5 Best Whole House Humidifiers: Are you and your family struggling to get through especially dry weather conditions?
I don’t blame you; dry air can truly wreak havoc on a household!
Apart from irritating the body, dry air contributes to static, excessive coughing, sinus problems, and dried-out skin and hair.
Oh and let’s not forget about the delicate wooden furniture that needs a certain level of humidity to maintain its quality!
Even if you have a small humidifier in a specific room of your house, it can only do so much, and comes nowhere near close to tackling the issues mentioned for the whole family!
Well, luckily for you, whole-house humidifiers come into play to whoosh the discomfort away!
The best whole house humidifier should not only keep the air in every room of your house perfectly moist but also sport a few automatic, power-saving features.
One such example is an automatic shut off system to ensure that your electricity bills don’t rise through the roof!
The type of humidifier you get depends on the total area of your house, whether you have an HVAC system or not, and of course, your budget.
If your house comes with an HVAC system, then you can get a steam or evaporative humidifier installed directly in the ductwork of your house.
Otherwise, go with a console styled portable humidifier that can be placed in any corner of your house and still get the job done!
Now, toss away any small, room humidifiers you might have and get ready to bring out the big guns to battle this season’s dryness!
Table of Content
Our picks of the best whole house humidifiers
The humidifier market can get very confusing to navigate through with all of the different types of humidifiers and features present.
So after looking at both ducted and ductless humidifiers of all kinds, we’ve compiled a list of the best ones compatible with different types of houses.
Coming to you from a company that has been putting out efficiently working humidifiers in the market for years, is the Aprilaire 4 humidifier.
Aprilaire 4 is a bypass evaporative humidifier that gets installed directly in your HVAC ductwork and needs a furnace to function.
This product makes number 1 on our list because it offers the best value for the price with its efficiency in covering small to large areas at a very reasonable price while conserving water.
Even though other products on the list cover a similar range, they come at a much higher price for similar benefits.
Plus none of them significantly reduce your water bills, quite like this one!
This is because all of the water that’s taken in from the supply pipe is fully converted to vapor without any waste.
This eliminates the need for a drainage system and the lack of standing water also reduces the chances of mold formation in the long term.
It can provide humidity for houses of total areas ranging from 1250 up to 4000 square feet, depending on the tightness of their seals.
Once it’s installed, the humidifier automatically detects when the humidity falls below the set level.
As this happens, the bypass damper opens, heat from the furnace comes in and the system gets to work to restore humidity levels.
It works by using the heat from the furnace to evaporate the water coming in from the water supply pipe.
This water vapor then gets mixed in with the air going into your house and gets supplied to all the rooms in your house through the ducts.
Since the bypass damper closes when the required humidity level is reached, it also saves power.
As the water panels are working so efficiently to deliver up to 0 .7 gallons of moisture per hour, they will need to be replaced about every 2 years.
However, since this humidifier needs the installation of a bypass duct in your pipes, we recommend getting some professional help.
We recommend not trying to DIY this as it can get very tricky and there’s no warranty for DIY installation.
Similar products to the 400 model are the Aprilaire 600 and Aprilaire 500. The 600 model comes with a damper that’s got settings for both winter and summers. On the other hand, the 500 model is a smaller capacity version of the 400.
Emerson HSP2000 Steam Humidifier
Eliminating the need for a furnace, this is a steam humidifier that uses its boiler to create steam which is distributed evenly through your ducts.
It can provide humid air for houses of total areas ranging from 1400 to 3500 square feet. If it’s smaller than that, you run the risk of having too much humidity in your home.
It comes with an automatic humidistat that keeps track of the humidity levels. When it falls below set points, the boiler gets to work to produce more steam.
The humidifier also comes with a blower that only starts up once steam is produced to disperse the humidified air.
However, having its own boiler and blower does mean that it draws a lot more power than the Aprilaire 400. We recommend installing a 2A line to help with that.
On the other hand, it is a lot quieter than fan humidifiers such as the Aprilaire 700.
There’s a flushing timer that controls how often the water tank needs to be flushed and refilled to prevent sediment buildup in the humidifier.
You do need to monitor the quality of water you’re using to make sure it doesn’t corrode the heating element.
Since it is a more advanced and complicated system, you definitely need the help of a professional to set it up.
Although the stainless steel construction makes this durable, it is harder to remove and clean when needed.
Note that, even though steam humidifiers work most effectively when compared with other humidifiers, they also come at a higher price.
Aircare EP9 800 Digital Humidifier
Don’t have an HVAC system in your house? Well, we’ve got you covered with the option of a portable digital humidifier.
This is an evaporative style humidifier that can sit in any corner of your house and not only humidify but also remove static from spaces of total areas up to 2400 square feet.
Once plugged in, all you have to do is fill in the water reservoir, turn it on and set the desired humidity level.
The humidifier will start working and when the set humidity level is reached, it automatically stops. As the humidity level drops below the required level, it automatically starts up again.
With a capacity of about 3 gallons in its tank, it can run for up to 60 hours before requiring a refill.
The refilling process can be time-consuming if done through the small opening given.
However, users have found a way around it by removing the top part of the humidifier and filling up the reservoir directly.
The humidifier comes with a digital display that displays the current humidity level and allows you to pick your ideal humidity level.
It also displays ‘cf’ if the filter of the humidifier needs to be changed and ‘f’ if you need to refill your reservoir.
Since it works from one corner of your house, you have to be very strategic about placing it, to allow maximum airflow and ensure all rooms are properly humidified.
Good thing it sits on castors which makes it easy to move around and experiment in different areas of the house!
It offers up to 9 fan speeds controls but users have reported the higher speeds to be particularly loud which might be disruptive if you’re a light sleeper.
It is, however, very easy to maintain and clean. Simply take out the filter every week and wipe it with some vinegar and detergent solution.
If the design of a humidifier is very important to you, then this humidifier will be perfect as it not only doubles as a sleek side table but its top tile can be changed to match your natural tiling.
A very similar but slightly cheaper product is the Essick Aircare MA1201 which can cover a larger area of 3600 square feet, but runs for a shorter amount of time and only offers 4 fan speeds instead of 9.
Another highly efficient Aprilaire model, the 700 can humidify an area up to 4200 square feet.
It can deliver up to 18 gallons of moisture a day, keeping your house sufficiently humid at all times.
It works by using an internal fan rather than a bypass damper like the 400 models.
The humidifier comes with dual sensors that monitor the temperature inside and outside to ensure optimal humidification for your house.
Once the need for humidity is detected, the heat turns on and the water valve opens to allow water to fill in the filter pads.
The internal fan then blows through the filter and delivers moisture to the air going into the furnace which will deliver it to the rest of your house through ducts.
This one is digital which allows for more accurate and easier controls, but there is a manual option available.
However, unlike the 400 models, this one does not conserve water and needs a drainage system to be installed to take care of the excess water leakage from the filters.
The filters also need to be changed about once a year otherwise sediments start to settle in.
Even though, it is recommended to get this installed professionally if you are good with machinery and can follow tutorials then feel free to give this a go as the installation can be very expensive.
Also known as the Essick Air 82600, this space saver console humidifier is very compact. It’s ductless and comes with castors so it can be placed anywhere in the house.
It comes with a capacity of 6 gallons of water which can run for 70 hours. This is about the same time as the Aircare EP9 800, even though EP9 800 has a smaller reservoir capacity.
However, this is the more affordable option, since it makes use of analog controls instead of digital ones. Keep in mind; the analog settings do decrease the precision of controls.
For humidity levels, you’re only given three options, low, medium, and high in the humidistat rather than being able to set it at a certain numerical value as in the digital ones.
The high settings also tend to be noisy.
On the other hand, the refilling process is much easier since you can directly fill it at the top without having to use a small opening or removing the whole top portion as with the EP9 800.
When compared with the Essick Aircare MA1201, the Essick Air 82600 offers a greater capacity.
However, it only offers 2 fan speeds and covers a shorter area than the MA1201.
It can properly humidify an area of about 2300 square feet of a well-sealed house, otherwise smaller.
Since it’s such a small and compact unit, it is portable which is perfect if you tend to move houses a lot.
Similar to other machines, it also has an auto shut off option when the desired humidity level is reached which saves power.
Unfortunately, it’s not the most durable product in the list since it is made of flimsy plastic, so do be careful when moving it around.
The wick and filter will need a replacement about once a year.
A similar option to consider for a larger space of 2700 square feet is the Aircare 831000 which comes with an additional check filter indicator, driving its price up a little more.
If you have an HVAC system with a furnace already installed in your home, we recommend getting the Aprilaire 400 model as it offers the best value for the price, and come with and water conservation properties.
However, for a larger home that requires a constant stream of humidity; go for the Aprilaire 700 model.
Coming in at second best is the Emerson HSP2000 as it works the most efficiently, but comes with a greater price tag and higher electricity bills.
If your house lacks an HVAC system or you’re looking for the best digital humidifier, definitely pick the Aircare EP9 800.
Lastly, when you’re looking for a super affordable option, then the Aircare 826000 space saver console humidifier is your best bet.