It’s no secret that the air gets dry here in the desert, especially during the colder months of the year. Since humidity is the second most important factor when it comes to your home’s comfort levels, humidifiers can greatly improve how comfortable you and your family feel at home. So if you want to purchase a humidifier, should you go with a portable unit or have a whole house humidifier installed instead? Today we’re going to help you make that decision by talking about the main differences between whole house humidifiers vs. portable humidifiers!

Installation considerations

  • Portable humidifiers: The installation process for a portable humidifier doesn’t extend much beyond taking it out of the box, filling it with water and plugging it in. Because of this, portable humidifiers are less expensive to install than whole house units. However, keep in mind that installation costs for portable humidifiers will rise dramatically when you purchase multiple units to use throughout your house.
  • Whole house humidifiers: Whole house humidifiers are installed inside of your ductwork, so they require a professional installation from an HVAC contractor like Hyde’s. This means that installing a whole house humidifier is more expensive, however you only need to pay for a single unit.

Performance levels

  • Portable humidifiers: A portable humidifier can only raise the humidity in a single room. If you want to control the humidity in multiple rooms or in your entire house, you’d have to use a separate unit for each individual space.
  • Whole house humidifiers: A whole house humidifier controls the humidity in your entire house using a single system. This allows every room to be at a consistent and comfortable humidity level at all times.

Operational costs

  • Portable humidifiers: Portable humidifiers tend to consume more energy and water than whole house humidifiers, especially when you have to use more than one portable unit at a time.
  • Whole house humidifiers: Whole house humidifiers connect to your home’s existing water supply and utilize your heating and cooling system’s fan, so they consume a minimal amount of resources and operate more efficiently than portable models.

Maintenance required

  • Portable humidifiers: This is one of the biggest drawbacks of portable humidifiers. You have to clean and replace the water in portable humidifiers every single day. If you don’t take daily care of your portable units, biological contaminants can grow inside of them and make you sick.
  • Whole house humidifiers: The maintenance required for whole house humidifiers is very minimal. Once they are installed, you simply have to change the humidifier pad periodically. Other than that, they are out-of-sight and out-of-mind.

Appearance considerations

  • Portable humidifiers: Portable humidifiers must be placed right out in the open where they can be an eyesore and take up space.
  • Whole house humidifiers: Whole house humidifiers are hidden away near your furnace where they can’t be seen.

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

When you consider all of the factors above, it should be clear that a whole house humidifier is the better option in nearly every circumstance. Portable units only make sense if you are on a tight budget and/or you only want to control the humidity in a single space. The only drawback of whole house humidifiers is that they are more expensive to install, however you get much more bang for your buck and you’ll save money on operating costs in the long run.

If you have any questions about a whole house humidifier vs. a portable humidifier, or if you’d like a heating and cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Hyde’s, your Indio, CA, furnace and air conditioning contractor.

photo credit: 365: 01/21/2009 via photopin (license)