All About Whole-House (Central) Humidifiers

If you want a humidifier that is going to be connected to your entire home and that would also be connected to the ducts in your home, then the whole house ones are the ideal way to go. These are also often called central humidifiers, and it can be used for both cooling and even for heating the home. There are plenty of types of humidifiers that you need to consider in order for you to pick the right one for your needs, so here is everything that you must know about the whole house or central humidifiers.

The more you know about these machines, then the more informed a choice you would be able to make about which one is going to be right for you. Not only do you need to know what we think of some of the top models that are on the market, but also what this is and how it works. There is so much that you need to make sure that you are thinking about when it comes to the machines, such as the replacement parts, the initial cost, and much more. Keep reading on to find out how you can make the right choice for your needs and how to find the machine that would fit your needs.

What is Central Humidifier?

You might be wondering just what a central humidifier might be, and this is a machine that would infuse the air that is in the home with some extra water. These come in a wide variety of models that you can pick and choose from for your needs like console, tabletop, central, and even portable options. However, the central option that we are talking about is hard-wired to work with your air conditioning and heating units and even connected to the plumbing system.

This would ensure that all of the moisture is spread throughout the entire house due to the use of the ducts rather than just a single room. These are permanent installations that would work for years, which means they are going to save you money over time, and they are very efficient. This is a great option that you can have installed in your home that would work all year round, no matter what you might need it for. Why should you have to worry about purchasing a unit for each and every room if you don’t have to when you can save yourself money by installing one that can work as a heating and cooling system when needed?

How Does a Central Humidifier Work?

The central or whole-house humidifier would need to be installed and attached to your current ducts in the home, which is close to the furnace. This would also have to be connected to the water supply that is from your home, and there are going to be different types of machines that you would need to consider. If you are using the humidifier, there would either be a pad, a drum that rotates, or the steaming system that would distribute the water throughout the home.

During the time that this machine is running, the water would be continuously running over the pad where the water is collected by the drums or is created into steam. This would be dependent on the type of machine you have purchased, and then the air is pushed into the ducts from the humidifier. This means that there is a lot more evaporated water in the ducts, which is then pushed throughout your entire home. This is the best way to increase the humidity levels throughout your whole house without having to purchase numerous portable machines to get the work done. You also need to consider which is going to be the right method of operation for you, which should include the amount of maintenance required and what parts you are going to have to replace regularly.


Top 5 Best Whole House (Central) Humidifiers

There are so many central humidifiers that you can purchase for your home, and sometimes it can be a confusing process. However, if you let us tell you about the top 5 humidifiers, then we can help to make a choice easier for you and your house, so here is what we have to say.

  1. Aprilaire 600M Whole-House HumidifierAprilaire 600M Best Whole-House Humidifier Review

For those who want a whole-house humidifier that is easy to use, then the Aprilaire 600M whole house humidifier is going to be ideal. This is also low on maintenance since if your house doesn’t have hard water, then the filter would only need to be cleaned around one time per year. This also can cover your whole house or around 4,000 square feet, which is actually a very large home.

It is also very easy to install, and if you have the right tools, then you can do this yourself without having to hire the experts. This can also have an output of around 3 gallons every hour of humidity, which is much more than some of the other available models on the market. Those who have used this model have said that it is the best one within the $150 range and it has a great and easy usage. Read it’s bigger brother Aprilaire Model 700 Full review here. 

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Don’t require a professional to install it
  • Has a higher moisture output level than others
  • Doesn’t need as much maintenance

Cons:

  • Manual humidity settings
  • Need to purchase the materials for installation separately
  • Takes a few hours for installation, which can be cut down by hiring the experts


  1. Honeywell HE360A1075 HE360A Whole House HumidifierHoneywell HE360A Best Whole House Powered Humidifier Review

Honeywell HE360A is a great unit that you can have installed, and that would take care of your entire home up to 4,200 square feet in size. There is a distribution tray for the water that ensures that there is even distribution of it within the air so that your entire home gets the same amount of extra moisture. There is wall mounted humidistat that allows you to easily change the humidity level that you want in the house based on the season that you are in.

This is also a very lightweight model, and it only weighs 18 pounds, which means that you can easily install it near any duct without issues. It also uses the flow-through design, which means you are going to have less maintenance that you are going to have to deal with so you can save money over time. Many people who have purchased this said it was the best model they have used that is under $250.

Pros:

  • No standing water
  • Cost-saving and efficient consumption of water
  • Perfect for larger homes

Cons:

  • Installation kit needs to be purchased separately
  • Need to have a floor drain


  1. GeneralAire 1000A Central HumidifierGeneralAire 1000A Central Humidifier Review

If you are searching for a fan-powered unit, then the GeneralAire 1000A central humidifier is going to be a great model for you to buy. This can be directly installed onto the ducts and then injects moisture into the air of your home, and it can release around 18 gallons on a daily basis. It has a digital automatic humidistat, which makes changing the settings even easier than before.

It also has a monitor for the outdoor temperature so it can calculate the current dew point, which allows it to compensate and change the temperate controls when needed. However, if you want to purchase a model that can let you do both manual and automatic settings, then this is the right one. Those who have purchased and used this model say that it is the top one that they recommend within $500.

Pros:

  • Has both automatic and manual settings
  • Works for homes around 3,000 square feet in size
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Price is more than other models
  • Installation items need to be bought individually


  1. Honeywell HE240A2001 HE240A Whole House HumidifierHoneywell HE240A Best Furnace Humidifier Review

Even if you have a smaller home of around 3,000 square feet, then the Honeywell HE240A2001 HE240A whole house humidifier will be ideal for all of your needs. It uses the evaporative method so that you can be sure all of the air is getting the same amount of moisture. You can also adjust the humidistat to whatever levels you want and turn it off when the device doesn’t need to be used or if you won’t be home.

Also, the maintenance of this machine is going to be easy since you don’t have to clean the filter, but instead, you can purchase a new one and keep the unit working. This is a device that is easy to install, but you might want to have the experts do it to keep the time required down. Everyone who has purchased this says that it is the best option that they have found that is within the $200 range.

Pros:

  • Extremely budget-friendly
  • Ability to set the humidity level to your desired setting
  • No need to purchase the kit for installation separately

Cons:

  • Sometimes it has been reported the humidistat isn’t adjusted properly
  • Customer service isn’t all that great


  1. Aprilaire 700 Whole House Fan Powered HumidifierAprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier Review

This is a fan-based humidifier, and the Aprilaire 700 whole house fan-powered humidifier is ideal for those who have a larger budget. This unit has a capacity of around 0.75 gallons every hour, which is one of the highest capacities available. It can handle a large home of around 4,200 square feet, and it is going to work during all of the seasons without any issues.

If you want something that would make usage easier, then the digital and automatic humidistat that comes with this unit is perfect. Those who have purchased it have loved the machine and how much moisture it puts in the air, and they say it is one of the top models within $300.

Pros:

  • Automatic digital humidistat
  • Ideally, installation should be done by an expert
  • 5-year warranty

Cons:

  • Requires additional wiring and cables for installation
  • Slightly more costly than other models
  • Replacement parts are expensive

These are just some of the top models that are currently on the market, and they have all the various advantages, disadvantages, and features that you need to consider. If you don’t know which one to go for, then make sure to compare these top 5 units so that you can choose the one that would fit your needs. Consider everything carefully when you are making the decision of which one you would want to purchase and what type is going to fit your needs the best.


What’s It Going to Cost Me?

One thing that everyone is going to be asking about and thinking about when they are considering having a whole house or central humidifier installed is the price. There are going to be varying prices that you would be looking at, which would depend on the type of model you are going for. If you are going for the basic model, then you can find the machine for around $150-$200 if you don’t want anything fancy.

However, not only do you have to consider the price of the unit that you are going to purchase, but you are also going to have to think about the costs of having it installed. You would need to have an HVAC expert come to your home and have it installed along with all of the supplies that are needed. Get a few estimates so that you can find what they are saying are the costs regarding the required supplies and installation. The more estimates you get, then the easier you would be able to save yourself money by finding the lowest bid, which should include the labor, the parts, and even the unit if that is how you are purchasing it.

There are units for all price points, but you should make sure that you are considering what features you are going to want before you make a final price decision. Ensure that you have looked at what you can afford and that you are getting detailed estimates so that you can figure out what you have to pay and what is going to be included. Another additional cost that you are going to have to think about is the installation kit that oftentimes doesn’t come included in the unit.


Central Humidifier Pros and Cons vs. Portable Units

There are going to be numerous pros and cons that should be known about the central humidifiers along with the portable units. The more you know about this, then the easier it would be to make the choice that the central ones would be ideal. If you are searching for something that can handle your entire home, then you want the central humidifier rather than the portable ones. Some of the best information that you need to be aware of regarding these different types of machines includes:

  • Central humidifier advantages

    • Works for entire houses up to around 4,500 square feet
    • Increased levels of comfort as moisture are added to the air.
    • Better health since you can avoid dry skin, easy spreading of colds and flu and even respiratory infections
    • Lower damage to the inside of your home from dry air, including wood furniture splitting or warping
    • Saves energy and money in your home
    • Very durable and will last for many years before needing to be replaced.
  • Portable humidifier advantages

    • More affordable than the central humidifiers
    • Ability to move the machine around to various rooms based on the needs
    • Lower usage of energy over time
  • Central humidifier disadvantages

    • Requires installation by an HVAC professional
    • Needs regular maintenance done by the professionals to keep it operating smoothly
    • Can be expensive to purchase at the very beginning
    • Most often, the installation kit would need to be purchased separately.
    • Replacement parts can be a bit on the expensive side.
  • Portable humidifier disadvantages

    • Can only handle smaller rooms and not an entire home
    • Not permanent like the central systems
    • Not as long-lasting as the central system
    • Water would need to be refilled on a regular basis.

If you know what the advantages and disadvantages are of both types of machines are, then you can use this as a way to make the choice about which one is the best for you. This is just some of the information that you need to know that can help you to decide what you want to do and what is going to benefit you the best.


Central Air Humidifier Maintenance

Central Air Humidifier Maintenance

There are many things that you are going to have to do when it comes to maintenance of these units, and sometimes it would be better to hire the experts to handle it. The maintenance would be dependent on the type of unit that you have purchased, and the entire unit would have to be taken apart to get to the main elements. Once the main elements have been removed, they can be cleaned and dried off before replacing them. However, there are also going to be parts that can’t be cleaned, but need to be replaced, so make sure that you have spares on hand for when this would need to be changed out.

This maintenance would need to be done on a regular basis, including at the end of the winter and before you start to use it for heating. This is important since if you don’t keep the elements clean, then they won’t be able to work as efficiently as they have been. The experts would be able to tell you when you would need to schedule your next appointment to get the cleaning done, which is going to save you money in the long run. The experts can also ensure that everything is put back together properly when the cleaning is done, which would prevent any damage from occurring from leaking water or other issues.

Proper maintenance is something you should always make sure you are doing because when the experts are looking at the unit, they can see if there are any other problems that might be cropping up. However, if you don’t want to hire the experts to do all of the work, then you can do part of it by keeping the exterior of your unit clean. This can be done using some warm water or even some vinegar water, and you would need to wipe them down thoroughly to get all dirt, debris, and other items off. This needs to be done every few months to keep the dirt and debris from getting into the system and into the air that you and your family are breathing.


Final Thoughts

There are so many different models and units for central humidifiers that it can be hard to decide which one you are going to purchase. However, if you know what others have thought about the various models, then you can make the right choice, including by knowing what the advantages and disadvantages of each one are. Another thing to consider is the price and how much you would end up paying for the entire unit to be installed in your home.

We think that all of these units that we have reviewed are great, and they can fit any budget that you might have, so go ahead and think about which one is right for you. They are all perfect for your entire home, and they can be installed by the experts to ensure that you are getting the right level of humidity for your needs. Why not keep your family healthy and save money at the same time by installing one of the central units rather than purchasing smaller machines that won’t last as long or have as much efficiency or power in terms of output?


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Posted in BLOG, Humidifier Reviews, Humidifiers, Reviews.

My name is Ryan. I have had a hard time dealing with my allergies. Happily, I found that an air purifier was effective to ease my allergy symptoms. I spent a lot of time researching the best air purifier. I know how hard it can be to find the suitable one.

During the reading period, I also read a lot about humidifiers and dehumidifiers. I learned the mechanisms behind the technologies as well as the manufacturers and organizations within the industry.

I now feel convinced that I have built a guide that shows you all you need to know about air purifiers, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers. So I came up with the idea of creating this website.

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