If humidifying a single room is challenging enough, just imagine having to do it for your entire house. The process is tricky as you have to control the humidity per room, which is not an easy task for a massive home. But to make the job less of a chore, you should use the best whole house humidifier that matches your needs.
Unlike small portable humidifiers, whole house units pack more capacity and power. This way, it can balance the humidity level of the room quickly and efficiently.
Also, whole house units have larger tanks that can run for hours before requiring refills. This saves you from babysitting the unit all day.
Aside from that, these humidifiers have programmable settings, so you can leave them running. It’s time-saving and allows for accurate humidification in your home.
If you’re still scouting for the best humidifier to buy, we reviewed here 8 picks that are tried and tested by homeowners. See which of these devices you’d love to put your money on:
|WHOLE HOUSE |
|BRAND||EXPERT RATING||CHECK PRICE|
| Our Top Pick! |
Aprilaire 865 Whole
House Steam Humidifier
|Venta LW45 |
|Aprilaire 700M Whole |
|AIRCARE 400HB |
|Honeywell HE360A |
Whole House Humidifier
|Honeywell HE240A |
Whole House Humidifier
|AIRCARE Digital |
Pedestal Style Humidifier
|AIRCARE MA Whole |
Best Whole House Humidifier – Top 8 Picks
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: Aprilaire 865 Whole House Steam Humidifier
Product Name: Aprilaire 865 Whole House Steam Humidifier
Product Description: If you’re looking for the best whole house humidifier, you’ll never go wrong with the Aprilaire 865. This unit is fan-powered and no air ducts are required. As a centralized or fixed humidifier, the fan will help propel the moist air throughout your home. Overall, this humidifier can cover up to 6,200 sq. ft., which is more than enough for most houses. The fan is also wall-mounted, so it doesn’t consume floor space. You’re also guaranteed that the moisture is dispersed into the air properly. For this Aprilaire 865 humidifier, your home can receive up to 34.6 gallons of moisture per day. Don’t worry because this has a sensor that detects indoor relative humidity. You just have to set your target humidity through the wall-mounted console.
Offer price: $$$
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Take note that this is a steam humidifier, which uses a steam canister. The good thing is that Aprilaire also sells canister replacements in case the one in your unit reaches the end of its lifespan. Also, purified water isn’t required for this humidifier. But unlike the Aprilaire 800, the 865 is manual and only has a single sensor. Overall, this isn’t an issue unless you consider automated features paramount. If there’s one downside I really noticed, it would be the smelly rubber hose that comes in the package. In case you encounter the same problem, you can replace the hose with a copper pipe.
It covers up to 6,200 sq. ft. of floor area Produces up to 34.6 gallons of steam moisture The fan and console are already included in the package. No air ducts needed for installation
The rubber hose has a chemical smell. It only has one sensor.
Venta LW45 Airwasher Humidifier
If you prefer a standalone humidifier, I recommend the Venta LW45 Original Airwasher. This unit doubles as an air purifier and humidifier in one, which makes it a total steal for homeowners.
Its humidifier feature is rated to cover up to 600 sq. ft. of floor area, which is ideal for apartments and small homes. It uses a cold evaporative technology that doesn’t need filters. Also, since it’s evaporative, the water is diffused in very small particles and won’t make surfaces damp.
Moreover, it’s safe to use tap water on the Venta LW45. It’s even safe to add your favorite Venta aromatherapy to the water tank, so you can also make your home smell fresh.
There’s also a control panel on this humidifier, complete with LED light indicators. It’s also equipped with an auto shut-off feature once the water level is already low. This way, the unit won’t overheat even if you leave the humidifier running on its own.
Overall, this has a 3-gallon capacity, and operation can be adjusted in three levels. This way, you can match the humidification level to the needs of your home.
I also like the quiet operation of this humidifier, which is a big plus if you have a baby at home. Still, I wish Venta would improve the aesthetic side so that it would be more attractive. Nevertheless, it’s not an eyesore, and I don’t mind having it in my living room.
Aprilaire 700M Whole House Humidifier
Another centralized humidifier I recommend is the Aprilaire 700M Whole House unit. This is rated to cover up to 4,200 sq. ft. of floor area on its 18-gallon maximum capacity.
Aside from that, this humidifier uses evaporative technology for efficient moisture dispersion. It’s equipped with a single sensor to ensure that your indoor humidity levels are on point. This prevents over-humidification, which can lead to mold buildup.
Moreover, the Aprilaire 700M has a built-in fan that gets air from your furnace and into the humidifier. Once installed, this whole house humidifier will keep your indoor humidity within healthy levels.
Take note that this humidifier uses a water panel, model #35 specifically. It has to be replaced every season to ensure your unit’s optimal and safe operation.
This humidifier has an airflow capacity of 280 cubic feet per minute in terms of performance. It humidifies fast, and the package comes complete with a manual controller, transformer, saddle valve, water panel, and the unit itself.
I also like how well built this unit is, and it’s made to last for years. However, it’s not the easiest to install, and you may need the help of a professional if you’re not much of a handy person. Some buyers also mentioned that there’s a need to purchase extra hardware separately for installation.
AIRCARE 400HB Credenza Evaporative Humidifier
Are you looking for a low-key humidifier that looks good? If so, you should consider the AIRCARE 400 HB Credenza. This evaporative humidifier is rated for up to 3,600 sq. ft., perfect for most homes.
Unlike other humidifiers, this one from AIRCARE has a housing with a wood-tone design. It adds a decorative feature to your home, and guests won’t know that there’s actually a humidifier around.
In terms of performance, the AIRCARE 400HB has a 5.6-gallon capacity. Each refill can run for up to 45 hours, and you can tweak the settings, thanks to its nine fan speeds.
Purchase of the Credenza already includes one AIRCARE 1041 Super Wick filter. This helps trap dirt and minerals from hard water, so your home won’t be covered with white dust. Replacements for the wick filter are easily available at a separate cost.
Aside from that, this unit has an auto shut-off feature that stops operation once the target humidity level is reached. It will also shut down automatically once the water level is already running out.
Overall, the AIRCARE 400HB Credenza Evaporative Humidifier is worth the money. However, you should know that its housing isn’t really made of actual wood. It has a wood-tone design, but it’s much lighter than indicated in the pictures.
Honeywell HE360A Whole House Humidifier Litter Box Kit
The Honeywell HE360A Whole House Humidifier has a flow-through technology that suits up to 4,200 sq. ft. of floor area. This can be mounted on your return air duct or warm air supply for even humidification throughout your home.
Aside from that, this humidifier uses a flow-through design that reduces the need for maintenance. It’s also equipped with an adjustable humidistat, so the unit will turn on and off based on the humidity level you set.
Moreover, this Honeywell humidifier is easy to mount, so there’s no need for professional installation. You’ll also get a convertible humidity control in the package, together with a saddle valve, drain connection, tubing, and water supply. It’s also complete with an installation kit and a transformer.
I like that this unit uses two-strand, 18-gauge wiring. It’s durable and at par with many electrical appliances in the market.
However, I noticed that this unit could get quite loud, especially if you’re cranking up the settings to the max. Also, it’s more effective when you’re running the humidifier together with your heating system. Otherwise, this unit will take more time to achieve ideal humidity levels.
For this price range, I can say that this Honeywell humidifier already packs a lot of features. A decent warranty also covers it to protect your purchase.
Honeywell HE240A Whole House Humidifier
Another Honeywell humidifier I recommend is the HE240A model. This is made to humidify homes with up to 3,000 sq. ft. of floor area. Like the previous model, it has a flow-through design to prevent microorganisms from proliferating inside the unit.
Aside from that, this is equipped with the PerfectFLO, which optimizes water usage and efficiency. Just make sure that you mount this on any return air duct or warm air supply for the best results.
I also like that the unit can be reversed in case you want the duct opening to be on the left side. The manual has directions on how to do this so that you can match the unit to the current setup of your HVAC system.
Unlike other humidifiers, the Honeywell HE240A protects your home from damp surfaces. This is a very important feature as whole house humidifiers produce large amounts of moisture at a time.
Aside from the humidifier itself, you’ll also receive an installation kit in the package. You may also need a few tools that aren’t included in this set.
Overall, this humidifier does the job for large homes. However, the manual can make use of better diagrams and more detailed instructions. Other than that, this is a fairly reasonable trade-off.
AIRCARE Digital Pedestal Style Whole House Humidifier
For homes with a floor area not bigger than 2,000 sq. ft., the AIRCARE Digital Pedestal Style Whole House Humidifier is a good choice. It has a 3.5-gallon capacity that can run for up to 60 hours for every refill.
Aside from that, you can use this unit’s nine fan speed settings to match your home’s needs. Using the separate buttons on the unit’s panel, you can easily do so. There’s also a small LED screen that displays the current humidity level in your home.
This unit comes with an automatic shut-off feature to ensure that your home won’t be over humidified. It will stop operating once the unit reaches the target humidity level and once the water level runs out.
I also like the pour-in design of the tank, which allows for easy refills. There’s also a refill indicator, so you won’t have to guess the water level.
Like other AIRCARE humidifiers, this pedestal-style unit has an aesthetic look. It also has a smaller footprint that can fit in the corner of your living room. You can also remove the top cover and replace it with any 12×12 tile that you want.
As for the downside, users have noticed that it gets really loud once the highest setting is used. Nevertheless, it’s a trade-off many can live with since this humidifier gets the job done right.
AIRCARE MA Whole House Evaporative Humidifier
My last pick for this roundup is the AIRCARE MA Whole House Humidifier. It’s rated to humidify floor areas of up to 3,600 sq. ft. Thanks to its cool mist evaporative technology, it won’t make surfaces damp.
Moreover, this humidifier has a digital humidistat that allows you to program your target humidity level. In turn, the unit will shut down once it reaches the said target. It will also stop operating once the water has run out.
The caster wheels are one small detail that I really like about the AIRCARE MA Humidifier. It’s very easy to move around the house without the need to push hard or lift it away.
Inside, the humidifier has a wick filter that traps mineral deposits. This greatly reduces the production of white dust, especially if your place is notorious for hard water.
Overall, this unit has four fan speeds, including an auto mode. Each refill will also last for 36 hours, which is more than enough for most humble homes.
Like other large humidifiers, this gets noisy on the highest fan setting. Nevertheless, this is a reasonable trade-off.
How to choose the best whole house humidifier
There are many humidifiers in the market, but not all of them are suitable for whole house use. So to ensure that you’re getting the right unit for your home, it’s important to consider these aspects first:
The first thing you have to check is the type of humidifier you’re going to get. For whole house purposes, there are two common options:
Standalone whole house humidifier
A standalone whole house humidifier is also known as a console type. It’s somewhat portable since it can be moved around the house.
With a standalone humidifier, there’s no special installation needed. It works just like any other portable humidifier but with a much higher capacity and bulkier build.
Overall, a standalone type is a better choice if you want convenience and cheaper costs. However, if you have a massive home, this may not be the right choice for you.
Central whole house humidifier
Central whole house humidifiers are integrated into a home’s HVAC system. Unlike standalone types, a central unit can’t be moved around and requires professional installation.
While this option may cost more, it comes with many benefits. First, it’s suitable for large homes where a standalone unit isn’t enough.
Aside from that, a centralized humidifier will ensure that the humid air will be distributed evenly throughout your house. This way, all rooms will be humidified properly, and it will prevent over humidification in some areas.
So which one should you get? The choice depends on what you really need. If you have a small home, a standalone type might be enough. But if you have the budget, there’s no problem getting a centralized unit.
Once you’ve decided about the humidifier type you’re going to get, the next thing you should consider is the capacity of the unit.
This will dictate how efficient the humidifier will be based on the floor area it needs to cover. Also, getting a whole house humidifier with the right capacity will help you save electricity.
Every manufacturer will indicate the ideal floor area capacity for their humidifiers. This way, you can match the unit easily to your home without having to do complicated math.
Another thing you should consider is the tank size of the whole house humidifier. Since it’s going to humidify your entire home, it’s best to get one with a big water container. It will save you from repetitive refills, which is crucial if you’re working and can’t babysit the unit.
An average whole house unit will have around 2 to 4-gallon water tanks. This is more than enough for whole-day humidification.
On the other hand, a centralized unit is often connected to a water source, so there’s no need to refill any tank.
Just remember that the size of the water tank is directly proportional to the humidifier’s cost. This is quite reasonable and understandable, especially if the unit has added technology.
While this part isn’t really a big deal, it’s still important to consider the dimensions of the humidifier you’re going to purchase. This is more critical if you have minimal space at home for a bulky humidifier.
Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that powerful humidifiers will often have a bigger design. It will also be heavy, which is an understandable trade-off if you want a high-capacity unit for your home.
When it comes to whole house humidifiers, I always recommend buying one with a built-in humidistat. This component will provide programmable features on the humidifier. It will let you set a specific humidity level, wherein the unit will automatically shut down after meeting the said target.
A built-in humidistat will help prevent over-humidification. This is also handy if you’re leaving the humidifier running through the night or while you’re away for work.
Most whole house humidifiers will come with this feature. If your choice of humidifier doesn’t have one, you should at least purchase a hygrometer to monitor your indoor humidity. Still, this option will require more attention since you have to shut down the unit manually.
Each manufacturer or humidifier brand will have its own technology or set of features to boast. Many of these can help improve the unit’s functionality, safety, and overall value.
For example, you can look for humidifiers with any of these features. Just note that these are purely optional and not really a requirement:
- Filters. Some humidifiers have filters, especially evaporative types. This allows minerals and dirt to be filtered out, so it doesn’t turn into white dust. It also prevents clogging, which is a common problem in humidifiers.
- Demineralization cartridge. Some whole house humidifiers have slots for demineralization cartridges, which will help soften hard water. This is very useful if your place is notorious for hard water and you don’t have immediate access to distilled water.
- Air filtration feature. There are humidifiers that also double as air purifiers, like the Venta unit we reviewed here. This is a great purchase if you want to hit two birds with one stone.
- Remote control. A remote control is added convenience, so you don’t have to get up just to change the settings of your humidifier. This is usually bundled with the humidifier itself or has to be purchased separately, like the one in the AIRCARE pedestal unit.
- Aesthetic housing. Humidifiers can be an eyesore if it doesn’t match the motif of your home. This is why many brands produce units with aesthetic housing. Check the AIRCARE units we reviewed above for the best example of this feature.
Lastly, you should consider the budget that you can spend on your humidifier. Whole house models don’t come cheap, so you should expect to shell out a few hundred bucks. You may need to spend a few thousand dollars for bigger and more sophisticated systems.
In the end, it’s up to you how much you’re willing to spend on a humidifier. However, if you want one that will last longer and deliver consistent results inside your house, it’s always worth it to splurge a little.
Advice in humidifying your whole house
Aside from getting a humidifier that matches your whole house, it would help if you run it properly for the best results. Below, I share some of my tried and tested advice, whether you’re humidifying a single room or your entire home:
- Keep the tank clean. Whatever humidifier model you purchased, it’s important to keep it clean. You should clean the tank at least weekly and deep-clean the entire unit every 1 to 3 months. This way, your whole house humidifier will remain efficient and it will also last long.
- Let it rest. Even though whole house humidifiers are made to withstand long hours of use, you still need to let it rest. This way, the motor won’t overheat and you can perform basic maintenance steps. If you need round-the-clock humidification every day, you should consider getting multiple units to use alternately.
- Replace the filter. For humidifiers with filters, it’s important to replace the filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This way, the humidifier will function optimally and your home won’t get white dust all over.
- Open interior doors. Unless you’re using a centralized humidifier, it’s important to keep interior doors open. This way, the moist air can enter all the rooms in your home. Otherwise, most of the moisture will get trapped near the humidifier itself, causing over-humidification.
- Mind the placement. It’s important to choose the right spot for your humidifier, so the moisture will be dispersed throughout your home. In general, it should be placed in a central room in your house. For those opting for a centralized unit, placement isn’t much of a concern.
- Replace very old humidifiers. If your whole house humidifier is more than 15 years old, you should consider getting a replacement. Even if your unit is still working, there are newer and more efficient models that could get the job done better.
- Always choose the right settings. Most of all, you should always program the ideal setting for your home. This includes your target humidity level and/or timer. Such settings depend on the features your unit currently has.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does a whole house humidifier cause mold?
A: A whole house humidifier has the risk of causing molds if it’s not used correctly. Since these units are large and high-powered, they can easily produce too much moisture if not programmed well. With this, you should always be mindful of how you utilize your humidifier, whether it’s a portable type or a whole house model.
Q: How long do whole house humidifiers last?
A: Most whole house humidifiers can last for up to 15 years. Others can be stretched up to 20 years with proper maintenance and limited use. Still, these devices aren’t made to last forever. It will have to be replaced at some point to function properly.
Q: Where is the best place to put a whole house humidifier?
A: If you’re using a whole house humidifier, it’s crucial to place it somewhere near the living area. Others place it near a cold air return duct to distribute the humid air throughout the house. Just make sure that you don’t place the humidifier near wooden furniture as the large amounts of moisture being released can damage the material.
Q: Should you use a whole house humidifier?
A: A whole house humidifier is ideal if your home suffers from very low humidity levels. Just make sure that the unit is sized according to your house’s floor area. Also, you should always monitor the humidity level in your home to ensure that it’s not going beyond the ideal level.
Q: How do I know if my whole house humidifier is working?
A: You’ll know that your whole house humidifier is working if the water level is actually being depleted. You can also check for any obvious mist or moist air coming out of the unit. Also, you can use a separate hygrometer to see if the humidity level in your home is actually improving.
Is your family suffering from harsh winters? In that case, you should invest in the best whole house humidifier. This device will help keep healthy humidity levels in your home across seasons.
With proper maintenance and upkeep, these units can last for years. Just make sure that you get one that matches your home, budget, and expectations.
Home Air Quality is founded by Bernard K to provide information on Indoor Air Quality in Homes and enlighten people about what they need to know about creating and maintaining a comfortable and healthy home environment.
We believe that “Quality air brings a healthy life.”