Whole House Humidifier vs Portable units

Whole House Humidifier vs Portable unitsTrying to decide if you’re better off with a furnace mounted humidifier or a smaller, portable humidifying unit? Now is the time to make a humidifier addition – before severely dry air takes its toll on your health and home.

Why is Dry Air a Big Deal?

People often overlook signs of low humidity an indoor air quality service can quickly identify. Key signs include the dry, chapped skin of occupants, and complaints of respiratory irritation, allergies, and asthma flare-ups. In the home, overly-dry air can also be observed in split, cracked hard wood floors, furniture, and structural components of the home, common in buildings with humidity levels below the optimal range of 30-50%.

Differences between Whole House Humidifiers & Portable Humidifiers

  • Performance
    Adding a whole house humidifier to existing heating units, whether furnace, boiler, or heat pump, controls humidity levels in every room and floor of your home. Portable models only control humidity in a small space, making multiple units necessary for optimal humidity throughout your home.
  • Upkeep
    Whole house humidifiers connect directly to your home’s water supply, using your furnace’s existing blower system and fan to distribute moisture through the air. Maintenance is minimal, including the changing of humidifier pads annually and a thorough cleaning with diluted vinegar at the end of the heating season to loosen mineral deposits from water before they become difficult to remove. Portable humidifiers require daily maintenance. Depending on the unit and space you’re humidifying, you may need to refill the water reservoir daily with distilled or demineralized water. Most importantly, you must clean the system every 3 days to avoid creating a bacteria and fungi playground. Failure to do so leads to biological contaminants in neglected reservoirs being spread through indoor air.
  • Noise
    Whole home units are very quiet, emitting minimal noise near your furnace. A single portable system can be as loud as a window air conditioner.
  • Looks
    Installed in the ductwork near your furnace, whole home systems are out of sight. On rolling casters, portable units take up floor space center stage.
  • Operational Costs
    Knowledgeable heating services know whole house humidifiers cost just pennies per year to operate, requiring very little resources (fuel/electricity, water) compared to portable units, which consume a great deal, especially if you’re running multiple units.
  • Installation Costs
    Better portable humidifiers cost more than whole house units. However, whole house units require professional installation due to necessary ductwork alterations, which makes them more expensive than smaller, lower quality portable units. Need more than one portable? You’ll pay less investing in a whole house system.

What’s Best for Your Home?

In most situations, a whole house humidifier is the best choice for controlling humidity in your home in the dry, cooler months of fall, winter, and spring. Cost-effective, easy to maintain, quieter, and out-of-sight, they’re tough to beat unless you’re on an extremely limited budget or only need to manage a single room.

Considering the addition of a humidifier in your Villanova home? Or a furnace mount humidifier installation in Chaddsford? Contact H & H Heating & Cooling for a complimentary quote or to learn more about adding a humidifying unit to your HVAC system today.


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