Whole-Home Versus Room Humidifier

Do room humidifiers provide the control you need?


Room humidifiers, otherwise known as tabletop or portable units, only treat the air in the immediate vicinity of the unit. Aprilaire whole-home products treat the air in every room of your home. Other advantages over a room humidifier include:

  • Less Maintenance: Water must be added to a room humidifier almost daily and standing water in the unit’s tank can pose a health risk. Whole-home units only require a seasonal change of the water panel.

  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Unlike a room humidifier, whole-home solutions are installed directly into your home’s central heating and cooling system, so they are located in a furnace closet or basement. Room humidifiers must be placed in an open, visible space in the area that is being humidified, and usually require access to an electrical outlet.

  • Quiet Operation: While whole-home humidifiers use the furnace fan to circulate humidity, room humidifiers must use their own fan, which can be as noisy as a portable air conditioner. Aprilaire humidification solutions are virtually silent.

  • Energy efficient: Room humidifiers may use more energy to humidify a single room than whole-home units require to control humidity in the entire house. All Aprilare humidifiers are designed with maximum energy efficiency in mind.


Using an Aprilaire Whole-Home Humidifier is one of the most effective ways to add the proper amount of humidity to your indoor air and prevent the problems caused by dry air.

Reduction of Relative Humidity Causes Dry Air

Drier air is especially prevalent during the winter heating season. This is because the relative humidity (RH) of the cold, outdoor air drops significantly when brought into your home and heated. Learn more about how relative humidity works.

Dry Air Can Damage Your Family’s Health and Home

Physicians and other experts often recommend humidity control to prevent the damaging effects of drier air caused by low relative humidity.

  • Low humidity can increase your likelihood of getting colds, flu and other upper respiratory ailments. Viruses that cause colds and flu thrive in low humidity. And, according to The American Society of Otolaryngology, dry air can make people more susceptible to infection. In addition, it can aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms.

  • Low humidity can cause home damage. It causes walls, woodwork, and your beautiful hardwood floors to crack. Electronics can fall victim to static electric charges, requiring expensive repair or replacement.

  • Low humidity can cause higher energy costs. Dry air can make you feel too cold at normal temperatures leading you to turn up the thermostat. This leads to higher energy bills.

Beyond the damage drier air causes, it makes you uncomfortable. It can cause:

To learn more about the effects of low humidity on your health and home, watch our Total Comfort Humidification video.

An Aprilaire Evaporative Humidifier Can Help

A room humidifier only adds moisture to one room. Aprilaire products are designed to deliver the perfect amount of moisture to your entire home, minimizing the ill effects of dry air and making you more comfortable at lower thermostat settings.

In turn, this will save you money. According to the EPA, every degree you lower your thermostat can result in 4% savings on your heating bill.Aprilaire Whole-Home Dehumidifiers provide whole-home comfort—unlike portable units that only address certain rooms.

"Humidifiers are commonly used in homes to relieve the physical discomforts of dry nose, throat, lips, and skin. The moisture they add to dry air also helps alleviate common nuisances brought on by winter heating, such as static electricity, splitting

woodwork and cracks in paint and furniture."
-U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Why Choose an Aprilaire Solution Over a Room Humidifier?

Installed directly to your home's central heating and cooling system, an Aprilaire Whole-Home Humidifier provides whole-home comfort—unlike room humidifiers which only address the problem in certain rooms.

Too much humidity can be as much of a problem as too little humidity. Unlike a room humidifier unit, a whole-home humidifier continually monitors relative humidity levels and then delivers the perfect amount of moisture to the air throughout your entire home.

We offer both evaporative and steam humidifiers that introduce humidity into your home's air in the form of water vapor, which prevents minerals from entering the air in your home and potentially into your lungs.

Maintenance of our whole-home humidifiers is easy and infrequent, requiring attention just once or twice a year. Compare that to portable humidifiers that require you to monitor levels in messy tanks.

You never have to monitor settings or wait until you feel uncomfortable with the Aprilaire Automatic Digital Humidifier Control.

Only Aprilaire Offers Fully Automatic Digital Humidifier Control

You may never have to monitor settings or wait until you feel uncomfortable with the Aprilaire Automatic Digital Humidifier Control.

Optimum levels of relative humidity in your home will fluctuate with the changes in outdoor temperature. And this set-it-and-forget-it control keeps your home’s humidity level exactly where you want it.

Find The Right Humidifier For You

Aprilaire offers evaporative and steam solutions that meet your family’s needs better than a room humidifier. Be sure to ask an Aprilaire dealer to recommend a solution that is right for you. Find a dealer or use our Solution Finder to learn how to achieve Total Comfort in your home today.

An Aprilaire Whole-Home Steam Humidifier introduces the perfect level of humidity into your home’s air in the form of water vapor. An Aprilaire Whole-Home Humidifier introduces the perfect level of humidity into your home’s air in the form of water vapor.

Aprilaire—The Inventor of Whole-Home Humidifiers

Aprilaire whole-home humidifiers were introduced in 1954 as the first truly effective whole-home humidifier. Since then, Aprilaire Humidifiers have been imitated but never duplicated. Today, Aprilaire continues to lead the way in delivering whole-home humidity as well as Total Comfort solutions.

Our products work with all leading brands of heating and cooling equipment. Plus, we partner with industry-leading contractors, so you get the most comprehensive line of solutions available today.