7 Best Whole House Humidifier Reviews & Guide (All Types Compared) 2019

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Dry indoor conditions can be unpleasant to live in. It will leave your eyes, nose, and skin dry and irritated. Dry air also promotes the spread of mites, dust, and other allergens. To deal with low humidity condition, installing a whole-house humidifier in your home is highly recommended. Of course, finding the best whole house humidifier for your specific needs will require you to do some digging around. Below is a list of some of the best options to consider. This article also includes a buyer’s guide as well as some FAQs about whole-house humidifiers that will help you with finding the right one for you. 

Product Name Features
AIRCARE MA1201 Console
7 Best Whole House Humidifier Reviews & Guide (All Types Compared) 2019
• Coverage: 3,600 sq. ft.
• Tank Size: 3.6 Gallon
• Speed Levels: 4 speed
• Weight: 14 pounds
• Dimension: 14.5 x 21.5 x 20.5 inches
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Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon
Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier
• Coverage: 1,000 sq. ft.
• Tank Size: 4 Gallon
• Speed Levels: 3 speed
• Weight: 9 pounds
• Dimension: 10.5 x 19.5 x 13.5 inches
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Aprilaire 800 Steam Humidifier
Aprilaire 800 Whole House Steam Humidifier
• Coverage: 6,200 sq. ft.
• Tank Size: 36 Gallon
• Speed Levels: 6 speed
• Weight: 24.5 pounds
• Dimension: 7.1 x 10.1 x 20.9 inches
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AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital
AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Whole-House Pedestal-Style Evaporative Humidifier
• Coverage: 2,400 sq. ft.
• Tank Size: 3.5 Gallon
• Speed Levels: 9 speeds
• Weight: 27 pounds
• Dimension: 18 x 18 x 27.2 inches
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Vornado EVDC500 Energy Smart
Vornado EVDC500 Energy Smart Evaporative humidifier
• Coverage: 1,000 sq. ft.
• Tank Size: 8 Gallon
• Speed Levels: 3 speed
• Weight: 8.9 pounds
• Dimension: 8.1 x 18.9 x 12.2 inches
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Honeywell HE240A2001 HE240A
Honeywell HE240A2001 HE240A Whole House Humidifier
• Coverage: 3,000 sq. ft.
• Tank Size: Continuous flow
• Speed Levels: Variable speed
• Weight: 5 pounds
• Dimension: 18.7 x 15.7 x 15.3 inches
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Emerson HSP2000 Whole House Steam 7. Emerson HSP2000 Whole House Steam Humidifier• Coverage: 1,400 sq. ft.
• Tank Size: 14 Gallon
• Speed Levels: Adjustable speed
• Weight: 18. 1 pounds
• Dimension: 7.6 x 12.5 x 12.6 inches
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Reviews of 7 Best Whole House Humidifiers On The Market

1. AIRCARE MA1201 Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier

7 Best Whole House Humidifier Reviews & Guide (All Types Compared) 2019

The AirCare MA1201 delivers 36hours of runtime and can cover up to 3600 square feet of living space. This makes it suitable for humidifying an entire house effectively. The MA1201 features a single bottle design with a tank capacity of 3.6 gallons. It also comes with four fan speeds and an auto mode. 

This console-style humidifier has a digital display and a humidistat which makes it programmable for delivering the desired humidity level to a very high level of accuracy. Furthermore, this humidifier unit’s digital capabilities also allow it to shut off itself automatically once it reaches the desired humidity level. This serves as an energy conservation feature. The unit will also goes off when the tank becomes empty. Additionally, there is an indicator that shows when the tank needs to be refilled, or when the filter needs checking. 

This humidifier comes with an evaporative wick which traps mineral deposits. This makes the unit quite easy to clean. The unit is portable and lightweight. It also has casters at the base which ensures easy mobility. There are no belts or pulley so you can be sure of smooth noiseless operation and long term durability. 

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Pros
  • Easily programmable for optimal humidity levels
  • Auto shutoff feature
  • Attractive design complements any room
Cons
  • The unit is quite loud when turned to the highest fan speed

2. Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier 

Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier

The Evap-40 vortex humidifier provides complete humidification coverage for up to 1000 Sq. Ft of living space. The humidifier fan has 3-speed settings with the lowest being 750 RPM while the maximum speed is about 1600. Yet, it operates noiselessly even at the highest speed. There is an adjustable humidistat which automatically regulates the speed settings. Additionally, there is an intuitive control panel which gives you total control over this as well. 

One of the most outstanding features of this humidifier is its extra-large gallon capacity. With a gallon size of 4 liters, you can be sure of greater performance times with fewer refills and long uninterrupted operations. 

You will love how fast this unit can humidify a room. It uses Vortex action to ensure quick and balanced whole room humidification thus delivering consistent and close to natural comfort when in use. The Vornado is also designed to be able to sense the humidity level in a room and modify circulation automatically until it reaches a consistently comfortable level. 

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Pros

  • Effective and balanced humidification coverage
  • Easy to use control panel
  • Extra-large tank
  • Simple to clean

Cons

  • There are no settings printed on the humidistat dial which might make it hard to figure out

3. Aprilaire 800 Whole House Steam Humidifier

Aprilaire 800 Whole House Steam Humidifier

This high output humidifier is made by one of the leading brands in the industry so you can be confident about its quality and performance. The Aprilaire 800 is designed mainly for those with large living spaces in tightly built homes. With 6200 sq. ft of coverage and 6 different output levels, you can’t get it wrong with this unit. 

This steam humidifier can add between 11. 5 to 34. 6 gallons of water into the air daily. This heavy-duty heater uses electrode technology which offers several advantages. First, it is easier to install than other modes. Operation and maintenance are super easy as well. In addition to these, having electrode technology means you can use any type of water with this humidifier. Water filtration is not recommended since the electrode uses the impurities in the water for transferring electricity. This not only reduces installation costs but even the operating costs as well. 

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Pros
  • High output range, suitable for large homes
  • Does not require additional water heater thanks to electrode technology
  • Minimal maintenance is required
Cons
  • It is pricey

4. AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Whole-House Pedestal-Style Evaporative Humidifier 

AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Whole-House Pedestal-Style Evaporative Humidifier

Your humidifier should do more than just add moisture to your home, it should also look stylish and complement your decor too. The pedestal styled AIRCARE EP9 800 is just the product for that. This whole house humidifier has a stylish design that allows it to fit right in with the rest of your decor. You can also replace the tile insert with anyone of your choice to allow it fit in even more perfectly. 

As far as performance goes, you get your money’s worth with this unit. The AIRCARE EP9 800 provides complete coverage for up to 2,400 sq. Ft of living space. There are 9 fan speed settings to choose from and you can set your desired humidity level with a high level of accuracy. There is a digital display that shows important performance metrics. This unit also has an auto-shutoff feature which triggers off once it reaches the required humidity level or when the tank is emptied. 

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  • Stylish design with replaceable tiles
  • Highly accurate digital humidistat
  • Effective whole-house coverage
  • 9-speed settings
  • This product is a bit expensive.

5. Vornado EVDC500 Energy Smart Evaporative humidifier 

Vornado EVDC500 Energy Smart Evaporative humidifier

Although this unit has one of the lowest coverage on our list, it is still ideal for those with a small home with a living space of about 1000sq ft. Within this range, you can still be sure of highly efficient whole room circulation. 

The Vornado EVDC500 is a great option for those looking to save costs on energy. This unit is driven by an Energy smart motor which uses 90% less energy than a lot of other products. There is also a multi-speed fan setting which allows you to adjust humidity levels to the desired level the auto-shutoff feature automatically shuts down the humidifier when the water level gets too close. 

The EVDC500 uses a two-tank system which helps to increase output. The combination of these multiple tanks can deliver up to 4 gallons of moisture output in 24 hours. This means fewer refills and easier cleaning. There is a low water indicator that lets you know when to refill

The EVDC500 uses a two-tank system which helps to increase output. The combination of these multiple tanks can deliver up to 4 gallons of moisture output in 24 hours. This means fewer refills and easier cleaning. There is a low water indicator that lets you know when to refill

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  • Energy-efficient motor
  • Attractive design
  • Multispeed fan settings for easy humidity control
  • This humidifier is not ideal for homes with larger living space

6. Honeywell HE240A2001 HE240A Whole House Humidifier 

Honeywell HE240A2001 HE240A Whole House Humidifier

The Honeywell HE240A is a whole-house humidifier suitable for homes with a living space of up to 3000sq. Ft. This unit is designed to be highly effective and built to be durable. It can be installed quite conveniently in the supply or return end of your forced air furnace. This way it easily circulates warm humid air right into your home. It also connects into your water supply and uses a PerfectFLO water distribution technology top optimize water usage and efficiency.

You don’t have to bother about the quality of warm air supplied with this unit. The Honeywell HE240A has a flow-through design. This keeps the unit free of bacteria, fungi, and other micro-organisms. It also ensures minimal maintenance with long term durability. 

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  • Easy to mount
  • The flow-through design keeps the air clean
  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • The pump supplies water continuously which raises concerns about water wastage.

7. Emerson HSP2000 Whole House Steam Humidifier 

7. Emerson HSP2000 Whole House Steam Humidifier

The Emerson HSP200 is powerfully engineered whole house humidifier designed to deliver effective and precise humidity control. Rather than use hot air for humidification like evaporative humidifiers, this is a steam-powered unit. 

Not only is it effective in its operation, but this unit can also help you reduce energy consumption as well. It has a humidistat which automatically detects humidity levels in a room and turns on only when it is needed. There is also a fan control relay which allows you to adjust the fan speed according to your preference. 

This humidifier assembly is made of stainless steel which guarantees high durability and long term use. The unit comes inbuilt with a water filter as well as an automatic flushing timer. It is suitable for use in homes with a minimum living space of 1400 sq. Ft. 

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  • Stainless steel casing ensures durability
  • Automatic humidistat for precise humidification control
  • The unit comes with a mounting
    frame
  • Not recommended for use in homes with less than 1400 sq.ft of living space.

What Is A Whole-House Humidifier?

As the name implies, a whole-house humidifier is a unit designed for humidifying the whole house rather than a single room like a portable humidifier. This device is installed right into the ductwork of your heating system. This way, the air supplied by your furnace is humidified as it cycles in your home thus humidifying every room on your home directly. 

A whole-house humidifier can be installed on either the return or supply ends of your home’s heating ductwork. It is also linked to your home’s water supply directly. The unit typically has a humidifier pad or a rotating drum which helps to add moisture to the air in your home. Some units use a steaming system instead. No matter what mechanism it uses, the idea is to continuously supply moisture to the air entering into the humidifier and increase its moisture level before it exits into your home. 

Benefits Of Whole House Humidifier 

Installing a whole-house humidifier is a great way to keep the humidity level in your home under control. Most whole-house humidifiers can be programmed to the desired humidity level. They require very little maintenance and you don’t have to bother about changing the water every day as you would with portable humidifiers. Here are some of the other benefits of installing a whole-house humidifier 

  • Convenience: Unlike single room humidifiers that require the water to be changed regularly, whole-house humidifiers are connected directly to the water supply. This is not only convenient but also healthier since you don’t have to worry about mold and bacteria. Instead, all you have to change is the water panel which has to be swapped once or twice during a heating season
  • Energy efficiency: whole-house humidifiers use almost the same amount of energy or less as single room humidifiers. Yet they offer a higher amount of coverage than single-room units. 
  • Quiet operation: Most whole-house humidifiers are installed into the heating system of your home. This means they almost always out of the way, unlike bedside units that may take up space and disturb users with the sounds they make as they operate.  

Best Whole House Humidifier Buying Guide 

Installing a whole-house humidifier will make your home a lot more comfortable especially during cold and dry winter months when the air is typically too dry for comfort. It will also save you from a long list of health issues associated with dry air as well. However, buying the right whole house humidifier for you will determine how much you will get to enjoy these benefits. Hence, there is a need to know the things to look out for if you want to buy the best whole house humidifier. Here are some of the things to keep in mind. 

Be familiar with the various types

Generally, the two most common types of whole house humidifiers based on how they operate are the warm mist or cool mist models. Both of them add moisture to the air although in different ways. Since choosing either is a matter of personal preference, you should get familiar with both options and know which one would work best for you. There is also a less known type of whole house humidifier known as a furnace or induct unit. This type of whole house humidifier is ideal for homes with forced-air heating systems. 

Warm Mist: these types of humidifiers boil water and emit steam into the air. They are quite cheaper than cool mist models although they are less durable which means you will have to repair and possibly replace them more often than a cool-mist model. They also tend to get hot which is a point to consider is you have kids or pets in the house. 

Cool Mist: Cool mist whole-house humidifiers are either evaporative, impeller or ultrasonic units. They are generally more expensive then Warm mist models. However, they are more durable which means you don’t have to worry about buying expensive replacement parts. 

Size of your home 

The type of humidifier that will be good for your home is directly linked to the size of your home and the rooms in it. Therefore, it is recommended that you know the overall size of your home before you go out to shop for a humidifier. This way, you will be able to choose a unit that is a perfect match for your home. 

Appearance 

This is particularly important for a humidifier that will be placed in a visible location in your home. While function is essential, you should also consider aesthetics. A humidifier unit does not have look drab and unattractive. There are a lot of high performing models that are designed to complement your indoor decor perfectly. 

Ease of maintenance 

If you want to keep your humidifier in perfect working condition and safe for use, then you have to keep it clean at all times. This is a lot easier when you choose a unit that is generally easy to clean. Some units already have features that already make this easier for you. Watch out for such products as they will make cleaning and maintenance a lot easier for you. 

Ease of use 

Another factor to consider is how user-friendly the humidifier unit you intend to purchase it. This depends on different factors. Some models have easy to use controls with visible digital displays which makes them easily programmable to suit your needs and lifestyle. Generally, you should consider ease of installation and replacement in case of damages too. 

Auto-features

A lot of humidifiers come with a humidistat which shuts down the unit once the preset humidity level is reached. This saves you energy costs and will also ensure your comfort since the humidity level will always stay within your preferred range. Some humidifier models also have timers that allow you to set the unit to come up at a specific time of the day for convenience. Some also have a safety auto-shutoff feature that switches the unit off when the tank becomes empty. 

Types Of Whole House Humidifier 

Drum humidifier: This is the cheapest of all humidifier types and is also one of the commonest. A drum styled humidifier has a tank or reservoir which is filled with water. Water from this reservoir saturates a rotating evaporator drum pad which adds and circulates moisture to the air in your home. The humidity level in a drum humidifier is usually controlled by a humidistat. Drum humidifiers require quite a great deal of maintenance and they are less reliable compared to other types. 

Console humidifier: A Console humidifier is different from the other types of units because they do not need to be connected to the heating vents of your home. They are large capacity, standalone humidifier unit that can sit on the floor. 

Steam humidifier: A steam humidifier uses steam to add humidity to the air. This type of humidifier unit heats water electrically. The steam generated as the water boils is then picked up by the humidifier system and blown through the vents in your home. Steam humidifiers can control humidity in the home with greater precision compared to other types of humidifiers. 

They are also cleaner and safer for health since there is no standing water that can breed microbes. However, they are more expensive than other types of units. Installation is also slightly more complicated since the unit typically requires its dedicated electrical circuit. 

Flow-through humidifier: Also, called a drip-style humidifier, the flow-through unit adds moisture to the air using water that drips onto a metallic or plastic evaporator within the unit. They usually have a humidistat for controlling the humidity level. Although they typically consume a lot of water, they are easier to clean and maintain and are generally considered to be more reliable than most of the other types of humidifiers. 

How To Maintain A Humidifier

Regular cleaning and maintenance are required to keep your humidifier in great working condition. Usually, your humidifier manual should contain a guide with specific instruction on how to maintain the unit. You should refer to this since maintenance instructions might vary from one humidifier unit to another. Generally, here are some tips to keep in mind. 

  1. Before you go about cleaning your unit, ensure that it is switched off or unplugged before you disassemble it. This way you avoid the risk of electric shock. 
  2. To clean, empty the water in the reservoir then fill with clean water until it is about 2/3rd full. Add some chlorine bleach to get rid of microbes. Also, remove any scale build-up using a 1:3 water/vinegar solution. 
  3. It is recommended that you check the water panel (evaporator pad, water pad, etc) of your humidifier as often as required in the user manual. For units with panels that can be cleaned with water, remove the panel and immerse it in cold water for about 20 minutes to dissolve any grime or dirt on it. If the panel is worn out or cannot be cleaned this way, it should be replaced with a new one. 
  4. It is not the interior of your humidifier alone that should be cleaned, you should also clean the casing too. Dip a clean cloth in a diluted vinegar or warm water and use this to wipe the outer body and other components of your unit. This will help get rid of mineral build-up on your humidifier components. Check the water supply tubes and water discharge for scale buildups too and clean. 
  5. Be sure to reassemble your humidifier components correctly after cleaning to prevent water leaks. 
  6. If you intend to keep your unit in storage for a long time, drain off all the water and clean thoroughly before you do so. Leaving stagnant water in the unit for a long time can breed microbes which may cause health issues in the future. Store in a dry dark place. 

Alternatively: Do You Want A Single Room Humidifier?

Ultrasonic humidifier: An Ultrasonic humidifier is a type of cold mist humidifier. These types of humidifiers feature a vibrating nebulizer instead of a fan which emits moisture into the air. Because of this mode of operation, they operate quite quietly which makes them a top choice for those looking for humidifiers that they can leave on while they sleep. 

Evaporative humidifier: Evaporative humidifiers operate on the principle of evaporation. Warm air is blown over a wet wick in the humidifier by a fan. The air picks up some moisture as it cools down and the resulting mist is circulated into the room. Evaporative units are quite easy to maintain. Usually, you will have to replace the wick regularly which costs around $10 but can also vary depending on the model. 

Impeller humidifier: Impeller humidifiers use a rotating disc to send water through its diffuser. The diffuser then breaks the water into small droplets and releases this into the air in a fog-like mist. This type of unit is effective for humidifying large areas with a minimal amount of power consumption. However, they can be noisy and may be difficult to maintain

Warm mist humidifier: A warm mist humidifier gives off warm mist into the air. This type of humidifier heats water until it begins to boil and emits the resulting warm steam into the air. To deal with the minerals left behind as the water boils, most warm mist humidifiers have mineral filters which help to trap the deposits. Although they require a lot of maintenance, the components of a warm mist humidifier are cheap to replace. Also, because of their mode of operation, they tend to get hot to touch which means they are not advisable for homes with little kids or pets. 

FAQS 

Can I sleep with a humidifier at night?

If you have a cold, allergies or asthma, sleeping with your humidifier on is recommended. It helps to keep your airways moisturized and keep allergens away. But even if you don’t have any of these issues. You can still sleep with a humidifier on. Doing this can help to keep your skin hydrated. The increased humidity will prevent your pores from drying out just the same way it keeps your eyes and airways moisturized. 

You also don’t have to worry so much about the heating bills going too high if you leave your humidifier on during winter nights. Humid air feels warmer than dry air which means you will be able to turn your water heater down while the humidifier works. However, if you are easily bothered by sound, some humidifier units may not work for you because of the sound they make. 

However, keeping your room too humid for too long also has its downsides. A humid room is the perfect breeding ground for molds and bacteria which can pose a health risk. Thus, it is important that you keep an eye on the humidity level in your room and also watch how your body reacts as the humidity level in your room rises. 

Which is best warm or cool mist humidifier for cough?

According to experts, both warm and cool mist humidifiers are effective for adding moisture to the air and relieving symptoms of cold such as coughing, blocked airways and so on. It is believed that by the time the water vapor gets to the airways, the temperature difference isn’t all that significant whether it came from a warm or cool mist unit. All that matters is the presence of moisture in the air as against dry air.

Cool mist may help alleviate nasal inflammation thus making it easier to breathe when you have a cough. Warm air can also have a soothing effect on the airways and can also be used to administer steaming medications. At the end of the day, the most important point is to choose the right unit for you and keep it clean regularly to avoid a buildup of harmful bacteria. 

Cool or warm mist humidifier for summer or winter? 

During warm summer months, your air conditioner unit runs more than usual. This can cause the air to dry out and lead to a lot of low-humidity issues. Using a cool or warm air humidifier will help combat the dryness of the air without raising the temperature of your room significantly. 

The air in winter is naturally dryer which makes using an air humidifier a wise decision. In this case, either type of humidifier would work. However, which one you go for depends largely on your preferences. Cold mist units tend to leave the room a little bit chiller during the already cold winter days which might be a bother for some people. In this case, you can simply opt for the warm air unit instead.