Whole-House Humidifiers vs. Portable Humidifiers: Pros vs. Cons

Whole-House Humidifiers vs. Portable Humidifiers: Pros vs. ConsExperts agree that your home should have a humidity level between 30 and 50 percent. But heaters can dry out your air and lower your humidity below these levels. That’s why it’s important to have a humidifier in your home, which will get your humidity levels back to where they should be.

There are two main types of humidifiers to choose from – whole-house humidifiers and portable humidifiers. Keep reading to learn which is right for you.

Whole-House Humidifiers vs. Portable Humidifiers


Whole-house humidifiers come out on top here. They’ll handle the humidity in every room of your home. You would need a portable humidifier in every room to match that level of performance.


Whole-house humidifiers are much easier to maintain as well. You’ll need to change their pads periodically. But that’s it.

You can compare that to portable humidifiers, which require daily maintenance. With these, you’ll need to swap out the water in their tanks every day and perform manual cleaning fairly often.


Portable humidifiers tend to be a bit louder. That’s because you use them out in the open, whereas whole-house humidifiers are confined to your HVAC system. This means that they shouldn’t be as loud, or, at the very least, the noise will be concentrated in a single place.


Most whole-house humidifiers are hidden from view. They’re installed near your furnace, which is typically strategically placed in an out-of-the-way location.

Portable humidifiers, on the other hand, are very obvious. They’re standalone machines that are impossible not to see when you enter a room.

Operational Costs

Whole-house humidifiers often make use of your furnace’s existing fan. They also connect directly to your home’s water supply. That means they’re able to control your entire home’s humidity with lower operating costs than you might think.

Portable humidifiers cost a bit more to run because they’re entirely independent machines. The costs can really add up if you’re using several of these at the same time.

Installation Costs

Portable humidifiers win in this category. They’re less expensive to install because you can do it yourself. The job is often as easy as simply filling them with water and plugging them into your wall.

Whole-house humidifiers require professional installation, which costs more. But those costs will likely be recuperated over time thanks to the lower operating costs they offer.

Should you buy a whole-house humidifier or a portable one?

Whole-house humidifiers come out on top in every point of comparison except installation costs. But even those are recuperated over time thanks to lower operating costs. That makes them the clear better option unless you have a unique situation that requires a portable humidifier.

ABE Heating and Cooling Can Help You Get More Out Of Your Humidifier

Whether you’re looking to buy a new humidifier or you need some maintenance for your existing one, ABE Heating and Cooling is here to help.

We are located in Brighton, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver Metro Area. So no matter where you’re located or what type of support you’re after, we’ve got you covered.

So why wait? Get in touch with us today to get started.