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7 Fresh Whole-House Humidifier Reviews: Breathe Freely In 2018

Appliances

In order to keep the air in your home fresh, and protect your health, you will need the best whole house humidifier around.

Last updateOctober 8, 2018
Reading Timeloader Minutes
Marko Rasic
Today’s expert
Marko Rasic
7 Fresh Whole-House Humidifier Reviews: Breathe Freely In 2018

Our leaders

Best of the best
Aprilaire 700M whole house Humidifier w/Manual Control
5 / 5

Pros

Humidifies a large area

Easy to maintain

Has a simple design

The display is easy to use

Cons

It can be pretty loud

Learn more
Pros

Easy to operate

Easy to move around

Covers a large area

Cons

A bit loud for some people

Inaccurate humidity readings (±10%)

Wick requires frequent replacement (every two months)

Learn more
Best for the money
Aprilaire Model 500M Whole-house Bypass Humidifier w/Manual Control
4.5 / 5

Pros

Humidifies 300 square feet

Saves electricity

Requires little maintenance

Relatively lightweight

Cons

A bit loud

Can leak

Learn more
Pros

Easy to use and operate

Easy to move around (castors)

Simple water refilling

Simple cleaning and wick handling

Cons

The wick needs to be changed often in areas with hard water (for efficiency reasons)

Humidity readings are inaccurate

It’s noisy at higher speeds

The LED light on the display is too bright

Learn more
Runners up

Also good products

4 / 5

This humidifier will cover 1,000 square feet. It runs up to 24 hours on each refilling. It’s a bit noisy. Also, many users don’t like its design.

3.5 / 5

This model will cover 3,600 square feet. It’s highly portable, but a bit noisy in most of the speeds. Also, there are occasional problems with its float indicator.

3.5 / 5

It covers 2,300 square feet and has an Antimicrobial Cleaning Cartridge, but it’s not noise-free as the manufacturer claims. Also, the two water tank bottles are highly impractical.

How We Decided

30Products
Tested
35Hours
Spent
07Experts
Interviewed
12Consumers
Consulted
Marko Rasic
Today’s expert
Marko Rasic

Marko is a freelance copywriter with over five years of professional experience, writing everything from blog posts to product descriptions. Marko is a movie buff, music lover, and constant learner, and, you can count on him to go the extra mile.

General shopping guide

Winter or summer, the air in your house can often get dry. In the winter, this usually happens due to the heating. In the summer, your AC is usually the one to blame. The best whole house humidifier will come to the rescue regardless of the season.

So many people have a problem with dry air, especially during winter. And they wonder what to do. They can’t breathe normally and they can’t sleep on top of all that – they develop all kinds of medical conditions, such as eye and skin irritation.

Luckily, there is a way out, and it’s called a humidifier.

A humidifier is the best solution for getting rid of dry air inside your house, especially during those long winter months.

You will actually feel more relaxed and breathe new life into your household.

Research You Can Trust

There are so many products out there, it’s really getting hard to find the right one.

If you stick to looking at product images and reading those short descriptions, you will only end up feeling lost and confused.

Everybody’s promising the same old things: quality, reliability, durability…yada, yada, yada.

Yeah, great and all, but…

How do you make the right choice?  

That’s why we’re here, folks.

We actually know how painful and time-consuming it is when you have to browse through all those products listings…. So, we do the hard work for you.

(That’s exactly how we found these 10 Air Purifiers or these 10 Towers Fans, both of which can help you extend your comfort even further. Seriously, check them out if you’re struggling with dry, uncomfortable air!)

As for the humidifiers, we scanned the whole market and shortened the list to the “Magnificent Seven”. 🙂 And we’re sure you’ll love them!

Here’s what we did:

In order to find the best products for our hall-of-fame list, we consulted dozens of manufacturers and consumer forums. We tried to find out every little detail on each of these humidifiers. We then compared their descriptions and ratings and compiled our list.

Now, it’s a lot easier.

Let’s not keep you waiting any longer. Full steam ahead, the humidifiers are waiting!

best whole house humidifier

Considerations

A good humidifier should meet your needs down to a tee. It should be able to reach every nook and cranny and humidify the air equally.

Here’s the key thing:   

It’s important to pick the right size, depending on how big your room is. In general, small humidifiers are good for rooms up to 300 square feet.

For rooms ranging from 300 to 500 square feet, you should use so-called medium humidifiers and large humidifiers for rooms above 500 square feet.

In addition to this, your humidifier of choice should be easy to clean and maintain.

If you really want your humidifier to last, you should clean it regularly. However, the actual cleaning shouldn’t be complicated at all. Simple rinsing and draining should do the trick.

Also, it should be fairly easy to use, nothing too fancy. The working mechanism of a humidifier is fairly simple, so you don’t want something that will give you a headache every other day.

via GIPHY

But it doesn’t end here.

You should look for additional features, such as the humidistat and timer. The humidistat shuts off the humidifier once a preset humidity level is reached. The timer can be set to a specific time, so the humidifier starts precisely when you want.

These two features are excellent. because they can help you even when you’re not at home. You’re well advised to look for a humidifier with at least one of them, if not both.

Finding The Best Whole House Humidifier – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Why keep optimal humidity in your house?

Basically, humidity is nothing more than the amount of vapor in the air. But if the air in your house is very dry, this can affect both your health and your household.

I’m sure you already know this, but let’s be on the safe side and recap:
Here’s how using a humidifier will help you improve upon your wellbeing:

  • You’ll reduce the risk of infections
  • Your skin will remain soft and irritation-free
  • Your lips won’t crack anymore
  • You’ll prevent a sore throat
  • You’ll prevent dehydration
  • Your allergy symptoms will be reduced
  • You’ll fight off colds much better
  • You’ll protect your sinuses
  • You’ll sleep much better

All great things, right?

Sure are.

via GIPHY

Having a humidifier will also keep your wood furnishings protected and your houseplants healthier. And, if you have pets, they’ll also feel better in a humidified environment.

Win-win.

Why a whole house humidifier instead of a portable one?

Sure, there are portable humidifiers out there, but just so we’re on the same page here – “whole housers” are waaay better!

Why you might ask?

First of all, the maintenance is a lot simpler. You still need to maintain it, of course, but they are simply made to be more convenient.

Then, there’s the problem with the refilling or better say – the absence of it. With a whole house humidifier, you don’t have to refill the water tank constantly.

And the most important thing of all…

Whole-house humidifiers are more effective. Simple as that.

If you want to use a portable humidifier, you need one in every room of the house.

And if you have a large house or apartment, there are so many rooms to cover. You will most likely need several portable humidifiers to do the job right. Doesn’t sound very practical, does it?

Nope.

By sticking to “whole housers”, you’ll make the right choice. You’ll save money and keep optimal humidity in your household.

And now, let’s delve deeper. A logical question arises.

What makes a high-quality humidifier?

There are several factors that determine the quality of a whole house humidifier. Let’s list them one by one.

1. Reliability

A good humidifier will not be prone to constant breakages and malfunctions. It should work properly and go a long way. And when we say “reliable”, we also mean – durable. Remember, you don’t want something that will break down after a week or two.

The product you choose should be made of solid material. Also, it should be able to sustain minor shocks, such as bumps or inadvertent hits. Of course, this doesn’t mean you’re supposed to kick it around ☺

That being said…

If you have small children, there’s no guarantee they won’t accidentally exert a bit of force onto the humidifier. Thus, it’s important your humidifier sustains these “concussions” well and doesn’t jam or break down on the spot.  All the parts should be working properly.

The sturdier it is, the safer you will feel around it.

2. Effectiveness

The one most important thing a good humidifier should do?

To – humidify!

So many people (including many of those we contacted during our research) complained about this. If you’re buying a whole house humidifier, then it should really be able to humidify the whole house.

Unfortunately…

There are many products that over promise, yet underperform when it comes to this. The biggest problem customers face is the uneven humidification of their rooms. Usually, the area humidified best is the one closest to the humidifier. But as you move along, square foot by square foot, the air gets drier and drier.

And then comes the inevitable question…:

“What have I bought?”

Let’s avoid that, eh?

The key thing is to know exactly what you need the humidifier for. By this, we mean the exact amount of space or, to put it simply – how big your house is. Not all humidifiers are the same. For large areas, you will need a unit with enough power to cover every corner. So, the humidifier you pick should a) be suitable for a given area and b) humidify that air like nothing else!

humidifier 3 - 7 Fresh Whole-House Humidifier : Breathe Freely In 2018

3. Practicality

Yes, the most important thing is your humidifier does the job right. But, in order for it to be considered really good (or great, for that matter), there are a few more pieces to the puzzle. They can all be summed up under “practicality”, but, let’s break them down.

Maintenance

By maintenance, we mean the amount of time necessary for cleaning and operating the humidifier. A solid humidifier won’t take too much of your time, because most units nowadays are practically automatic. This means they do the majority of work by themselves. Of course, you will still need to check up on your unit and refill the water when needed, and this won’t take too much time.

Also…

The humidifier should be very easy to clean, without any complicated parts that require special handling. After all, these products are made for people who aren’t required to have any technical knowledge. Everything you need to know should be laid out in the owner’s manual. So, be sure to give the manual a good read before operating the humidifier.

Noisiness

Let’s be honest here. You’re getting a humidifier to actually make your life better, not worse. But if a humidifier makes a lot of noise, it will definitely reflect on the quality of your life. It’s important your humidifier doesn’t make much, if any, noise. Many customers have complained that, after the purchase, their humidifier started making noise, which was often unbearable.

You don’t need that.

But here’s something you definitely need.

Design

The design of your humidifier shouldn’t be a problem per se. However, it all comes down to personal taste. Humidifiers differ greatly in shape and size, so pick the one you like best. Of course, the esthetic appeal can’t be the determining factor, but it should be taken into account.

If you’re happy with the rest of the features, you can move on to visual and make sure you actually like the design of a given humidifier.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to think about the potential location of the unit.

If you know where the humidifier will be positioned, it will be much easier to pick the design. You want it to blend and be a great addition to your interior design – not stick out like a sore thumb 😂

Accurate readings

It’s important your humidifier has accurate humidity readings throughout the day. This is also a true sign of a high-quality unit. Some of the customers we contacted stated this as a major complaint.

People like when they can check the humidity level at any moment. However, some humidifiers are not accurate. They are not off by a long shot but tend to give inaccurate readings from time to time.

Mind you…

This doesn’t mean your humidifier has to be 100% accurate all the time, but it should be reliable. It’s not a problem when the readings are a bit off from time to time. But they should be accurate (±1% is acceptable).

4. Additional features

Humidistat

A humidistat is a small device that helps maintain the humidity level in a given area. It usually goes with most modern humidifiers, and your humidifier of choice should definitely have one.

For most people, it’s not enough to simply monitor the level of humidity. They actually want to set the level according to their needs. This is where a humidistat comes in handy.

Timer

On most new humidifiers, you have a timer – and this feature is what they call a lifesaver. The timer is a great addition  because it enables you to control the unit digitally. You can actually program the humidifier to start working precisely at a given time. And not only that, but you can also set up the shut-down time.

Thus…

Your humidifier can save energy. It doesn’t have to work when you’re not around. There are also humidifiers that come with a countdown timer, instead of a programmable one. The countdown feature allows you to set the shut-down time if the unit it working. However, most users agree nothing beats a fully programmable timer.

5. Warranty

In order to avoid unnecessary headaches, make sure you get a product with a good warranty. The humidifier you choose doesn’t need to have a lifetime warranty. But the longer a warranty is, the better. In general, a 5-year warranty is the sign of a reliable product.

Our Favorite Whole House Humidifier Reviews

01

Aprilaire 700M whole house Humidifier w/Manual Control

Aprilaire 700M whole house Humidifier w/Manual Control

This model is one of the most sought-after humidifiers on the market. A lot of users we contacted praise it for its effectiveness and reliability. It definitely gets the job done, keeping the household optimally humidified.

The Aprilaire 700M works with your cooling or heating system and it can humidify up to 4,200 square meters. It’s fan-powered and has evaporation capacity of 0.75 gallons per hour. This practically means the Aprilaire 700M can give around 18 gallons of mist per day – more than enough to keep you happy.

Well done there.

71tNy0Fl5SL. SL1000  300x300 - Aprilaire 700M whole house Humidifier w/Manual ControlAs far as the design is concerned, the manufacturer kept it simple. We can’t say this is the most visually appealing humidifier out there because it’s not. It’s like a mini AC unit.

But for many users, this wasn’t a problem. Actually, owners of this unit really like the basic, straightforward design of this humidifier. The most important thing is the product is reliable.

What else?

The Aprilaire 700M is installed on your HVAC system. It has a built-in fan to pull the air, and the unit can complement all HVAC systems, which means you’re covered.

Now, since we’re mentioning the HVAC system, it’s important to note this. When it comes to these types of humidifiers, be sure to hire a professional to install it for you.

It may seem simple and easy, but it’s not. You need to know a lot about electricity, plumbing and HVAC systems. So many people we contacted told us they regret even trying to do this on their own.

So, to avoid any unnecessary headaches – play it safe and hire a professional. This is also important when it comes to maintenance. A trained HVAC professional will do the job much faster, and you won’t have to worry about anything. Just a little word of advice there…

If you just one a simple, single room, plug in and go type model, check out some of these we reviewed right here.

Okay, back to features...

The Aprilaire 700M uses a water panel for humidification, and this part should be replaced twice a year. The display is easy to read, so you don’t have to worry about that. You will always be able to read the indoor humidity level. And if you add to this the 5-year warranty, it’s a pretty good humidifier, overall.

Mind you, in order to activate the warranty, you’ll have to fill out this form.

A couple of minuses, though.

Some find it a bit noisy. The noise comes from the fan motor and you practically can’t hear when the unit’s operating slowly. But when it’s in full swing, it’s loud.

This doesn’t have to be a problem per se, because it’s expected from a humidifier of this power. Nevertheless, wanted you to know this… But this is a major complaint coming from most users of the Aprilaire 700M. They simply didn’t expect it to make so much noise.

Overall, this is a great product so many users praise. It’s effective and gets the job done.

USER MANUAL

FEATURES

  • 16 x 16 x 12 inches; 11.7 pounds
  • fan-powered
  • built-in fan
  • evaporates 0.75 gallons per hour
  • covers 4,200 square feet
  • 5-year warranty

Pros

Humidifies a large area

Easy to maintain

Has a simple design

The display is easy to use

Cons
It can be pretty loud

02

AirCare MA1201 whole house Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier

AirCare MA1201 whole house Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier

This is a console humidifier that can cover up to 3600 square feet. It releases around 11.5 gallons of mist per day, and it keeps the whole area optimally humidified.

The unit has a 3.6-gallon water tank. Once it’s filled up, the humidifier can run for 36 hours.

But this is just the beginning.

91pifaQMwwL. SL1500  300x300 - AirCare MA1201 whole house Console-Style Evaporative HumidifierWhat most users admire about this humidifier is it’s practical. We’ve already discussed this in the buyer’s guide, how important it is for a humidifier to offer practicality as one of its main assets. Well, the AirCare MA1201 definitely has that quality.

How come?

First of all, it has a digital control and a display that’s very easy to read. The unit has a 3-speed motor, with sleep mode and auto mode. Another great feature is the automatic shut-down. This enables the unit to automatically shut down once it reaches the desired level of humidity (or when it runs out of water).

Due to the automatic shut-down, you will actually save energy and pay less for electricity.

Owners absolutely love this feature.

In addition to this, the AirCare MA1201 is easy to clean and maintain. Because of the wick traps it uses, the unit is able to catch all mineral deposits. And it’s really easy to operate.

So many users we talked to told us the humidifier is a great choice because of its ease of use. Also, what they love is the neat, simple design of the humidifier. It doesn’t stick out, and it can blend into any type of background perfectly.

The humidifier can also be moved around easily. It weighs 14 pounds, which would be a lot if you had to lift and carry it a distance. But with its casters, mobility is a lot simpler and you shouldn’t have problems handling it.

That being said, there are some issues.

Many users find the AirCare MA1201 too loud. The noise coming from the unit is not a lot bigger compared to other humidifiers – but it can definitely be annoying to some people. For example, one user put the humidifier in the kitchen – set on the lowest setting – but the noise could be heard in the living room.

To be honest, the noise is not unbearable, but it can’t be eliminated. This can especially be a problem if you like having the humidifier close to your sleeping area.

So, if you are “allergic” to noise, bear this in mind.

Also, an issue most users pointed out is the inaccurate humidity reading.

And when we say “inaccurate”, we really mean it.

It’s not just one or two percent – but more like ten.

The humidity level rises too fast, and users claim it’s definitely not the best solution. In order to be sure about the real humidity level, you might need the help of a hygrometer.

Some users thought the problem might have something to do with the distance. But even when they put their hygrometer close to the unit, the measurements didn’t match.

Not the best of features, unfortunately.

And finally, the filter wick on the unit needs to be changed every couple of months. This is especially important if the humidifier is used constantly. We’re not sure whether this should be qualified as a con, per se, because it’s just the way it’s constructed. However, it’s good for you to know, prior to making your purchase decision.

All in all, we can’t say the AirCare MA1201 is a bad humidifier, but it has its flaws. It will do the job, but because of the noise and inaccurate readings, some users find it off-putting.

It has a 2-year warranty on the unit and a 30-day warranty on wicks and filters. More information here.

USER GUIDE

FEATURES

  • 14.5 x 21.5 x 20.5 inches; 14 pounds
  • covers 3,600 square feet
  • runs for 36 hours
  • 3.6-gallon water reservoir
  • 11.44-gallon daily moisture output
  • digital humidistat
  • automatic shut-down

Pros

Easy to operate

Easy to move around

Covers a large area

Cons

A bit loud for some people

Inaccurate humidity readings (±10%)

Wick requires frequent replacement (every two months)


03

Aprilaire Model 500M Whole-house Bypass Humidifier w/Manual Control

Aprilaire Model 500M Whole-house Bypass Humidifier w/Manual Control

Most owners of this model we contacted agree the Aprilaire Model 500M is definitely worth the purchase--it does its job well.

There are several reasons for this.

First of all, the unit has a great drainage system. The drainage system enables it to remove all deposits within stay clean and operational. All excess matter is flushed away from the system.

Then, there’s the bypass damper. Because of the bypass damper, the installation is much easier. Plus, fewer parts need to be installed. There’s not a single owner who didn’t appreciate this feature because it saves so much time.

The Aprilaire Model 500M controls the humidity level well and it gives accurate temperature readings. The evaporation capacity is 0.50 gallons per hour, and the unit can cover around 3000 square feet.

But that’s not all.

51UQsxgzliL. SL1000  e1539005491659 300x249 - Aprilaire Model 500M Whole-house Bypass Humidifier w/Manual ControlOn the practical side, this humidifier is also worth the purchase. It really requires little maintenance, so you won’t lose a lot of time around it. Once it starts working, you’re free.

It will also save you electricity because it operates at 120 watts. And finally, in case you need to move it around, it only weighs 6.1 pounds.

No worries there!

In our research, we asked the users about a feature on the Aprilaire Model 500 M they especially like. So many of them told us what sold them on this humidifier was the change-over for right or left discharge. Users praise this as a wonderful, practical feature.

So, what else makes it good?

Basically, the Aprilaire Model 500M works really well, keeping the entire household optimally humidified. We asked dozens of users would they consider returning the unit and they all said – no.

Moreover, they all agree this humidifier beats any portable humidifier out there.

By a long shot.

Like all Aprilaire models, 500M also has a 5-year warranty from the installation date, which is great. The manufacturer’s got you covered there as well.

Now…about the drawbacks.

What most users pointed out the Aprilaire Model 500M still makes some noise, although the manufacturer says it’s practically noiseless.

Apparently, this isn’t true. Ugh.

That’s one of the biggest complaints, for sure. A user pointed out the noise is there because of the solenoid, in charge of turning the water on and off. One user, in particular, complained about this, saying it can definitely be heard.

And on top of all that, the product may be prone to leaking – “may” being the operative word here. Not all users had a problem with this, but a few cases have been reported.

So, is it any good?

The Aprilaire Model 500M will definitely get the job done, that’s for sure. And if you can accept a few issues that go with it, there’s no reason not to like this humidifier.

USER MANUAL

FEATURES

  • 16 x 11 x 13 inches; 7.5 pounds
  • covers 3,000 square feet
  • has a built-in bypass damper
  • evaporates 0.50 gallons per hour
  • right or left discharge change-over
  • comes with a drain to flush minerals


Pros

Humidifies 300 square feet

Saves electricity

Requires little maintenance

Relatively lightweight

Cons

A bit loud

Can leak


04

AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Whole House Pedestal-Style Evaporative Humidifier

AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Whole House Pedestal-Style Evaporative Humidifier

This is one of those whole house humidifiers that add a touch of elegance to your household. It releases 7.4 gallons of mist daily and it can humidify up to 2400 square feet.

As far as the features are concerned, the AIRCARE EP9 800 has a digital thermostat, which is a great little addition. With it, you can control the humidity level in your household through nine fan settings.

But there’s more.

81sv0yB1a6L. SL1500  300x288 - AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Whole House Pedestal-Style Evaporative HumidifierThe AIRCARE EP9 800 has a 3.5-gallon water tank and – listen to this – the unit can run for up to 60 hours! The users we contacted love the fact this humidifier can last for so long between two refills.

And more…

This humidifier is also very easy to move around. Don’t let the size and build fool you – portability is a no-brainer here. With its castors, the unit can be manipulated easily, if you want to change its “working position”. Although it weighs 27 pounds, moving it around won’t be a problem.

What about the performance?

The AIRCARE EP9 800 is praised for its performance and reliability. The control panel is simple and intuitive, so you can’t mess anything up (always good to know!).

The digital display shows the humidity level, as well as the fan speed and the desired humidity level. The three buttons next to the display are properly labeled, enabling you to control power, speed, and humidity. The unit has automatic shut-down, immediately after it reaches the desired humidity.

Another great thing…

Here’s something so many users mentioned, because they love it. It’s the pour-in fill door, just below the control panel. It’s so simple to use, and it really makes the filling-up so much easier. You just open it up and pour water till maximum level.

After you’ve filled up the water tank, simply close the door and set up the unit. That’s that. And there’s also a refill reminder – when the humidifier is out of the water, you will notice an F flashing on the display. It kind of takes care of itself that way.

An interesting addition…

Thanks to its design, the AIRCARE EP9 800 can easily blend into “the surroundings”, which is a great asset in any household. It has a nice color and can pass part of your furniture without any problem.

Furthermore…

The cleaning is a breeze because you just take out the wick and wash the inside of the humidifier, where it holds water. The wick is also easy to handle, as you can remove and change it easily. No one wants to lose too much time around this and with this humidifier – you won’t have to.

What users also love is that they can position this humidifier almost anywhere without it seeming out of place. That being said, bear in mind this humidifier takes up space.

It’s not the smallest of units, so don’t expect it to be invisible. Yes, you can easily place it between two pieces of furniture, but first, make sure there’s enough space for the humidifier.

The wick should be changed seasonally (at the beginning of every season). However, if you live in an area with hard water, it’s recommended you change the wick more often. It will simply work much better with a new wick.

Are there any other issues with it?

There are a couple of issues users pointed out.

First of all, we need to mention the inaccurate humidity readings. Some users told us the readings were five percent more than the actual readings. Some doubled this number. It turns out, the unit is not very accurate when it comes to this.

It can also be a bit noisy, especially above the fan speed of 4. Some users say it becomes really noisy even after speed 2. So, there’s the noise – be aware of that.

There’s one more thing, though.

And this one bothers so many users…

The blue light on the display is very bright. If you keep the humidifier in your sleeping area, or can’t stand this amount of brightness, it may be a problem.

WARRANTY INFO

USER MANUAL

INSTALLATION GUIDE

FEATURES

  • 18 x 18 x 27.2 inches; 27 pounds
  • covers up to 2,400 square feet
  • 3.5-gallon water capacity
  • lasts up to 60 hours when full
  • 9 fan speeds
  • automatic shut-down (when it reaches desired humidity or when it’s empty)
  • control panel with digital display

Pros

Easy to use and operate

Easy to move around (castors)

Simple water refilling

Simple cleaning and wick handling

Cons

The wick needs to be changed often in areas with hard water (for efficiency reasons)

Humidity readings are inaccurate

It’s noisy at higher speeds

The LED light on the display is too bright


05

Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier

Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier

The humidifier is famous for its “vortex action” circulation system and its small build, so it doesn’t take up too much space.

Because of its small size, this humidifier is ideal for almost any household. Users love the fact that it’s not bulky and that it can be moved around with ease.

What makes it effective?

The Vornado Evap40 uses its “vortex action” to circulate the humidified air around. Because of this signature system from Vornado, the whole area can be humidified equally.

The unit’s water tank can take in four gallons of water, and it will run for 24 hours with ease. You can control the level of humidity via the humidistat knob.

Also, you have three speed options – high, medium and low. Several users told us the high speed is the best solution for larger rooms. So, if you have a large area to humidify, be aware low or medium speed won’t get the job done. However, the low speed is ideal for night-time use. If you plan on using the Vornado Evap40 in your sleeping area, we suggest you go with the low-speed option. It’s enough for smaller rooms and it doesn’t produce a lot of noise.

81uXeTU7r8L. SL1500  e1539007273309 300x178 - Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative HumidifierAnything else?

This humidifier can cover up to 1,000 square feet. It’s easy to clean, as most users pointed out, and the Airlock water tanks are easy to refill. When it comes to handling, there are no issues. None of the users we contacted complained about the handling of the Vornado Evap40. It’s long-lasting, and the manufacturer offers a 5-year warranty. More information here.

Anything bad?

To be totally honest, this humidifier doesn’t have the best design. It’s not awful or anything like that, but the manufacturer could have done a much better job – that’s for sure.

Many of the users we contacted told us the same thing. Something along the lines of “no, it’s not ugly, but it’s definitely not the prettiest of sights”.

Kind of a bummer…

So, if you want your humidifier to be a beautiful addition to your household, this unit might not be the best solution. We’re just pointing it out, mind you. You’ll make the final choice. After all, this is strictly subjective, but so many users have told us the design could have been much better.

But there are bigger issues here.

The unit tends to be noisy, especially at high speed. On the other hand, when it’s in low speed – it can’t humidify the room enough. To make the best of it, you need to set it to high speed. The low speed is only good for smaller rooms.

Furthermore, the wicks tend to wear off very quickly. The unit works with two wicks and they need to be replaced once a month, as many users pointed out.

For many people, this is too much and they don’t want to be bugged so often. This is probably the biggest drawback of the Vornado Evap40.

And finally, it only covers up to 1,000 square feet, as we mentioned earlier. This can’t qualify as a flaw, because that’s how the humidifier was constructed – but it’s good to emphasize. If you have a larger area you want to be humidified, this won’t cover you because of capacity issues.

USER MANUAL

FEATURES

  • 10.5 x 19.5 x 13.5 inches; 9 pounds
  • Vortex Action circulation
  • covers up to 1,000 square feet
  • a 4-gallon water tank
  • continuous humidification up to 24 hours
  • adjustable humidistat
  • 2 wicks
  • 3 speeds

Pros

Easy to use and clean

Simple to operate

It’s long-lasting

Cons

Doesn’t have the best design

Makes noise when it high speed

Wicks wear off quickly and need to be replaced once a month


06

AirCare 696 400HB Digital Whole House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier

AirCare 696 400HB Digital Whole House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier

Here’s one of those humidifiers that stands out because of its design and visual appeal. The AirCare 696 is made to keep your household humidified, but also serve as a nice little addition to your furniture.

This model is also known as “credenza” because it resembles a small cupboard, and that’s precisely why so many users love it. It can complement your room in a nice way and blend perfectly into the background. If that’s your must-have when it comes to a humidifier, the AirCare 696 will deliver.

But there’s a lot more!

81TgTz9t0PL. SL1306  300x277 - AirCare 696 400HB Digital Whole House Console-Style Evaporative HumidifierThis humidifier can produce close to 12 gallons of mist per day, making it a champion in this category. It can cover an area of up to 3,600 square feet. The 5.6-gallon water tank is easy to fill, and the entire process is quite simple.

But know this – the water tank actually consists of two smaller 2.8-gallon tanks, which are removable. Each tank has a refill hose, to simply the refill process for you. You just fill the tanks with water and set the humidistat to the humidity level you want.

The AirCare 696 functions as an evaporative humidifier, which means that it draws dry air inside through the back, then moisturizes and passes it via the wick. The whole evaporation process takes place inside the unit, which means the wick retains any residue. Really clever.

The wick needs to be replaced seasonally i.e. at the start of every season. However, if you’re living in an area with hard water – the wick will need to be replaced more frequently.

The controls are very intuitive.

The airflow and humidity level can be easily adjusted – a lot of the users we contacted praise this feature. The unit has nine speeds and you can set it according to your currents needs. It ranges from the night-time mode to the high-level operation, and you can make your choice.

Also, there is an automatic humidistat, which means you don’t have to turn the fan on and off. The humidistat does all the work on its own. In addition to this, we should mention the refill light. This little addition will let you know when it’s time to refill the water tank, so you don’t have to worry about it.

We’ve already mentioned the humidifier looks nice. With the light oak hue on the finish, the humidifier will fit your home just like that. It can easily pass as a piece of furniture, which is one of the reasons why so many users love it.

A couple more things to point out.

The AirCare 696 is very easy to move around, because of its easy-roll casters. For a humidifier of its size, it’s very portable – in case you want to change its location!

Okay…it’s great so far. What about the drawbacks?

Yup, a couple of them. First of all, we’ve had users complain this humidifier does come with a bit of noise. Not only that, but out of all nine speeds eight will make noise. Basically, only the first speed is noise-free.

Also…

For some users, the float that signals when the unit is out of water doesn’t work properly. Oftentimes, it simply fails to do its job and lets the humidifier run without water. Definitely not a good thing.

And finally…

It appears the humidifier is cheaply made because so many people pointed out the bad plastic parts. The parts are not molded well and the fan can sometimes rattle.

And you only get a 2-year warranty.

So, what’s the verdict?

The AirCare 696 will definitely keep your household humidified. It can cover a large area, as long as you don’t have a problem with a bit of noise and the often unreliable float. It’s not the best of products, but not the worst, either. It’s right there in the middle.

USER MANUAL

FEATURES

  • 15.5 x 28.2 x 23.8 inches; 23 pounds
  • evaporative humidification
  • 12-gallon daily output
  • 5.6-gallon tank capacity
  • covers up to 3,600 square feet
  • adjustable humidistat
  • refill indicator
  • casters

Pros

Covers a large area

Easy to use and move around (good portability)

Blends the room (like a piece of furniture)

Cons

Makes noise in 8/9 speeds

The float indicator often doesn’t work

It’s made of cheap plastic parts


07

Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier

Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier

The humidifier is designed for large spaces and multi-room areas. It can easily cover up to 2,300 square feet.

The unit is round-shaped and nicely designed. What’s immediately striking is the weight. The Honeywell Cool Moisture weighs 20 pounds, which more than many average humidifiers of its size.

However, despite the weight – it’s still very portable. The casters and its built-in handle make it very easy to move around, so no problems there…

91EPCjznQL. SL1500  300x265 - Honeywell Cool Moisture Console HumidifierMoving on.

The unit has a dual 9-gallon water tank and it’s very easy to use. Each part of the tank can be removed, filled and put back separately, which really simplifies the whole process.

Now, what’s really great about the Honeywell Cool Moisture is you can keep one of the tanks in place, while you refill the other. Therefore, you don’t have to switch the unit off when refilling. Smart and practical.

Also, the switching between tanks is a breeze. When you remove one tank from the unit base, the other one will start supplying water to keep the humidifier running.

In addition to this…

The humidifier is very easy to clean and maintain. It also goes for the wick, because it’s reusable. The good thing is you don’t have to replace the wick every time you’re cleaning the humidifier.

But there’s another great feature.

We’re talking about the Protec Antimicrobial Cleaning Cartridge. This cartridge (some also call it “filter”) absorbs the water coming from the water tank. the unit then draws the dry, indoor air and captures all the dust and dirt. The air that goes out is clean and fresh.

This feature has been praised by so many users who had problems with allergies or breathing in dry air. They simply love it, so it’s worth pointing out!

Now, about the drawbacks….

Although this humidifier is advertised as being 30% less noisy than the competition, most customer reviews don’t agree with it.

For example, one user told us it’s impossible to put the humidifier in the bedroom because there is too much noise. And when the unit is in low speed, there is a lot of rattling.

Why?

The reason for this is the whole construction of the humidifier is a bit flimsy and prone to rattling. The water tanks are also flimsy and, if you want to fill them in the sink, you have to hold them. They are simply designed that way.

So many people have complained about this because they can’t simply leave the tanks in the sink and let them fill. Moreover, if you’re not careful, the tanks can crack easily.

However, these are definitely not the biggest of issues because the Honeywell Cool Moisture works really well. The majority of users agree that, in spite of the issues, this humidifier will get the job done and keep the house air fresh. It has its flaws, that’s for sure, but when it comes to humidifying it’s rock-solid.

There is a 3-year limited warranty. More information here.

USER MANUAL

FEATURES

  • 23.1 x 15 x 17.5 inches; 20 pounds
  • covers up to 2,300 square feet
  • casters for improved mobility
  • runs up to 24 hours after filling
  • Antimicrobial Cleaning Cartridge
  • 9-gallon water tank (with 2 smaller removable tanks)
  • reusable wick

Pros

It can cover a large area and humidify it well

It easy to use and clean

Although a bit heavy, you can move it around with ease

Cons

It’s not as noise-free as the manufacturer claims (and it rattles in low speed)

The plastic parts tend to be flimsy and unreliable

The removable water tanks are impractical (you need to hold them in the sink when refilled)


Expert Tips For Using Your Humidifier

  1. Change the water in your humidifier every day.

If you keep water in the humidifier for several days, it will develop mold and bacteria. Changing the water daily will keep your household healthy. This won’t take you a lot of time (don’t get lazy☺) and it will help your humidifier run like clockwork. Some people add disinfectants to their humidifier water, but this is not a safe practice, because they can irritate the respiratory system. Just change the water daily and play it safe.

  1. Clean your humidifier twice a week.

It’s very important your humidifier stays clean, so it doesn’t develop bacteria or gather mineral deposit. And when cleaning, be sure to unplug the unit (“never too careful”). Many people assume a humidifier is supposed to work normally without them getting involved. This is true – up to a point. A good humidifier will keep your household fresh, but only if you keep it clean. Get the dirt and bacteria out of the way, and your unit will shine.

  1. Use distilled or demineralized water.

This is the best way to keep your humidifier working properly. Also, you will prolong its lifespan. Regular (tap) water has a lot of mineral deposit that can appear as white dust once released into the air. And if the humidifier you want has a demineralization cartridge, even better. Read more about some sweet whole-home water filtration systems here.

  1. If you purchase a bypass humidifier, hire a specialist to install it.

Bypass humidifiers are connected to your HVAC system, and they are a bit harder to install than other types of whole house humidifiers (such as “consoles”). In order to install a bypass unit, you need to have substantial knowledge of HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical wiring. Many people think they can do it, but when it comes to actual work – they get lost.

You wouldn’t believe how many people told us this. They think they have the know-how, they start the “installation” process and two and a half dreadful hours later – they call a professional. It will cost you a bit more, that’s for sure, but you will avoid the unnecessary headaches and have your bypass up and running in no time.

So, for your own safety, and the safety of your household, be sure to hire an HVAC professional to install your bypass humidifier.

  1. Consider replacing your old humidifier.

Over time, even the best of humidifiers will drop in quality and effectiveness. After a couple of years, you might notice your humidifier doesn’t get the job done anymore. This would be a good time to replace it. There’s no exact time frame for this (the unit should work well under warranty). However, if you have a unit more than five years, and notice it doesn’t work well anymore, it would be best to get a new one.

Turn On Your Humidifier And Relax

We really hope this article of ours helped you pick the best whole house humidifier for your needs. As you see, it’s not complicated at all. Sure, there are a couple of things to bear in mind, but nothing to wrack your brain, right? Of course not. No way you can go wrong with the products we listed here.

Remember, the most important thing is to make sure the humidifier of your choice can cover enough space in your household. Also, think about the type of humidifier you want. Maybe it’s a bypass or a console? There are plenty of choices, so go on and make your pick.

via GIPHY

Leaders comparison
The winners

Best products from range

Best of the best

Aprilaire 700M whole house Humidifier w/Manual Control

A great humidifier, coming from a reputable manufacturer. It’s reliable and easy to use. The only problem is that it can be a bit noisy when operating in higher speed. Other than that, it’s one of the best humidifiers around.

Best for the money

Aprilaire Model 500M Whole-house Bypass Humidifier w/Manual Control

Another great humidifier, which will get the job done down to a tee. The only problem is that it’s also a bit loud, and it can show signs of leaking here and there.

What’s your experience with humidifiers? We’d love to hear from you, so be sure to drop a line in the comment section. We’ll be waiting!

Runner-up

FAQ
Faq

Frequently asked questions

Q:

What is the ideal humidity level?

A healthy humidity level is considered between 30% and 50%. Everything above and below this should be avoided. On average, people keep humidity at 40%. If you want to make sure you always get accurate humidity readings in your household, get a high-quality hygrometer, such as ThermoPro TP55 or ThermoPro Tp53.
These devices are great because they also measure temperature, so you’ll get accurate readings around the clock. The majority of users have told us they feel much safer with a high-quality hygrometer to complement their humidifier and keep its readings in check.

Q:

How to pick the right size of humidifier?

Choosing the right size of humidifier directly depends on the area you need to cover. So, the first thing you want is to make sure how much space you really want to humidifier with your unit. Don’t make the mistake of buying a one-for-all type of product. If you buy a humidifier with less “coverage”, it will cover one of two rooms, but not the entire house floor. Small, tabletop humidifiers are only good for single rooms. Large tabletops and “console” humidifiers will cover medium and larger areas (three or four rooms). But the whole house humidifier will take care of your entire household and keep optima humidity 24/7.
Therefore, first decide on the area you want to cover and purchase accordingly. When you measure your area for humidifying, you will have the right information to work with.

Q:

Can I use hard water for the humidifier?

Hard water can be used, but only if your humidifier has a mineral cartridge. There is a lot of mineral content in hard water. When that content becomes solidified and released into the air as white dust, it can be unhealthy. Over time, breathing too much of this white dust will aggravate respiratory issues or cause respiratory problems.
However, if your humidifier doesn’t come with a mineral cartridge, the best thing to do would be to use distilled or demineralized water. Distilled/demineralized water has way less mineral content than tap water and if you use it for your humidifier – it won’t release so much white dust and harm your air. Also, we mentioned the lifespan of a humidifier wick is shorter in hard water areas, so be sure to take that into account.

Q:

How to clean my humidifier (and how often)?

If you want to keep your humidifier clean and fully operational, you should clean it every few days (two times a week is considered ideal). Humidifiers that aren’t regularly cleaned will develop bacteria and allergens.
For cleaning, use a mild cleanser and a soft-bristled brush. Rinse the humidifier and then wait for all the parts to dry. You can also wipe the inside of the humidifier with a damp cloth for added protection.


The team
The team

We made this review

Marko Rasic
Writer Marko Rasic
Tiffany Mueller
Editorial Director Tiffany Mueller
Valeria Garcia
Graphic Editor Valeria Garcia
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