This is the time of year when low humidity in homes can be the most problematic. The air is extremely dry both indoors and outdoors, and using a humidifier is the best way to keep your home’s humidity levels under control. But if you want to control your home’s humidity levels, is it better to use a whole-house system or portable units? Today we’re going to help you make that decision by talking about the differences between whole-house humidifiers vs. portable humidifiers!

Whole house humidifiers vs. portable humidifiers

  • Performance. As its name suggests, a whole-house humidifier will control the humidity levels for every room and every floor in your home. A portable humidifier will only control the humidity levels for one space. To get the effect of a whole-house system, you’d have to use portable humidifiers in every room in your home.
  • Maintenance. Portable humidifiers require daily maintenance. You must change the water in their tanks every day and keep the units clean because the standing water can allow biological contaminants to grow inside the unit. Whole house humidifiers are connected directly to your home’s water supply, so you don’t need to change any water. The only maintenance required for a whole-house humidifier is to periodically change its pads.
  • Noise. Whole-house humidifiers are very quiet and you only need a single system for your entire home, so the little noise that they do make is confined to the space near your furnace. Portable humidifiers tend to be louder and you often must use more than one of them out in the open in your home where you can hear them.
  • Appearance. A whole-house humidifier is installed in your ductwork near your furnace, where it is likely hidden from view behind walls or closet doors. Portable humidifiers are used in the middle of a room where they take up space and can be unattractive.
  • Operational costs. Not only do whole house humidifiers operate efficiently, but they are also connected directly to your home’s water supply and often use your furnace’s existing fan. This means that they require very few resources to operate. Portable humidifiers can use up a lot of energy, especially if you use more than one unit at the same time.
  • Installation costs. Whole-house humidifiers are more expensive to install than portable humidifiers because they require professional installations and alterations to your ductwork. However, they will last longer than portable units and the costs of portable units will quickly rise when you purchase more than one.

Whole house humidifiers vs. portable humidifiers: Which one is right for your home?

In most cases, a whole house humidifier is the best option for controlling humidity levels in your home because they are more effective, more efficient, quieter, easier to maintain and more attractive than portable units. Portable units only make sense if you want to control humidity levels in a single room or you aren’t yet ready to invest in a whole house unit.

If you have any questions about a whole house humidifier vs. a portable humidifier, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis furnace installation and repair contractor. We provide service all over the St. Louis area, including towns like Ballwin, Chesterfield and Clarkson Valley, MO.

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