Published: December 14, 2017


Humidifiers increase indoor humidity levels by dispersing moisture into the dry air. A common rule of thumb is that indoor humidity levels should be around 30-40%. Cold air from the outside naturally holds less moisture, and when this air is heated indoors, it becomes even drier. This dry air can cause itchy skin, sinus attacks, dry eyes, bloody noses, and more.

For homeowners, there are two types of humidifiers that are available: portable humidifiers and whole house humidifiers:

Portable humidifiers are stand alone appliances and don’t work directly with your HVAC system. They add moisture to the air directly from whichever room they belong in. For this reason, we would recommend getting multiple portable humidifiers throughout your home, so you can spread the moisture around easily. The different types of portable humidifiers include vaporizers, ultrasonic, and evaporative – each working with a different method to add moisture to your home.

Whole house humidifiers, or HVAC humidifiers work directly with your heating and cooling system. The various types of HVAC humidifiers are bypass, fan-powered and steam humidifiers. An HVAC contractor would install them between the supply and return air ducts, working to add much needed moisture to the air as it circulates your home.

Choosing the Right Humidifier

There are a few situations when a portable humidifier would be more beneficial than an HVAC humidifier:

  1. If you rent your house instead of own it, we’d recommend choosing portable humidifiers. You would need to work with your landlord to install an HVAC humidifier, and you wouldn’t be able to take it with you when you move next.
  2. Portable humidifiers are the best way to boost humidity levels in a specific area of your home at certain times, even if your overall moisture levels are balanced. For example, if a family member is sick or experiencing allergies, a portable humidifier can be extremely beneficial for that person.

If you own your home, consider installing a whole house or HVAC humidifier. These units integrate fully into your HVAC duct system and pull water directly from your plumbing system. This way, you never need to refill the water supply like you would with portable units. Once installed, there is very little maintenance required in order to keep your entire home set to the perfect humidity level. The system makes very little noise and costs a fraction of what installing several portable units throughout your house would cost.

A professional is typically needed in order to install the HVAC humidifier, and then needed again at the end of a heating season to give a thorough cleaning of the system. Overall, a whole house humidifier is an efficient and affordable solution for leveling out the humidity in your home and keeping everyone comfortable.

The heat from our furnaces that is necessary to keep us warm during the winter, also makes our homes incredibly dry. Humidifiers are a great solution to maintain proper moisture levels throughout your home. Depending on your family’s needs, you have the option of portable humidifiers or whole house HVAC humidifiers.

If you’re unsure of the best solution for your home, or you’d like to install a whole house humidifier, call us at 770-766-8714 or schedule an appointment online to increase your home’s air quality. We’re happy to help.