close up of Aprilaire house humidifier duct

Thinking about getting a whole house humidifier? Winter is coming, the temperature is getting colder, and cold and flu season are ahead of us. As we’ll be spending much more time indoors, it’s essential to pay attention to the air quality in our homes. 

Research has shown that our indoor environment greatly influences how we feel during the winter months. Inadequate air humidity can make us more susceptible to colds and other winter illnesses. So, maintaining proper air moisture is very important for our health. 

Getting a whole house humidifier can help you prevent excessively dry air in all of your rooms. Keep reading to learn more about whole house humidifiers, and decide if they are the right move for you. 

What is a Whole House Humidifier and How Does it Work?

A humidifier is a device that increases moisture in your home when the air inside and outside becomes too dry. Often these are small (like the ones in our best small humidifiers guide), standalone units that plug into an outlet and can be turned on and off as necessary. 

On the other hand, a whole house humidifier is installed in your ductwork and placed near the furnace. It’s directly connected to the water supply, so when the humidifier is working, water continuously runs through it and then evaporates into the air, increasing humidity levels. 

There are several types of whole house humidifiers, but if you decide to invest in one, you should contact professionals and choose the one that suits your house the best. 

How Using a Humidifier Can Help You Stay Healthy 

During winter, the air is much drier than during summer. With the increased temperatures indoors, this gets even worse and may have consequences on your health. When the air is too dry, it may cause sinus congestion, dry skin and throat, nose irritation, bloody nose, or cracked lips. On the other hand, when it’s too moist, it may be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, mold, and mildew. 

When used properly,  a humidifier can be an effective solution to maintain just the right levels of moisture in your home. 

What Are the Pros of a Whole House Humidifier?

There are many advantages of using a whole house humidifier, including:

  1. Automatic humidity control – Dry air is not good for your health, and neither is excessive moisture. The optimal humidity level is between 30% and 50%, and with the whole house humidifier, you can easily set your desired humidity level.  
  1. Low maintenance – With HVAC whole house humidifiers, there’s almost no maintenance except for the one-year filter change. At that time, it would be wise to wipe it down and get rid of mineral debris. 
  1. Indoor air quality – As previously mentioned, adequate air moisture can be truly beneficial to your health. Breathing quality air in will help you with respiratory problems and improve your immune system. 

Besides health, quality air also helps preserve wood floors, wood furniture, and other home products. 

  1. Quiet and out of sight –  Compared to portable humidifiers that are visible and often noisy, whole house humidifiers are concealed as they are built into the heating system. They also do not make any sound. 
  1. Add value to your home –  Installing a whole house humidifier will help your house stand out in the market if you decide to sell it one day.

What Are the Cons of a Whole House Humidifier?

There are not as many cons of the humidifier as the pros, but we should mention the drawbacks as well, so you can have the whole picture and make a proper decision.

  1. Installation – With portable humidifiers, you just get them out of the box, fill them with water, and they are ready to go. But, with an HVAC whole house humidifier, it’s not that easy; they require hiring a professional contractor, and it’s not a DIY job. 
  1. Mold and Mildew Growth – If you don’t maintain the HVAC system and the humidifier properly, there is a chance for mold and mildew growth. In this way, mold can be distributed through the air and cause coughing, sneezing, and itchy eyes. People with allergies and respiratory problems can be greatly affected if the whole home system is not properly maintained. 
  1. Expense – The most significant setback of a whole house humidifier compared to a portable humidifier is the upfront cost. Their price ranges from $150 to $800, depending on the quality. And since you have to pay for a professional installation, you have to add from $250 to $500. The overall cost would be from $400 to $1300. 

However, a whole house humidifier pays off in the long run as it uses far less electricity,  covers your entire home, and requires almost no maintenance. Moreover, a whole house humidifier lasts approximately 10 years, compared to portable humidifiers that last from 2 to 5 years. 

Final Thoughts 

Taking care of the air moisture in your home means taking care of your comfort and your wellbeing. Now that you know all the advantages and disadvantages of the whole house humidifier, you can take everything into consideration and make the best decision for yourself.