Furnace Humidifier Reviews 2017: A Buying Guide

In the winter, the indoor air gets so dry that you could end up with nosebleeds, allergies and skin irritations. To ensure that the air in your home remains at the ideal humidity you need to install the best furnace humidifier that suits the size of your home. These humidifiers are also known as whole house humidifiers and are available in various configurations, and have their own pros and cons.

The need for furnace humidifiers

During the winter, the temperature goes down, necessitating the use of the heating system for extra warmth indoors. This increases the dryness in the air. If the relative humidity level is below 30%, it can cause respiratory infections such as sore throats, asthma, nasal blockages, etc. To lead a healthy life, increasing the moisture in the air gets rid of skin and breathing problems.

Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifierfurnace humidifier reviewsAprilaire Model 500 M Whole-house Bypass HumidifierHoneywell HE260A Higher Capacity Whole House Bypass HumidifierHoneywell HE360A
Area covered: Up to 4,200 sq ftUp to 3000 sq ftUp to 3000 sq ftUp to 4000 sq ftUp to 4,200 sq ft
Weight: 15.8 pounds7.3 pounds7.5 pounds15 pounds18 pounds
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Types of furnace humidifiers

There are six types of furnace humidifiers. They are:

  • Bypass Humidifier: This device sucks up hot air directly from the furnace humidifier. The hot air absorbs water, passes it through a filter and converts it into a warm mist.
  • ​Fan-powered Humidifier: This device throws a fine spray of water into the air with the help of a fan that blows water so that it passes through a filter.
  • ​Steam Humidifier: A steam humidifier boils water to form steam which is diffused into the air.
  • Flow-through Humidifier: This humidifier works like the bypass but has a fan to blow air across the wet pad for greater water evaporation. It can produce a gallon of humidity more than a bypass model can. It doesn’t need a bypass duct, so it can easily be installed in smaller homes. It is therefore ideal for homes built on slabs or those that have HVAC systems in a closet.
  • Reservoir Humidifier: This unit uses a reservoir of water and a rotating drum to introduce the moisture necessary for humidified air.
  • Furnace humidifier: whole-house or furnace humidifiers, which connect to a home’s HVAC system, provide humidity to the entire house.

Furnace Humidifier Reviews

  1. Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier

Aprilaire 700 Automatic HumidifierThe Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier can handle large quantities of humidification due to its digital control that’s ideal for large homes. With its capacity, it can get rid of dry air and the health issues it causes, such as skin irritation and allergies. It can be used over an area of 4,200 square feet where it delivers a maximum of 50% more moisture than other humidifiers in the same price category. It works silently with basic annual maintenance. Its built-in fan sucks up warm air directly from the furnace and scatters it to a maximum capacity of 18 gallons per day in the form of humidity over a maximum area of 4,200 square feet. It can provide water to a maximum capacity of 0.75 gallons per hour, the highest in today’s market.

It can be set up very easily and its censors can be operated manually. The automatic digital control plays a pivotal role in adjusting the perfect level of humidity for all rooms consistently, reducing the possibility of heavy repairs.

Pros:

  • Digital control feature keeps the humidity levels uniform.
  • It requires maintenance service only once a year.
  • Relative humidity indicators and temperature are included in its manual mode.
  • It works well and silently.
  • It has an easy-to-read LED display screen.

Cons:

  • Installation may be difficult for lay people.
  • This unit does not come with an installation kit.
  • Ducts with horizontal air flow display lower performance level.
  • Warranty only for users who have their units installed by a professional.
  1. Aprilaire 500 Humidifier, 24V Whole House Humidifier w/Auto Digital Control Bypass Damper .5 Gallons/hour

furnace humidifier reviewsThis humidifier from the Aprilaire stable, helps provide maximum comfort all over the house every moment of the year without any mess or inconvenience. It takes away all your skin itchiness caused due to heating of indoor air. This humidifier also takes away another disadvantage of dry indoor air which is static electricity. Once relative humidity is restored to the ambient air, this discomfort will automatically reduce.

This whole house humidifier covers an area of 3000 sq ft and has a water feed rate of 3.0 GPH and an evaporative rate of 0.5 GPH. It includes the automatic digital control feature, along with outdoor sensor, water pad, a 24 V transformer and built-in bypass damper. In fact, the bypass damper is appropriately labelled for summer and winter settings so that you can set it for each entire season. It is easy to install and maintain.

Pros:

  • It is easy to install and set up.
  • It is correctly priced.
  • The unit works efficiently so that the whole house is kept cool and comfortable.
  • It cures all nosebleeds caused by dry air indoors.

Cons:

  • The unit does not come with a warranty for the DIYer.
  • It takes about six hours to install, even for skilled workmen.
  1. Aprilaire Model 500 M Whole-house Bypass Humidifier with Manual Control

Aprilaire Model 500 M Whole-house Bypass HumidifierThis whole house humidifier comes with automatic digital control. It is fitted with a water panel, outdoor temperature sensor, 24V transformer, in-built damper and a saddle valve. This unit measures 13″ height x 15.62″ width x 10.25″ depth. Its bypass connections is mounted on the left and can be altered for right side applications. It can be used for medium-sized homes with an area of 3,000 square feet with automatic digital control for superlative performance. The Aprilaire Model 500M has an evaporation capacity of 0.50 gallons per hour. The water panel needs a change twice a year.

May Reduce Energy Costs – Maintaining healthy humidified air during the colder months can actually help you feel warmer, leading to reduced heating costs.

Pros:

  • It protects a home’s interiors from damage to the floor and furnishings from the ill-effects of low humidity.
  • It eliminates respiratory irritation caused by low humidity and helps ease itchy and dry skin.
  • Air humidified by this unit can help you feel warmer in the winter, thereby reducing energy costs.
  • This unit allows you to set the humidity levels according to personal preferences. The unit maintains that level without any human intervention.

Cons:

  • It needs to be installed by professionals.
  • The warranty will be void if not set up by a professional.
  1. Honeywell HE260A Higher Capacity Whole House Bypass Humidifier

Honeywell HE260A Higher Capacity Whole House Bypass HumidifierThe Honeywell HE260A flow-through bypass furnace humidifier is easy to run, cost-effective and doesn’t need much maintenance. It is mounted on supply plenum or return and needs good access to a return duct and drain. The bypass transports air through the humidifier to the return. It can handle 12 gallons per day as it adds humidity to your home, increasing the indoor air quality and your family’s health, apart from saving your home from carpet shock and cracking the woodwork. This unit is easy to install and works efficiently. It includes a humidistat, so users don’t need to buy one separately.

Pros:

  • It is easy to install with instructions from the YouTube video provided by the company.
  • It is appropriately priced.
  • The sail switch provided by the company works well and turns the humidifier on when the blower starts working.

Cons:

  • The ducting for the bypass that’s supposed to be four feet is actually 3.5 ft.
  • The instructions and video didn’t mention a gasket.
  • The pump continuously provides water when the blower is on, wasting it. If this water can be conserved, it would be better.
  1. Honeywell Furnace Humidifier

Honeywell HE360AThis furnace humidifier is the flow-thru and by-pass type. Its chief features are its easy management, low maintenance and cost-effectiveness. For perfect efficiency, this unit needs good access to a return duct and drain. The humidifier mounts on supply plenum or return. The by-pass transports air from supply, through the humidifier to return. It can cover an area of 3,000 sq ft.

Pros:

  • Whole house humidifiers work along with your HVAC system to make sure that all parts of the home have the ideal moisture levels.
  • A furnace humidifier can give the right amount of moisture to all rooms of the house without worrying about dry air or excessive humidity in the home.
  • With this unit, there is no damage to water or moisture.
  • Since this unit is directly linked to the plumbing of your home, you don’t need to refill the water used for increasing humidity.
  • A furnace humidifier is hidden away and works silently.

Cons:

  • It is more expensive to install than a personal humidifier.
  • It needs regular maintenance as dust particles and mineral deposits build up in the system if not looked after well.

Conclusion

Furnace humidifiers are very useful to have in areas of extreme dryness. However, before you go shopping for them, read their features and online reviews well and only then proceed to buy.

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