It is a well known fact that the best portable whole house humidifier is one of the preferable and vital device to have in the home, and this is primarily due to its importance and consequentially, its broad range humidification in a space.

Although, there are different model by different makers and types of this device ranging from the portable to whole-house models, and also according to their mode of operation. All of them still perform the essential task of increasing moisture. One of its significant variations is the best whole house steam humidifier that is portable. Its misting coverage is comparable to none.

Humidifiers take up many forms, not just the portability we all cherish; instead, there are some others that don’t just sit pretty like a furniture all day but are installed in more central areas like the furnace system. They add moisture directly to in the air in the duct before it gets into your atmosphere. These are the original models of whole-house humidifiers

This article revolves around the best whole house furnace humidifier and other types which works in hand with the HVAC system to humidify the whole house at a go, and therefore would require a different kind of installation process and cost. All those would be discussed as we proceed.

Whole-house humidifier types

There are different types of whole-house humidifiers, with a fundamental difference of mode of operation, as seen in the different products reviewed earlier in the article. These types are; drum wheel, flow-through, disc wheel, and the spray mist humidifiers.

  • Drum wheel humidifier:

Products with this design makes use of a foam pad, which is mounted on a drum that is placed inside a reservoir of water, soaking water accordingly as needed.

In the process of humidification, the drum begins to rotate, hence allowing the pad soak in water, which is then evaporated by coming in contact with hot air from the HVAC system passing through the humidifier and is then released into the atmosphere. They, however, have a tendency of water stagnation, when the reservoir holds water for too long.

  • Flow-through humidifier:

Devices with this mode operation, works by making use of an aluminium tray as a source of water input. The aluminium is a flat tray, with is placed in a slant direction, and water channelled to it through several outlets (depending on specific manufacturers design), flowing down as a result of gravity, and comes in contact with hot air from the furnace.

This causes evaporation to occur, increasing substantially the moisture content of the air, which then flows into the house. Though effective, this type is not efficient, due to the fact that not all the water flowing through the tray gets evaporated.

  • Disc wheel whole House Humdifier:

They have a very similar operational mechanism to the drum-type humidifier, with a significant exception of the drum and pad being replaced by spinning plastic discs.

This plastic disc becomes both responsible for taking water off the reservoir, as well as bring it in contact with the hot air in the furnace that causes evaporation. They also have the same stagnancy problems as the drum type and would require frequent maintenance.

  • Spray mist humidifier:

This type of product is the only type of standalone whole house humidifier, which is responsible for breaking down of water in itself, as well as propelling it into the air. It employs the same principles and mode of operation seen in a regular portable humidifier, and have different mist making processes, though many are evaporative type.

They are highly efficient, and relatively inexpensive as well as not requiring frequent maintenance, though they cannot generate quite as many mists or cover as much house sizes as other types.

Top 5 best portable whole house humidifier

1) AIRCARE Digital Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier 

Special features: console type humidifier, digital humidistat, LED display, 4.75-gallon water capacity, caster wheels,

whole house portable Humidifier
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This is a tiny and portable device with only just a few inches off the floor, but dont be confused for height, as the product is very efficient in performance, specifically large sized areas. It has a digital LED display, which works with a humidistat to measure and display the level of relative humidity in the atmosphere. It also sits on caster wheels, which helps for easy mobility around the house.

The major catch in purchasing this device is in its capacity, precisely in the size of the room it is able to serve. Room in the real sense is a wrong word, as this is a standard whole house product, being able to serve areas of precisely 3000sqft in size. It is also able to hold an impressive amount of water at a time, of about 4.8 gallons in capacity, which is split between two separate tanks installed in the unit.

With an auto mode, this device has an impressive feature, which allows it to regulate humidity in the atmosphere, raising and keeping it on a preset safe level chosen by the user. it also comes with the safety auto-shutoff mode, which turns off the device as soon as the water in it tank runs out, preventing overheating and damage to the unit, as well as fire hazards that could result from the heat.

Before the auto-shutoff kicks in, however, the low water level indicator dries glow, alerting the user that a refill is required. The capacity of installed two tanks gives it a runtime of about 12 hours, which isn’t that impressive, and as a result, would have you feel it about twice a day on the med to high fan speed. It is tranquil in operation at the low speed, but of course becomes louder at higher levels, though the noise is tolerable.

We recommend this device be used with bacteriostat, one for each tank, as it would help the wick last longer, as well as removing musty and damp smell which accompanies the use of ordinary tap water. The filters last pretty long and should be changed at least once in a year, and the product purchase comes with a 2-year warranty.


  • suitable for large-sized houses,
  • auto mode,
  • auto shutoff,
  • low water level indicator,
  • quiet operation,
  • extended filter life,
  • 2 years warranty,
  • high mist output rate.


  • it is expensive,

2) Aprilaire 600 Whole House Humidifier 

Special features: whole-house evaporative humidifier, LED display, product dimensions; 10.2 x 15.4 x 15.8 inches, humidity and outdoor temperature sensor, item weight; 8.7 pounds,

Best portable whole House Humiifier
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From the fathers and literal inventors of humidifiers, this device is a traditional whole-house humidifier in design and in the mode of operation. Aprilaire invented humidifiers back in the 50s, pioneering an age which man has dramatically benefited from; therefore, you can expect any device from their ranks to be as good as they come.

The device comes in two parts, with the automatic humidifier control, and the humidifier itself, which both works in hand to get the job done.

It is not merely placed on the floor or some tabletop and left to function like portable humidifiers; preferably this device is installed with a pre-existing HVAC system of the house. The evaporative humidifier works by receiving water which is piped into a distribution tray at the top side, which is then distributed across a tray, flowing through several outputs, where it comes in contact with hot air from the HAVC system and evaporation takes place.

After evaporation, the vapour is distributed across all area of the home by the air flowing in the HVAC system. Due to its operational mechanism, this humidifier is able to cover a vast area, up to 4000sqft, making it able to serve basically every regular house today, though there is a problem of it being dependent on a pre-installed HVAC system means.

On purchasing this device, you would need to install it, which could be done by paying a professional or following the simple DIY procedures.

Estimated time of installation is about 3 hours, and it is effortless to install with precise instructions. The humidifier is controlled by an auto control, which makes use of humidity and outdoor temperature sensor in order to balance humidity level inside the house automatically. This way, you only have to install and leave the unit to run.


  • high mist output rate,
  • suitable for large-sized houses,
  • auto mode,
  • easy to install,


  • requires preinstalled HVAC system,
  • it is expensive,
  • long installation time,

3) Honeywell HE120A Whole-house Humidifier 

Special features: drum whole house humidifier, item weight; 10 pounds, product dimension; 9.1 x 10.9 x 12.8 inches, certified frustration-free,

Best portable whole house Humidifier
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This is a very portable humidifier, literally tiny, and wouldn’t take up any sort of space on installation. The device is very efficient, creating moisture and doesn’t work alone, as it is a whole-house humidifier that functions in hand with a preinstalled furnace. It is very light in weight, and though that doesn’t count for mobility since you never have to move the device around, it helps in much easier installation.

The device comes in a complete package, having everything you would need to install, as well as a DIY instruction among its manuals. You are then left with a choice of embarking on its installation adventure or simply hire a professional to do the dirty work. It is however easy to install though, should you choose to follow the DIY, and would take an average of 3 hours in total.

It is called a drum-type humidifier, and needs to be connected to a water source, as well as an optional drain in case of overflow, and applies similar technology design the earlier reviewed Aprilaire. The furnace air helps distribute the moisture as it flows around the house. Auto mode feature is present in this device, hence allowing it to function automatically and independent of users monitoring.

A downside to this device is however in its capacity as it is recommended only for small to medium-sized homes of about 1500sqft in size. Due to being drum designed, there is also a strong tendency of stagnation occurring in the water collected, breeding bacteria and mould in the process. We recommend you keep an eye out and regularly clean to avoid this problem. The device also has a 1-year warranty attached to its purchase.


  • auto mode,
  • 1-year warrantee,
  • high moisture output


  • suitable for small to medium-sized houses only,
  • long installation time,
  • bacteria and mould buildup,
  • noisy operation,
  • requires a preinstalled HVAC system.

4) Aprilaire 500 Whole House Humidifier 

Special features: whole house humidifier, compact, product dimensions; 15.623 x 13 x 10.25 inches, item weight; 7.75 pounds,

Best whole house Humidifier that is portable
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Another Aprilaire dehumidifier on our list, and just like the one before it, it doesn’t disappoint in performance. The design of this humidifier is every bit similar to the Aprilaire 500 models, and precisely the same in looks, with just a slight variation in size and capacity. It is very portable being of smaller size, and pretty easy to mount, only taking up an inconsiderable amount of space in the home.

This device is strictly a whole house product. Therefore it needs to be mounted on an already installed furnace system, through which it distributes moisture in the house. Water is piped to the product, which then flows through a tray by reason of gravity just like the 600 models, going through outlets and coming in contact with hot air from the furnace which causes evaporation.

Coming to capacity, it falls just short of the 600 models which can cover as wide as 4000sqft, as it can only serve 3000sqft. It, however, has a pretty impressive moisture output rate per day, mostly suited to medium-sized areas, though it can also work for some large houses.

There is also an auto humidifier control present for monitoring humidity levels, and consequentially maintaining it, keeping it balanced to ensure there is no over humidification or under humidification. The water panel requires a frequent replacement; however, with once every season, the recommended rate.


  • auto mode,
  • suitable for large-sized houses,
  • high moisture output,


  • seasonal water panel replacement,
  • requires a preinstalled HVAC system.

5) AIRCARE 831000 Space-Saver, White Whole House Evaporative Humidifier 

Special features:  whole-house evaporative humidifier, trap max filter technology, 6-gallon tank capacity, item weight; 14 pounds,

Best portable whoe House Humidifier
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This unit takes us back to the earlier type that can work as a standalone device. Being a portable whole house humidifier, it is able to do quite a decent job over a reasonably sized area and is really portable for ease of mobility. It has an excellent design. As a result, beautiful looks, and would surely be a plus to any home both in performance and appearance.

It is an evaporative type device, which heats water up till vapour, releasing  the vapour into the atmosphere through the aid of a fan, and as a result, increases is humidity content. The unit is also designed with a trap max filter technology which ensures that vapour released is actually pure vapour, without contaminants. Its filters the water in a very effective way, getting rid of both large and unseen particles in the water.

Also, it is designed to very efficient, maximizing performance and reducing energy consumption to a bare minimum, and therefore adding very little to energy bills come to the end of the month. With the auto shutoff, this unit also prevents over humidification, as well overheating, by turning itself off once a specific humidity level s attained, or as soon as the water in its tank runs out.

The filter, of course, would need occasional replacement, and is why a filter replacement indicator has been built into the product, to help users with the monitoring. It glows as soon as the time is up. using this device requires a whole lot of stress compared to those that work with a preinstalled HVAC system, as well as requiring lower installing and running costs. It also comes with a 2 years warranty ac icing on the cake.


  • filter replacement indicator,
  • auto shutoff,
  • trap max filter,
  • low energy cost,
  • 2 years warranty,
  • easy to use,


  • relatively short runtime,

Features to consider in choosing the best whole house humidifier

  • Capacity:

The capacity of a humidifier, especially the whole house model, is a significant factor to consider before purchase.

The consequences of not putting capacity into consideration before purchasing one of these devices could be really disappointing, leading to either a humidifier that cannot nearly do the job or one that just does too much. Though too much might seem all right, why spend more than you need to, in order to get the job done.

  • Installation process/cost:

Depending on your choice of whole house humidifier, most of them require some sort of installation procedure that would either spend one of your money or time.

If you decide to follow the DIY, then be sure to go stretch hours, or follow the other way of hiring professionals to do the job, which would cost you money. Depending on your preferred way, do well consider both.

  • Running cost:

Gone are the days where the downside of using a humidifier was the excessive amount of energy it consumes, as today, there are many energy star rated products on the market. Being an energy star rated means, it would do precisely the same job

  • Size/mobility:

For an easier installation of devices that require a reinstalled HVAC, and ease of mobility for those that can work as a standalone product, the size and mobility are both essential to consider.

For standalone products, mobility is not directly proportional to size, due to the fact that some other installations like a handle or caster wheels might even make bigger units just as mobile as the small ones.

Whole-house humidifier pros and cons

Pros of using whole House Portable Humidifier

  • High moisture output: whole-house humidifiers always have a high mist generation rate compared to other types, and if you’ve been in the market long enough, would have noticed the sizes of rooms they can serve consequentially. They are also installed with the home HVAC system, making the humidifying process faster and efficient as compared to other types.
  • Little chance of water or moisture damage.
  • No stress of constant refill.
  • They offer excellent value for the cost
  • Quiet operation
  • Doesn’t occupy space

Cons of Using a whole house portable Humidifier

  • Stressful and expensive installation costs
  • Requires frequent maintenance
  • Expensive initial purchase costs
  • Frequent maintenance

Whole-house humidifier cost of purchase and installation

The purchase cost of a whole house humidifier largely depends on its quality, as well as the value placed on it by manufacturers. For this reason, there is a wide range of cost for whole-house humidifiers on the market today, though most times, it would take anything from $100 and more, even over $1000.

From experience and other reviews, those less than a $100 are not that effective, and we recommend you add that few extra bucks to purchase a decent device.

The cost of installation also depends on the type of product, as well as the technical expertise required to get it up and to run. For more complex devices, there is a high tendency that you would have to hire a professional to get it done, while the lesser ones usually come with a DIY installation procedure. Cost of installation can range from anywhere between $80 and $700.

Summary: Best portable whole house Humidifier

AIRCARE Digital Whole-House Humidifier would be our top pick on the best portable whole house humidifier. It is literally portable and can be carried from one area to another while having a capacity to serve huge houses with its high mist output rate. There is also the presence of auto mode, whereby it can function independently, though it wouldn’t give you a runtime of more than two days on the lowest setting.

Just a hair strand length behind is the Aprilaire 600, which is a whole house HVAC humidifier, which is really efficient and produces a very high amount of moisture, enough for a 4000sqft house capacity. It also comes with the auto mode, and a pretty straight forward installation DIY procedure.

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