Best Whole House Humidifiers of 2020

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Categories Humidifiers
Whole house humidifiers for large spaces. 

Do you live in a very dry part of the country, or do you have to keep your home heated by a furnace all through the winter? Whatever the reason is, you may have had to deal with dry, discomforting air in your home. Fortunately, this is a problem that can be solved.

The best whole house humidifiers offer an excellent solution to humidify the entire home at once rather than relying on a portable option that can be cumbersome. They increase the level of humidity by injecting water vapor into the air throughout the home.


Types of Humidifiers

Cool Mist Humidifiers

Honeywell Home HE360A1075 HE360A Whole House Humidifier, light gray
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Cool mist humidifiers function without a heating element and often use a wick in diffusing mist around your home. The fan is an important feature of this kind and serves to blow air through the filter.

Due to the lack of a heating element, cool mist models are relatively energy-efficient. This lack of element also makes them safer to use around children.

PROS:
  • Energy-efficient.
  • Reduce room temperature on hot days.
  • Includes filters to purify the air.
  • Safer for children.
  • Ideal during the summer.
CONS:
  • Harder to clean and maintain.
  • Noisy at maximum capacity.

Warm Mist Humidifiers

Aprilaire - 865Z 865 Whole Home Steam Humidifier, Manual Steam Humidifier with Wall Mount Fan, Whole House Humidifier for Homes without HVAC Duct System up to 6,200 Sq. Ft.
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The water in a warm mist humidifier is heated up almost to boiling point by a heating element. This heated water is then dispersed around as vapor, which can bring a snuggly and warm feeling around the home when it’s cold.

Since warm mist models need to heat the water first, they use up more energy. Despite this, they’re reported to be a popular choice for many.

PROS:
  • Don’t use fans, so are quieter.
  • Raises room temperature.
  • Less prone to mold.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Well-suited to the winter.
CONS:
  • Consume more electricity.
  • Risk to children due to heating elements.

What to Consider Before Acquiring a Humidifier

We know you’re keen to jump to the best whole house humidifiers that we’ve recommended. But, wait a few more moments and take into consideration the following factors before you buy!

Environment

Many whole house humidifiers operate by injecting mist — warm or cool — into the environment.

For cold environments, a warm mist whole house humidifier serves the dual purpose of increasing humidity and temperature. In such environments, cool mist may be counterproductive and further reduce the temperature of the home.

On the other hand, in warmer temperatures, a cool mist whole house humidifier will be an ideal choice. It’ll perform the dual functions of reducing the temperature and humidifying your home.

Features

Look out for these key features of whole-house humidifiers:

Humidistat

Environments should be kept at a healthy, constant moisture level. A humidistat is an essential feature that could impact on the health of your families. Maintaining optimal humidity will reduce the risk of suffering from heat strokes, dehydration, and fainting, in some cases (1).

Water Tank Indicator

This feature is key to knowing when your tank is drained or running low.

Auto Shut-Off

After procuring a humidifier, maintenance should be a priority. An in-built auto shut off mechanism is essential for this since it turns the unit off when water levels are low.

Filter Indicator

Many, but not all, humidifiers clean the air with in-built filters. These are handy but aren’t a staple. Filter indicators are ideal for an at-a-glance check if the filters are operating optimally.

Warning

A clogged filter can release pollutants back into the air and become a health risk, so ensure you clean out the filter regularly.

Noise

Fans are the major cause of the noise produced by humidifiers. This makes warm mist and ultrasonic humidifiers the quietest you’ll find. With these two types, the vapor doesn’t need to be ejected into the atmosphere by a fan, as is the case with cool mist humidifiers.

On the high setting, the noise produced by the fans could be loud enough to disturb your sleep. This is a factor worth considering, especially in houses where there are babies or light sleepers.

Capacity

How disappointing would it be to find out that your humidifier is good enough for just one room when you have four rooms? Knowing the capacity is vital before making a purchase. Whole-house humidifiers should be able to service a few thousand square feet.

It’s vital to ask about the mist output when trying to figure out the capacity of a humidifier. A higher output means that your spaces will be humidified faster.

Water Tank Size

This feature ties in perfectly with the capacity. Whole-house humidifiers cover a lot of ground. This directly impacts the amount of water they need to function. You wouldn’t want to refill your tank hourly or even daily.

Humidifiers will consume more water when they’re running on their highest settings. The ability to go for longer periods before needing a refill is a great advantage. You should also consider one that has an easily detachable water tank.


The Best Whole House Humidifiers of 2020

We’ve extensively researched some of the most in-demand products on the market and have also taken into consideration what consumers’ reactions. The result? These seven best whole-house humidifiers.

1. Honeywell Light Gray Whole House Humidifier

Best All Round Whole-House Humidifier

Honeywell Home HE360A1075 HE360A Whole House Humidifier, light gray
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The backlash of very low humidity could be cracks on wooden furniture, carpet shock, and dry skin (2).

This Honeywell model is built to get rid of dry air in the house. It’s equipped with a distribution tray, which allows the most efficient use of water in reducing heat and saves on energy consumption.

Why We Love It

Flow-Through Technology

Flow-through technology ensures that water isn’t stagnant in a humidifier reservoir. This maintenance-related feature ensures that the unit will stay cleaner for a longer period. It’s reported that you won’t need to clean every 2-3 months, depending on your house settings.

Control Ease

We like how user-friendly this unit is and that the humidistat can be set for optimal humidity relative to outside humidity. Also, the user manual includes a recommendation table for reference while setting the thermostat.

Easy Installation

This model is installed directly onto the air handler or warm air supply of your forced air furnace. It’s a process that’s fairly easy to do. To complete the installation, you’ll need the installation kit and connecting components.

Up to 4,200 Square-foot Reach

The 4,200 square-foot coverage makes this model ideal for a big house. It’ll produce up to 18 gallons of moisture daily to keep your home adequately moist.

Keep In Mind

Installation Kit

When purchasing this humidifier, keep in mind that you’ll have to procure the installation kit separately.

Floor Drain

This model requires the use of a floor drain, which may be an additional cost if there isn’t one at the installation site.

Additional Specs

Type of Humidifier Cool mist
Capacity 18 gallons per day
Coverage 4,200 sq. ft.
Weight 18 pounds
Dimensions 10.2 x 15.2 x 14 inches

2. Aircare MA1201 Whole-House Evaporative Humidifier

Best Budget Whole-House Humidifier

AIRCARE MA1201 Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier, White
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Have you considered why a lot of health problems seem to surface during wintertime? Ranging from the flu to allergy reactions to skin problems and static electricity shocks? Well, these may have a lot to do with dry air during the cold seasons.

The Aircare MA1201 is built to be of immense help in mitigating these problems. Plus, it’s an option that doesn’t set you back financially. It’s built with features that ensure your atmosphere is perfectly humidified at the recommended levels.

Why We Love It

Up to 3,600 Square-Foot Reach

This humidifier has an extensive reach and will serve spaces as large as 3,600 square feet, which is about the equivalent of a small house. Alternatively, if you don’t have this much space, you could go for the model with a 2,600 square-feet reach.

Mist Evaporative Technology

It employs cool mist evaporative technology to inject moisture into the surroundings, reducing the risk of static shocks. Moisture plays a vital role in rendering the flu virus powerless and slowing down the rate of transmission (3).

Tank Refill and Maintenance

The 3.6-gallon tank means that it serves for up to 36 hours before a refill is required. On top of this, the tank is moderately easy to fill, as you will just need to lay it flat in a sink while it fills up.

It’s also quite easy to clean, with best practice being to clean every two weeks to avoid mold growth.

Movement

If ease of movement is important to you, this model should be a consideration. It comes with tiny caster wheels, removing the need for lifting it for transportation.

Quick Tip

If you need to take it upstairs, it’s advisable to empty the tank before lifting.
Humidistat

This model is equipped with an automatic digital humidistat that displays humidity levels. The humidistat also triggers an auto shut-off when the desired level is reached.

This feature is a great energy-saver. The auto-shutdown feature is also triggered by low water levels in the tank.

Keep In Mind

Noise

Since this is a cool mist humidifier, users report that the fan can be noisy at night. Consider adjusting the fan speed to keep the noise to minimal levels while the household is sleeping.

Additional Specs

Type of Humidifier Cool mist
Capacity 3.6 gallons
Coverage Up to 3,600 sq. ft.
Weight 14 pounds
Dimensions 14.5 x 21.5 x 20.5 inches

3. Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier

Best Furniture-Friendly Whole-House Humidifier

Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier
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This Aprilaire 700 does not have the coverage strength of the larger models. However, with an up to 4,200 square foot range, it still classifies as a high-capacity humidifier .

This model is fan-powered and works together with the home’s cooling and heating system. It does this by the fan sucking in non-humidified air, humidifying it and circulating it via the vents to every room in the house.

Why We Love It

Up to 4,200 Square-Foot Reach

This 4,200 square-foot capacity utilizes approximately 0.75 gallons of water every hour and a total of 18 gallons daily. This may not seem like a lot of water, but it’s enough water to humidify a big house.

Great for Furniture and Electronic Devices

This humidifier makes sure that the static electricity from dry air is in check by drawing in non-humidified air. This thereby gives the assurance of longevity to your wooden furniture, paintings, artwork and electronics.

Automatic Digital Control

The automatic digital control allows you to adjust the humidity levels of the surroundings according to your desired preferences. You’ll need to first enter your desired humidity for this to work.

Noise

It’s a perfect humidifier for night-time since it’ll work efficiently, raising the humidity by up to 50 percent using little energy. It integrates directly with your home HVAC system and doesn’t have loud fans. In comparison to other console models, it’s quiet and smooth.

Programmable Features

The Aprilaire 700 has integrated programmable features and statistics, such as relative humidity and the current temperature. This gives it an edge in comparison to similarly priced models.

Keep In Mind

Installation

With this model needing to integrate into an HVAC system, users report the installation to be a bit tricky. Consider calling in an expert to help with this process and bear in mind that it will cost you, so factor that in if you have a budget.

Additional Specs

Type of Humidifier Cool mist
Capacity Not Specified
Coverage 4,200 sq. ft.
Weight 15 pounds
Dimensions 16 x 11 x 18 inches

4. Aprilaire 800 Whole-House Steam Humidifier

Whole-House Humidifier With the Best Range

Aprilaire - 865Z 865 Whole Home Steam Humidifier, Manual Steam Humidifier with Wall Mount Fan, Whole House Humidifier for Homes without HVAC Duct System up to 6,200 Sq. Ft.
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The Aprilaire brand has more than 50 years of experience in the air quality business and is famous as the creator of the whole-home evaporative humidifier. It’s a leader in indoor air quality solutions, and the Aprilaire 800 is one of the company’s more popular whole-house humidifiers.

This model is a steam humidifier and replaces the thermostat with a humidistat. It functions to sense the moisture of the surrounding atmosphere. Then, it triggers a humidifying process when the humidity drops below the ideal level.

Why We Love It

6,200 Square-Foot Reach

Of all the humidifiers we recommend, the Aprilaire 800 whole house humidifier has the largest reach of 6,200 square feet. This, typically, is space equivalent to a big house.

Electrode Technology

It makes use of an electrode technology, which is reported to be energy-efficient and user-friendly.

At the end of the winter season, you can easily replace the canister that houses the electrodes without needing to call an expert.

User-Friendly Interface

Some humidifiers come with complex interfaces and control options. With this model, the user interface is intuitive and ideal for someone who hasn’t operated a humidifier before.

The interface contains the following with indicator lights:

  • Power button.
  • Steam icon.
  • Fill icon.
  • Drain icon.
  • Service icon.
Dual-Sensor Automatic Mode & Humidistat

We like that this model is built to function either manually or automatically, depending on user preference. However, it comes with an auto-mode that’s even more impressive.

This mode allows it to monitor and automatically respond to humidity changes inside your home, depending on the outside temperature levels.

Also, this mode will notify you when heat is being released or when water is being drained. It’ll also drain the water automatically after 168 hours, in preparation for canister replacement.

Keep In Mind

Warranty

The Aprilaire 800 comes with a 5-year limited warranty. However, the initial installation must be done by an authorized technician, or else the warranty is void. Users report that the installation process is quite easy, and most people would rather prefer doing it themselves.

Additional Specs

Type of Humidifier Warm mist
Capacity 11.5 to 34.6 gallons
Coverage 6,200 sq. ft.
Weight 34.5 pounds
Dimensions 10.125 x 20.875 x 7.125 inches

5. Honeywell HCM-6009 Cool Moisture Humidifier

Best Beginner-Friendly Whole-House Humidifier

Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier
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The Honeywell HCM-6009 has a sturdy round-shaped design. In comparison to other humidifiers, it’s quite heavy.

If you’ve never used a humidifier, this easy-to-use and beginner-friendly model may be a great starting place.

What’s great about it is the unique air-washing technology, which is useful in reducing allergy symptoms by cleaning dust and pollen.

Why We Love It

Filtered Cool Moisture

It makes use of evaporative technology, which blows moisture off the wick filter. This filter also ensures the air is clean and safe to breathe in.

Moisture Control

It has an adjustable moisture control with various output settings. This can trigger an automatic shutdown when the desired moisture level is reached. An empty tank will also trigger a shutdown.

Refilling

It comes with twin tanks that make refilling and carrying easy. These also have wide openings, which is a key maintenance-related feature for ease of cleaning the tank.

Keep In Mind

Weight

It’s quite heavy when compared to many other models, and this is true even when it’s empty.

No Auto Setting

Users report an absence of auto settings, so you’ll have to choose the desired fan speed and let it run.

Additional Specs

Type of Humidifier Cool mist
Capacity 9 gallons
Coverage 23,000 square feet
Weight 19.95 pounds
Dimensions 23.1 x 15 x 17.5 inches

6. Aircare EP9 800 Digital Whole-House Pedestal-Style Humidifier

Best Multi-Purpose Whole-House Humidifier

AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Whole-House Pedestal-Style Evaporative Humidifier, Espresso
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Aircare is popular for its well-designed, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing humidifiers. This model falls well into this category.

It’s able to control the humidity in a house of up to 2,400 square feet, which is almost equivalent to an average United States home size.

When set in a central location, it can increase humidity without the need to buy a furnace humidifier.

Why We Love It

Multi-function

The primary role of a humidifier is to control atmospheric humidity levels. This unit serves that purpose and a bit more.

The pedestal-style humidifier can be a makeshift table, with an espresso color and a replaceable 12 x 12-inch tile top. It can match the design of your living space and serves the function of extra furniture.

User-Friendly

It’s quite straightforward to operate since there are only three buttons:

  • Power.
  • Target humidity.
  • Fan levels.
Auto Humidistat

This function takes the burden of determining the required humidity levels from you. The unit will adjust the inside humidity of the house relative to the outside humidity levels.

Automatic Shutdown

If you have concerns over energy use, then this feature may be the one to take note of. To make it easier to use, the burden of shutting down is handled by the unit itself. When the desired humidity level is reached, the shutdown mechanism is triggered.

Keep In Mind

Noise

Users report that the noise from this fan is off-putting when running at high speeds.

Additional Specs

Type of Humidifier Cool mist
Capacity Not Specified
Coverage 2,400 square feet
Weight 27 pounds
Dimensions 18 x 18 x 27.2 inches

7. Aircare 826000 Space-Saver Humidifier

Most Aesthetic Whole-House Humidifier

AIRCARE 826000 Space-Saver, White SpaceSaver Evaporative Humidifier for 2300 sq. ft
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The Aircare 826000 Space-Saver is a great way to increase humidity at home. By raising the indoor humidity levels, it makes airborne virus particles become dormant.

It’s a sleek-looking, space-saving whole house humidifier. The top of the unit sucks in dry air, which is moisturized as it passes through the reservoir’s evaporative wick and disperses back into the air from the top of the unit.

Why We Love It

Convenient Refilling

Refilling water is very easy with this humidifier. Since it’s filled from the top, all you need to do is pour water directly from above into the reservoir. There’s no tilting or turning to get a good filling angle, which is something users report with other models.

It has a 6-gallon tank and an extended runtime of 70 hours, which allows for some spacing between refills.

Presence of a Filter

The Aircare 826000 comes equipped with a powerful Trapmax filter. This helps trap allergens and possesses antimicrobial properties for cleaner air.

Wick Replacement

We recommend that you change the wick at the start of every season. If you live in areas with hard water, you may need to make more frequent replacements.
Coverage Area

Consider this model as ideally suited for small houses. It’ll work efficiently to humidify spaces as large as 2,400 square feet.

Keep In Mind

No Automation

It doesn’t come with an automatic humidifier. This means it’s up to you to manually set and change the humidity levels.

Additional Specs

Type of Humidifier Cool mist
Capacity 6 gallons
Coverage 2,400 sq. ft.
Weight 15.2 pounds
Dimensions 22 x 13 x 17.75 inches

Whole House Humidifier Comparison Chart

Product Best Type Capacity Coverage Weight Dimensions
Honeywell Whole House Humidifier All Round Cool mist 18 gal/day 4,200 sq. ft. 18 lbs 10.2 x 15.2 x 14″
Aircare MA1201 Evaporative Humidifier Budget Pick Cool mist 3.6 gal. Up to 3,600 sq. ft. 14 lbs 14.5 x 21.5 x 20.5″
Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier Furniture-Friendly Cool mist N/A 4,200 sq. ft. 15 lbs 16 x 11 x 18″
Aprilaire 800 Steam Humidifier Range Warm mist 11.5 to 34.6 gal. 6,200 sq. ft. 34.5 lbs 10.125 x 20.875 x 7.125″
Honeywell HCM-6009 Cool Mist Humidifier Beginner-Friendly Cool mist 9 gal. 23,000 sq ft 19.95 lbs 23.1 x 15 x 17.5″
Aircare EP9 800 Digital Pedestal-Style Multi-Purpose Cool mist N/A 2,400 sq ft 27 lbs 18 x 18 x 27.2″
Aircare 826000 Space-Saver Humidifier Aesthetic Cool mist 6 gal. 2,400 sq. ft. 15.2 lbs 22 x 13 x 17.75″
Jump to the Full Whole House Humidifier Reviews

All-Rounder Humidifiers

Having a humidifier is a necessity for most homes, especially during the winter season. It improves the standard of living, and the benefits of owning one make the cost of acquisition worth every cent.

The best whole house humidifiers take away the need to buy smaller room-size humidifiers. This allows you to control house humidity levels from a central location.

Your final choice will be down to your personal preference, but it’s important to consider the age of the children living in the house before buying a humidifier. If you have small kids around, consider avoiding whole house humidifiers because of the risk of burns posed by their hot elements.

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About the Author

Matthew Sullivan

Matthew is a freelance writer with several years of experience in DIY and HVAC. For as long as he can remember, Matthew has always found great pleasure in taking things apart and learning how to put them back together.
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