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Humidifier & Dehumidifier Buying Guide

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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.
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Humidifier Sizes

Tabletop Humidifiers

  • Best for humidifying single rooms
  • Usually plug into a wall and have refillable water tanks
  • Lightweight
  • Also called portable or compact humidifiers 

Tower 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
  • Low-energy
  • Need to be professionally installed
  • Also known as in-duct or online humidifiers 

Humidifier Ratings

​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
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Dehumidifier Sizes

Portable Dehumidifiers

  • 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.

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