4 Best Whole-Home Humidifiers to Help You Breathe Easy This Winter

Combat the dry air and health problems by returning moisture to the air in your home.

Winter in Canada can be an unpredictable time. Snow, wind, ice and slush will all come (probably) at some point, and how much we’ll get remains to be seen. Sometimes it can feel like the only constant is dry air and sometimes very dry skin.

Air that’s lost its moisture can cause chafed and cracking skin, and make it easier for you to contract respiratory illnesses as your mucous membranes dry up. It also isn’t great for the wood in your home, which can respond in negative ways to the changing climate.

What can you do to fight back? Bundle up outside and get a humidifier for your home.

Portable humidifiers can be effective for one room or occasional use. If you wish to adjust the climate in your entire home and you have forced air heating, go for one that attaches to your furnace. For a different approach, a large console-style device can also work well.

Related: 3 of the Best Rated Refrigerators to Keep Your Food Fresh

When it comes to reviews for whole-home humidifiers, here’s the scoop. Sites like Consumer Reports review the small portable type but not larger ones. Others, like ‘humidifiercentral.com’ are often sites that are put together by the creator for some product placement kick-back cash.

The information could be accurate, but you don’t really know where it’s coming from.

With that in mind, we turned to the almighty consumer on Amazon.ca to find the best rated products out there. Yes, these ratings can be artificially boosted. To cover the bases, we’re giving you the good and the bad here on the most popular brand name products for an idea of the buying scene.

Here are 5 of the best whole home humidifiers, as reviewed by consumers like you.

1) Aprilaire 600M Whole-House Humidifier with Manual Control

4.5 Stars 87 reviews on Amazon.com

Apilaire’s whole home humidifier is good for adding moisture to well-sealed homes of up to 4,000 square feet. That being said, some customers found it a stretch to cover a house that large. Some say that 2,800 square feet is closer to the truth.

The company states that it can deliver up to 50% more moisture than other comparable units, and that the device has an evaporation capacity of 0.70 gallons per hour.

The Bad:

“Barely gets my 2k sq ft home to 38% humidity. Wastes tons of water. Terrible product.”- Amazon.com customer.

The Good:

“We live in Western NY and it can get ridiculously dry in my house. As such, I have been having sinus issues for some time not to mention shocking my poor cats to the point of aversion. We decided to buy this product and have my husband install it himself (note: doing so voids the warranty). After reading the reviews and watching a few youtube videos, my husband had no problem installing this with no HVAC experience. Product was a great price, so we saved a great deal by doing it ourselves! It has made a huge difference in my sinus issues and my cats are grateful!” –dlebeau on Amazon.com.

2) Honeywell HE360A1068/U Whole House Powered Humidifier (White)

4 Stars, 58 reviews

Honeywell’s universally compatible whole home humidifier can be used successfully on homes of up to 4,500 square feet.

It holds 8.5 kilograms of water, and can be installed by the user. Some say the process isn’t straightforward and can take an afternoon, but that the end result could be worth it.

The Bad:

“Whenever the unit kick-in it ends up making a good amount of humming noise which I believe could be due to the turbulence it creates within the duct by forcing air into it. You realize the amount of noise its actually making when the unit turn off. Feel like some heavy motor just stopped working. 2. Very low water efficiency. The water return is straight into the drainage and it does not recycle, so the unit continuously consumes water while its running. 3. Costly, unit.”-Amazon.ca customer

The Good:

“Great product. Works well. Easy to install if you have the right tools and a bit of experience otherwise get it professionally installed. Installation mistakes will be very costly as you are dealing with an Hvac and water line.”- Amazon.ca customer

3)AIRCARE EA1407 Digital Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier, Honey Oak

4.5 Stars, 20 reviews

This humidifier is for those who don’t have forced air, or who simply wish to skip installing one on their furnace. Aircare’s humidifier sits on the floor, and looks a bit like a hallway table. It works by releasing moisture into the environment through evaporated water passed by a fan.

Set your desired humidity level and this unit will shut off automatically once it’s reached. It has a 5 gallon tank, and can run for 55 hours, giving a lot of coverage.

The Bad:

“The “F” for when the humidifier is empty doesn’t work,( it’s level on hardwood floors) so it often runs with no water. I have it set at 35% and I fill it daily. Easy to fill. It is made of cheap plastic. It does the job.”- Amazon.ca customer

The Good:

“Larger than I expected but whisper quiet on low fan. Does an excellent job of the whole house. Quite easy to fill and replace.”- .”- Amazon.ca customer

4) White-Rodgers Emerson HFT2100 Whole House Humidifier

4 stars, 6 reviews

This humidifier by White-Rodgers Emerson is good for homes of up to about 2,400 square feet. If the air outside your home isn’t exceptionally dry on average during the winter, you could risk it and try to cover a larger home, but you’re likely safer going for a different product to get more coverage.

The Bad:

“Took a while to install pieces had to be bought from local hardware store. Once installed the air quality improved humidity was evident and the dryness of before was no more.”- Amazon.ca customer

The Good:

“Great price and fast delivery. Brand new, works great.”- Amazon.ca customer

Photo credits: Ana Blazic Pavlovic

 

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