Whole House Humidifier - Best Humidifiers for Your Whole Home

Humidifiers for the Whole House

A whole-house humidifier is housed inside heating and air conditioning systems. The best whole house humidifier is one that adds moisture to the air; this can help those with colds or other throat and nasal irritations breathe better. There are several whole house humidifier types to consider.

Humidifier Types

All whole house humidifiers are installed in ducts within furnaces and central air conditioning systems and follow the same basic schematics. These humidifiers, however, have different systems for transporting the moisture to the air. Drum humidifiers utilize fabric belted around a drum shaped frame. The frame picks up water from the water tank, and when the ventilation system is on, it blows air out onto the belt sending a warm mist into the home. Flow-through systems use a similar method to drum systems, but utilize a denser pad. There is also not a reservoir of water in the unit. With the flow-through whole house humidifier system, a valve drips water down onto a dense pad. Warm air then evaporates the moisture and spreads it into the air.

Another option in whole house humidifier types or office humidifiers is a system that automatically sprays mist into the ducts when it detects that the system is on. Called a spray mist humidifier, these systems do not use any pad, the heated air flow circulates the added moisture. Still another type of whole house filter is the whole house steam humidifier. In this type of unit, the water is boiled in a tank, and the steam escapes to increase the household humidity.

Choosing A Whole House Humidifier

The best whole house humidifier varies depending on needs. The more traditional type that installs directly into the heating and cooling systems are great for those looking for a budget humidifier to handle issues caused by dry air. The Lennox Y2787 is one such option. The Lennox Y2787 is also ideal for larger homes since it is designed for living spaces of up to 4,000 square feet. Along with the square feet of the unit its capacity is also important. The capacity is the number of gallons humidified per day. Use the square footage of the home to decide if a unit has adequate capacity. For instance, in a house with a square footage of about 1,000 square feet look for a unit that can humidify around 5 gallons a day and double this amount for homes measuring 2,000 square feet.

Water quality also matters when choosing a steam humidifier. Whole house systems like the Lennox Y3478 can handle water which naturally contains a hefty dose of minerals like well water. A spray mist humidifier, however, is generally not recommended for use with well water as the spray head will get clogged. The Lennox Y3478 system, however, is capable of diluting the minerals to prevent problems with clogging. Similar systems will also prevent mold and mildew buildup which can defeat the purpose of getting a humidifier. A quality whole house steam humidifier and other whole house humidifier types should come with digital control panels. These controls allow homeowners to easily gauge and adjust the amount of humidity in their homes.

Maintenance is very easy when owning a whole house humidifier and can differ somewhat depending on the humidifier type. For humidifiers which use pads, the pads need to be periodically replaced. A whole house steam humidifier, on the other hand, may be more expensive to purchase than other humidifier types. With the advanced technology of the steam humidifier, whole house systems get the benefit of needing less upkeep to remain fully operational. An annual cleaning with soap and water is usually adequate. Units with pads should also be cleaned after the heating season ends or at least annually with a white vinegar and water mix to remove mineral buildup.

The best whole house humidifier will guarantee its performance by offering a warranty. Different brands may carry different warranty lengths, but 5 years is pretty standard. Although single room humidifiers have their advantages, those who really want a unit they can install and forget about it might prefer to get a steam humidifier. Whole house steam humidifiers are not sticking around in the middle of the floor and do not make a lot of noise. They are usually no more noticeable than the hiss of the air conditioning unit. Unlike portable units, there is also no need to manually add water when dealing with whole house humidifiers. Units can be professionally installed, but many are simple enough for do-it-yourselfers to figure out.