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8 Best Whole House Humidifiers

gray fabric loveseat near brown wooden table

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Dry air can take a serious toll on your skin, respiratory system, and more, but if you live in an arid climate, it can be hard to avoid. To bring health and humidity back into your life, consider purchasing a whole-home humidifier to restore your house’s optimal humidity level and help you ward off dry skin, sore throats, dehydration, and a host of other health issues.

To help you out, we’ve rounded up eight whole-home humidifier picks so you can identify the perfect product to alleviate harsh, dry air. 

Top Pick: Aprilaire 500 Furnace Whole House Humidifier

This humidifier has a little bit of everything — trusted brand, affordable price, furnace mounting, dual sensors for hands-off humidification, and more. We also love the digital control interface for easy adjustments and notifications. The only caveat is that this model may take a professional to install. 

Splurge Pick: Aprilaire 800 Z Whole House Humidifier

If your budget is flexible and you need a product that can humidify large homes, consider investing in this 800 Z model from Aprilaire. With the ability to humidify spaces up to 6,200 square feet, you shouldn’t have any problems maintaining great humidity levels — a claim that reviewers confirm multiple times over. Note that as a steam humidifier, this model may increase electricity costs, but you also may be able to make up some of the difference in heat savings. 

Best Budget: AIRCARE Console Whole House Humidifier

Not only is this AIRCARE console humidifier portable, petite, and powerful, it’s also the most budget-friendly option on this list, with a mini console version that takes even more off the price. According to reviewers, this cool mist humidifier delivers in terms of ease of setup, simple maintenance, and performance even in homes with high ceilings and multiple floors. 

While these are our top three picks, there are many other great whole-house humidifiers out there, depending upon which features you value most. Here’s our full list to give you more to choose from. 

1. Best Quiet Humidifier: AIRCARE Valiant Whole House Humidifier

Top Features:

  • Controls level of humidity
  • Reduces static electricity
  • 55 hours of humidification per fill

Technical Details:

  • Color option: 5 options
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Weight: 28.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 27 x 25 inches

When it comes to humidifiers, hands-off is the goal, which is why we love this product’s digital humidistat option. The humidistat automatically keeps your house’s humidity at an optimal level. You can also monitor the humidity of your home with a digital interface that shows you both the actual and desired humidity levels. 

This convenient, quiet humidifier packs a bigger punch than its size might suggest, with the power to control humidity levels in homes up to 4,000 square feet. While the 5-gallon capacity tank can humidify your home for up to 55 hours in one go, some reviewers say it might be better for one-level living, so keep that in mind as you pick the right humidifier for your home.  

View AIRCARE Valiant Evaporative Humidifier on Amazon.

2. Best Low Water Humidifier: Honeywell Home Whole House Bypass Humidifier

Sale
Honeywell Home HE280A Whole House Humidifier, White
Efficiency is key and this humidifier will help save your water bills.

Top Features:

  • Water-efficient 
  • Preserves home and furnishings
  • Low maintenance 

Technical Details:

  • Color option: None
  • Material: Wood
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Weight: 12.97 pounds
  • Dimensions: ‎‎‎22.9 x 19.8 x 1.7 inches

If conserving resources is a concern for you, consider purchasing this bypass humidifier from Honeywell Home. The humidifier uses considerably less water than other options and also minimizes maintenance with its flow-through design. All of this saves you money and time, while still offering powerful humidity control for your home (up to 4,000 square feet). 

This option from Honeywell is easy to install onto your HVAC system and does a great job of maintaining optimal and accurate humidity. One thing to note is that while this model is on the inexpensive side, there may be a tradeoff with its longevity, as a few reviewers questioned the quality of the product past two years of use. 

View Honeywell Home Whole House Humidifier on Amazon.

3. Best Humidifier for Large Spaces: Aprilaire 800 Z Whole House Humidifier

Top Features:

  • 6,000+-square-foot coverage
  • Steel construction
  • Steam humidification

Technical Details:

  • Color option: None
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Weight: 24.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: ‎‎‎7.13 x 10.13 x 20.88 inches

Who better to buy a high-quality humidifier from than one of the trailblazers in the space? Aprilaire, the maker of this large space humidifier, was the first to pioneer the evaporative humidifier for entire homes, and the quality work continues with this high-end pick. The 800 Z model uses sensor technology to keep humidity in the optimal zone of between 35 to 45 percent and does not need purified water or water filtration. 

While on the higher end of the price scale, this humidifier also promises high value, with coverage of as much as 6,200 square feet. Reviewers overall praised the performance of this model and found the installation relatively easy, though a few noted it has the potential to drive up your electric bill. 

View Aprilaire 800 Z Whole House Humidifier on Amazon.

4. Best Pedestal Whole House Humidifier: AIRCARE Pedestal Evaporative Humidifier

Top Features:

  • Multiple fan speeds
  • 3.5-gallon capacity
  • 60 hours of humidification

Technical Details:

  • Color option: 2 options
  • Material: Wood
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 27.25 inches

Don’t like the idea of potentially complicated installation or hiring a contractor to get your humidifier set up? This pedestal humidifier from AIRCARE couldn’t be easier to set up or maintain, and with a 2,400-square-foot coverage area, it’s great for small-to-mid-sized houses. 

The main complaints about this humidifier included the noise generated by the product and weak humidifying capabilities, but the majority of people raved about this product’s performance even after multiple years of use. 

View AIRCARE Pedestal Evaporative Humidifier on Amazon.

5. Best Furnace Mounted Whole House Humidifier: Aprilaire 500 Whole House Humidifier

Top Features:

  • 3,000-square-foot reach
  • Sensor-powered humidification 
  • Furnace mounted

Technical Details:

  • Color option: None
  • Material: Plastic
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Weight: 7.75 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.25 x 15.63 x 13 inches

As one of the leading humidifier brands, Aprilaire landed several spots on this list. With a smaller capacity than the 800 Z model, this humidifier still provides powerful humidification through its natural evaporation technology, which can produce and disseminate humid air throughout your entire home.

You’re likely buying a furnace to alleviate some kind of dry air symptoms, whether it’s cracked lips or nosebleeds, so you’ll be happy to know that most reviewers say this model makes them more comfortable in their own homes. 

A few reviewers complained that the furnace-mounted product is confusing to install and that additional materials are required. While you may be able to handle the installation if you’re experienced at DIY projects, others may want to consider hiring a professional if you want to make sure the device is installed correctly.

View Aprilaire 500 Whole House Humidifier on Amazon.

6. Best-Looking Humidifier: AIRCARE Alliance Whole House Humidifier

AIRCARE Digital Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier (Copper Night)
If the style alone didn't entice you, I don't know what will.

Top Features:

  • Mounted on casters for portability
  • Wood finish options 
  • Refill/check filter indicators and automatic shutoff

Technical Details:

  • Color option: 3 options
  • Material: Wood
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.75 x 21.75 x 23.5 inches

You’re probably not buying a humidifier for the look, but it doesn’t hurt when you find a model that blends in with the rest of your home in a pleasing way. The AIRCAREAlliance whole house humidifier comes in three different wood finish options to fit multiple decor styles while still offering humidification functionality for up to 2,500 square feet of home space. Another plus of this 5.4-gallon capacity humidifier is that the evaporative method is less energy-depleting than other humidifier styles.  

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that works reliably and doesn’t require any advanced setup, this may be the humidifier for you. 

View AIRCARE Alliance Whole House Humidifier on Amazon.

7. Best Manual Humidifier: Aprilaire 700 M Whole House Humidifier

Top Features:

  • Humidifies up to 4,200 square feet
  • Furnace mounted
  • Manual control

Technical Details:

  • Color option: None
  • Material: Plastic
  • Warranty: 1 year 
  • Weight: 15.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 15.91 x 18 x 10.34 inches

With the Aprilaire 700 M model, you can improve indoor air quality for homes up to 4,200 square feet. This model connects directly to your furnace and uses hot air from your HVAC system to humidify areas to a humidity level you control.

You should note that this model is a manual humidifier, meaning you will need to set the humidity level you want your house to be at rather than the humidifier maintaining the best level based on indoor and outdoor humidity. While at first, this may not seem like a benefit, reviewers noted that the installation of the manual version is much simpler, and when combined with a Nest thermostat, it becomes even lower maintenance. 

View Aprilaire 700 M Whole House Humidifier on Amazon.

8. Best Moveable Humidifier: AIRCARE Console Whole House Humidifier

Sale
AIRCARE MA Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier (Console)
If portability is something that you need, then this humidifier is the best option.

Top Features:

  • Automatic shutoff feature
  • Humidifies up to 3,600 square feet
  • Digital humidistat

Technical Details:

  • Color option: None
  • Material: Plastic
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 21.5 x 20.5 inches

How can something so small humidify your entire house? Somehow, the petite, 14-pound whole house console humidifier from AIRCARE does it. This model, more portable than others due to its casters, offers up to 36 hours of run time and includes smart features such as an automatic shutoff that activates based on actual humidity levels and a “wick” that stops minerals in your water from being released into the air. 

With its smooth operation, sizable tank, and ability to humidify a large area, this one is a solid pick.

View AIRCAREConsole Whole House Humidifier on Amazon.

Best Whole House Humidifiers Comparison Table

Product nameColor optionMaterialWarrantyWeightDimensions
AIRCARE – Valiant Whole House Humidifier5 optionsAlloy steel2 years28.5 pounds17.5 x 27 x 25 inches
Honeywell Home – Whole House HumidifierNoneWood1 year12.97 pounds22.9 x 19.8 x 1.7 inches
Aprilaire – 800Z Whole House HumidifierNoneAlloy steel1 year24.5 pounds7.13 x 10.13 x 20.88 inches
AIRCARE – Pedestal Evaporative Humidifier2 optionsWood2 years27 pounds18 x 18 x 27.25 inches
Aprilaire – 500 Furnace Whole House HumidifierNonePlastic1 year7.75 pounds10.25 x 15.63 x 13 inches
AIRCARE – Alliance Whole House Humidifier3 optionsWood2 years20 pounds13.75 x 21.75 x 23.5 inches
Aprilaire 700 M Whole House HumidifierNonePlastic2 years15.5 pounds15.91 x 18 x 10.34 inches
AIRCARE – Console Whole House HumidifierNonePlastic2 years14 pounds14.5 x 21.5 x 20.5 inches

Best Whole House Humidifiers FAQs

Do humidifiers use a lot of electricity?

Like any appliance, adding a humidifier to your home could increase your electric bill; the question is, how much? The electricity needs of your humidifier will depend partially on what kind of humidifier you buy.

Humidifiers that require water to be heated in the humidification process, such as steam or warm mist humidifiers, could use significantly more energy than humidifiers that use other methods, such as evaporative or bypass humidifiers. It’s worth mentioning that humidifiers can also help you save on heating costs, as you may be able to run your house at a lower temperature and still feel comfortable.

Is it bad to use tap water in a humidifier?

If you use a humidifier that requires refilling on a regular basis, it’s a wise idea to commit to using distilled water rather than tap water. Tap water could contain minerals that, when disseminated by the humidifier, could be inhaled by you and your family members. Some models on this list contain a “wick” that can contain those minerals, but distilled water is still the safest choice.

How many hours should you run a humidifier?

Luckily, many of the humidifiers on this list have automatic shutoff options and humidity sensors that help them determine when and how long to run. If you buy a humidifier that does not have these controls, a general rule of thumb is to keep the run time to 12 hours per day to avoid the negative consequences of excess moisture, such as mildew and mold. 

Buying Guide: Whole House Humidifiers

Not all whole-house humidifiers are created the same, and there are multiple things to consider before you buy one—especially since some models can be expensive purchases. In the next sections we’ll discuss some of the main types of humidifiers and key aspects to consider so you can be as informed as possible in your purchase. 

HVAC System Humidifier vs. Console Humidifier

While reviewing this list, you likely noticed that some humidifiers require considerable installation and integration with your current HVAC system, while others are simply plug-and-play, console-type humidifiers. Whether you choose an HVAC system-compatible humidifier or a console option is completely up to you, but you should consider the pros and cons of both options. 

  • HVAC system humidifier: May require the skills of a professional to install but can be very powerful, and generally, noise isn’t an issue. 
  • Console humidifier: Easier to set up but also requires regular filling — also, the fans used can cause unwanted noise. 

Whole-Home vs. Large Room 

All of the options on this list are powerful enough to humidify entire homes of varying sizes, but you’ve likely also seen options in your research described as large room humidifiers. Large room humidifiers generally are made to humidify a single room with a coverage area around 500 to 750 square feet, though they may also be able to handle more or less space. 

While that level of power may be able to cover your needs for a small, open-plan studio apartment, you will likely need a whole-house humidifier for anything larger. 

Water Tank Capacity

One benefit of whole-house humidifiers is that they don’t require regular refilling since they are connected to your water supply. With a freestanding console unit, you will need to keep the tank filled in order to keep getting a benefit from the unit. Consider whether you want to have to do this kind of upkeep every few days or every week and if you decide console is still the way to go, make sure to look at how many gallons of water the tank can hold.

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