Furnace Humidifiers. Living in a region with a dry climate means that you’re exposed to the effects of regularly breathing dry air. It can make your nose and throat feel scratchy and contribute to respiratory infections
If your goal is to add moisture to the air throughout your home. Installing a small humidifier is one way to go.
If you want to avoid any negative effects of humidity, however, you should choose a furnace humidifier.
The best furnace humidifier should be installed directly in your home’s HVAC heating system. So you can add moisture to the air that is being heated and circulated throughout your home.
We analyzed a few critical features of these units to help you find the best furnace humidifier. The first thing we looked at was the type, which has a big effect on the price and effectiveness of the humidifier.
Depending on the size of your home, you need to account for the maximumhumidity output per day, as well as the size of the home.
Which is what each humidifier is designed to work for. Since it has to fit in the cramped space of your furnace room, we looked at the size of each unit.
We read through technical specifications and customer reviews to find the most popular furnace humidifiers.
The table below contains the list of the five best furnace humidifiers for all homes and budgets. Detailed reviews of each furnace humidifier, complete with pros and cons, are available here.
Our buying guide covers everything you need to know about how to choose the furnace humidifier that is right for your home, and finally we sum up our three overall favorite humidifiers on the market today.
- Best Value
- Budget Pick
- Best Automatic Humidifier
- Best for Large Homes
- Editor’s Choice
Best Value: Honeywell HE 360A
This fan-powered model is good for large homes.
Budget Pick: Aprilaire 600
You can change the humidity settings for each day of the week with this model from Aprilaire.
Best Automatic Humidifier: Honeywell HE300A1005
This pick has a Digital Humidity Control system that will give you the desired level of humidity.
Best for Large Homes: Aprilaire 700
The model from the trusted manufacturer can humidify homes of up to 4,200 square feet.
Editor’s Choice: Gen eralAire 1000A Humidifier
A fan-powered humidifier that can cover an area of 3,000 square feet is backed by a 10-year warranty.
The Top 5 Furnace Humidifiers Were Reviewed 2023
Medium-sized homes up to 3,000 square feet in size are provided with excellent performance by the fan-powered humidifier from General Aire.
The unit humidifies up to 18 gallons a day when your heater is running full speed.
Which is on par with humidifiers that are rated for homes with an extra 1,000 square feet of area to humidify, so you will notice the difference in your air immediately
The easy installation of the humidifier was found by users as it comes with everything you need to get it running.
The instructions give information for wiring the humidifier since it requires only 24V rather than 120V,
And General Aire offers an additional 24V sensing relay kit that many users opted to purchase during the installation.
Most users did not find the fan noise an issue when the humidifier was running at full speed. The automatic mode of the humidifier makes it easy to set it and forget about it.
This unit comes with a 10-year warranty, which is the longest among the humidifiers that we reviewed. If you want to avoid voiding the warranty.
General Aire highly recommends a contractor installation. Users did not report any issues with the humidifier breaking down over the first few years of use.
And many commented positively on the customer service team at General Aire.
What we liked:
- Excellent output for medium-sized homes
- Easy installation
- Long warranty and responsive customer service
What could be better:
- Louder than comparable humidifiers
- May need 24V sensing relay kit
When you have a big house, it’s nice to be able to keep your entire home comfortable without having to run the AC or heat the whole place.
This fan-powered air conditioning / heater helps keep rooms in your home cooler and more comfortable.
The humidifier has a variety of features, including a timer, energy saving modes, manual and automatic controls, and more.
It is suitable for people who want to conserve both water and energy, and for people who want to set the unit and forget about it.
Users have found that the automatic digital controller works perfectly, while the manual mode provides an indicator for temperature, humidity, and output so that you can adjust the humidifier accordingly.
The room is filled with a wonderful, humidifying scent that was noticeable within a few days of using this humidifier.
The unit is large, which makes it difficult to fit into tight ducts around the furnace, so be sure to check whether you have enough space for it to fit.
In addition, users found that this humidifier is far less designed to be installed as a do-it-yourself project and Aprilaire strongly recommends hiring an heating, ventilating.
And air conditioning contractor for the installation, which adds several hundred dollars The humidifier does not have a 24V wall outlet transformer, so you will want to purchase one to keep it running smoothly.
Users don’t report any issues with the controller’s durability over the five-year limited warranty that Aprilaire offers.
- Both manual and automatic controls
- Works for large 4,200 square foot homes
- Reliable manufacturer
- Difficult to install by yourself
- Does not come with 24V wall transformer
This is an excellent choice for homeowners who want to keep a consistent humidity in their home’s air thanks to a digital humidity control.
The controller doesn’t require any manual intervention, so you don’t have to think about the humidifier throughout the day.
But it regulates the unit’s water intake to keep a consistent humidity as your furnace turns on and off.
The humidifier uses up to 18 gallons of water per day when running at full blast, but it is rated for 4,000 square feet of coverage, so it works well for large homes.
Users found that this humidifier was easy to install and comes with a detailed set of instructions.
Customers note that while the humidifier can be hooked up to either a cold or hot water line, it is much more effective when used with hot water.
Which means it may increase your energy bill significantly. It might be difficult to install in tight ducts directly over the furnace because this humidifier is larger than other options.
If it’s an issue for you, it can also be installed on return air ducts, but the efficiency of the humidifier will be decreased since the air will be colder.
Unlike the other unit from Honeywell that we reviewed, this model does not appear to have issues with circuity breakdown over time, and there is a five-year warranty on this model.
- HumidiPRO digital control
- Easy installation
- Large coverage area
- Large, can be difficult to fit in furnace ducts
- The energy bill will increase if hooked up to the hot water line
If you are on a budget and don’t want the high performance offered by a fan-powered humidifier, the Aprilaire bypass furnace is a great option.
If your furnace is running at full blast and you don’t have a fan, this humidifier can add up to 16 gallons of water per day to your air, which is enough to cover a 4,000 square foot home.
The controls on this humidifier allow you to set either a consistent schedule or seven-day programming so that you can change the humidity settings for each day of the week.
Which is perfect if you are out of the house for work most of the week and want to conserve water. If the humidifier has not been running in a while.
It will use an internal blower to sample the air and then kick on humidifying if the air is below a set humidity. Since the internal battery allows the humidifier to keep a permanent memory.
Your settings won’t be lost when there is a power failure. Most buyers were okay with the fact that the humidifier uses a large amount of water, given how much it improves the quality of the air in the home.
Many users found that they could perform installation themselves with a few trips to the hardware store.
Although installation is not meant for the non- professional. If you install the humidifier yourself without a technician, you will void the five-year warranty on it.
What The We Liked About That:
- Detailed programming capabilities with a permanent memory
- Suitable for large homes
What Could Be The Better:
- Difficult to install by yourself
- Requires furnace to be on to add humidity to the home air
The large covering area rating of 4,200 square feet is what users liked about the performance of this fan-powered furnace humidifier.
The unit is very simple, with few of the digital controls and programming that other humidifiers offer, so it’s great for those who want to set the humidifier.
And then forget about it until it comes time to change the filter a year later. Users found that the humidifier worked well for the entire house, never allowing the humidity to drop below 10-15% even on the driest winter days.
It is relatively easy to install the humidifier, but you will need to purchase an additional installation kit from the company.
If you have a small duct area in your furnace room, the low-profile flow-through design of this humidifier makes it a good option.
If you have a forced air supply, the unit can be mounted right above the furnace or nearly anywhere in the duct system.
The lifespan of the humidifier is relatively limited, which may explain why it only has a one-year warranty.
Users found that the water supply solenoid and the circuit board are prone to frying, likely from poor interior construction that allows them to get wet over time.
So you will need to plan on replacing the entire unit after five years of consistent use. Buyers reported issues with customer service when trying to get the one-year warranty activated.
Best Of The We Liked:
- Easy to install anywhere in ductwork
- Simple to use with no programming
- Affordable price tag
This Is Could Be Better:
- Issues with solenoid and circuit board breakdown
- Only one-year warranty
- Requires additional installation kit purchase
Things to Consider
Now that you know more about our five favorite furnace humidifiers on the market, how do you choose which one is right for you? In our buying guide.
We will explain the basics of how furnace humidifiers work and then explain some of the critical features you need to know in order to choose the right furnace humidifier.
How do furnace humidifiers work?
There are a number of reasons why you should install a humidifier:
Some people buy humidifiers for asthma and cough relief, others search the net for the best one to use. A furnace humidifier is an efficient whole house solution.
There are many different types of furnace humidifiers that work in different ways to produce steam and move it through your ductwork.
Evaporative and bypass humidifiers are the most common types of furnace humidifiers.
You can expose the hot air produced by your furnace to a slow but constant trickle of water by using an evaporative, or fan- powered, humidifier.
The hot air causes the water in it to evaporate as it passes, increasing the humidity of the air in your ducts.
Evaporative humidifiers are the most common type of furnace humidifier since they are inexpensive to install and require very little maintenance beyond changing a filter once every year or so.
Since they don’t have their own fan or steamer, bypass humidifiers are completely dependent on your furnace system. The airstream goes through the evaporative pad to deliver the moist air.
Features to consider while choosing a furnace humidifier
Some furnace humidifiers are designed in different ways for different types of households.
The essential features that you need to know about to help you choose the furnace humidifier that is right for your home are covered in this section.
- Extra features
- Weight and dimensions
- Maximum output per day
- Coverage area
There are a number of things to consider when selecting a furnace humidifier. Automatic controls to turn on and off based on the temperature and humidity.
As well as programming functions so you can set the levels at which they turn on and off, can be found in some humidors.
If your humidifier is going to be installed in a basement furnace room, fan noise can be a consideration.
A good warranty from the manufacturer is necessary for your peace of mind, because a furnace humidifier is one of those home investments.
That you want to purchase only once and then forget about as it works without issue. General Aire has a 10-year warranty on their furnace humidifier.
Weight and dimensions
If you need to place your humidifier in a cramped furnace room or need to carry it into a basement or attic, the weight and size of your humidifier can be important considerations.
If you have a small furnace room, you may want to look for a unit that has a smaller footprint like the one from Honeywell.
It shouldn’t be necessary to move the humidifier after it’s installed.
Maximum output per day
The maximum output per day is the amount of water that can be evaporated into your heated air in a day.
The output is related to the rated covering area of the humidifiers. 16 gallons per day is enough to cover most 3,000-4,000 square foot homes.
The size of the house that a furnace humidifier is rated for is usually shown in square feet. If you put a GeneralAire humidifier in a house that is too large,
It will not humidify the air to the degree it should be. It’s a waste of water and electricity to have a large coverage area for a small home.
If you don’t want your home to be completely humidified, you can get a powerful humidifier for large rooms.
No rooms that aren’t connected to your duct system should be included in the coverage area of the humidifier.
The most important decision when choosing a furnace humidifier is whether to choose a fan-powered or bypass model.
Air-only humidifiers have a fan that pushes air into the humidifier, and bypass humidifiers, like the one from Aprilaire, do not have a fan.
It doesn’t seem like much, but having consistent air movement allows more water to be evaporated.
Which means the humidifier can work more water efficiently and produce more humidity than a bypass system without a fan. Fan-powered humidifiers can be used when the furnace is not on.
The latter are more popular because they are more expensive than the fan-powered ones. Since there is no fan, there are less moving parts that can break and require maintenance.
What is it that I need to do to install a furnace humidifier?
It requires some experience cutting through ductwork to install furnace humidifiers on your duct system.
If you don’t like it, most repairmen have the skills and experience to install the humidifier safely.
How to maintain a furnace humidifier?
Since they don’t grow mold and aren’t affected by mineral build up, furnace humidifiers are an easy way to maintain.
It’s a good idea to replace the filter on most of these humidifiers once a year. Keep an eye on fan-powered humidifiers, which are more prone to mechanical issues.
To make sure the fan is working as it is supposed to.
When is it necessary to have a furnace humidifier? Shouldn’t a portable one be enough?
If you only want to humidify the air in one or two rooms of your home, a portable furnace humidifier is a great option.
If you want to add humidity to the air in your house, which is common for homes with multiple bedrooms and a frequently used kitchen and living room.
A furnace humidifier will be more efficient and less expensive than purchasing multiple portable ones.
Our three favorite furnace humidifiers are the GeneralAire 1000A, the Aprilaire 700 and the HE300A1005.
Since they are rated for homes of 4,000 square feet or more, they’re perfect for families with multiple bedrooms to humidify, although both can be large to install in tight furnace ducts.
The Aprilaire unit comes with both manual and automatic controls, and we feel the HumidiPRO digital controller on the Honeywell is one of the best automatic humidifier controls you can get.
If your home is less than 3,000 square feet, the GeneralAire is the best furnace humidifier you can get.
Because of its 18-gallon per day output and the ease with which anyone can install the unit on their own.