What Is the Best HVAC Home Humidifier?


Did you know that the average humidity in Alabama is 71%? It ranks 12th among all 50 states in highest humidity levels. 

Now with that kind of humidity levels you may think that your inside house is experiencing the same thing. That’s the wrong way of thinking!  

The inside of your house can be lower and drier which can cause breathing issues and other problems inside your home. 

The EPA says that a safe, healthy, comfortable humidity level is between 30% - 50% 

Do you know the humidity level in your home? Do you have a humidifier? If you don’t, here’s why you should get one installed and how to choose the best one for your home. 

What is a Humidifier?

A humidifier is a system that adds moisture to the air which helps with breathing, combating airborne bacteria and viruses. 

Types of Humidifiers

If you search for “home humidifiers near me” you will most likely find the small plug-in humidifiers that you add distilled water to, but there are whole-house humidifiers that are extremely efficient and create a comfortable whole-house atmosphere. 

If you’re wondering how energy efficient your HVAC unit is, read our latest article, What does SEER mean in HVAC, for more details! 

Central Whole-House Humidifiers

If installed with your HVAC unit it will help to regulate the humidity in your home, giving you a more comfortable environment. 

There are quite a few options for whole-house humidifiers but the 2 main types are bypass and steam. 

Bypass Humidifier

A bypass humidifier is an evaporative unit that is considered a traditional and older style that you will find in older homes that have whole house HVAC. 

A bypass humidifier has what is called a bypass duct (which is where it gets its name). This duct is connected to the return side of the HVAC unit. Water then pours over an evaporator panel or “pad” and when the heat is turned on the hot hair “bypasses” the furnace/heat pump and blows hot air over the evaporator pad which then sends excess moisture into the air through the duct system. 

This system works off of the heat and forced air systems so it is not powered. 

There is also another type of evaporative humidifier called a powered humidifier which is essentially a bypass humidifier but it has a powered fan which eliminates the need for a bypass duct. It’s installed onto the supply side of the air handler and will blow the humidity through the air ducts when the heat is on. This unit is typical in new homes with whole-house HVAC units. 

Steam Humidifiers

Just like it’s name a steam humidifier produces steam through boiling water.

 The steam unit is more efficient than other units for example the bypass unit. The average evaporator unit can use up to 14 gallons of water to create one gallon of water vapor. A steam unit takes one gallon of water and turns it into one gallon of steam. 

Steam humidifiers are also considered to produce more organic and pure humidity due to the creation of the steam through boiling water. 

Portable Humidifiers

There are smaller, portable, personal humidifiers on the market as well which can give you a comfortable atmosphere but only works in a small space.

These can be purchased at your local super store or pharmacy and run on electricity. These humidifiers are also inexpensive, but not as effective for overall house comfortability. 

Portable, personal humidifiers are not as safe around children because of the hot steam and mist they produce. Always look for cool mist humidifiers if you have small children and are looking to purchase a portable one. 

Why You Need A Whole-House Humidifier

If you don’t have one already, it’s also good to buy a hygrometer which measures the humidity levels in your home. This will tell you exactly what your levels are everyday and how to adjust accordingly - if needed. 

When humidity reaches high levels it generally feels uncomfortable. Mold and mildew can form, wood can swell and doors will stick.

When humidity levels are low it means that people with allergies and breathing problems can struggle and bloody noses, dry skin and snoring can also be issues. 

Better sleep quality

Less likelihood to catch a cold or flu

Hydrated/moisturizes skin and lips (no dryness, flakiness or itchiness) 

Better breathability

More comfortable atmosphere

Protect furniture and floors

With a stable, balanced humidity level you can turn your thermostat down and in turn save money on your energy bill! If you turn down your thermostat by 7-10 degrees you can save an average of 10% according to the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Breathe Better with Valley Heating & Cooling

A part of our mission at Valley Heating and Cooling is to help you breathe better, cleaner air and have a comfortable home environment. Your HVAC units should be maintained 2 times a year and if you have a humidifier we will also inspect it during that time.

If you are interested in getting a whole-house humidifier, give us a call and set up an appointment for a free estimate. During that time we can help you choose the right humidifier unit for your home. 

Our services areas reach north and central Alabama including Madison, Athens, Madison, Trinity, and Cullman. We are considered a top Madison AL HVAC Service company and we are proud to offer 24/7 emergency services to our clients. Search for “Heating and Cooling near me” to see if we are able to service your home with top quality HVAC installation, maintainer and service.