutshell, stand-alone units can be utilized with systems that force air into homes and are quite good at it too.
Homes without Forced Air HVAC
If you have no ventilation system installed it would also suggest that a non-ducted unit would most probably be the most ideal choice. If you have a large home, you may have to put a fan or two in essential locations in order to spread the moist air around. The humid air will in the long run be spread in the whole house, but if you want lend a helping hand you could place some fans at the top of the stairs or in the hallways.
Choosing The Right Size Whole House Humidifier
It’s not difficult to just look at the size it was rated at, correct? So if it says “2,600 sq. ft.,” that should be it?
No, not really….. it is not quite the truth!
These ratings are normally quoted on houses that are insulated well and do not allow air to get away – along with the humidity contained in it.
As an example, let us look at Aprilaire 400 which is apparently rated for houses measuring up to 4,000 sq.ft. This is what is meant above:
– Home with a free insulation – Up to 1,250 sq.ft.
– Homes with a normal insulation – Up to 2,000 sq.ft.
– Homes with a tight insulation – Up to 4,000 sq.ft.
What do these Terms Free-, Normal- and Tight- mean?
Below are some explanations to the terms:
The home is presumably 50+ years old, has just about no insulation, has windows and doors that do not seal properly and you would feel the air coming through. It would also maybe have a conventional chimney which is basically a huge opening in a wall, and no- or very little loft insulation. You would realize you need more insulation if your HVAC accounts are higher than you anticipated. If you do an inspection of the roof on the loft, it would show very little snow and that would even melt a lot quicker than other homes in the area.
The home is likely 25+ years old, just like the free-home above with poor insulation, just not quite to that extent. If it has decent insulation or if the windows and doors have been updated, it would move into the “normal” classification.
The home is most likely under 20 years old. Building homes with better insulation has been the standard for quite a number of decades. Loft insulation of R-38 or better is quite normal. Home insulation is done properly, windows are sealed well with two-pane frames fitted with low-E glass, doors can seal properly and there is no fireplace. The US Department of Energy has a list of suggestions on how to properly seal a home.
Whole House Humidifier Installation
A unit that is not ducted is usually very easy to assemble. It just needs to be cleaned with a mix of vinegar and water, fill the tank and switch it on. As easy as that!
Installing a unit that is ducted humidifier is a bit more difficult. To start with, you’ll need to make a decision if you are going to save some money on the installation process to install a unit like this. You will need to use a qualified person or service, otherwise the guarantee on the unit will lapse. The wording on Aprilaire’s guarantee reads as follows – “This limited guarantee is void if defects result from failure to have this unit installed by a qualified heating and air conditioning contractor.”
If you should be quoted a price higher than you paid for the unit, then you could perhaps consider doing the installation yourself – of course if you have the knowledge and the correct tools:
- Know your way around plumbing and electricity
- Have-, can read and understand the supplied manuals
- Know how to interpret a wiring diagram
- Possess tools to cut sheet metal
- Possess and know how to use some basic tools
Below are a couple of steps that are common when installing most of the ducted whole house units:
- Joining the unit into the water supply of the house by using the saddle valve which is included
- Wiring to unit to the heater system
- Cutting an opening in some sheet metal to fit the unit
- Fitting the unit to the sheet metal
- To wire and plumb the unit as it should be
- To provide a dedicated 110/120 or 220/240 power supply line to the unit (only steam humidifiers)
If you have perhaps read the Buying Guide, the comments regarding best whole house units discussed above will make more sense. It might be a good suggestion to browse through them to then choose the model that would suit your needs.
You have now tracked down the best whole house unit that suits your needs, The Soothing Air needs to ensure that you how to properly operate it. We would prefer if anybody or their possessions are injured or damaged, and for that reason we are providing you with some information.
Console units need to be filled up regularly and that could be an issue. Some of the tanks are quite big and it implies that you would have to be able to carry the weight in order to keep the unit running. To address this issue you could consider keeping the unit relatively close to a basin which would make topping up the unit a lot easier.
Be very careful near your steam units until you know the system well and also know which areas might be hot. Keep an eye on your pets and children to ensure they aren’t hurt or burned. Not all of the areas will be hot, yet be certain which one would and where those areas are prior to being less careful.
Whole house units are not so easy to install and to be totally safe. Sometimes you would actually require an expert to do it for you. You could then manage the water supply and electricity to the unit.
However, if you do this part on your own and you don’t have a clue what you are doing, it could potentially damage your home. Furthermore, fitting a unit close to other wiring would require you to take extra precautionary measures.
To protect your home and conceivably your own life, carefully consider all the precautions that you have to take before you try and install it yourself. If you do not have the knowledge to do the wiring and plumbing, it might be worth your while to rather call in the services of certified installers.
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 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 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.
How do Whole Home Humidifiers Work?
They work differently to the smaller units which just plugs into a wall socket. Whole home models are usually connected to your home’s cooling and heating system, and also utilize the same water supply as the house. As the air goes through the unit, it collects water and then pushes the moisture into your home by way of the air channels.
Do Whole Home Humidifiers cause Mold?
The short answer would be that it can indeed cause mold, especially if you are not careful. Units that have tanks with stationary water may also wind up with mold developing inside these tanks, so it’s essential to clean them routinely. Notwithstanding, any unit could be the cause of mold growing if it’s pushing a lot moisture into a home and the home is just too cold.
The moisture will adhere to cold surfaces and prompt the growth of mold if you don’t see it. This could happen any place in the home – even inside walls or the pipes that provide air. If this is a concern, be very careful and set your unit’s humidistat to provide humidity less than 60%.
Are Whole Home Humidifiers Safe?
Besides the growth of mold, too much moisture from the unit can cause ice to form and water to accumulate in parts of your home that are water-sensitive (wood fittings and surface areas), causing damage and possibly stains.
If you set the unit to only run when the heating is switched on (as opposed to all the time) and also ensuring your house has proper ventilation, it would help in addressing the dampness that could form.
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.
Tracking down the best whole house unit to satisfy the needs you have could be quite a process, but we trust that our review would assist you with deciding on the best unit to fit your needs as well as the budget allocated to it. Regardless of whether it’s a cool, warm, or evaporative-fog model using hot water that you need, you’re reasonably certain to find the right one by just following 8 simple steps.
Humidifiers make life significantly more enjoyable, particularly if you live in regions where there is not much humidity present. Even in such areas the cold winter months might be much drier than a desert would be. A lot of people don’t really know how bad it could be for your health, but now you should be better prepared to solve this problem.
You will experience a good deal of comfort once you have a new whole house humidifier, and it will astound you. Just go and appreciate it!
Using this guide and the information it provides, take your time, look around and find what’s right for you.
If you have any questions or comments, please add them below in the comment section. Similarly, please let us know if you spot any mistakes or omissions. Thanks!
Last Update: 2023-12-01 | Affiliate links/Images from Amazon Product Advertising API