It might surprise you to find out that many people prefer winter instead of summer. I honestly cannot fathom why anyone would willingly want to feel cold and uncomfortable but to each their own. Yet, these same people who supposedly love the chilly air usually have furnaces inside their homes. I mean, I do not blame them. If it were up to me, I would wrap a thick quilt around myself and sit in front of a heater all day.
While furnaces do provide heat for your whole house, they come with a particular disadvantage: dryness. This dryness can be damaging for both you and your home. Your skin might get flaky, and you could have a perpetual cold. It might even trigger asthma and allergies. Any wooden structures inside your home will also be sapped of moisture. When dry, doors and cupboards will start cracking.
To combat dryness, installing a humidifier would solve most of your problems. Instead of buying small and portable humidifiers for every room, you can fit one inside your furnace for equal distribution throughout. Read on to find out our top selections for furnace humidifiers.
Best Furnace Humidifier
Honeywell Home HE360A1075 HE360A Whole House Humidifier
If it holds some significance for you, this Honeywell humidifier comes in a light gray color. Sadly, there are no fun alternative colors available, such as green and purple. The humidifier has a flow-through design. Once connected to a warm air supply, it will not use any excess water; instead, it will help in cutting down your water bill.
It contains a distribution tray which helps in optimizing airflow. The system will be efficient, as not only will your needs be met, but you will also be saving up on costs. Another advantage is how its construction requires minimal maintenance. The consistent flow ensures there will not be a build-up of gunk. If your home is within 4,200 square feet, this Honeywell humidifier will integrate with your variable speed system.
Honeywell Home HE240A2001 HE240A Whole House Humidifier
You might think I am recommending the same product to you again. You are mistaken. Had you not been lazy and skipped over the numbers, you would have realized this is a different model! The greatest distinction with this humidifier, as compared to the previous one, is that it comes in red color. Jokings aside, that is not the only dissimilarity, of course. This Honeywell humidifier is ideal for houses under 3,000 square feet.
Inside the machine is a metal web that will prevent bacteria from gathering and creating additional problems with the air supply. It might take a few hours if you are installing it yourself, but once all the parts are joined, you will immediately be rewarded with moisture in the air. You can then adjust how high or low you want the moisture levels to be.
Aprilaire 700M Whole Home Humidifier
Four thousand two hundred square feet means a comparatively large house. Usually, two floors and a few spacious rooms. The downside of having a larger space is that it takes more time and power to be thoroughly heated. The Aprilaire 700 comes in three variants, ranging from 3,000 to 4,200 square feet. You can choose a suitable one according to the size of your house, which can either be automatic or manual.
With the automatic humidifier, you have the additional feature of an outdoor temperature sensor. Once your monitor is set-up and initially calibrated, it will automatically sense differences between outdoor and indoor humidity levels and adjust itself accordingly. The panel will show the exact humidity value and when maintenance services are required.
Aprilaire 500M Whole Home Humidifier
Now you will probably go back to the previous review to see whether there is a model difference here as well. You will be proven right as this model caters to smaller houses. Three thousand square feet is by no standards considered small, but relatively, there is a size difference. The house will be more compact; hence moisture dispersion will be more efficient.
Besides the capacity of the humidifier is 12 gallons per day, the overall features and components are pretty similar. This variant also comes with the option of an automatic or manual sensor. If you opt for the manual version, all humidity settings will have to be physically done by you. While making adjustments, keep in mind an optimal level of humidity is, on average, 40%.
Aprilaire 600M Humidifier Automatic
I swear to you, these are all different models! Just look at the numbers, you will see I am telling the truth. Besides a difference in size, a few models have additional features that set them apart. This particular variant, as suggested by the name, has three noteworthy automated characteristics.
Firstly, it has a copy function. This means that you can set a particular command for a specific day. You can either program the controls to be different for all seven days of the week or copy one set program over several days. Secondly, if there are any power outages, all of your settings related to commands and dates will not be lost, as that data is stored. Finally, you can also program the fan to provide a higher quality of air inside.
GeneralAire 1000A Humidifier, 120V
I can bet you are relieved to see a different company other than Aprilaire. For this product, you will not have to note the model number for a diligent comparison. While the company might be different, it does resemble the Aprilaire series in terms of built and features.
Along with the humidifier, you will also receive an automatic humidistat. This sensor will provide digital readings of temperature differences outside. Do keep in mind that there should be a drain present where a pipe can expel surplus water.
Aprilaire 800 Whole Home Steam Humidifier
Your relief is short-lived as we face another Aprilaire model. This particular humidifier also looks very distinct from the previous ones, so you can rest assured it is different. As previous variants have shown, the higher the model number, the more square feet it covers. If you live in a 6,200 sq. Ft villa, you should opt for this humidifier.
You have two options: air ducts or no air ducts. With no air ducts, a fan mounted on the wall will circulate the moisture. The sensor will be manual, and you can choose from 12 to 34 gallons of water to dispense per day.
Honeywell HM750A1000 Electrode Steam Humidifier
Do you know what the best part of opting for humidifiers is? You will have a reduced electricity bill. Since the humidity will raise the temperature of your house, you will not feel the need to turn up the heat. This electrode humidifier also does not make any unnecessary noise while it is running.
It will hold about 11 gallons of water and automatically fill itself up with water when reserves are running low. The canister can easily be removed and cleaned out. The humidifier will also come with a digital control panel. You can set your preferred amounts, and the sensors will keep it there.
Desert Spring #DS3200 Disc Furnace Humidifier
When you first look at this product, you will see a spring inside a plastic casing. However, that is not a giant spring; they are rotary discs. These discs will resist rust, be easy to clean since there is a built-in drain, have no complex parts for replacing, and can be inspected through the transparent casing.
The humidifier can process about 14 gallons of water in a day and comes with a humidistat for monitoring.
Emerson HFT2100 Whole House Humidifier
For people with houses around 2,500 sq. Ft, this Emerson humidifier is excellent for compact spaces. Since it has a bypass flow function, moisture will penetrate every corner of your house.
With regards to fitting, the panels on the side can be reversed, and you can use either the left or right side, which can be locked into place.
Best Furnace Humidifier Buying Guide
After going through the product list, you will realize two companies dominate the humidifier market. Honeywell and Aprilaire have a range of models each that cater to specific house size. Before you purchase a humidifier, there are certain things you should account for:
Price: The humidifiers I have mentioned in the list are a minimum of $150. Considering these are for the whole house, it is an expensive investment. Evaporative humidifiers are priced between $150-$300. Steam humidifiers are very costly and can go up to $600-$700.
Type: This brings us to the two main types of humidifiers. Firstly, there are steam humidifiers. As suggested by the name, these store water in a canister and then use electricity to boil the water. This boiling is not done continuously, only when the humidifier detects that moisture levels are low. Once the steam is produced, it is distributed throughout the pipes.
An advantage of steam humidifiers is that water is being purified. Due to the high temperatures, disinfection is done. A disadvantage, however, is that steam may cause pipes to rust. They can also be a little tough on your pocket as your electricity bill will shoot up.
Secondly, there are evaporative humidifiers. These are directly connected to a water supply. The water is guided towards humidifier pads that evaporate the water and add moisture to the air supply.
Evaporative humidifiers can further be sub-divided into two categories. There are bypass humidifiers where air flows over the evaporator pad to pick up dampness. Then there are powered humidifiers that employ a fan to suck air towards the humidifier pad.
An advantage of evaporative humidifiers is that they do not consume a lot of electricity. The downside, however, is that barely 30% of water is converted into moisture.
Maintenance: Since these are whole-house humidifiers, frequent maintenance is not necessary. You need to check up on them before the season starts, and then once after the season finishes. If you have a steam humidifier, your job is more comfortable as you only need to either clean out or replace the canister, as necessary. With an evaporative humidifier, humidifier pads need to be cleaned or replaced, depending on what condition they are in.
It is recommended that the parts mentioned above be replaced every year. You will also need to keep a check on calcium deposits, dirt, and bacteria build-ups. If cleaning is not done, you might face issues in the flow of air throughout your house.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Install a Humidifier in your Furnace?
If you have absolutely no experience with using tools or installing machinery, I would suggest calling in a professional who would fit this in the right way.
If you want to try it out yourself, there are several steps you can follow. First, gather materials such as a drill, screwdriver, wrench, markers, your humidifier unit, pipes, and nuts.
Next, before you start cutting or drilling, you will need to mark the hole your humidifier unit will go in. Once you make a hole, you can start cutting out the shape. Place in your mounting plate and attach it with some screws. You will follow the same marking and cutting procedure for the humidistat as well.
You will fit the humidistat first, and ensure it has a power supply running through it. Then you will connect the humidifier to the humidistat by placing the wires into the nuts. Make sure they are adequately tightened.
Finally, link a water source pipe to the humidifier. Make sure it has a valve so you can control the flow of water. Also, it would be preferable if the waterline has hot water.
What are the Benefits of a Furnace Humidifier?
Humidifiers will ensure humidity levels inside your house will remain consistent and at an optimal level. When homes are humid, bacteria and viruses will not be able to cultivate, and you will stay disease-free. Both your skin and household furniture will remain moisturized and free from cracks and itching.