Whole House Humidifier vs. Portable Humidifier

Published 9/6/2017

seasonal allergies

With winter around the corner, the Midwest air is starting to dry up. Especially, if you’re someone who suffers from seasonal allergies, the humidity of the air in your home can affect your breathing drastically. Fortunately, humidifiers are able to help you control the moisture inside of your home. Choosing between a whole house humidifier or a personal room humidifier can be complicated, so here are some pros and cons to help you make the best air humidifier decision.

Whole House Humidifier

A whole house humidifier is installed with your HVAC system and draws water directly from your water supply. 

Pro #1: Low-Maintenance

Once an HVAC contractor has installed your whole house humidifier, you pretty much don’t have to think about it. It keeps your entire home at a preset humidity, and adjusts itself to changes in moisture. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about refilling it with water or changing the water, since it draws water directly from your water supply!

Pro #2: Cost-Effective

Other than the initial installation fee, running a whole house humidifier can cost less than a dollar a year! This type of humidifier requires less energy to keep an entire house at the same humidity than a portable humidifier does to control the moisture in just one room. This means more money in your pocket.

Con #1: Control

One of the few downsides to a whole house humidifier is that it sets your entire home to the same humidity. While this is a huge positive for many families, it can be a downside for those who disagree on the preferred moisture level. A whole house humidifier doesn’t allow you to set different humidity for different rooms. This can cause problems, especially when it comes to different bedrooms.

Con #2: Water Pollutants

Because whole house humidifiers draw water from your plumbing system, water pollutants can sometimes get stuck in the humidifier filter. Due to these pollutants, it’s important to clean these filters with vinegar after the heating season in order to prevent the pollutants from hardening to the filter and contaminating the air.

Portable Humidifier

Pro #1: Easy Installation

One of the best things about a personal humidifier is how easy it is to set up. You simply take it out of the box, plug it in, add water, and it’s up and running! Additionally, you don’t have to hire an expert to help you set it up which means no set-up fees. They’re also portable, meaning you can move them to whichever room in the house you need them most.

Pro #2: Variety of Designs

Portable humidifiers can add personality, because they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. From animal humidifiers shaped like penguins and dragons for children that “breathe smoke” out of their mouths to lemon shaped humidifiers for your kitchen, there’s a design for everyone and every room. These fun accents can actually act as a statement piece in your home and give a room some fresh needed style.

Con #1: High-Maintenance

While portable humidifiers don’t require a lot of maintenance, they still require more than a whole house humidifier. You will most likely need to refill the water tank daily or every other day. Most manufacturers recommend that you use distilled water instead of tap water which can also require extra work. 

Con #2: Costly

Another downfall of using a portable humidifier instead of a whole house humidifier is the cost. Portable humidifiers use up more electricity than whole house humidifiers. Additionally, the cost of purchasing distilled water can add up after a couple months.

To find out whether your home needs a whole house humidifier or not, it’s always best to trust the experts. Mr. Duct can help you make the right decision! 

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