aprilaire whole house humidifier

What Is A Whole House Humidifier And How Does It Work?

Whole house humidifiers are installed in the ductwork of heating system. All the rooms in your house will get humidified air if you install a whole house humidifier.

Whole house humidifiers are extremely effective in stabilizing the temperature and humidity by adjusting moisture levels. They ensure maximum comfort during the winters and keep the environment safe enough for you and your loved ones to remain healthy.

During the winters, humidity levels can fall to a staggering 15% that can cause health complications and damage household items such as furniture, woodwork, and hardwood floors. A whole-house humidifier keeps the people inside the house comfortable and protects the air inside from drying out.

How Does a Whole House Humidifier Work?

The function of a humidifier is simple. They are devices that are used to adjust the humidity levels during the summer and winter seasons inside the house. Whole-house humidifiers work all over the house compared to single room humidifiers that are designed specifically for single rooms.

Whole-house humidifiers are installed in the ductwork near the furnace. They are either placed on the supply or return end. The inner part of the humidifier contains either a rotating drum, pad, or a streaming system that helps to dispel water into the home’s air.

When the humidifier starts, water goes to the humidifier pad. It runs continuously and is collected by the rotating drum or is misted in the devices. It varies from device to device. When air from your ducts enters the humidifier, it is exposed to the water inside.

The water evaporates and mixes with the air. This process increases the moisture of the air which comes out of the humidifier. As the furnace continues to operate, a portion of the cycled air is sent to the humidifier.

That air goes through the humidifier and joins back up with the rest of your home’s airflow. Consequently, the air sent out to the house has higher moisture levels, raising the humidity in every room of the house.

Popular Whole House Manufacturers and Models

Brand Popular Models Unique Features
Aprilaire 500M, 600M, 700M AutoTrac digital control, water panel evaporator, large capacity humidifiers
Honeywell HE240, HE280, HE360, HE300A1005 Flow-through design, PerfectFLO water distribution tray, self-diagnostic control board
Carrier Performance Fan-Powered Humidifier (HUMXXLFP) Fan-powered, ideal for homes with no floor drain, evaporator pad helps prevent mineral buildup
GeneralAire 1000A, 1000M, 1042LH, 1042DME Gfx3 automatic digital humidistat, Legacy and Elite series, MHX3C manual control dial
Trane THUMD500, THUMD200 Bypass and power humidifiers, automatic humidity control
Lennox HCWB3, HCWP3, HCWH Healthy Climate® series, water-saving technology, easy maintenance, compatible with Lennox iComfort® thermostat
Essick Air (AIRCARE) MA1201, 5D6 700, 4DTS 300, H12600 Console-style whole-house humidifiers, adjustable humidistat, wick-based system
Skuttle 2000, 2001, 2002, 190 Drum, flow-through, and mist humidifiers, air-actuated pressure fan switch
Bryant Preferred™ Series HUMXXSTM, HUMBBLFP Steam and fan-powered models, quiet operation, compact size, compatible with Bryant thermostats
York Affinity™ Series, YHM700R Bypass and steam humidifiers, auto-adaptive technology, digital control panel
Rheem RHM, RHS, RHC Bypass, fan-powered, and steam humidifiers, easy installation and maintenance, compatible with Rheem EcoNet® control systems

Why Should You Use a Whole House Humidifier?

Other than improving your home’s air quality, installing a whole-house humidifier brings several benefits. Due to its multiple utilities, a whole-house humidifier is definitely worth the investment.

Health and Wellness

In winter, the air lacks sufficient moisture and can lead to your nasal passage getting dry, irritation of your skin, eyes, nose, and mouth, and may even aggravate respiratory illnesses.

Installing a whole-home humidifier to your heating and cooling system is one solution to these multiple problems. Doing this will clear your sinuses, improve your breathing and keep your nasal passages moisturized.

Keeping moisture in your house is ideal for your health and well-being. Furthermore, germs cannot survive in moist air. Whole humidifiers reduce the risk of major illnesses by getting rid of harmful germs such as viruses and bacteria.

They can also solve the issue of snoring as it provides moisture to the nasal passages and respiratory systems. Additionally, a moisturized room helps you get a full night of uninterrupted sleep.

In winter, the air drying out your skin and lips, causing itchy, dull spots, and cracks are common issues. A humidifier will help you keep your lips and skin moist, preventing them from becoming dry or flaky.

Energy Efficient

Other than benefitting your health, a humidifier is also great at saving energy. You can also make your home warmer just by increasing the moisture of your air instead of using your heating system.

This cuts down the dependence on your heating system, reducing the expense of energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you save up to 4 percent on your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat.

Furthermore, low humidity can also decrease the efficiency of your home’s heating system. It is easy to maintain more heat when the captured air has more moisture. Consequently, the air will feel warmer. Lower humidity will only make the air cooler, requiring the heat to be turned up more than usual.

Home Furnish Protection

Humidifiers are a great investment to keep your household items and furniture from degrading during winter. Dry air affects the furnishes and furnishings in your home, especially those that are made from wood.

The dry air can cause them to shrink, warp, and crack. Dry air can also affect paper products, such as photos, posters, and books.

Low humidity could also have an unfavorable effect on books and other paper products, such as photos, posters, resulting in them becoming more brittle. If the air is too dry, these products get prone to brittle.

Also, humidifiers protect walls from warping, paint from chipping, musical instruments from damage, and electronics from getting damaged. So, getting a humidifier will save you from all these troubles.


Whole-house humidifiers cater to dry air problem throughout the house and ensure that you and your belongings stay just as it is throughout the winter. This type of humidifier is also easy to install, requires low maintenance, and effectively improves air quality.

So, if you feel that the air is drying out and causing you trouble, the best option is to go and buy a whole-house humidifier.

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