Humidifiers and dehumidifiers are appliances that help maintain optimal humidity in your home. Ideal humidity levels are generally 30-50 percent depending on the season and your personal preferences. Low-humidity air can dry out your skin, eyes, and lips. It can also shrink wood furniture and floors. High-humidity air can cause mold and mildew growth. It can also heighten allergies.
Humidifiers add more moisture to the air, while dehumidifiers suck some of the moisture out of the air. Keep reading to understand the different sizes of humidifiers and dehumidifiers, how they work, and what size spaces they can handle regulating.
Best for humidifying single rooms
Usually plug into a wall and have refillable water tanks
Also called portable or compact humidifiers
Sit on the floor as opposed to a table
Ideal for humidifying medium-size rooms
Sometimes hold more water than tabletop humidifiers
Whole Home Humidifiers
Introduce moisture directly into a forced air heating system to carry moist air to every room
Usually connect directly to your home's water supply, eliminating the need to refill them
Need to be professionally installed
Also known as in-duct or online humidifiers
When comparing different humidifiers, here are some qualities to analyze: Tank Capacity: The amount of water the refillable tank can hold, typically gallons Output per Day: A measure of power that shows the most amount of water the humidifier will add to the air in a day Run-Time: How long the humidifier can run on one full tank of water
Work similarly to a window AC unit
Condensed water collects in a bucket, which needs to be emptied
Also include a heating coil that warms the air before sending it back into the room
Whole Home Dehumidifiers
Work the same as a portable dehumidifier, but can handle several rooms at once, about 3,000 square feet total
Can either be connected to central ductwork or be self-contained
Generally require professional installation
Collected water is drained outside the house
Energy Star-rated dehumidifiers are energy-efficient and often have timer controls or auto on/off settings that help you dependably run them for a long time without making your energy bill skyrocket.