Winter may turn your yard into a winter wonderland in some areas but the cold weather can also make it unbearable to stay inside your home – Why is this?
When the weather turns colder, the humidity in the air lowers. This is especially true in your home if you are running a heater because the heated air is very dry and will replace the humid air in the home with dry air.
⇒ To fix this problem, you will NEED the best whole house humidifier to make sure your house has enough moisture to be comfortable!
TOP 3 Whole House Humidifier Review 2016 - Comparison Table
Here are a few whole house humidifier reviews of some of the top available humidifiers on the market today:
1. Aprilaire 500 Humidifier, .5 gallons per hour
This is a flow through humidifier system that only requires a connection to your water line. It has a lot of handy features like a built-in bypass damper, an automatic digital control which works alongside your normal thermostat controls and an outdoor temperature sensor. It comes with a water filter pad and is ready for installation and use immediately!
- Easy digital controls and handy automatic features for smooth operation.
- Great for homes as large as 3000 sq ft.
- Only requires a connection to the water line and running cord to a regular electrical outlet. Minimal electricity usage.
- Noticeable positive results within 24 hours of installation.
- Blower activation mode humidifies the house without the furnace running.
- Somewhat lengthy installation process. Registered HVAC specialists can install this unit within a few hours but it is a complex DIY project.
- A few customers experienced issues with the digital control failing and requiring replacement.
- Relatively high water usage.
2. Aprilaire 700 Whole House Humidifier, .75 gallons per hour
With this high quality humidifier system you’ll get some of the best performance around for homes of up to around 4,200 sq ft.
Smaller houses can also use this unit effectively, although you may not need it for homes of 1,500 sq ft. or less as it is a powerful system! This is a flow-through humidifier with the capacity to utilize .75 gallons per hour.
When you install this unit you will get convenient digital controls that work alongside your regular thermostat controls to help you maintain optimal conditions inside your home.
- Little to no operating noise when the system is running.
- Digital controls can provide automatic adjustments without you having to worry about humidity levels being too high or too low.
- High capacity makes this unit great for many different houses.
- No maintenance required apart from regular annual maintenance.
- Listed as the best whole house humidifier by Amazon.com.
- This large unit may not be efficient for use in smaller homes as it has such a high capacity rating.
- Installation is tricky for a DIY job unless you are experienced in HVAC installations.
- Larger than some other whole house humidifiers and may require a large duct opening to install it properly.
3. Honeywell HE360A Whole House Humidifier
The exact capacity ratings are not given for this unit but it is rated to be useful in homes up to 4,200 sq ft. in size. This Honeywell is a flow-through whole house humidifier that is easy to install and works like a charm in most dwellings. It uses a PerfectFlo distribution tray to help get ideal humidity levels within your house. The convenient internal controls make this unit a good choice for someone that just wants to install it and forget about it until the annual maintenance!
- Low water usage compared to other units of similar size and competitive function.
- Filters are easy to change and readily available for purchase.
- Installation is relatively simple and can be a DIY project for those with a little experience.
- Quiet operation means you won’t be bothered by the noise of the unit while it’s running in your house.
- Can be hooked up to either the hot water line or the cold water line depending on when you will be using it.
- Installation kit is necessary in most cases and does not come with the unit itself. You have to buy this separately.
- Some customers reported in their whole house humidifier reviews about having trouble with the electrical parts of this humidifier and needing replacements. Most of the replacements were covered by the included warranty.
PROS & CONS
Whole house humidifiers come with their advantages and disadvantages the same as any other products. Here’s a few of the good and bad things you can expect:
- Higher humidity helps you keep your furnace temperature lower thus reducing power usage.
- Humidity is dispersed throughout the entire house instead of just a concentrated area.
- Less maintenance is needed with whole house humidifiers than regular humidifiers.
- Enjoy a more comfortable home atmosphere around the entire house during the winter time.
- Higher levels of humidity can cause moisture build-ups, mold or mildew. This is not common unless you have the humidity set to an unnecessarily high level.
- Whole house systems can cause heating furnaces to have a shorter lifespan in some cases.
- Expenses are difficult to predict as your usage may vary too much.
What do you need to look for when you’re choosing the best whole house humidifier? There are a few key things to pay attention to before you make any purchases.
Capacity of the humidifier deals with roughly how much water the system uses daily. Not all systems are built to process the same amount of water into humidity, so you will want to make sure you are getting a unit that will work well for the size of your home.
Houses of varying sizes need different systems. Most humidifier systems are built for a specific size range and will not work well for anything larger or will work too well for smaller homes. Getting the right capacity can make a huge difference in maintaining the ideal humidity levels of 30 – 60% relative humidity.
These are the ideal capacities ranges based on your home size:
TYPE OF HUMIDITY SYSTEM
There are many ways in which a whole house humidifying system can operate. Each type hooks up a little differently and produces the humidity differently. It is up to you which system you want to purchase based on how they work, which utilities they use the most and how expensive the systems are. These are the three main types of whole house humidifier systems:
A drum system is installed on the cold air return line. The way it works is by using a motorized belt to lift water out of a drum of water. As the water evaporates and air passes over the water on the belt the air will become more humid. This humid air is then dispersed through the normal heating system around the house.
Drums have the advantage of simple and cheap installation. Unfortunately, they require more frequent maintenance because of the need to have a consistently filled water drum for the system to work completely. The drum not only needs to be refilled but the issue is that mold and bacteria can build up in the standing water over time. To prevent this from happening you must clean the drum frequently. Often the belt must also be replaced frequently as it wears out quickly.
These systems can be attached either to the return or supply lines of your current ventilation system. They do not need an electrical connection but will require a connection to the water line in your home. A flow-through system uses a filter with a constant fresh water drip running through it. Air is blown through the filter and helps to evaporate the purified water. The air then picks up the water vapors and blows the humid air out of the vents.
Flow-through systems are also fairly simple to install and they have the advantage of not needing an electrical connection. They do tend to use a lot of water as the drip is always fresh water and never re-used. While this cuts down on the threat of mold, it also makes your water bill go up during usage. The filter only has to be changed periodically.
Steam systems are said to be the most effective whole house humidifying systems. They are a little more difficult to install and will require connections to both your electrical wiring and your water line. The systems work by producing actual steam vapor into the air in the ventilation ducts rather than letting the water evaporate on its own. The steam is picked up by the passing air and dispersed through the home.
You can choose between hot or cold steam systems that have slightly different steaming methods. As this system creates the humidity directly, you will have better control over what level of humidity it produces in your home. Maintenance is usually easy as the risk of mold will be low with this type of system.
Some whole house humidifiers have features to make them more convenient for you such as a built in humidistat. This device helps you to know what the current levels of humidity are within your home and allows you to adjust them at will. Smart humidistat controls will automatically start the humidifying process if levels drop below a certain point and will stop the process when they get close to an upper limit.
How straightforward an installation do you want? The simpler the installation is, the less money it will cost for professional installation. If you’re handy at doing installations yourself you can try any type although the simpler installations might be best for those without much experience.
A drum humidifier system offers the easiest hook-up in most homes. The flow-through is a little more difficult but is still fairly simple. Steam systems are the most complex and do require more work to install than the other types.
* HOW TO SET UP, USE AND MAINTAIN YOUR HUMIDIFIER
- Each system has its own instructions which should be present when you buy the system or else explained to you by a HVAC knowledgeable serviceman. If you want to do the installation on your own it is advisable to search for a step-by-step manual for installing the specific system you are buying as each one has its own special requirements.
- Using a whole house humidifier system is usually very straightforward. In most cases there is either a manual adjustment for when the system should be running, a timer system or an automatic system. It is all based on what the current levels of humidity are in your house versus the desired levels of relative humidity.
- Maintaining a whole house humidifier varies between systems types. Drum systems must be emptied and cleaned out frequently to avoid issues with mold and bacteria growth in the standing water drum. They also need replacement belts periodically. Flow through systems need to have semi-regular filter replacements to avoid mold issues in the ventilation. Steam systems don’t require much maintenance, but will need to be cleaned occasionally to avoid mold growth as well.
ξ CONCLUSION ξ
Hopefully, you are now more familiar with what makes the best whole house humidifier and what to look for in whole house humidifier reviews. Armed with this information you should be able to more confidently decide what’s best for your home and make the right choice for a great and reliable whole house humidifier system!