Whether it’s during the heat of summer, or in the dead cold of winter, you can always count on your AC. The convenience of having control over the temperatures in the house makes most people forget about regulating humidity levels. Having moisture in the air plays an important role in the lives of animals that sweat (for example, you!) and how they adjust their internal temperature.
When the humidity is too high, for instance, it impairs how sweat evaporates from your skin. When it is too low, it can cause dryness and irritation to the skin. A humidifier adds moisture to the air when needed and is used to ease symptoms associated with the dryness of the skin, throat, lips, and nose. It can also be used to ease some of the harsher symptoms of the flu, such as difficulty in breathing or a scratchy throat.
A humidistat is a nifty addition to the humidifier. It senses changes to the amount of moisture in the air and calibrates the humidifier to correct the deficit.
Comparison of the Best Humidifiers With Humidistats
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Advantages of Humidifiers With a Built-In Humidistat
While it’s possible to get a normal humidifier, there are valid benefits to having one that can correctly sense and adjust the moisture levels in the air.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are three key components to healthy air; it has to be clean, fresh, and have the right amount of humidity. The correct moisture levels in the air for health and comfort is between 40% and 50%. Investing in a humidifier with a humidistat makes sure that the levels remain optimum. The advantages of getting a humidifier with a humidistat include:
Tank water lasts longer, thanks to controlled humidity. They’re quiet, which makes them ideal for the bedroom, especially if you’re a light sleeper. A humidistat humidifier doesn’t need you to change bulbs, replace steam canisters, or clean the any of the pans.
Prevention of Mold
Having too much moisture in the air increases the chances of mold, especially on wooden furniture and flooring. Walls can get moldy too. A humidistat maintains optimum levels of humidity, which in turn, makes the environment unsuitable for the growth of mold.
Reduction of Airborne Dust
Dust and dust mites thrive when relative humidity is below 40%. These, in turn, can cause a host of breathing problems and reactions in people with dust allergies. The humidistat in your humidifier will make sure humidity levels do not dip below 40%.
Prevention of Certain Illnesses
It might come as a surprise, but dryness in the air actually does help in the spread of colds and flu. This is because the viruses responsible for these illnesses prefer drier conditions to multiply. Having a relative humidity of between 40% and 50% reduces the chances of you catching and spreading respiratory infections.
Proper House Maintenance
By monitoring and managing humidity, you can cut down on the repair and replacement of certain items in your house. Lower levels of humidity – for example – can dry out the wood on your couch, leading to expensive refurbishing. When humidity is on the higher side, it can cause condensation stains on your walls, mold on your upholstery, and even bring up a musty odor from the basement. It can ruin wooden floors by cupping them over time and cause your paint to peel and blister. A humidifier with a humidistat can help you avoid all these problems.
How to Choose a Quality Humidistat Humidifier
Not every humidifier will work for you. There are certain conditions that are unique to your house, which will dictate the factors you consider when getting a humidistat humidifier. These include:
Ease of Maintenance
Humidifiers need regular cleaning, which includes draining, rinsing, and drying. It should also be easy to remove any residue, disinfect, and flush it out. This should be done every week. Vinegar will be sufficient to dissolve residue and bleach will remove any stubborn stains.
User experiences help you cut through the fluff and point you toward the type of humidifier that’s best for you. Look for detailed testimonials that are honest about both good and bad aspects.
Reviews can also offer a better long-term view on how your humidifier will perform because they’re often updated months after purchase.
Size of the Room
To determine which unit is best for you, consider the square footage of the room or house it’s going to be used in. Personal humidifiers are best suited to about 25 square feet, while small room humidifiers will go up to a maximum of 300 square feet.
Rooms that 300 to 500 square feet will require medium-sized room humidifiers. Get large room humidifiers for large spaces (up to 1,000 square feet). For anything larger than 1,000 square feet, you’re better off with a console humidifier. Remember though, a humidifier that big – whether it has a humidistat or not – is likely to be very noisy.
Ease of Use
Look for digital controls with versatile features, with or without remote access. The accuracy of the humidistat should also come into play. Since the goal is to breathe and maintain healthy air, the more accurate it is, the better. Auto shut-off features are popular too because they prevent accidents and electrical fires.
Review of the Best Humidifiers With Humidistats
Armed with all this information, you’d think it would be easy to pick which humidifier will best suit you. However, there are hundreds of options out there, and it can get confusing to make the final purchase. This is why we have curated a list of the best humidifiers with humidistats, and arranged them by category, in order to narrow it down better.
Here are our best picks:
Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier
The Aprilaire 700 is smaller than you’d expect. Despite its size, it’s capable of servicing an entire house of 4,200 square feet and below. It’s also pretty light, weighing in at a maximum 15 pounds. The Aprilaire should be installed in the warm air supply section of your HVAC unit, or above the furnace. When you turn the HVAC on, the humidifier kicks in. Water is released, and the fan blows the vapor into the air, raising humidity levels.
The built-in humidistat eliminates the need to keep manually adjusting humidity levels. The Aprilaire’s noise levels are surprisingly low. There’s no knocking sound on your HVAC, and the sound from the rotor and fan blade are barely noticeable. The noise may rise when the unit is working at full speed, but even that comes across as a gentle hum.
Maintenance is limited to a water panel change once or twice a year. You should also get an HVAC professional to have a look at it periodically. One of the stand-out features is the outside sensor. This records outdoor humidity levels and tweaks your indoor humidity, correcting for any deviations. It’s the best for homes that have potential leaks, such as gaps in the attic, or screen doors. Also, remember that installing your Aprilaire on your own might void its warranty, so be sure to call the pros.
This is one of the most powerful humidifiers in the market today. It’s low maintenance and once you set it up, it works perfectly.
Aircare MA Whole House Humidifier
This humidifier is capable of affecting the whole house (as long as it’s under 3,600 square feet), so you don’t need smaller units for individual rooms. The 3.6-gallon water tank gives out an impressive daily output of 12 gallons. It can keep going for 36 hours, which is one of the highest run times in the market.
The Aircare’s digital controls are pretty straightforward and the humidistat keeps humidity levels at an optimum level. It has an auto shut-off feature to protect you from over-humidification. It also comes with a ‘check filter’ notification and an indicator for when the tank needs a refill. Its casters make it easy to move to any part of the house.
The humidifier has no belts or pulleys, so it’s simple to clean and refill. The inbuilt wick filter traps mineral deposits and dust particles. It’s designed to be energy efficient, and saves up to 3% on your electricity bill for every degree you set back on your thermostat. Aircare has four fans that get noisy at full speed. The design is pretty basic, so this isn’t the unit for you if you want something decorative. For consistently clean and healthy air, change your filters quarterly.
If you are looking for a simple, easy-to-use whole-house humidifier, this is the unit for you. Its auto shut-off is super-sensitive, kicking in when humidity is at optimum, or when the tank is empty.
Best for the Money:
Honeywell Cool Moisture Humidifier
The Honeywell Cool Moisture Humidifier is built to work through several rooms, covering up to 1,900 square feet. It comes with two 1.5-gallon tanks which are easy to refill. Depending on your usage, you don’t have to refill the tanks every day. Unlike many other console humidifiers, the Honeywell doesn’t require installation into the HVAC or furnace in order to work.
It comes with a Protec Anti-Microbial cleaning cartridge, which removes impurities from the air.
The runtime could be better for such a humidifier, since 24 hours is at par with humidifiers a third its size. Cleaning is relatively easy, thanks to its removable twin tanks. The wide tank opening is also a huge plus. The unit itself rarely gets dirty, thanks to the Protec cartridge and the filters blocking most of the buildup.
These filters do require regular changing though. The humidifier is energy efficient and requires less power than an 80 watt light bulb. Unfortunately, it’s noisy, even with its famed QuietCare operation. The manufacturer claims it’s 30% quieter than most humidifiers, but it’s still too loud to sleep through.
You can safely converse and watch TV uninterrupted though, even when the humidifier is on. It uses evaporative technology through a wick and has three fan speed settings to suit the demands of your home.
There are definitely a lot of advantages to this humidifier including its auto shut-off feature and its compact design. And it’s easy to carry. But the noise levels are a trade-off you may need to decide if you can live with.
Best Cool Mist Humidifier with Humidistat:
Honeywell HEV685W Top Fill Humidifier
The Honeywell HEV685W is a cool mist humidifier that is capable of affecting multiple rooms. It has an adjustable humidistat with a high, medium, and low setting. On the lowest setting, the humidifier can operate for 24 hours uninterrupted. It also has an auto shut-off feature when humidity reaches desired levels.
The tanks are designed for practicality and convenience. They’re translucent, so you can see the water levels at all times. The flat bottom and feet allow the tanks to remain upright and level. These feet are removable and the humidifier also has a large top opening to allow for easy refill, either with a pitcher or at the sink.
An ergonomic grip allows you to carry the water tanks easily, reducing the chances of slippage, which could damage the tanks and cause you injury. The refill light is a nifty addition to let you know when the tanks are empty. To protect the integrity of your humidifier, the auto shut-off also kicks in when the tanks are empty.
The Honeywell HEV685W humidifier comes with the patented Protec anti-microbial filter that sieves out harmful bacteria, dust, dust mites, and mold. It also prevents up to 99% of mold growth. Noise levels from this humidifier are low and the fans are quiet for the most part. On a high setting, however, there is a noticeable hum from the unit.
The unit has large, easy-to-wipe surfaces. Tanks also have large openings to allow for easy cleaning. There are certain accessories that can be purchased to make taking care of this humidifier easier, for example, the Protec Humidifier Cleaning Ball. This kills up to 99% of odor-causing bacteria and works on all Honeywell humidifiers. The antimicrobial filter also requires replacement with genuine Honeywell parts.
When it comes to cool mist humidifiers with humidistats, this one has an edge thanks to its anti-microbial filter, its low maintenance, and the various accessories available.
Best for Small Rooms:
Vornado Evap2 Humidifier
For a relatively small device, the Vornado Evap2 Humidifier is impressive in its effectiveness. It works by taking large volumes of air into the unit and using the patented Vortex action to add moisture, before circulating it throughout the room. For every 24 hours of continuous run-time, it has a two-gallon output. It has three settings for the fan; low, medium, and high. You can also set it to automatic, where the fan will fluctuate to maintain the set humidity levels.
The unit pushes hot air off the ceiling, maintaining an even room temperature, especially during the winter when it’s cold and dry. The humidistat is very precise in its automatic setting, maintaining set humidity levels. This level can be programmed using button controls. You can even select ‘fan only’, switching off the release of moisture. This humidifier uses evaporative technology and the fan involved is quite powerful.
Unfortunately, this translates to a fair amount of noise during normal running and it requires the unit to be in the lowest setting if you want to sleep undisturbed. The Vornado only functions as a cool mist humidifier. It lacks the internal heaters necessary to produce hot water vapor. This also makes it a better choice in homes that have children, since warm mist humidifiers are risky if they get tipped over during play.
Cleaning and maintenance are pretty straightforward, although the wick does require frequent replacement. The Vornado humidifier is manufactured for the American market, with U.S. voltage requirements. Consider this if you plan to travel outside the U.S.
The Vornado Evap2 Humidifier is designed for simplicity and power. The fan can push out up to two gallons of condensation. However, it’s fairly noisy. The five-year warranty is one of the longest guarantees available for any humidifier.
Best With Digital Humidistat:
Honeywell Top Fill Tower Humidifier
If you’re looking for a humidifier that occupies limited space without compromising on functionality, this is it. It comes with a programmable digital humidistat that has an LED display. There are five easy-to-use humidity control settings. Scroll through the options and when you get to the one you like, hold the control button to set it. The unit will power up automatically and maintain your selected humidity settings.
You can also set your desired moisture output from the three speeds available on the fan. The Honeywell Top Fill Tower Humidifier comes with a 1.5-gallon tank. It has a wide opening which is removable to facilitate easy refill. You can pour water directly into the tank or remove it from its housing and refill at the sink. It has an easy to carry handle for this purpose.
This is an easy humidifier to use, thanks to its LED digital controls and various warning lights. The check filter light lets you know when it is time to replace the filter, while the refill water tank light comes on when the tank is nearly empty. This humidifier doesn’t support aromatherapy, so never add essential oils to the water tank. This will not only void the warranty, but also potentially damage the humidifier beyond repair.
Cleaning this product is relatively easy, especially since the tank is removable and the rest of the surfaces are easy to wipe. For added safety, you can install the Protec Humidifier Cleaning ball, which absorbs up to 99% of odor-causing bacteria. The filter does require regular replacement. There is also a choice of getting this item in black or white.
For large rooms with kids and pets, this Honeywell is a good choice. It’s easy to clean and has a decent output. But if you’re looking for a decorative accessory, this humidifier will fall short.
Best Ultrasonic Model:
LEVOIT 5.5L Cool and Warm Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier
This is a hybrid warm and cool mist humidifier with an accurate humidistat for regulating levels of moisture in the air. The LED touch panel makes it easy to control the type of mist you want. There are five output options, from gentle all the way to a strong mist. It also has a real-time indicator that displays the current room temperature and humidity. The 360º nozzle allows you to direct the mist to the areas of the room where you feel it’s most needed.
It has an auto mode which sets the humidifier to automatically detect and regulate the humidity to optimum, as well as the ambient temperature in the room. This setting is ideal for people who are not sure which settings they want. The LEVOIT L55OHH has a 1.4-gallon tank that can provide up to 2.8 gallons of moisture per day. It’s capable of running for up to 36 hours without requiring a refill. This is, however, dependent on the mist setting. Strong mist settings deplete the tank faster, giving you less runtime.
At just 36 decibels, this is a quiet humidifier that can be used in the bedroom, or even in the nursery. The aroma pad allows you to add different scents to the air – you just need a few drops of essential oil. Medicated steam liquids can also be used with this humidifier. It’s important not to add any of these oils directly to the water tank, or to the humidifier’s base. This would cause leakage and damage the unit.
This humidifier also allows a large relative humidity range of 30% to 80%. It’s easy to clean and even comes with a cleaning brush included. It’s important to note this humidifier takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to heat up on its warm mist setting. There have been complaints of a malfunction when refilling the tank for the first time, but the one year warranty takes care of that.
This humidifier is quiet, stylish, and convenient. The different mist settings and the auto shut-off features are an added advantage. But be careful when you use it for the first time and don’t lose your warranty slip.
Although there are a variety of factors that will impact your humidifier purchase, when it comes to humidifiers with humidistats, the Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier still remains our top pick. It ticks all the boxes as a lightweight unit, and it’s also capable of serving the entire house (up to 4,200 square feet). Its evaporation capacity is highly ranked, and it doesn’t need much maintenance after setup. It’s also quieter than most humidifiers, and you only have to change its filter once a year.
Whatever your needs, we hope this review has given you some things to think about and you have found a product on our list to fill those needs.