Do you get frequent nosebleeds, flaky skin, or constant headaches? Perhaps dry air in your house is the cause of these issues. If there isn’t enough moisture in the air, we can get all sorts of annoying issues. Some of the best whole house humidifiers might help us resolve these health problems.
Sometimes, humidifying just one room isn’t enough. True, whole house humidifiers are more expensive than their smaller counterparts, but they are much more effective. One unit can create enough moisture for your entire house, even if it’s a few thousand feet.
With so many different products on the market, choosing amongst the best whole house humidifiers can be a challenge. This is why we have prepared you a buying guide, as well as our picks for the top 6 best whole house humidifiers. We hope this can help inform you about these useful products and that you will be able to make the best decision for you.
Why You Should Monitor Your Home Humidity Level
Indoor humidity levels should always remain between 30 and 50 percent. This is the best way to help strengthen the health of your kids, pets, and yourself. Dry air causes several annoying symptoms such as allergies, parched skin, and sinus inflammation. It can also damage your home, as dry air can create cracks in your wall and damage the furniture.
On the other hand, too much moisture can cause bacterial and mold growth. This can increase the possibility of allergies, musty odor, and similar. Humidifiers can help you control the moisture levels to prevent any of the dry air effects. Finding some of the best whole house humidifiers is one of the best ways to stop chronic itchy skin, static shocks, and dry coughs.
Whole house humidifiers are better than smaller ones. They work together with your HVAC system to keep the humidity levels of the entire house under control. They are installed once, and other than occasional maintenance, you won’t have any other activities around them. Unlike portable models, whole house humidifiers are connected to your property’s supply, so they don’t need refilling. Sure, they are a bit more expensive, but it is worth it in the long run as they are cheaper to maintain. A lot of the models are suitable even for a multi-level house.
And if you don’t have an HVAC system, don’t worry. Some models can work without it, so they are great if you are renting a house or if you want to moisture just a few rooms in your property.
What Features You Should Look for in Best Whole House Humidifiers?
With so many models of whole house humidifiers currently on the market, you can really have trouble finding the right one. However, if you make a list of the most essential features you want your humidifier to have, you can make the process much more comfortable. Here are some of the important things you should consider.
Ducted or Freestanding?
Ducted humidifiers are connected to your HVAC system, as well as the water supply and drainage. They are great if you have large spaces or want to humidify several rooms. They have a high capacity, long lifespan, extensive coverage, and low maintenance cost. They are great if you want something that will clean your air as well, as it passes through the HVAC filters. However, they are more expensive, and they have a bit more complicated installation process.
On the other hand, freestanding humidifiers have a reservoir of their own. They have a fan that helps them circulate the moisture all around the house. They are much more flexible and cheaper. However, they are high maintenance, as you have to continually replace filters and refill the water.
Steam or Evaporative
There are several types of humidifiers; however, most work on steam or evaporation.
Evaporative models work thanks to an evaporator pad, which humidifies the air before distributing it back all around the house. If you have a gas furnace, you might want to get an evaporative model, as it will produce cold steam. They can be bypass or fan-powered. They aren’ too expensive, but their evaporator pad has to be replaced regularly.
Steam humidifiers have electric probes that heat the water in their reservoir up to the boiling water. Then, the warm water is released back into the air in the form of steam. Steam humidifiers produce warm steam, as opposed to evaporative models. They don’t require the furnace to work, as they already produce a warm mist. If you are prone to allergies, these might be better for you, as they are warm enough to kill bacteria. At the same time, most of them have an automatic self-cleaning flush system. This will purge water residue.
A broad coverage area is a necessity with the best whole house humidifiers. They have to be able to cover your entire house, no matter how big. This is why you should always carefully research the coverage area of any model you are interested in. Some can cover a couple of rooms. Others can cover a large house of several thousand feet.
Ducted humidifiers connect to your water supply, so they can operate continuously. This is a great option, as they don’t require refills and don’t have stagnant water, which is a paradise for mold and bacteria. However, not all have an equal output, and some provide more moisture than others. To help you do the math, a coverage of twelve gallons per day is considered ideal for 3,600 square foot coverage. Steam models tend to have the highest output. Behind them are evaporative models that are fan-powered, and the last are bypass models that rely on a furnace.
Freestanding humidifiers still have a water tank. The tank has to be large enough to fuel the unit long enough to moisturize the entire desired area. This will also prolong the operation period.
Whole house humidifiers tend to be significant in size. If you plan on getting a ducted model, make sure that the place you mount it on can hold its weight. Freestanding units are a lot more flexible, as you can choose where to put them. However, this also means that they will be visible, so you’d still want a unit small enough not to disrupt the room’s look.
Top 6 Best Whole House Humidifiers
1. AIRCARE Space-Save Evaporative Humidifier
This large, portable humidifier can work continuously for up to an incredible 70 hours! The tank is easily accessible once you remove the front grill. The opening is wide, so refilling isn’t a problem.
It can effectively humidify up to 2,700 square feet of space. This is enough for a smaller house or an apartment. The unit is moveable, so you can easily transport it to the area that needs humidifying. There is an automatic humidistat, thanks to which you can adjust the moisture levels to up to 65%. Once the desired moisture level is reached, the humidifier will turn off, and then later restart when that level drops. It will also turn off if the water level is low, so no damage can happen.
You should replace the wick every two or three months, just to keep everything clean and sterile. The unit also comes with a five-foot cord, so it is relatively mobile. Not only that, but this device can also filter your air and make it cleaner.
- Several automatic features
- Long runtime
- Small coverage area
2. Honeywell HEV685B
If you are looking for a good humidifier that can destroy mold and allergens, it might be one of the best whole house humidifiers. At the same time, it is one of the best choices if you have trouble with hard water.
The device can humidify several rooms for up to an entire day if left on low settings. This is a rather small capacity, but other features still helped this humidifier get on our list. It’s flexible, and it doesn’t require to be connected to the HVAC system. In other words, you can simply place it in the area that has trouble with the dry air. The fan has three working speed, and the unit is overall adjustable.
The two tanks need to be refilled every now and then, but the unit has the auto shut-down feature, so if the levels are low, it won’t malfunction. Also, you will have a light that will alert you about the low water levels.
- Adjustable humidistat
- Very high output
- Great for hard water
- Small coverage area
- Doesn’t have any wheels
3. Emerson HSP2000
The Emerson is producing some of the best whole house humidifiers on the market. This ducted humidifier is made of stainless steel, so it’s rather durable. It comes with an automatic flush timer, which will clean the water every two hours to prevent any contamination and buildup.
This unit works with your HVAC system and it has the blower which can work even if the furnace is not running. It can moisture up to 4,500 square feet of space and keep at the moisture level of around 45%. However, just like any other ducted humidifier, it has to be installed by a professional.
It has an automatic turn on/off function, so it can control your humidity levels even if you’re not monitoring it. It is recommended that you do a routine maintenance every few months, because this humidifier can have a small problem with build-up materials.
- Broad coverage
- Has to be installed by a professional
4. AIRCARE MA1201
This is probably one of the best whole house humidifiers if you are on a budget. It costs like a smaller, portable model, but it has extensive coverage. It can humidify up to 3,600 square feet of space! This is enough to keep your entire house at an optimal humidity level.
This is a freestanding, evaporative humidifier that is easy to move around. It does require filter replacements every now and then, and it has an indicator that will let you know when the change is due.
The built-in humidistat gives you control over the moisture levels, and it will also turn-off the unit once this level is reached. The biggest complaint with this model is that it does require constant refills, as it has a high maximum output. Luckily, the humidifier turns off automatically if the water levels are low. This will prevent any malfunctions.
- Digital humidistat
- Requires to be refilled frequently
5. Aprilaire 700
This fully automatic humidifier is excellent for larger homes, as it can cover up to 4,200 square feet. It is a ducted model, so it will require a professional to install it on your pre-existing HVAC system.
If you are not a fan of automatic devices, it can also be set manually. The device has a large number of buttons, a digital panel, and two sensors covering both the indoors and the outdoors. It can output up to 18 gallons of moisture every day, to help relieve you of various health problems caused by dry air. The auto turn-off option will shut the humidifier off once you’ve set the desired moisture levels.
Despite being powerful, the device is rather simple and won’t require frequent maintenance. The only problem is that the mounting kit has to be bought separately. However, once you’ve installed this unit, you won’t have much to worry about.
- Extensive coverage
- Various sensors
- High daily output
- Doesn’t come with a mounting kit
- Has to be installed by a professional
6. AIRCARE 696 400HB
This unique-looking humidifier is more than just pretty for the eyes. It is freestanding and has two tanks that can cover up to 3,600 square feet. This is enough for most homes. The digital display lets you know when the tanks are empty and when it’s the time to replace the filters.
It is evaporative, so you will also have to replace the wicks every now and then. However, if you add one teaspoon of vinegar per gallon of water, you will reduce the mineral build-up and thus extend the wick’s lifespan. Typically, one wick can last for an entire season.
You can adjust the speed to up to nine levels to have great control over the humidity levels. The device has wheels, so you can move it around without much hassle.
This humidifier also comes with an adjustable humidistat and auto turn-off option once you’ve reached the desired moisture levels.
- Wide coverage
- Nine speed settings
- Built-in humidistat with turn off options
A humidifier is something every household should have. Why bother with buying a humidifier for every room, when you can buy one for an entire house? Best whole house humidifiers do cost more than smaller items, but they are worth every penny.
Most whole house humidifiers require very little maintenance. Some do require professional installation, but this is a one-time cost that isn’t that high anyway. Compared to the regular refills and product replacements, you won’t lose anything.
Deciding amongst the many products is entirely up to the consumer. Every person has unique needs and unique living situation. Some people could have much use of a freestanding humidifier; others would prefer ducted models that connect to your HVAC system. You should always find something that works for you and your needs. We hope this article helped you see a few good options and that now you will make your decision a bit easier.