Best Whole House Humidifier 2018: Stop Yourself & Your Home Drying Out

Last Updated on

WHOLE HOUSE HUMIDIFIERS

Without the best whole house humidifier; a lack of humidity or moisture in the air of your home can create an extremely uncomfortable living environment.

It can lead to drying out of the mucous membranes, causing common issues such as a dry throat, dry eyes and sinuses. It can even cause damage to property, with the warping of wooden furniture being a very common occurrence in hot, dry climates.

Thankfully, you can easily add moisture to your property by using a humidifier and with the best whole house humidifier you can efficiently increase the moisture levels throughout your entire home.

In fact, many units are designed to easily retrofit into your pre-existing HVAC systems such as your air conditioners. This is to transport humidity throughout your home as efficiently as possible.

Whole House HumidifierCoverage (square feet)Maximum Run TimeTank Capacity (Gallons)
Essick Air Whole-House HumidifierUp to 3,60036 hours3.6
AIRCARE Whole-House HumidifierUp to 2,40024 hours3.5
Honeywell Moisture Console HumidifierUp to 1,90024 hours on low2 x 1.5
Venta Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier and Air PurifierUp to 80036 hours3
Aprilaire Whole House Furnace HumidifierUp to 4,200On-goingN/A: Self Regulated Reservoir

#1 Essick Air Whole-House Evaporative Humidifier

  • Coverage: 3,600 square feet
  • Speed settings: 4
  • Run time: 36 hours

This console-style best whole house humidifier model is capable of providing humidity for spaces up to 3,600 square feet, making it ideal for small to medium sized properties. 

This unit is an evaporative humidifier, which means that it operates much like a swamp cooler.

Essentially, you just have to load it with water and it will re-condition the dry air in your home and add much-needed moisture. 

The Essick Air humidifier also comes equipped with a digital humidistat which allows you to select a desired humidity level. The unit will then modulate itself to ensure a certain moisture level is maintained in your home. This makes it far superior to models that only have a standard setting, as the moisture can not be modulated to suit your specific circumstances. 

Another great advantage of this unit is that it is lightweight and mounted on a set of caster wheels, making it easy to move from room to room. It also has a smooth, plastic outer casing, which makes it very easy to wipe clean and maintain a good level of hygiene. 

Pros

  • Excellent coverage! Able to service a 3,600 Sq Ft area
  • Built in digital humidistat: set your comfortable humidity
  • Auto shut off when desired humidity level is reached
  • Easy to clean and change filter
  • 3.6 gallon tank: refill less often!

Cons

#2 AIRCARE Digital Whole-House Evaporative Humidifier

  • Coverage: Up to 2,400 Square Feet
  • Speed settings: 9
  • Run time: 24 hours

If you are looking for a way to increase the humidity in your home, but want something that will blend in with your interior decor a little better, then this sleek looking unit by Aircare may fit the bill. 

The interior of the unit contains the wicking filter, fan and vents. What makes this unit particularly useful is the funnel opening. This is where you top up the unit with water using a pitcher or something similar. It also means you get to avoid transporting it back and fourth to the sink. 

Although there is no external water level,  there is a line in the interior of the opening, which indicates when you have adequately filled the vessel. Since the holding has no seams, gaps or holes the chance of leaking is virtually impossible. 

The Aircare also comes with caster wheels, but you don’t necessarily have to fit these. However, they do come in handy if you ever do want to re-position or move the unit around your property. They are quite low so not very noticeable on many types of flooring. 

The major advantage of this unit is the stylish pedestal design, ideal for displaying plants and ornaments. Style is not something that’s seen on a lot of the best whole house humidifier models. It also includes a humidistat with digital display and you can even change the fan speed, ideal for times when you may need to change the performance level. 

Pros

  • Good coverage! Able to service a 2,400 Sq Ft area
  • Built in digital humidistat: set your comfortable humidity
  • Auto shut off when desired humidity level is reached
  • 9 fan speed settings to choose from
  • Nice aesthetic, can be intergrated into a rooms decor
  • 3.5 gallon tank: refill less often!

Cons

  • Hygrometer can be inaccurate and have high readings
  • Fan is noisy past speed setting 5
  • Reported leaking

#3 Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier

  • Coverage: 1,900 square foot
  • Speed settings: 3
  • Run time: 24 hours

The Honeywell is a big name in the residential HVAC arena and overall, this best whole house humidifier has a pretty good reputation. It is designed to humidify multiple rooms and is extremely user-friendly.

Available in two colors – black and white, this unit has a 3 gallon capacity, which is adequate for 24 hour operation. The dual tank system also makes the filling process much easier and much lighter to carry when performing a re-fill.

It is an evaporation unit, so much like the other units discussed, it relies on negative pressure to draw in dry air, which is then infused with the moisture inside the units wick and re-circulated into the surrounding air. 

The wicking filter inside doesn’t just add moisture to the dry air , but it also functions to filter the air and remove minerals. This will help reduce white dust and particulate dusting, which is common with ultrasonic alternatives. It is also a antimicrobial filter, so will help to keep bacteria, mold and fungal growth at bay. 

One major disadvantage of this unit is the lack of automated settings. Instead, you have two large manual dials that allow you to control the fans speed settings and humidity level. However, if you intend on using it all day, this isn’t really a major issue. 

Pros

  • Ok coverage! Able to service a 1,900 Sq Ft area
  • Built in digital humidistat: set your comfortable humidity
  • Auto shut off when desired humidity level is reached
  • Indication lights for "humidity reached" and "tank empty"
  • Two 1.5 gallon tanks meaning refilling less often

Cons

  • Heavy when full making it difficult to move between rooms
  • Is somewhat noisy
  • Poor filter longevity

#4 Venta Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier and Air Purifier

  • Coverage: 800 square feet
  • Speed settings: 3
  • Run time: 36 hours

If you are looking for a way to keep your home humidity at a comfortable level and purify your air then the Venta Airwasher is a good choice.

It is available in three sizes making it ideal for small, medium and large sized properties.

This unit in particular covers 800 square feet and has a 3 gallon capacity. 

Essentially this humidify come air purifier works in a similar way to a typical evaporative humidifier. The hot, dry air is drawn into the unit thanks to negative pressure and then moisture added is added as it meets the water inside, which in turn is re-circulated into the external space. 

However, what makes the Venta so unique is it’s innovative design. Inside the circulating discs add moisture and filter the air, removing common contaminants including pollen, pet dander, hair and other allergens. 

The technology used also means that the water acts as the filter, meaning additional purchases for physical filters are not required – a huge bonus, as this will help save you money in the long term. 

As the user, the only thing you will need to do is keep it topped up with water and clean it out, as the debris left over from the filtration process will deposit at the bottom of the unit. 

Pros

  • No need for filters: saving you money and hassle
  • Auto shut off when tank is empty
  • Cold evaporation technology mitigates bacterial dispersal
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Quiet operation
  • No white sediment as seen in other humidifier designs
  • 3 gallon reservoir

Cons

  • Low fan speed means air is not cycled and therefor not cleaned effectively
  • Poor coverage! Able to service 800 Sq Ft area

#5 Aprilaire Whole House Furnace Humidifier

  • Coverage: 3,000 Square Feet
  • Speed settings: 3
  • Run time: On-going

If you are looking for a true whole house humidifier that you can install into your HVAC system, then the Aprilaire is one we would recommend.

Being a furnace humidifier, it has an impressive coverage area of up to 4,200 square foot, making it far superior to any of those previously listed. 

As mentioned, the unit is designed to be installed into a pre-existing HVAC system.

Unlike stand alone units, this best whole house humidifier water source does not need to be replaced as often. In fact, instead of a daily top-up of tap water, the unit comes equipped with a water panel that only needs to be replaced every 12 months. 

Once installed, the humidity levels can be adjusted to suit your needs. This is very easy to do, all you have to do is use the “Automatic Humidifier Control”. This small panel can easily be installed close by to the unit and includes a digital display of the current humidity level, a dial that allows you to make adjustments, as well as a service button and rest option. 

The unit operates whenever your furnace is operating, allowing them both to work in harmony, ensuring that the air is both warm and adequately moisturized. 

This system also has a non-volatile memory. This essentially means that if power is lost, dates, settings and timers will not be reset. Overall, this unit is a great option, but be mindful that it does have a more complicated installation, therefore, you may decide to hire someone to do this for you. 

Pros

  • Fantastic Coverage: Able to service a 4,200 Sq Ft area
  • No need for filters: saving you money and hassle
  • Built-in water reservoir which only needs replacing every 12 months
  • A variety of purchase options such as manual and automatic
  • Built-in humidistat and runs completely automatically
  • Silent operation
  • Releases up to 18 gallons of water per day!

Cons

  • Requires installation (DIY or professional)
  • Filter can fall out when the cover is taken off which can be annoying
  • May require a trip to DIY store to convert to pex connections

What is The Best Whole House Humidifier?

As the name suggests, the best whole house humidifier is a humidifier designed to place moisture back into the air for an entire house, allowing you to control and modulate the water vapor in the surrounding air throughout your home. 

Unlike traditional humidifiers that are typically stand-alone and have a water reservoir, all house versions are usually installed into the pre-existing HVAC system of your property, as well as the water supply. This means once fitted and set-up, the system is largely automated and does not require routine and regular refilling with water, as is the case with standard humidifier units.

It also means it is easily transported and re-circulated evenly through the ductwork and vents of your HVAC system, while stand alone units typically only humidify a single room. 

What are the Benefits of a Whole House Humidifier?

When the surrounding air in your home becomes hot and dry, it can cause many problems and exasperate pre-existing issues even further.

Humidity issues can occur at any time of the year, but they tend to become problematic during the winter months in you live in a colder climate. This is because cold air usually contains less moisture than warm air, since water evaporates at higher temperatures.

This is made even worth since it’s during the colder months when heating appliances such as wood stoves, are put to use, further stripping the air of water vapor. This results in the cold air being heated, yet ultimately results in dry, hot air. 

Dry air can cause a very uncomfortable living environment, since it can lead to the mucous membranes becoming dry and irritated, resulting in common issues such as a dry throat,  dry eyes, sinuses and brittle hair. 

In these dry conditions, many people, especially children can also have issues getting to sleep, especially if they have sinus problems, flu or a cold. 

Therefore, by using the best whole house humidifier you can help you and your family’s nasal passages keep adequately hydrated and prevent several types of discomfort associated with dry air. 

Types of Whole House Humidifiers

There are many types of the best whole house humidifiers. The model you choose will depend on a variety of factors including property size, budget and personal preference. 

1. Evaporative Humidifiers: This variety is perhaps the most popular today and is made of three basic components – a wick, a fan and a water reservoir. 

The wick provides a large surface area and absorbs water from the reservoir. The fan directs dry air from the environment and as it passes over the wick evaporation occurs, which results in water vapor being transported into the air and therefore increases the humidity levels. 

2. Ultrasonic Humidifiers: These humidifiers do not utilize a fan, instead they rely on a vibrating diaphragm which in turn creates a mist of water vapor that is expelled into the surrounding environment.

The downside of these units is that they do not remove impurities from the water and so mineral residues and deposits, which commonly appear as “white dust” is a common complaint. 

3. Vaporizer Humidifier: These humidifiers boil the water inside of them in order to create steam, which in turn releases water vapor into the air. Many people prefer them when they are suffering from cold and flu as they can help expand the nasal passages. The downside is that they require much more energy to run and due to the intense heat, some feel that they are riskier to use. 

Final Thoughts

the best whole house humidifier is a great solution to keep your home comfortable throughout the year. There are many options to choose from including evaporative, ultrasonic and vaporizing units, the one you choose will depend on a variety of factors. 

If you want a fantastic humidifier to keep your entire home humid, then a true whole house humidifier integrated into your furnace and ventilation is probably the best option. 

However, for those with a limited budget, or who just want to control the humidity in a few rooms, a multi-room humidifier should get the job done. Evaporative models remain popular as they are easy to maintain, efficient and do not suffer from the “white dust” issue that results from mineral residues. 

About the Author

Dave Miller is a HVAC technician with over 10 years in the industry. Dave created HeatTalk with the ambition for it to become a resource for individuals looking for answers, whether they be a layman, student or a professional.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here