Decorative: Comfortable At Home In York, PAWhen the weather gets cold, you may find yourself digging more than just lights and decorations out of storage. It’s also the time of year many people bring out and dust off a humidifier to use over the next few months.

We’ve gone into the benefits of adding humidity to your home in the winter in previous articles. We’ve also discussed treating the entire house at once instead of one room at a time.

In this article, we dive deeper into how to choose and install a whole-house humidifier: A model that plugs directly into your HVAC system and regulates the moisture in the air throughout your entire home.

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First, we’ll discuss what type of unit you’ll need based on your home:

  • Home Humidifier Vs. Portable
  • Humidifier For Heat Pump
  • Forced Air Humidifier

Then, we’ll narrow it down to the most common types of whole-house humidifiers:

  • Evaporative
  • Stem
  • Self-Contained

Finally, we’ll talk a little bit about how we install these.

There’s a lot of information here, and we can help you sort through it. If you’re considering a whole-house humidifier for your York, PA home, call or email us at Air Comfort Technologies. We’ll help you choose the one that keeps you comfortable and healthy all winter long.

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Humidifier Options For Homes In York, PA

When choosing humidifiers, your basic choices are:

  • Home Humidifier Vs. Portable
  • Forced Air Humidifier
  • Humidifier For Heat Pump

Home Humidifier Vs. Portable

Portable Humidifier In York, PA HomeFirst of all, why invest in a more expensive whole-home humidifier versus the portable models you can buy off the shelf? Well, think about how adding moisture to your bedroom at night in the winter helps you avoid dry, cracking skin and nosebleeds. Then, imagine it for the whole-house and without having to fill a tank.

That’s the advantage of a model you hook up to your HVAC system: Now, you’re treating every room your heating and cooling touches. It’s like having a plug-in appliance in each room — only much better.

First of all, you don’t have to keep filling the reservoir tank. And, there’s more force circulating the moisture through the air that makes it more pervasive. Finally, whole-home models work with a humidistat, so you don’t have to turn it on and off. The system does that automatically based on the relative humidity.

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Forced Air Humidifier

The most common whole-house model is the forced-air humidifier. If your home uses forced air through ductwork and vents, then this is the one you’ll need. The exact process changes a little based on the type you get, but the basics are the same.

The model attaches directly to your furnace — often literally, as in, it hangs on the side of it. As air passes through the system, the humidifier adds water vapor as it travels through the ductwork.

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Humidifier For Heat Pump

The other common version is a humidifier for a heat pump. These must work differently because heat pumps are usually paired with air handlers for ductless heating and cooling.

These systems don’t send warmed or cooled air all through the house. Instead, each air handler warms or cools the air in the room where they’re installed.

For these, you need one that hooks directly to the air handlers and has a built-in motor. That’s different from those that link to a furnace and rely on your heater’s blower motor. Or, you can get a self-contained model, which we’ll get into next.

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Common Types Of Whole-House Humidifiers

The three most common types of whole-house humidifiers are:

  1. Evaporative
  2. Stem
  3. Self-Contained


These are the most common models, particularly when you’re attaching to a furnace. These have a pad inside them that stays wet with moisture from your house’s water supply. It’s designed so the warm air from your furnace passes over it before that air gets to the ductwork.

As that hot air goes over the pad, it evaporates the water and carries the water vapor throughout the house. Your two options here are the powered humidifiers with a fan that pulls the water across the pad. Or a bypass humidifier that lets the furnace’s blower do more of the work.

The bypass uses less power out of the two, although both use very little electricity. But, the powered versions, with built-in fans, distribute the moisture a bit better.

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Steam Whole-House Humidifier For York, PA Home Instead of a pad, a steam humidifier houses water in a canister. When you need the extra humidity, these systems boil the water and send the steam through your HVAC system.

They’re more expensive than evaporative models. But, they do a better job of circulating the water vapor since they boil the water. And, they’re more efficient, so you use less water for better results.


Self-contained humidifiers are an option for any home. But, if you have a heat pump system that doesn’t rely on ductwork and vents, it’s an option where some of the others wouldn’t work without a forced-air setup.

As the name implies, you don’t attach these to any other existing system. You’d install them in various out-of-the-way spots in your house, like attached to ceiling joists or in closets or attics. They get connected to power and water supplies, and the vents would come up through the floor.

They take more work to install, but they’re powerful and flexible, so you can treat the rooms that need the most help. Since they don’t rely on existing infrastructure, they’re great for homes with a radiant floor or ductless heat.

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Whole-House Humidifier Installation In York, PA

As you can see, the exact installation process for a whole-house humidifier in a York, PA home depends a lot on the type you choose. However, the typical steps for each are attaching them to your home’s water supply. That way, you never have to fill a tank as you do with a portable model.

Then, we hook them up to your electric. For furnace models, this is usually as easy as finding a plug near the heater. With self-contained appliances, we may need to run some extra power lines.

If you’re interested in adding humidity to your home in the winter, call or email us here at Air Comfort Technologies for more information. We’ll schedule a free consultation and help you determine if your home would benefit from a setup like this and which would work best.

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