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Should I Buy a Portable or Whole-Home Humidifier for My Lexington Home?

Indoor Air Quality


Dry air is a battle many Lexington homeowners fight throughout the winter season. It brings about dry hair and skin, chapped lips, and can even cause damage to your home and its contents. To remedy dry air, many turn to humidifiers, which add moisture to a home’s air supply.

There are two types of humidifiers available to homeowners: portable and whole-home. Below is a comparison of the two equipment types, so you can choose which is best for your home.

Humidifier capacity

  • Portable humidifiers are stand-alone, and typically cover a few hundred square feet. This is adequate for small rooms, one at a time. If humidification is needed in other areas, the unit must be moved or multiple units purchased.
  • Whole-home humidifiers connect with the home’s HVAC system. They treat the entire home’s moisture issues at once. Air is brought to balanced humidity levels directly from the furnace, before circulating into the home.

Humidifier maintenance

  • Portable humidifiers typically require daily maintenance. Their water tanks must be refilled to properly add moisture to the air. They also require cleaning, to eliminate mold and bacteria growth.
  • Whole-home humidifiers are relatively low maintenance. They are connected to the home’s plumbing, so water is filled automatically. They only require a water panel change once or twice each winter.

Humidifier noise and energy consumption

  • Portable humidifiers sit in living spaces, so their noise is more intrusive. While operating, you may hear bubbling and fan noise. They require more energy to treat one room than a whole-home humidifier requires to treat the whole house.
  • Whole-home humidifiers make little noise, as they are housed with the HVAC unit, away from main living areas. Whole-home humidifiers are energy efficient, treating the entire home at less cost than one room can be treated by a portable unit.

Climate Control staff are IAQ specialists with Aprilaire, manufacturer of elite whole-hole humidification systems. Aprilaire humidifiers are installed with your HVAC systems to treat dry air across the home. Contact us today to learn more about our whole-home humidifiers.

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