Best Whole House Humidifiers


Why Whole House Humidifiers?

Humidifiers offer added comfort to the ambience in the room or the house by infusing extra moisture in the air. This helps ease irritation in the skin, throat, and congestions in the nose caused by dry air. There are single room humidifiers which can be placed on a table, desk or counter and cover a single area for humidification. However, if you need bigger coverage, as in for your whole house, you may need a whole house humidifier.

It is more practical and convenient rather than buying one humidifier for each room. If you want to see the basic features of single room humidifiers, you can check our Best Humidifiers Buying Guide, which will also give you an overview of the other types of humidifiers that you can choose from. In this guide, we will take a look at the advantages of whole house units to help you decide if it is the right humidifier for your home.

Best Whole House Humidifiers Comparison Table 2017

Essick Air MA12014$$Console
Aprilaire 7004.5$$$$$In-duct
Essick Air EP9 5004$$$Pedestal
Aprilaire 5004$$$In-duct
Aprilaire 600M4$$$In-duct

How They Work

Before we compare models under the whole house humidifier category, let us take a quick look at how they basically work.

In general, humidifiers produce a type of mist from water, oftentimes visible like a thin smoke, which evaporates quickly into the air. This can be in form of cool mist or warm mist depending on your preferences. Most people really prefer the cool mist because it creates a fresh ambience in the room but others like the warm mist, especially during the winter seasons.

Cool mist offers a great deal of comfort to irritations caused by hot dry weather. To know more about cool mist humidifiers, read our Best Cool Mist Humidifiers guide. Warm mist, on the other hand, creates a soothing vapour which helps congestion and dry skin caused by cold dry air. You can also read our Best Warm Mist Humidifiers guide.

As for whole house humidifiers, the units are typically installed into your duct or heating system to increase the humidity in the entire house. They can be installed in your central heating and cooling system. They are sometimes called in-duct humidifiers. Here is a very simple overview of how whole house humidifiers work.

  • Ducts

    the whole house humidifier is tapped into the air ducts and is ideal if you have a forced-air heating system. This will humidify the whole house, especially in colder seasons.

  • Plumbing

    they are then plumbed into the water supply so you don’t have to fill a particular tank. Your water system will serve as the water source for the humidifier.

  • Console

    Some whole house humidifiers are designed as consoles, which actually look like the single room units. However, they cover larger areas. But in this guide, we will focus on the ones installed on your system since consoles and pedestal types work pretty much the same as single room humidifiers.

  • Pedestal

    These are bigger than consoles and must be placed upright in a dedicated space in your house. They use the same mechanism as single room humidifiers.

How to Choose the Best Whole House Humidifiers

Now that you have a better idea of how whole house humidifiers and humidifiers in general, work, here are a few tips to remember when choosing a whole house unit. These are the important factors to consider.

  • Coverage

    Since you are buying a humidifier for your whole house, it is important that the output coverage match the size of your home. If you live in a small space, its really more practical to just go with a single room unit that can cover larger areas. For whole house units, typical coverage is around 2000 to 3000 square feet; others have bigger capacities up to 4200 square feet if your read our Aprilaire 700 Whole House Humidifier w/ Automatic Digital Control, .75 Gallons/hr Review.

  • Output

    In relation to the coverage, you must check if the output, in other words, the amount of mist it produces in a certain period of time, is enough for your needs. 0.5 gallons per hour to 0.7 gallons per hour is ideal for average-sized homes.

  • Filter

    Since the humidifier will use your main water source, it is important that it comes with a reliable filter so that the air is fresh and clean. These are usually pads that need to be replaced every once in a while.

  • Humidistat

    A very helpful feature for whole house humidifiers is a humidistat. This helps avoid condensation in your house caused by too much humidity. Some offer automatic adjustment so you don’t have to manually program it every time.


There are other factors that matter in choosing a whole house humidifier, as with any other product. But above are the most important ones. Remember to keep ease of use in mind and operation costs, and weigh which one will be more practical in the long run.

Further Reading on Best Humidifiers