Before you zero in on the best furnace humidifier for you, let us understand what we are looking for.
What Is A Furnace Humidifier?
Any type of humidifier is used to introduce more moisture into the air. Dry air can cause respiratory infections and lung irritations, especially with humidity levels below 30 percent. Moreover, low humidity can also crank up the energy bill because people will raise their heat. Everything is affected, from you to your dying plants and cracking wood.
A furnace is known for causing dry air. So, a furnace humidifier injects the mist right where it is needed. It should maintain the humidity level between 30 and 60 percent, which the Environmental Protection Agency recommends. The focus is on the area near the furnace, where the problem lies. It is not a central humidifier that applies mist to the whole house. So, a furnace humidifier is best used for places that experience wintry weather. After all, a warm location will not require furnaces at all.
What Are The Types Of Furnace Humidifiers?
When shopping for a furnace humidifier, you can choose steam, evaporative, and aerosol.
A steam humidifier works like a vaporizer. It boils water and releases steam. It is capable of amping up the humidity several notches but can be more expensive than other options. It comes with extra health benefits because it disinfects the water in the process of boiling it. You may need to keep on the lookout for the ductwork, which could rust through exposure to steam.
If you would instead go for a cheaper product, you must go with an evaporative humidifier. It comes with a drum that turns and dips the foam pad or mesh into the water. Usually, such a model encases stagnant water. This is ultimately not healthy because it can breed mold and bacteria. You could, however, go with a flow-through version that does not hold water.
The third type of furnace humidifier you can opt for is the aerosol humidifier. It sprays mist into the air. It, however, requires maintenance to avoid the nozzle from clogging. Clogging can cause water to drip into the furnace. This must be why this type is not as frequently used compared to the other two.
How are the features of the best furnace humidifier?
You may need to check on the cost of the furnace humidifier to see if it suits your budget. There should be a unit for every kind of budget. However, do not sacrifice quality. Sometimes, by trying to go for the cheaper option, you end up with an inferior quality product that will make you spend more on repairs and replacements in the long run.
You should check if the size is suitable for your type and size of furnace.
Water tank capacity
This here is also related to the size issue. You must make sure that you pick the appropriate capacity for your needs.
Health-wise, furnace humidifiers should be able to resolve any issues. It gets rid of dry air, which can cause respiratory problems. Units that do not store stagnant water are healthier to use.
Here are some of the best furnace humidifiers, according to our recent reviews.
Aprilaire is well-known for its humidifiers. In fact, there are three or more of its models making the best lists this year.
This particular unit can provide enough mist for the whole house. It can provide moisture for homes up to 4000 square feet. If, however, your house has a loose seal, the unit is only useful for up to 1250 square feet.
What is a properly sealed home, anyway? It is a fully-insulated home. If your home has been built within the past 15 years, then it is more likely well-sealed.
The Aprilaire 400 operates with manual or digital controls. Its bypass damper opens to release moisture up to a certain point. When the appropriate humidity level is reached, it closes.
It is also great to know that this humidifier has created a lot of savings for several homeowners.
- Does not keep stagnant water
- 5-year warranty
- No excess water
- Has great capacity
- Can humidify the whole house
- May not be suitable for large, older homes
- Warranty is only useful if a professional installed it
The Emerson HSP2000 is a steam humidifier. It is not dependent on the furnace running for it to work. It has a humidistat that checks if the air is getting too dry. The humidistat helps the humidifier release more moisture when the need arises. This unit can emit 13 gallons of steam daily. It can humidify homes of up to 3500 square feet.
Aside from the humidistat, it has a flushing timer. This timer controls the frequency of freshwater getting flushed. This is vital to avoiding sediment buildup.
Users have raved about its immediate humidifying effects that can be felt in the very first hour, no matter how dry the air is in the house. They say that the unit is also pretty easy to use, even for the most inexperienced homeowner. It does consume a lot of power, though.
- Immediate humidifying effects
- Quiet operation
- Addition of a humidistat that controls moisture release
- Can humidify homes up to 3500 square feet
- Consumes a lot of energy
The Honeywell HE360A unit is a flow-through humidifier. It can release moisture to homes up to 4200 square feet. Its design makes it easy for it to be low maintenance, though it can provide you with sufficient comfort during the winter months.
This unit is a little large. So, it means that you may need an HVAC technician to professionally install it for you. Special tools plus copper tubing are required to make the installation possible.
- Multiple mounting options
- Variable speed
- Wide coverage
- low maintenance
- High water consumption
- Need to buy the Installation kits separately
The GeneralAire 1000A is attached to the furnace. It is a fan-powered unit that you can immediately use after installation. A lot of users even hailed it as the best furnace humidifier.
This furnace humidifier sucks in warm air and then releases moist air after evaporation. This process makes it possible to keep the air fresh and healthy indoors. It can humidify up to 3000 square feet out of 18 gallons of water.
It has an outdoor sensor humidistat that creates a balance between indoor and outdoor temperature.
The durable plastic that it is made of makes it last for longer than your usual furnace humidifier. It can even withstand ultraviolet rays.
- Recommended for medium-sized homes
- Comes with 10-year warranty
- Noisy operation
This Aircare furnace humidifier is also sold under the name Essick Air 82600. It is pretty compact: small but can carry up to 6 gallons of water.
This console humidifier is recommended for homes up to 2300 square feet, if properly sealed. If you need the unit for low settings, then you don’t need to refill until about 70 hours later. The unit has a refill indicator, top-fill design, and a wick-type filter.
Users are commenting about how this humidifier has a long life, surviving three winters in many cases. They are happy about having to refill the furnace humidifier at the top. The noise, however, is a negative point that some users have raised.
This unit is recommended for those who will be using it for small areas. It has analog controls, which makes it user-friendly and less expensive than digital models. It is also portable. So, it makes the possibility of moving not such a scary prospect even after you have already bought the product.
- Great for small rooms
- Affordable compared to other units
- Lower precision because of analog controls
- The operation can be noisy
This model is Holmes’ largest in size. It is also pretty broad in terms of its capabilities. It can humidify well-sealed houses of up to 2000 square feet. For older, not tightly sealed homes, it can go up to 1200 square feet.
It is not a digital humidifier, but the hygrometer tries to provide the necessary support. When the tank is empty, it does not shut down. You need to monitor the water to make sure that the unit does not short circuit. It cannot be easily moved because it does not have wheels.
You are probably wondering how this humidifier made it to this list at all. Well, the Holmes Cool Mist HM3855L does provide you with what you need from a furnace humidifier – easy and immediate adding of moisture into the air. It also produces negligible noise.
- Ease of use
- Dependable performance
- Tough and large unit
- Holmes provides good customer service
- Fairly quiet operation
- Difficult to move around
- Does not have automatic shutdown
How Do You Maintain The Best Furnace Humidifiers?
No matter how outstanding the performance of a furnace humidifier is, you still have to make sure you maintain it properly.
Furnace humidifiers generally require less maintenance compared to portable humidifiers. So, that is a plus. However, whenever you have to deal with accumulated or stagnant water, you have to deal with the residue of its daily operations that can transform the unit from a health booster to a source of illness.
You must make sure that you clean the unit free of this residue. If the device does not get taken care of, you may witness a mineral buildup. For humidifiers that rely on evaporation, the whole evaporator panel may have to be changed.
Of course, you also have to keep yourself safe when performing any cleanup and maintenance. The unit should be off before you attempt to do anything:
- Ensure that the filter and/or evaporator pad are clean. Use a washcloth and scrub the residue off with cold water. The buildup can cause faulty operation and even irreparable damage.
- Perform deep cleaning at least once a year. You also have hard water deposits, as well as rust, to contend with, aside from the daily residue. So, you need to make sure you read the product’s brochure for its unique way of deep cleaning.
- Antibacterial treatments also get deeper into the surface. Check if the brand recommends a particular cleanser to get rid of bacterial growth, or else you will have to work with the usual bleach, disinfectant, water, and/or vinegar combinations that are used for cleaning appliances.
- Leak checks must be done since you are dealing with a product that works with a water supply. If a leak is not rectified right away, you may soon find yourself finding a replacement for your humidifier.
You have been given a list of the best furnace humidifiers out there. No matter how well-built each of them is, you have to take care of it.
The best furnace humidifiers can effectively operate in both tightly sealed houses and not so well-sealed homes. They can provide moisture to the air in both cases, but at different degrees.
So, no matter what house you live in, you can reap the benefits of the best units out there. Furnace humidifiers, as a whole, are better recommended to cold, dry places. If you experience long winters, then you will benefit from such a healthy addition.
You do have to make sure that the humidifier you choose:
- Is affordable to buy and maintain
- Compact and portable
- Dependable and operates as promised
- Comes with an auto-shutdown when the water tank is near empty if nobody can monitor it
- Has great water capacity
- Does not keep stagnant water
- Provides ease of use
- Accurately works because of digital controls
But here is the thing: not all of the above features will be found in one product. So, place a tick on the features that you cannot live without. Perhaps you can make adjustments for the ones that you cannot avail of. This article has made life a little easier by giving you the 6 best furnace humidifiers in 2020 so far.