Portable vs. whole-house humidifiers: Which is better?

Running your heating system dries out your air. Dry air can cause host a lot of health issues such as sore throats, nosebleeds, chapped and itchy skin. and it can also exacerbate conditions such as allergies and asthma.

Dry air also wicks moisture out of porous materials such as hardwood floors, pianos and even moldings. This can cause these materials to split and crack.

The only way to avoid drying out the air is to run a humidifier.

There are two types of humidifiers:

  • A portable humidifier that you daily add water to
  • A whole-house unit that is connected directly to your furnace

Here are the pros and cons of each.

Portable Humidifiers


  • You can purchase one, add water and plug it in.
  • They are portable so you can move them from one room to the next, or for renters when it’s time to move you can take it with you.
  • They can provide enough humidity for one to two rooms.


  • A good portable unit is far more expensive than whole-house humidifiers.
  • They are heavy and can be as noisy as a window air conditioner.
  • You must add water daily.
  • They leave a lot of calcium dust in your home.

Whole-House Humidifiers


  • Once a professional installs it, your can basically forget about it for one year.
  • It draws water directly from your home’s water supply as needed
  • It’s virtually soundless.
  • They are inexpensive to have installed
  • Your entire house is humidified


  • Once they are installed they can’t be moved.
  • The water panel must be changed on an annual basis
  • There must be somewhere for the excess water to drain.

If you would like more information on which humidifier is best for your home, contact the friendly professionals at Santa Fe Air online or call us at  913-856-5801.