Humidifier for The Whole House: How Does It Work and What Are the Benefits?

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Written By Stephane

If you’re like most people, you probably think of humidifiers as those little machines you put on your bedside table to help your breathing. However, there is a kind of humidifier called a whole house humidifier. This type of humidifier attaches to your home’s HVAC system and helps to regulate the humidity levels throughout your house, some can also run independent of HVAC. This blog post will discuss how it works and the benefits they provide!

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What Is A Whole House Humidifier?

A whole house humidifier is a device that helps regulate your home’s humidity levels. This type of humidifier attaches to your HVAC system and works with it to distribute moist air evenly throughout your entire house. There are two main kinds of whole home humidifiers.

Portable Whole Home Humidifier

portable humidifier

These humidifiers don’t need to be connected to ductwork. They can humidify an entire home. Oftentimes, they’re called pedestal-style humidifiers and small desk humidifiers on steroids. Most portable whole-house units are rated for homes up to 2500 square feet.

HVAC-Installed Whole Home Humidifiers

Inline whole house humidifiers are connected to your ductwork, next to your furnace or air handler, and are typically installed before or after the furnace filter. Newer humidifiers include powered fans that help to distribute moisture throughout the duct system. Most of these humidifiers will turn on automatically when the heating unit is switched on and are managed with a humidity thermostat (basically a thermostat but for humidity).

Whole House Humidifiers Vs. Portable Room Humidifiers

The primary distinction between whole-house and room humidifiers is the water they contain. Room humidifiers are smaller items with a capacity of less than a gallon. Inline furnace humidifiers are ideal for houses up to 5,000 square feet, while pedestal whole-home humidifiers can generally handle homes up to 2,500 square feet. More may be installed in more significant properties.

How do whole house humidifiers work?

A humidifier is a device that puts more water vapor in the air. This can make it feel better to breathe and might help you if you have a cold. A home humidifier is usually placed near the furnace so it can take advantage of already-hot air to speed up evaporation. It also must be connected to your home’s plumbing system to have a reliable water source.

When air from the ducts enters the humidifier, it comes into contact with the water within. The water droplets suspended in the air exit through the humidifier on the other side, raising humidity levels and providing mindset benefits.

While your furnace operates, a portion of the air it cycles enters the humidifier. That air passes through the humidifier and rejoins with the rest of your home’s ventilation. As a result, all the air that comes into your house has greater moisture levels, effectively raising humidity levels throughout the house.


Optimal Moisture Levels

Dry air can be a problem, but too much moisture can also be a problem. The most efficient way to control the humidity in your home is to install a whole-house humidifier attached to your HVAC system.

No Water/Moisture Damage

If you want to use a portable humidifier, place it in a room and turn it up, but be careful not to damage your walls or furniture with the extra moisture. There is also potential for mold growth if you’re not cautious.

No Need For Refills

The whole-house humidifier is directly connected to your plumbing, so it does not require water to add moisture to the air. – Your humidity levels will be automatically regulated thanks

Automatic Humidity Control

One of the most prominent features of whole-house humidifiers is that they automatically control indoor humidity and maintain it at an acceptable level. Humidistats are used in whole-home humidifiers to allow you to set the desired humidity level. The central home humidifier will pump out the moisture until the relative humidity reaches the specified level.

Stanford says that when indoor humidity rises above 50%, there is an increased chance of mold and bacterial growth. A whole-house humidifier automatically balances the moisture in your home, so you don’t have to worry about excess moisture.

Quiet and Invisible

Unlike their portable humidifier counterparts, whole-house humidifiers are primarily silent and inconspicuous.

Added Value

When you set up a whole-house humidifier, you are increasing the value of your home. It’s an improvement that boosts the selling price of your property.

Low Maintenance

The maintenance of HVAC whole-house humidifiers is minimal, except for a seasonal replacement of the evaporator panel filter. It’s usually advisable to clean portable whole-home humidifiers every two weeks and add an anti-microbial solution to the basin; you will also need to refill the basin with water regularly.

Also Read:   The 5 Best CPAP (Sleep Apnea) Machines

Health Benefits

According to the Mayo Clinic, maintaining an adequately humidified indoor air environment – with the ideal indoor humidity level being between 35 and 45 percent – has several established health advantages. There are many benefits to using a humidifier, including reducing allergies and respiratory conditions and healing chapped lips, sore throats, dry skin, and sinus irritations.

In climates with dramatic temperature changes throughout the year, it’s crucial to maintain recommended humidity levels. Whole home humidification or ventilation system will improve your comfort and decrease your likelihood of developing health problems caused by low humidity.

Air cleaners and humidifiers can also safeguard the indoor air quality in your spaces by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and viruses. Aside from the health benefits, good indoor air supplies a more pleasant living environment and can aid in preserving wood floors, furniture, and other household items.


Mold and Mildew

The disadvantage of whole-home humidifiers is that if you don’t maintain them properly, mold and mildew may grow in your HVAC system or inside the portable humidifier. That is frequently caused by neglecting to change the furnace air filter. Not cleaning the unit on a two-week timetable and using some fungicide in the basin for portable whole-home humidifiers.

Hiding HVAC Air Leaks

If your home is older and not up to today’s building code standards, a furnace central humidifier might only be masking the problem of air leaks. One of the causes of low indoor humidity during winter could be unsealed or leaky air ducts.


Depending on quality and type, a whole-house humidifier usually costs between $400 and $1,200. If you’re good with your hands, you could install one in 2 to 3 hours.

The cost for a portable model is generally less than a HVAC attached Humidifier. All you have to do is assemble it, fill the tank with water, and plug it in.

Here is a list of 5 Best selling whole Home Humidifiers on Amazon

This list is refreshed daily for your convenience

Bestseller No. 1
AIRCARE Space Saver Large Evaporative Whole House Commercial 6 Gallon Humidifier for Large Rooms...
5,576 Reviews
AIRCARE Space Saver Large Evaporative Whole House Commercial 6 Gallon Humidifier for Large Rooms...
  • The Space Saver uses our 1043 Super Wick (your first one is included).
  • Digital Controls with Auto Humidistat and Automatically Shuts Off When Desired Humidity Level is...
  • Trapmax Filter Technology with Protection
Bestseller No. 2
17L/4.5Gal Ultra Large Humidifiers for Bedroom 2000 sq ft, Quiet Humidifiers for Large Room, Tower...
556 Reviews
17L/4.5Gal Ultra Large Humidifiers for Bedroom 2000 sq ft, Quiet Humidifiers for Large Room, Tower...
  • 【Huge 4.5 Gallon & Powerful Mist!】 Are you looking for a humidifier that can help you relieve...
  • 【Intelligent Humidity Control & Safe to Use】Intelligent--the humidifier is equipped with an...
  • 【Practical-Flexible Wheels, Sprayer Tube, 4 modes 】1. The humidifier comes with 4 flexible...
  • 【Easy Operate-All Nice Designs in One】Pick it, enjoy all the convenient functions it comes with!...
  • 【Hassle Free--Better Service】 We offer 120 days of free exchange, 1-year quality assurance, 7 x...
Bestseller No. 3
Grelife 9L Large Humidifiers for Bedroom Large Room, Ultrasonic Cool Mist Top Fill Humidifier with 3...
100 Reviews
Grelife 9L Large Humidifiers for Bedroom Large Room, Ultrasonic Cool Mist Top Fill Humidifier with 3...
  • 【Humidifiers for Large Room Bedroom】The humidifier with 9L/ 2.38Gal removable water tank can...
  • 【3 Speed Options & Intelligent Humidity Control】This humidifier can adjust mist at 3 levels...
  • 【Safe to Use】The humidifier would stop mist output when it reaches the target humidity and...
  • 【Quiet Operation & 24-hour Timer】Our air humidifiers can help create a relaxing effect for...
  • 【Remote & Touch Control】 You can remote/ Touch Control free choice to control the humidifier....
Bestseller No. 4
AprilAire 500M Whole Home Humidifier, Manual Compact Furnace Humidifier, Large Capacity Whole House...
1,363 Reviews
AprilAire 500M Whole Home Humidifier, Manual Compact Furnace Humidifier, Large Capacity Whole House...
  • BUY WITH CONFIDENCE This humidifier was designed and manufactured in the U.S.A. by AprilAire – the...
  • FULL COVERAGE up to 3,600 square feet in tightly built homes with a capacity of 12 gallons per day
  • MANUAL HUMIDIFIER with a single sensor built into the standard control monitors indoor relative...
  • FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE while also preserving items in your home susceptible to damage from changing...
  • HUMIDITY FOR HEALTH AprilAire Humidifiers can help you maintain optimal humidity in your home of 40%...
Bestseller No. 5
AIRCARE Valiant Digital Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier (Honey Oak)
1,220 Reviews
AIRCARE Valiant Digital Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier (Honey Oak)
  • Console-Style Humidifier for a Whole House Up to 4, 000 Square Feet
  • New Digital Humidistat Automatically Maintains Your Desired Humidity Level
  • Digital Readout Displays Actual Humidity Level, Desired Humidity Level or Fan Speed
  • Automatically Shuts Off When Desired Humidity Level is Reached or When Unit is Empty
  • Refill Indicator Shows When Bottles Needs Refilling

Frequently Asked Questions

Do steam humidifiers cause mold?

Mold is a common problem in many homes, and steam humidifiers can be one of the causes. Mold loves damp, warm environments, and a steam humidifier can provide the perfect conditions for mold to grow. If you have a steam humidifier, it’s essential to keep an eye out for mold and mildew and clean it regularly. If you detect mold or mildew, clean it as soon as possible. The problem could get worse, so monitor the indoor relative humidity closely.

When should you replace a humidifier?

Depending on how often you maintain it and the quality of your water, a humidifier will last 10-15 years.

How often should a whole house humidifier filter be changed?

Once a year you should change the humidifier filter once a year, which might be easy to forget. This is why new systems frequently include this reminder.

Is a humidifier good for the lungs?

Using a humidifier can quickly improve your breathing and decrease any potential lung difficulties.

Do whole house humidifiers use a lot of water?

The water your whole-home humidifier uses strictly boils down to two main factors: your desired humidity setting and the model you install. Most models use between 1.5 gallons to a maximum of 12 gallons each day; hardly any change would be significant enough to show on your water bill, but certainly adequate to maintain comfortable conditions in your home.

When should I turn off my whole house humidifier?

A humidifier is a simple and inexpensive way to improve the air quality in your home during the winter season. However, turning off your humidifier before the heating season starts again in the fall is essential since it can worsen things.

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