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Best Whole House Humidifiers: 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Best Whole House Humidifiers: 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Searching for the best whole-house humidifiers? If so, keep reading. This guide covers the best models, their pros and cons, prices, and things to consider. Read on to learn all you need to know.


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If the air inside your home is too dry, you’ll need a whole-house humidifier to rectify it. These humidifiers don’t just increase humidity in one room.

What is a whole house humidifier graphic featuring a unit on the ductwork

They add moisture to the air inside your entire home. A hot, humid day is the stuff of nightmares for most people, but gently increasing humidity inside a temperature-controlled home is nothing like that.

Humans need a certain amount of humidity in the air to thrive. A whole-house humidifier is the only way to increase humidity long-term.

Do You Have Dry Indoor Air?

If you have dry indoor air with low humidity, you’ve probably noticed symptoms like: 

  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Brittle hair and chapped lips
  • Asthma and allergy problems
  • Eczema and acne flare-ups
  • Nosebleeds
  • Less immunity to infection and disease
  • Static in hair and clothes

Dry indoor air even saps moisture from hardwood floors, furniture, doors, and window frames. This can cause floors to creak, walls and door frames to shift, and wood to constrict, creating gaps around door and window openings.  

How Whole House Humidifiers Can Help

Whole house water humidifier

Lost_in_the_Midwest/Shutterstock

Thankfully, the fix is simple. Getting a whole house humidifier will restore moisture to your hair and skin, mild allergy and eczema flare-ups, build your immune system, and help keep your furnishings and home in good shape. 

But not all humidifiers are made equally. You don’t want to shell out money for a unit that doesn’t work or will damage your home with excess moisture.

If you want the best whole house humidifier, you must do some research and read countless reviews for different units. 

We’ve done the work so you don’t have to. We put together a list of the ten best whole house humidifiers. All the products that made it on our list have:

  • Great customer reviews
  • Useful features
  • Adequate moisture output
  • Limited maintenance
  • Affordable prices

Get ready to check out the ten best whole house humidifiers on the market! 

10 Best Whole House Humidifiers of 2020

Check list and marker to symbolize the best whole house humidifiers

Spacezerocom/Shutterstock

Our list includes both furnace mount and portable whole-house humidifiers. The first five units on the list are furnace mount humidifiers that install directly on your HVAC system.

They hook up to your home’s water lines, so you never have to refill them. They are completely silent and don’t take up any floor space. Best of all, they put out consistent moisture to keep your home’s humidity levels in the pleasant range you set.

The only downsides to these units: Installation is more complex and tends to be more expensive than portable units. The last 5 units are considered portable humidifiers because they are not mounted to your HVAC system.

Instead, they are placed in a central location in your home and rely on an internal motor and fan to push the humidified air into all areas of your home. 

These can be great options for anyone who doesn’t want to install a furnace mount unit or hire a contractor to do it. But there are a couple downsides to these units.

They’re not as effective as furnace mount humidifiers, they require regular maintenance and attention (refilling water levels), they’re noisier, and are more prone to mineral buildup and mold.

Here are the best whole house humidifiers you can find on the market today.

1. Aprilaire 700 Automatic Furnace Mount Humidifier

Aprilaire 700 automatic whole-house humidifier

Image Source: Amazon.com

The Aprilaire automatic humidifier is a powered flow-through humidifier installed on your HVAC system’s warm air supply. The built-in fan pulls dry air from your furnace in and humidifies it.

It’s installed with your water connection, so you never need to refill it. We like the built-in drain that flushes any mineral or hard water buildup out and keeps water from accumulating. 

It puts out a whopping 18 gallons of moisture per day, enough for homes up to 4,200 square feet. If you’re in a dry or cold climate, this unit is a must.

Digital controls and very little maintenance (just replace the water panel filter once or twice a year) make this one of the best whole house humidifiers we’ve seen. 

Others agree – it gets 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. The unit costs just over $250.

  • Best for small, medium, and large homes
  • Up to 4,200 square foot coverage
  • 18-gallon daily output
  • Built-in drain 
  • Built-in fan
  • No need to refill
  • Runs continuously
  • 100% silent

Find it here: Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier

2. Aprilaire 400 Automatic Water-Saving Furnace Mount Humidifier

Aprilaire 400 Automatic Water-Saving Furnace Mount Humidifier

Image Source: Amazon.com

The Aprilaire 400 is one of the best humidifiers available today. It shares a lot of the same features the 700 model offers, but is a little different. Like the 700, it is automatic.

This means it adjusts to the current amount of humidity in your home using sensors. It attaches to your HVAC system to blow the humidified air throughout your home.

With a built-in drain and fan and direct connection to your plumbing, you never need to add water. Unlike the 700, the 400 model is a water-saving unit.

It is smaller and doesn’t cover as much square footage as the larger model. It releases up to 17 gallons of moisture into the air each day to keep your home at the perfect humidity level.

The humidifier uses sensors to determine when to run and when to shut off.  Choose this model if your home is smaller than 4,000 square feet, and you’d like to reduce your water bill.

It’s also a great choice if you like the Aprilaire 700 but want to pay a little less. These units are less expensive than the 700 model, available around $215.

  • Best for medium homes
  • Up to 4,000 square foot coverage
  • Up to 17-gallon daily output
  • Conserves water
  • Blow-through humidifier
  • Installation kit included
  • Outdoor temperature sensor included
  • Runs continuously
  • 100% silent

Find it here: Aprilaire 400 Automatic Water-Saving Furnace Mount Humidifier

3. Hamilton Water-Saving Furnace Mount Humidifier

Hamilton Water-Saving Furnace Mount Humidifier

Image Source: Home Depot

The Hamilton furnace mount whole house humidifier is a great product that, like the Aprilaire 700 and 400 models, installs directly on your HVAC system. It connects to your home’s water, so you never need to refill it. 

Unlike the Aprilaire, this model won’t work for homes larger than 3,000 square feet, or in homes around 3,000 square feet that aren’t well insulated. The reviews are very good (4 out of 5 stars on average) but not quite as good as the Aprilaire. 

On the plus side, this unit uses up to 80% less water than similar products. That can result in cost savings month after month. It’s also a little cheaper than the Aprilaire 700 model. It costs about $190 at Home Depot.

  • Best for small to medium homes
  • Up to 3,000 square foot coverage
  • Up to 13-gallon daily output
  • Blow-through humidifier
  • Installation kit included
  • Runs continuously
  • 100% silent

Find it here: Hamilton Whole House Furnace Mount Flow-Through Humidifier

4. Honeywell Home Power Flow-Through Furnace Mount Humidifier

Honeywell Home Power Flow-Through Furnace Mount Humidifier

Image Source: Amazon.com

The Honeywell Home Power Flow-Through humidifier shares many features and characteristics with the Aprilaire and Hamilton models above. It is a furnace mount humidifier that installs directly on your home’s HVAC system.

As far as the amount of moisture it puts out daily, it’s on par with the Aprilaire at up to 18 gallons per day. It is more effective than the Hamilton water-saving furnace mount model, which puts out 13 gallons per day maximum.

And it can humidify more square footage than the other models, at up to 4,500 square foot coverage. It’s not without its cons, though. It comes with a humidistat, but it’s separate from the unit and has to be wired into the humidifier.

Some reviewers said it took more than 4 hours to install, but this could be due to lack of experience or unexpected issues with the HVAC system. It also requires a floor drain, which can be a problem for some. 

Overall, it’s a great unit that can work for nearly any size home, and it’s comparable in price to the Aprilaire 700 at around $230.

  • Best for small, medium, and large homes
  • Up to 4,500 square foot coverage
  • Up to 18-gallon daily output
  • Installation kit included
  • Floor drain required
  • Runs continuously 
  • 100% silent

Find it here: Honeywell Home Whole House Humidifier

5. Honeywell Home Bypass Flow-Through Furnace Mount Humidifier

AIRCARE Designer Series 3.5-Gallon Portable Humidifier

Image Source: Home Depot

The Honeywell Home Bypass Flow-Through humidifier is very similar to the Honeywell Home Power Flow-Through unit above, but there are important distinctions. It’s still mounted to the HVAC system, which still creates humidity.

And it never requires water refills. But a few things make it different. The bypass unit is installed on the HVAC system, uses water from the home’s plumbing system, and carries the humidified air throughout the home via ductwork.

By comparison, the power unit above has the added benefit of an electric fan that blows air across the water panel, producing more humidity. 

This unit is a slightly cheaper model that doesn’t include a fan, won’t cover as many square feet as the power unit, and doesn’t create quite as much humidity.

It does require a floor drain like the power model. The differences between the two may not be very noticeable, and if you want to save a few bucks, this would be a great option. It’s around $168 from Home Depot.

  • Best for small older homes; medium and large homes less than 20 years old
  • Up to 2,000 square foot (20+ year old homes) or 4,000 square foot coverage (newer homes)
  • Uses 30% less water than standard units
  • Installation kit included
  • Humidistat included
  • Floor drain required
  • Runs continuously
  • 100% silent

Find it here: Honeywell Home By-Pass Flow-Through Humidifier with Water Savings

6. AIRCARE Designer Series 3.5-Gallon Portable Humidifier

AIRCARE Designer Series 3.5-Gallon Portable Humidifier

Image Source: Home Depot

Who said humidifiers have to be basic? The AIRCARE Designer Series won’t have to be hidden away because it’s attractive enough to be part of your decor.

It features a digital display touch screen for easy changes to settings and casters for portability throughout the house. The 9-speed motor allows you to increase and decrease the humidifier fan’s speed to the performance level you want.

The triangle shape makes room for three humidifier wicks for increased moisture. On the downside, you’ll have to refill it with water every two days or so.

It runs for 45 hours on a single tank and has an automatic shut-off feature. You can get one for under $120 from Home Depot.

  • Best for small to medium homes
  • 3.5-gallon water capacity
  • Up to 2,400 square foot coverage
  • Up to 7.5-gallon daily output
  • Touchscreen digital display
  • 9-speed motor
  • Side pour-in door
  • Water Refill and Check Filter indicators
  • Adjustable humidistat and automatic shut-off

Find it here: AIRCARE Designer Series 3.5-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier

7. AIRCARE 2.5-Gallon Mini Portable Humidifier

AIRCARE 2.5-Gallon Mini Portable Humidifier

Image Source: Home Depot

One of the smallest and lower-priced models offered by AIRCARE, the 2.5-gallon Mini-Console humidifier is a great choice for homes up to 2,600 square feet.

The 3-speed motor makes it easy to change the fan speed to your preference using the digital controls and display. It’s small enough to not be noticeable, but powerful enough to cover square footage that many larger models can’t.

On the downside, this unit only holds 2.5 gallons of water, so refills will be needed every day and a half or so. Like other AIRCARE products, this humidifier features an adjustable humidistat.

It also has an automatic shut-off, and indicators when it’s time to refill or check the filter. One fill-up runs it for 36 hours, which is impressive for a unit this small. It’s about $90 on Home Depot’s website.

  • Best for small and medium homes
  • 2.5-gallon water capacity
  • Up to 2,600 square foot coverage
  • Up to 8.11-gallon daily output
  • Digital controls and display
  • 3-speed motor
  • Adjustable humidistat and automatic shut-off
  • Check filter and water refill indicators
  • Easy-fill water bottle

Find it here: AIRCARE 2.5 Gal. Evaporative Humidifier for 2,600 sq. ft. 

8. AIRCARE 6-Gallon Portable Humidifier

AIRCARE 6-Gallon Portable Humidifier

Image Source: Home Depot

Called the Space Saver, this humidifier can hold 6 gallons of water and run for a solid 70 hours before automatically shutting off. This ensures it never runs while it’s dry.

There are indicators when it’s time to refill or check the filter to keep it maintained and in top condition. Every day, this little humidifier puts out up to 8.5 gallons of moisture to keep your home more comfortable.

Digital controls make it simple to change settings, and the 3-speed motor allows you to adjust the fan speed to your liking. This model has 4.3 out of 5 stars on the Home Depot website. Pick one up for about $110 on the Home Depot website.

  • Best for small and medium homes
  • 6-Gal. water capacity
  • Up to 2,700 square foot coverage
  • Up to 8.5-gallon daily output
  • Digital display and controls 
  • 3-speed motor
  • Water Refill and Check Filter indicators
  • Adjustable humidistat and automatic shut-off

Find it here: AIRCARE 6-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier

9. Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Portable Humidifier

Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Portable Humidifier

Image Source: Amazon.com

The Vornado Evap40 is an attractive little humidifier that gets the job done for smaller spaces. This unit is popular with those living the tiny house life and anyone in apartments or houses at or under 1,000 square feet. 

It has two 2-gallon removable tanks that are easy to take out for cleaning. The 4-gallon total water capacity isn’t huge compared to other humidifiers, but it’s more than enough for a smaller area.

Run the internal fan on low, medium, or high depending on how much moisture you want released into the air. The built-in humidistat “reads” the amount of humidity in your home.

Then, it automatically adjusts the settings once the air reaches your preference. The little things we don’t love about this unit are the limited area it can handle (less than 1,000 square feet) and manual controls.

It does not have the automatic shut-off feature that so many portable humidifiers have, so you will need to keep an eye on the water levels to ensure it doesn’t continue running without water.

You’ll need to refill the water tanks every 24 hours or so, which can be a hassle. These humidifiers get very good reviews online. Amazon has them for about $110.

  • Best for: Small homes and tiny houses
  • 4-gallon water capacity (two 2-gallon tanks)
  • Up to 1,000 square foot coverage
  • Up to 4-gallon daily output
  • Manual control panel
  • Two wick filters
  • 3-speed fan
  • Auto-adjust humidity

Find it here: Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Portable Humidifier

10. Levoit Hybrid Ultrasonic Warm and Cool Mist Portable Humidifier

Levoit Hybrid Ultrasonic Warm and Cool Mist Portable Humidifier

Image Source: Home Depot

The Levoit Ultrasonic Warm and Cool Mist humidifier is very popular. The warm mist option is soothing and quickly increases the humidity in a 25% space than other types of units.

You can choose between 3 different levels of warm and cool mist. Like the Vornado humidifier above, the Levoit warm mist humidifier is intended for small homes and apartments at or below 1,000 square feet.

A digital touchscreen display shows the actual humidity in the area, allowing you to program it to your preference. All you have to do is tap the option you want.

There’s a bonus remote control so you can turn it up, down, on, or off from afar. The 6-liter capacity holds plenty of water, and if you keep it on all day, it takes about 20-36 hours before it needs to be refilled.

We like the smart auto mode that adjusts the humidity output based on the current humidity reading. There’s also an empty tank indicator, automatic shut-off, and timer. 

This one is a customer favorite. Uniquely, a full 100% of the customers who have already purchased this unit from Home Depot said they recommend it. It has a 4.5-star rating on the website.

You can get one for about $120 on the Home Depot website.

  • Best for small homes and tiny houses
  • Up to 1,000 square foot coverage
  • 6-liter water capacity
  • Warm and cool mist settings
  • Digital touchscreen controls
  • Auto-adjust humidity
  • Remote control
  • Empty tank indicator
  • Automatic shut-off
  • 3-speed fan

Find it here: Levoit LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier

Choosing the Best Whole House Humidifier

Whole house humidifier attached to HVAC heating duct

Lost_in_the_Midwest/Shutterstock

Now that you’ve seen the ten absolute best options on the market, you might be ready to choose the one that’s the best fit for you. When you make your choice, you’ll consider:

  • Your budget: Do you want to spend as little as possible, or pay more for a higher-quality humidifier?
  • Your home square footage: Does the humidifier you’re considering have enough capacity to handle your home’s size?
  • Your refill and maintenance preferences: Do you mind refilling a humidifier every day or two? Would you prefer a unit that connects to your plumbing?
  • Your installation ability: Furnace mount humidifiers require installation that can be challenging for beginning DIYers. Do you want to install, or hire an HVAC tech to install?
  • Your needs overall: Models are available with manual or automatic controls, dials or digital touchscreens, sensors, wick evaporation or warm mist, etc. What features are you specifically looking for in your humidifier?

In general, larger homes will need a furnace mount humidifier to ensure the humidified air can reach every part of the home.

Choose a furnace mount model if you don’t want to mess with refilling a portable model often, want the humidifier to work continuously, and don’t want to hear any noise from a portable machine in your living area.

Smaller homes can get by with a portable humidifier without any problems. Choose a portable model if you don’t mind refilling, want to be able to turn the humidifier on or off easily, spend less, or look for a warm or cool mist humidifier. 

Additional humidity in one room is nice, but the benefits of a whole-house humidifier just can’t be beat. Any model on this list is an excellent choice that will help you say goodbye to dry indoor air and hello to humidity.

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