Get a new HVAC system on us!’s Guide to Humidifiers: Costs, Benefits, Brands & More

HVAC Logo IconBy HVAC.comSeptember 25, 2023
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Portable humidifier

No one wants to endure the effects of dry air in the home – that’s where house humidifiers come in! Add moisture to the air in a room or across the entire home and avoid static shocks, dry nasal passages, dry skin, and the other negatives that dry air brings.

Learn all you need to know about house humidifiers and the humidifier benefits you gain when this equipment is in use through’s Guide to Humidifiers.

Humidifier FAQ

Find the answers to the most common humidifier FAQs below! Our experts answer humidifier FAQs about system types, maintenance, and more.

What types of house humidifiers are available?

To add humidity to your home’s air, either a portable humidifier or whole home humidifier can be used.

  • Portable humidifiers are ideal for smaller spaces or targeted humidification of only certain areas in the home.
  • Whole house humidifiers provide humidification across the entire home.

What are whole house humidifiers?

Whole house humidifiers work with the home’s HVAC system to infuse conditioned air with moisture and circulate it throughout indoor living areas. They have dedicated plumbing connections so there is no need to refill a water reservoir on a regular basis.

There are three different types of whole house humidifiers:

  • Bypass: Bypass house humidifiers are installed on bypass ducting at the furnace, and rely on the furnace’s fan motor to push treated air through ductwork. They are only able to be used when the HVAC system runs. These humidifiers use a water panel to add moisture to indoor air.
  • Fan-powered: Fan-powered house humidifiers have their own fan and are able to run at any time, even if the HVAC system is not on. They also use a water panel to increase relative humidity levels. No bypass duct is needed, making them well-suited for applications where space is limited.
  • Steam: Steam humidifiers heat water to create steam that is circulated through ducts to add moisture to the air. These are the most efficient and fast humidifiers available, and work without the need for an HVAC system cycle.

What types of portable humidifiers are available?

There are four main types of portable humidifiers available:

  • Cool mist: The unit creates a cool vapor which is released into the air to add moisture.
  • Ultrasonic: A metallic diaphragm vibrates within the unit to create droplets of water that mix with the air.
  • Evaporative: These humidifiers use a fan to move humidity throughout a space.
  • Warm mist: This unit produces a warm vapor to add humidity within the air of an indoor space.

As far as portable humidifiers go, there are many different equipment makes and models on the market. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, so weigh your options carefully to find the best fit for your needs.

How do users care for house humidifiers?

House humidifier care really depends on the type of unit you use. For both portable and whole home units, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance.

How Much Do House Humidifiers Cost?

How much house humidifiers cost varies based on the type of humidifier you want to purchase as well as the brand and model.

  • Portable humidifiers can cost as little as $20 up to several $100s of dollars, depending on brand and model.
  • Whole house humidifiers average around $500 to purchase and install, going up to over $1,000 for installation of higher-end models.

Once you receive an HVAC quote for a whole-house humidifier, QuoteScore from can analyze it to determine if it’s a fair deal.

Humidifier Benefits

When you install a house humidifier to add moisture in your home, the humidifier benefits you receive are numerous. The top humidifier benefits homeowners gain include:

  • Balanced relative humidity levels throughout the year.
  • Stay warmer at lower temperatures with the right humidity level, which helps you cut back on heating energy consumption.
  • Avoid the respiratory issues, dry skin, asthma, and allergy symptoms that arise when indoor moisture levels are too low.
  • Prevent annoying static shock that occurs with dry air.
  • Keep airborne illnesses at bay when indoor humidity levels are balanced.
  • Protect wood furniture, finishes, and building materials throughout the home that can crack due to dry air exposure.
  • Lessen snoring when you remedy dry air in the bedroom, and sleep more comfortably.
  • Avoid bloody noses that are often caused by dry nasal passages due to dry air.

Humidifier Brands

When it comes to whole house humidifiers, there are a number of great equipment brands to choose from. Check out the HVAC brands below to find humidification and indoor air quality solutions for your home.


Aprilaire has been in the business of developing indoor air quality products for more than 80 years. Their humidifiers are a staple in homes, which keep relative humidity levels balanced throughout the year.

Learn more about Aprilaire house humidifiers through the resources below:


Honeywell is a fixture in the HVAC industry, manufacturing a wide variety of home comfort systems and indoor air quality products. With Honeywell house humidifiers, gain the moisture your home needs with fan-powered, bypass, or steam humidifier options.

Learn more about Honeywell house humidifiers through the resources below:

Related Articles on House Humidifiers

Room Humidifiers for Enhanced Indoor Comfort

What Homeowners Need to Know About Humidifier Water Panels

Humidifier Maintenance Checklist

Top 10 Quietest Portable Humidifiers

Air Quality

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