Best Whole-House Humidifiers: Top 6 for Keeping You Comfortable

Best Whole-House Humidifiers: Top 6 for Keeping You Comfortable

15 min read

If you live in a dry climate or have noticed that the air in your home feels stale and uncomfortable, a whole-house humidifier may be the solution you're looking for. These humidifiers are designed to add moisture to the air in your home, creating a more comfortable living environment and helping prevent health issues such as dry skin and respiratory problems.

One type of whole-house humidifier is a device that is installed into a home's cooling and heating system to add moisture to the air in the entire house. This humidifier is beneficial for homeowners who live in dry climates or have dry air in their homes due to their heating system.

Another way to add humidity to your whole house is to buy a portable humidifier. These awesome stand-alone consoles are perfect for increasing the humidity level up to an ideal standard-effectively transforming any large area into one big oasis!

This blog post will discuss the best whole-house humidifiers on the market and why they are worth considering for your home.

How We've Made Our Selection

You want to buy a whole-house humidifier but don't know which one to choose.

It can be tough to figure out which whole-house humidifier is right for you and your home. Each has different features and benefits, and it can be hard to know which is the best fit.

We've done the hard work for you. Our editors have taken the time to study each product, read all consumer feedback, and then independently select the best options. This ensures that the quality of each whole-house humidifier is right for you and your home.

For ultimate convenience, we offered two types of solutions - a portable option or one that you can plug straight into your system!

6 Best Whole House Humidifiers

1. AprilAire 500 Whole-Home Humidifier

Choosing the best whole-house humidifier is difficult as all houses are different. But, the AprilAire 500 is an American product and an excellent option to start the list.

The model is an HVAC humidifier with a maximum coverage of up to 3,600 square feet. It is equipped with two sensors: one for the temperature outside and the other for relative humidity.

The AprilAire automatically adjusts the performance to meet the requirements when the desired humidity level is determined using the transparent digital display. This decreases the use of water and power and lowers the cost of water.

The extra sensor outside can make installation more complicated than others; however, the reasonable price of this unit will go far in compensating for the additional labor costs. Once it's running, it's very easy to use and efficient.

What We Like:

  • Sensors automatically monitor the humidity.
  • Coverage 3,600 sq. ft.
  • Economical to run.
  • Priced competitively.

2. AIRCARE Space Saver Large Evaporative Whole House

If you're looking for a portable humidifier, this is a great option.

Space can be restricted in many homes, which is why the tiny dimensions of this AIRCARE could be optimal. Despite its small dimensions, it can offer humidity to areas as large as 2,700 square feet, which means it can still act as your home's central humidifier.

Three speeds allow you to control both performance and volume. It is likely to be loud when working at a high volume, but it will stop at the user-defined humidity setting. The water tank that is easy to fill holds six gallons, which allows up to 70% continuous power.

The humidifier alerts you when the water level is low and when the filter must be replaced. The wheels make it easy to move if you want to move it to another location or store it away when it's not in use.

Overall, this top-quality AIRCARE humidifier is an attractive device that is simple to manage and provides excellent value for money.

What We Like:

  • It is compact and quiet.
  • Coverage: 2,700 sq. ft.
  • Maximum Time of Runtime: 70 hours
  • Tank Capacity: 6 gallons
  • Portable.

3. AIRCARE Digital Whole-House Pedestal-Style Humidifier

This whole-house humidifier is efficient, simple to install, and fashionable. It's a pedestal-style unit which means it's freestanding within your space. This makes it perfect for installation since it can be placed away from view or inside an area you're using without worrying about it becoming an eyesore.

The digital controls let you alter the level of humidity along with the speed and power and select from nine different speeds for the fan. The display also displays the current humidity levels within your home.

The unit automatically shuts off when it is at the desired humidity level you've established. It also has an automatic shut-off after the unit has been empty, so you don't need to be concerned about it getting burned out or posing a fire hazard.

This device is ideal for homes totaling 2,400 square feet, but it can be used for most two-bedroom homes and larger apartments. It might not be powerful enough for an area that is larger or has multiple floors to be monitored. It doesn't have to connect to ductwork, making setup simple.

What We Like:

  • Simple to set up.
  • Coverage: 2,400 sq. ft.
  • Maximum Time of Runtime: 60 hours at 3.5 gallons.
  • Tank Capacity: 3.5 or 9 gallons.
  • Portable.
  • Stylish and can be used as a countertop.
  • Variable levels of humidity.
  • It works for small and medium-sized homes.

4. AprilAire 800 Whole House Steam Humidifier

This one is for you if you live in a house that needs a humidifier to cover 6,200 feet.

AprilAire's whole house humidifier provides the perfect burst of air moisture all year round. With six output levels, you can choose from 11.5 - 34.6 gallons of moisture added into the air each day, depending on the voltage and installation type. Their electrode technology is hassle-free—just let naturally occurring impurities in the water do their job to help promote electricity transfer. So don't worry about complex water filtration equipment—their humidifier won't require additional operating costs or time to maintain!

The control's digital display shows the humidity level and a manual dial, allowing you to adjust between seven different fan speeds.

It is available in two different models, which require air ducts (lower cost) but not. We've observed that air ducts can be difficult to put in. Even with a precise diagram, the electrical components alone can be a challenge for the average homeowner to deal with. It is possible to seek assistance from experts for installation.

What We Like:

  • Covers the most square footage.
  • Purified water is not required.
  • Digital control.
  • Variable speed of the fan.

5. Honeywell Home Whole House Humidifier

Honeywell Home is a fan humidifier made for DIY installation and can be easily mounted onto either the source of warmth or the return duct of any forced air furnace. It can be used for up to 3000 square feet.

In the absence of heating water, these humidifiers are typically more cost-effective than similar steam humidifiers or bypass models. The design that flows through minimizes the need for maintenance.

Honeywell has an adjustable humidistat that acts as a controller for your new humidifier, allowing you to set the humidity level and forget it. The Honeywell unit is designed to work automatically, so you can be assured that your preset will be maintained. All its features make it easy to use and maintain, giving you peace of mind knowing that you don't have to adjust settings constantly every day.

What We Like:

  • Installation is simple and easy to do.
  • Compatible with the majority of modern cooling and heating systems.
  • Flow-through design.
  • Auto-adjustable to your desired humidity.

6. Vornado Evap40 Humidifier

Most house humidifiers are sometimes "too much" for those who reside in apartments or smaller dwellings. However, room humidifiers may not provide sufficient coverage. A cost-effective, low-cost option can be found in Vornado Evap40.

The unit has three fan speeds and an efficient vortex effect that distributes humidity evenly over an area of up to 1,000 square feet. Two easily-managed 2-gallon tanks (total of 4 gallons) offer up to 24 hours of running time when the fan is at its highest setting.

The humidifier sensors make sure your environment is always perfectly moist to your desired level of humidity, so you can breathe easy!

The Vornado is the go-to fan for large single rooms, with its powerful air circulation. Although it's not exactly portable due to lacking wheels, you'll still get all the breeze your heart desires!

What We Like:

  • Vortex action for quick circulation.
  • Simple controls.
  • Coverage: 1,000 sq. ft.
  • Maximum Time of Runtime: 24 hours
  • Tank Capacity: 4 gallons

What Should You Consider When Choosing the Best Whole House Humidifier?

Finding the best whole-house humidifier for a particular house is simpler when you are aware of the most crucial functional and technical aspects of these units. The next section will serve to provide a brief and simple guide to the elements that could have the greatest impact on the selection you make.

Coverage Area

While there are plenty of creative DIY techniques that could increase the moisture level in your home without the expense of buying a new one, they're not useful or reliable. And reliable options to offer all-encompassing coverage.

The area of coverage required is contingent on the home's size. The console-style evaporative humidifier is not as effective and offers smaller coverage than the HVAC counterpart. They can cover approximately 2,500 to 3600 sq ft, which would suffice for most houses. But, HVAC systems can humidify more than 6000 square feet.

If you are looking at the coverage area available the coverage area, you'll often be able to see the phrase "tightly built home." It refers to an insulated living space in which windows and doors also are properly fitted, and the interior environment is protected. Older homes might not be built as well.

If you have poorly well-insulated or with occasional drafts, you may require a system 40-50 percent more powerful to ensure efficient humidification.

The second aspect to be taken into consideration has to do with the kind of whole-house humidifier you choose.

Even your closed rooms can receive humidity if your humidifier is integrated into an HVAC unit. If you have a console model, close an area away from the humidified air source.

Types and Their Effectiveness

Whole-house humidifiers can be classified into two distinct categories: those that are compatible with an HVAC system already in place and independent consoles.

The requirements for the installation of humidifiers used in conjunction in conjunction with an HVAC system differ. Certain models are able to be put in by DIYers with moderate knowledge, while others need the assistance of an HVAC engineer to set it up.

However, after installation, the whole-house humidifiers working in conjunction with HVAC systems require little maintenance. They connect to existing water and electrical distribution systems that are in place at home.

Whole-house humidifiers that are integrated with an HVAC system could be further divided into three kinds:

Steam humidifiers

Steam humidifiers are typically the most efficient and are typically used in homes with large spaces. They heat the water inside the steam canister until it is boiling, then release steam through the ducting of ventilation. They are expensive as well, and the energy usage is greater than other models.

Bypass humidifiers

Bypass humidifiers use the warmth from the furnace instead of heating the water itself. The water is kept inside a panel and is typically replaced every year. Water particles travel through the ducting in exactly the same way as a steam humidifier.

Fans humidifiers

Fans humidifiers don't make use of heating at all; instead, they blow air over the pad of a humidifier that has been submerged in water. This lets fine water particles escape through the ducting. They're also more efficient on energy as there isn't warmth in the air, and they won't impact the cooling process of the air.

Fan and bypass humidifiers are also referred to as evaporative humidifiers because they don't depend on steam.

Evaporative humidifiers

Evaporative humidifiers for the whole house are far simpler. They simply have to be put in the desired location, regularly filled with water, then plugged into a convenient power outlet. It's also a matter of noise.

Permanent installations close to the furnace are not likely to cause noise disturbances to the living space; however, console whole-house humidifiers can create a loud sound, particularly when they are set at high levels.

Cool-mist models have the highest volume due to the fact that they require an air conditioner to move the humidity. They are typically only available on room-sized humidifiers. Warm mist and ultrasonic models do not have fans and are quieter.

Cool Mist Humidifiers

Cool mist humidifiers use a fan to disperse a fine mist of water into the air, creating a comfortable and refreshing environment. They are often quieter and more energy-efficient than warm mist humidifiers, making them a good choice for people who want a discreet and cost-effective option. Cool mist humidifiers are also less likely to cause burns, making them safer for households with children or pets.

Warm Mist Humidifiers

Warm mist humidifiers use a heating element to boil water and release a warm, steamy mist into the air. This can help relieve congestion and cold symptoms, making them a popular choice for people suffering from respiratory issues.

Warm mist humidifiers are also generally quieter than cool mist humidifiers, making them a good choice for people who want a peaceful, soothing environment.

Cool mist humidifiers vs. Warm mist humidifiers

Cool mist humidifiers and warm mist humidifiers are both effective at adding moisture to the air in your home, but they have their own unique pros and cons.

Cool mist humidifiers are generally more energy-efficient and cost-effective than warm mist humidifiers, making them a good choice for people who want to save money on their energy bills.

They are also less likely to cause burns, making them a safer option for households with children or pets. In addition, cool mist humidifiers are often quieter than warm mist humidifiers, making them a good choice for people who want a discreet and peaceful environment.

On the other hand, warm mist humidifiers are generally more effective at relieving congestion and cold symptoms than cool mist humidifiers. They can also provide a warm and soothing environment, which can be particularly beneficial during the cold winter months.

Cool mist and warm mist humidifiers have unique pros and cons, and the right choice for you will depend on your preferences and needs.

Tank and Runtime for Water Tank

Because all-house humidifiers that are connected to the HVAC system are plumbed into the HVAC system, the water supply is constant. However, a consumption rating is typically specified.

Console models aren't connected to the main plumbing in the home. They are equipped with onboard water tanks that have to be replenished regularly. How frequently that's required will impact the overall comfort. Since they aren't able to offer humidification even when the tank is not full and running, this can also impact the run time.

The efficiency of the humidifier, as well as the size of the coverage area and the desired humidity that the occupant demands, each have an impact. It's difficult to determine, for instance, that a certain size tank provides a particular time of operation.

A tiny tank that is designed for a 1,500-square-foot house could be slower than a larger one for a home with a size of 3,000 square feet for offering humidity across a smaller area; however, it will fill up faster when the area is larger than the capacity it was designed for.

There aren't standard runtime guidelines; every model must be inspected and compared against models with similar features and output.

Most models can run for anywhere from 24 hours to over 40 days between fills. Manufacturers provide reasonable guidelines in the specifications of their products, but the amount of water loss through broken doors and windows or the lack of insulation could decrease the runtime.


When shopping for a whole-house humidifier, it is important to consider the size of your home and the level of relative humidity that you want to maintain. Whole house humidifiers are typically rated by the number of square feet they can effectively humidify, so it is important to choose a large enough humidifier for your home. Additionally, it is important to avoid adding too much moisture to the air, as this can lead to mold growth and other problems.

Extra Features as well as the Ease of Use

The following additional features could hinder effectiveness and ease of use.

Different fan speeds

Different speeds for fans can be a major advantage, allowing users to quickly increase the humidity or operate the device with less noise.

Wheels and Handles

Portable humidifiers with handles and wheels make it easy to move them around the house. No matter which room you're in, having wheels allows you to easily transport the unit as needed. Plus, if you have any items on the floor that require protection or clearance, you won't need to worry about carrying the device – just wheel it right over! The handle also provides convenience when carrying up and down stairs. Not to mention the portability they allow compared to larger, stationary units.

Digital controls

Digital controls allow the setting of humid levels at high accuracy. This allows users to track and adjust the performance more accurately than the analog dial.

Controls for smart devices

Controls for smart devices through phone applications, as well as integration into home automation systems, have become more popular. But at the moment, there are a limited number of options.


With humidifiers built into the HVAC, an inbuilt sensor known as the humidistat (also called the hygrometer) will constantly check the humidity level. It then switches the device off and on to maintain a constant humidity level. Apart from offering the level of comfort desired, it also reduces power and water consumption.

Console whole-house humidifiers generally include a water level monitor and can shut the machine off in order to avoid damage if it is running dry. The possibility of refilling is available on the device, but certain models require that a tap fill the tank. Remember that a gallon weighs over 8 pounds, meaning that two smaller tanks may be more practical than a single large tank.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do humidifiers help in addressing health problems?

A humidifier could provide the potential to have a positive effect on skin problems and respiratory problems. It can also assist in reducing certain kinds of infectious and viral diseases. Many pets are happier in a humid environment, too.

Do whole-house humidifiers create mold?

They can lead to mold if your humidifier isn't at the proper humidity, but it is simple to fix. It is common for mold to grow when humidity is greater than normal. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests that homes be between 30 to 50 percent humidity. This is the typical range these devices are designed to cover.

It is not typical for mold to grow in these conditions. Stagnant water may cause problems, and it is recommended that users keep tanks clean and empty them whenever they are not being used.

Are humidifiers for the whole house safe?

Whole-house humidifiers are safe if they're properly maintained and installed. The possibility of mold growth could cause issues, but it is unlikely to occur in the event that the humidifier is taken care of, allowing the right humidity levels to remain in the indoor environment.

Which is the ideal indoor humidity?

The ideal humidity for indoor air that provides comfort and health is between 40 and 50% to ease allergies and cold symptoms, ease breathing and not make the air too humid, which encourages mold growth.

How long will the whole-house humidifiers typically last?

Although various factors make it difficult to pinpoint a definitive answer, consoles could expect to run for five to 10 years or even longer. The models that are mounted with HVAC have an estimate of about ten years.

How often should I schedule maintenance on my whole house humidifier?

The maintenance schedule depends on the humidifier's model, which could be every six months to a year. Every manufacturer has a maintenance schedule to maximize the benefits. Certain filters require to be replaced every three months.

How much does a whole-house humidifier cost?

A whole-house humidifier can cost around $200 to $1000. This will often depend on the square footage that you want the humidifier to cover.

Final Remarks

Whole house humidifiers are an effective and convenient way to add moisture to your home's air. Some use your home's central heating and cooling system to distribute moisture throughout the house, providing a more comfortable living environment and helping to prevent health issues such as dry skin and respiratory problems. Other humidifiers are portable but can take up space in your home.

When choosing a whole-house humidifier, it's important to consider your home's size, budget, and personal preferences. Cool mist and warm mist humidifiers both have their own unique features and benefits, so it's important to weigh the pros and cons of each type before making a decision.

Overall, a whole-house humidifier is a valuable investment that can improve the air quality and comfort of your home, and it's worth considering if you live in a dry climate or have noticed that the air in your home feels stale and uncomfortable.

These humidifiers are effective at maintaining a healthy level of relative humidity and can help prevent dry air-related health issues.

Thanks for reading!

Items reviewed:

1. AprilAire 500 Whole-Home Humidifier

2. AIRCARE Space Saver Large Evaporative Whole House

3. AIRCARE Digital Whole-House Pedestal-Style Humidifier

4. AprilAire 800 Whole House Steam Humidifier

5. Honeywell Home Whole House Humidifier

6. Vornado Evap40 Humidifier

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