The Trouble with Whole House Humidifiers

Whole-house humidifiers make dry, brutal winters far more comfortable indoors. Unfortunately, the cons of a manual humidifier may out weigh the pros.

Mold damaged window Oliver Helbig/Via getty images

What You Need To Know About Whole-House Humidifiers

Whole-house humidifiers make dry, brutal winters far more comfortable indoors. Unfortunately, if you have a manual humidifier, the problems might outweigh the benefits. With manual humidifiers, you need to know the outdoor temperature hours in advance and adjust the humidity accordingly, every day. Few people actually do this. Most people just select a middle setting and never touch it again. As a result, home inspectors regularly find frost- and mold-covered attics, damaged windows and ruined ceilings.

Automatic whole-house humidifiers, on the other hand, have an outdoor temperature sensor so they can adjust the humidity level for you. If you do have a manual humidifier, either leave it off or do the daily work of keeping it properly adjusted. – Reuben Salzman, Home Inspector,  StructureTech1.com

If the humidifier on your furnace is not working, you can easily fix or replace it yourself.

Brad Holden
As senior editor for Family Handyman, Brad has seen and done pretty much everything around home repair and DIY projects. His experience with tools, plans and projects gives him a voice of authority with anything from plumbing to furniture building.