In the past few years, whole-home humidifiers have become more popular for homeowners. Our dry climate requires these HVAC accessories for comfortable and healthy breathing. In order for a humidifier to function well, it should be installed by an experienced HVAC contractor. Because there are so many different types of humidifiers, it’s hard to know what to install.  Keep reading to learn more about our recommendations.

Benefits of a Humidifier

Whole-home humidifiers are used to increase or maintain the amount of moisture in the air. Humidity levels between 40 and 60 percent are considered healthy in our homes. When indoor humidity levels drop too low, we start to feel the effects, such as:

  • Increased chance of catching the flu or other virus
  • Itchy skin, scratchy throats, and nose bleeds
  • Splintered hardwood, peeling paint, or cracked walls

Raising humidity in your home not only keeps your family and home safe, it can save you money! A humidifier replaces some of the lost moisture in the air, making the air feel warmer. Humidifiers save money because you can keep your thermostat on a lower setting. There are many benefits to having a humidifier

Types of Whole-Home Humidifiers

There are three types of whole-home humidifiers: bypass, fan-powered, and steam. Each one has different benefits and uses!

Bypass Humidifiers

whole-home humidifier

These humidifiers use the air movement of the ductwork to humidify the air. Because the air on the supply side of the ductwork has a slightly higher velocity than the air on the return side, air will be pulled through a moist pad while the furnace is in operation. Since a bypass humidifier utilizes the furnace’s fan to move air, the furnace must be on for the humidifier to work.


This humidifier is convenient. It has a constant water supply from the plumbing system and doesn’t need much cleaning. Because of its convenience, this humidifier requires little maintenance. A bypass humidifier is also usually more affordable.


This type of humidifier connects to a bypass duct, which can unfortunately can eat up more space. Since it uses the blower motor of the furnace, the humidity that it creates redistributes back through the furnace in a continuous loop. This means that a notable amount of moisture and humidity is lost. In other words, it is less efficient than other whole-house humidifiers.

Fan-powered Humidifiers

This type of humidifier mounts to the ductwork and uses a fan to push humidified air through the vents. A water line is installed to the humidifier which wets a pad. The fan then forces air through this pad. Excess water drains and the humidistat automatically controls the furnace and humidifier fan. Fan-powered humidifiers can operate continually, even when the heat is not on in your home.

fan-powered humidifier


The power humidifier produces more humidity than the bypass humidifier. It can operate when the furnace is off, as it has its own fan. Humidity level can easily be controlled by the humidistat. This results in a much more efficient system.


Fan-powered humidifiers can be more expensive and higher maintenance than other humidifiers. Because of the fan, they also tend to be slightly louder.

Steam Humidifiers

These humidifiers have a heating element that creates steam, which is incorporated into the duct system while the furnace fan is running. It has the potential to produce the most humidity when compared to other residential humidifiers.


They don’t require as much maintenance. You only need to replace the canister once every winter season. The risk of mold is very low with a steam humidifier. The device produces steam independently, which means that controlling the humidity level is much easier than with other types of humidifiers.  This humidifier –more so than others– allows the heating system to work optimally, consuming less energy. It is fairly quiet as well. Due to the quality of the device, you can save on your heating bills.


Steam humidifiers are more expensive than other kinds of humidifiers. However, they are more than worth it in the long run. Another con is that hard water affects how often the canister needs to be replaced. This means that you have to be aware of what water is being used. These devices can be complex, which makes their installation in your home somewhat hard.

whole-home humidifier

Express Home Services is Here to Help!

Whatever humidifier is best for your home, Express Home Services is here to install it! If you are considering a humidifier for your home, call us now! Our experts can come to your home, discuss your needs, and install the humidifier that suits your home best. We offer free estimates and easy payment options. With our professional installation, your humidifier will provide clean, comfortable air for many years to come. Contact us today for a free quote!

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