Don’t we all use furnaces to keep our interiors warm during the winters? But isn’t the dry hot air from furnaces a bit disgusting? Actually yes. The dry hot air may even cause allergies and skin irritations in some people. That is why you would look for the best furnace humidifier.
A furnace humidifier disperses moist air invisibly in the form of mists and sorts out the extreme dryness usually caused by heating and cooling systems. Excess dryness is not just a problem for people living inside the house but for the wooden works and decors in your interiors, as well.
Are you wondering how furnace humidifiers work? Or why should you choose a furnace humidifier rather than a console humidifier? This article will sort out most of the queries you would have when choosing a humidifier for your house. So, a furnace humidifier is as essential as a heating and cooling system, especially if you are living in North America.
Here we are also listing out the best furnace humidifiers available in the market. You can choose any of these furnace humidifiers and enjoy winters at great comfort. Before you zero in on the best furnace humidifier, let us understand what we are looking for first.
List Of The Best Furnace Humidifier
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 50 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 to pick 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.
3. 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.
4. Health benefits
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.
Check out the thorough reviews of the best furnace humidifier in 2023 below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aprilaire 700 automatic humidifier is one of the best furnace humidifiers in the market. It can be connected to any heating and cooling system at your home and protects you and your home well from excessive dryness.
You can use Aprilaire 700 automatic humidifier for spaces up to 4,200sqft. The evaporation capacity of this humidifier is about 0.75 gallons in an hour, which means it has a great capacity when compared with other humidifiers in the market.
Are you searching for an affordable furnace humidifier? Honeywell home HE240A is the best in terms of its cost as well as performance. You can easily mount this lightweight humidifier onto the current furnace at your home.
You can use Honeywell home HE240A whole house humidifiers for spaces up to 3000sqft. This furnace humidifier comes in a durable design that stands against rust and other kinds of external damages.
Skuttle 190-SH1 Drum Humidifier is one of the best energy-efficient furnace humidifiers in the market. It works well in keeping a balance in the moisture levels of your house in the dry winter months.
You can use Skuttle 190-SH1 Drum Humidifier for spaces up to 4,048sqft. It features a durable, rust-free, and corrosion-resistant thermoplastic cabinet with a moisture output of about 70 gallons per day. The shut-off damper of the humidifier controls the airflow in the summer.
How Does Furnace Humidifiers Work?
As we have said earlier, a furnace humidifier helps us to tackle the dry air problems usually caused by the heating or cooling systems at your houses. In short, furnace humidifiers protect your home from extreme dry conditions.
You might be wondering how furnace humidifiers work. Isn’t it? A furnace humidifier usually consists of a water collector, water control valve, blower, and humidistat. When you connect the furnace humidifier to a furnace, what the humidifier actually does is add moisture to the air supply of furnace. And this process actually takes place based on the principles of evaporation.
The furnace humidifiers are usually connected to the water supply and ductwork of houses. This connection allows the humidifier to work along with the conjunction of your HVAC equipment. The water vapor produced goes through the ductwork and is released into the interiors of your houses.
You can set the humidity levels as per your needs by setting up the humidistat of the furnace humidifiers. The humidity level you set up is maintained by furnace humidifiers by turning themselves off and on as per your settings.
Furnace Humidifiers VS Console Models
Furnace humidifiers can be directly installed on to the heating systems of your houses. Although installing furnace humidifiers is a bit of work, they don’t ask for much maintenance nor consumes a lot of space in your home. They are pretty easy to use, as well. Furnace humidifiers are collectively called ducted humidifiers. They usually stay out of sight.
Meanwhile, console humidifiers are not directly installed on to the heating systems of your houses. They exist as a separate unit. These humidifiers can be placed anywhere in the house according to your moisture needs. You can literally shift console humidifiers from one place to another for better humidity coverage. Although console humidifiers are easy to set up, they would need daily maintenance.
The major drawback of console humidifiers is their non-uniform distribution of humidity. You will get the most humidified air when you sit near a console humidifier. And the humidity level of the air drop as you move away from the console humidifier.
You don’t have to face this problem if you buy a furnace humidifier rather than a console humidifier. As furnace humidifiers are directly connected to the HVAC ducts of the heating and cooling systems, humidified air is evenly distributed through the ducts and vents across your house.
Now you know why furnace humidifiers are preferred over console humidifiers. Yes, furnace humidifiers are easy to maintain and provides uniform distribution of humidified air. They also don’t occupy much space and appear out of sight mostly.
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. We have listed out a few of the best furnace humidifiers in the market. You can consider these options if you are looking out for a popular and high-quality furnace humidifier.
Enjoyed this furnace humidifier review? Then be sure to check out our other guide of the Best Whole House Humidifier.