Dehumidifiers, Humidifiers

Humidifier and Dehumidifier Combo to Manage Indoor Humidity

A humidifier and dehumidifier can help if you have chronic indoor humidity issues. However, no all-in-one humidifier and dehumidifier combo unit can humidity and dehumidify the air.

You will need two machines, one to dehumidify in the summer months and one to humidify in the cold winter months.

If you want a combo humidifier and dehumidifier, you should install a whole-house furnace humidifier and use a large dehumidifier for home use in the summer.

Humidifiers and dehumidifiers work differently.

  • Humidifiers add moisture to dry air from a water supply tank or connected to the home’s plumbing. A humidifier will turn on when the relative indoor humidity drops below a set humidity level.
  • Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the humid air and are not connected to a water supply tank or the home’s plumbing. A dehumidifier will turn on when the relative humidity rises above a set humidity level.
humidifier and dehumidifier combo

While no humidifier and dehumidifier combo units do both functions, you want either a dehumidifier or a humidifier with an automatic digital humidistat.

Ideally, indoor humidity should be between 30% and 50%, but no one system can maintain this humidity range.

An automatic digital humidistat will monitor the indoor humidity levels and turn the humidifier or dehumidifier on and off to maintain a comfortable humidity level in your home.

If you have an HVAC system, you may want to consider a whole-house humidifier, like the Aprilaire that has a Summer/Winter damper with a digital humidistat. A whole-house unit is installed as part of your HVAC system and will humidify the entire house, not just one room.

You know what a whole house humidifier is because it will add moisture to the air in winter when the air is drier when the furnace is operating. During the summer, your central air conditioner will remove most of the indoor humidity during cooling. You can always supplement with a crawl space or basement dehumidifier, often the source of damp, musty odors.

Our Top Picks for Best Humidifier and Dehumidifier Systems

Best HVAC Furnace Humidifier
Aprilaire 700 Whole Home Humidifier
4.6
$383.41
Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Sylvane
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/19/2024 03:09 pm GMT

Aprilaire 700 Whole Home Humidifier

If you live in a dry climate, you spend much time indoors. Dry air causes dry skin, cracked lips, and irritated eyes. You may feel uncomfortable and ill if you don’t add moisture to your home’s air.

That’s why adding humidity to the air in your house is essential. A properly functioning large humidifier for your home can help prevent the spread of harmful microbes and allergens, reduce the risk of developing respiratory illnesses, and improve overall health.

An Aprilaire 700 Whole House Humidifier adds humidity to the air in any room up to 4,200 sq ft. It works by pulling warm, moist air from the outside environment through the unit, which creates a mist of fine droplets that slowly evaporates into the surrounding air. As the air cools, it picks up additional moisture from the fog, creating a steady supply of fresh, healthy air.

Studies have found that people who live in areas with low humidity levels tend to suffer from more frequent colds and flu. Adding humidity to the air in a home can help prevent those common winter ailments.

For added convenience, the Aprilaire 700 Whole House humidifier has a remote control and automatic shut-off feature, allowing you to turn it off when you leave the house. The unit automatically turns itself back on when you return home, ensuring you always have fresh, healthy air available.

Best Portable Humidifier
AIRCARE Space Saver Evaporative Humidifier, White
4.3
$158.99 $127.99
Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Walmart
We earn a commission if you purchase at no additional cost to you.
02/19/2024 02:54 pm GMT

Aircare Space Saver Evaporative Humidifier

If you live in a very humid climate, you may constantly battle the weather conditions and need to add moisture to your home. Luckily, the Aircare Space Saver evaporative cooler does precisely that.

This humidifier uses evaporation to remove excess moisture from the air, allowing it to absorb more moisture from the surrounding environment. As a result, it helps reduce the humidity in your home.

In addition, the Aircare Space Saver has digital controls with an automatic humidistat and automatic shut-off when the desired humidity level is reached or when the unit is empty.

Many different types of humidifiers are available today, but the Aircare Space Saver is the most affordable option. It’s ideal for homes and large spaces like finished basements up to 2700 sq ft.

Best Whole House Dehumidifier
Aprilaire E70 Pro 70 Pint Dehumidifier
4.5
$1,494.99
Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Sylvane
We earn a commission if you purchase at no additional cost to you.
02/20/2024 09:14 pm GMT

Aprilaire E70 Pro 70 Pint Dehumidifier

You could need a whole house dehumidifier if you live in an area with high humidity, a crawl space, or a basement. You might have mold or structural damage issues if you don’t have a dehumidifier.

That’s why Aprilaire created the E70 Pro 70-pint dehumidifier. This compact unit removes up to 70 pints of humidity from the air to help dry wet basements or entire houses.

This dehumidifier fits perfectly in a crawl space, basement, or whole house. Plug it in, turn it on, and let it run. The dehumidifier has an automatic humidistat to remove excess humidity and cycle off when complete. There are no messy water trays to empty, and it’s straightforward to set up.

Also, it only needs service every six months to change the filter and clean the unit.

This Aprilaire dehumidifier has a 5-year limited warranty.

Best Portable Dehumidifier
hOmeLabs 35 Pint Dehumidifier
4.5
$269.99 $229.99
Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Walmart
We earn a commission if you purchase at no additional cost to you.
02/20/2024 11:53 am GMT

hOmeLabs 35 Pint Dehumidifier

HomeLabs created the hOmeLabs 3000SQFT Energy star dehumidifier to manage high humidity indoors. This powerful unit can remove up to 35 pints daily, making it the perfect solution for larger homes and basements.

It’s designed with a sleek, clean appearance, convenient built-in wheeled casters, and a quiet fan. Plus, it’s Energy Star certified, saving you money on your utility bills.

There’s even a Turbo mode that boosts fan speed from normal airflow to high airflow for maximum efficiency. This allows you to maximize the moisture removed from the air, which helps reduce mildew growth and odors.

Finally, this model has a 2-year warranty, so you can rest assured that you’re getting quality equipment.

High Humidity Problems

A dehumidifier is suitable if your basement or crawl space has high humidity. A humidifier can do nothing about high humidity problems. Outside moisture or water intrusion in crawl spaces or basements can negatively affect indoor air quality and damage your home’s structure.

Mold is one of the most frequent issues. Mold is more likely to develop in humid areas. Standing water is frequently linked with mold, although the noxious fungus can grow in high-moisture environments.

Mold can have a lot of adverse effects on your home. High humidity levels also make insects more likely to live in your home. Many pests are drawn to mold, so if you have it in your home, you’re making it easy for bugs like mold beetles to come and stay. Some bugs, like cockroaches, prefer moist environments.

Humidity can cause furniture and woodwork to wear out more quickly. It might also make paint peel, lower-quality furniture, and warped wood items. Humidity can also make floorboards bend, making your home less safe. Wood cabinets are susceptible to moisture, which makes them decay and warp quickly.

Many people use a dehumidifier to keep their house dry to minimize humidity. A dehumidifier collects the moisture extracted from the air and stores it in a water tank.

Low Humidity Problems

Low or high relative humidity can lead to bigger problems than you might think – for your health and home.

Low humidity levels can be harsh on your skin, causing itchiness, dryness, and flakiness. It can also worsen pre-existing skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis.

People frequently suffer from respiratory problems when exposed to low humidity. If you breathe dry air daily, your throat and lungs can get irritated and unpleasant. It is also a major factor in dry skin and other health issues.

If the humidity in your home is too low, it can have many adverse effects. For example, wood floors may start to warp or crack, and caulking and glue in joints may shrink and weaken over time. Plus, static electricity will be more common.

Fortunately, a humidifier, which releases water droplets from a water tank, may be used to prevent this.

What Features to Look for in a Humidifier or Dehumidifier

When looking for a humidifier and dehumidifier combo, there are features you’ll want to include.

Automatic Digital Humidistat

An automatic digital humidistat is essential to any humidifier or dehumidifier. An automatic digital humidistat measures air humidity levels and can turn the machine off or on when humidity is above or below the humidity setting.

Usable Control Settings

Your equipment should have easy-to-use controls to keep the air at appropriate moisture levels. Look for a machine with simple, user-friendly controls if you want better outcomes from the machine in the long run.

Auto Shut-off When Full (Dehumidifier)

Portable dehumidifiers have a container that stores the water it collects. The container has a capacity limit to how much it can hold. A portable humidifier should have an auto shut-off feature that prevents the unit from overflowing the collection bin.

Large Capacity Bucket

Water reservoirs are present in all portable humidifiers and dehumidifiers but for different purposes. In a dehumidifier, the water extracted from the air is held until you empty it. In a humidifier, the water reservoir is where water is kept before being released as a cool or warm mist. In either case, having a large storage capacity is critical.

A dehumidifier with a large storage bucket is more convenient because you don’t have to empty the water continuously. For humidifiers, getting one with a greater capacity is also better so you won’t need to refill it as often.

A Hose Connection for Water Discharge (Dehumidifier)

Some portable and commercial-grade dehumidifiers have a discharge hose for a gravity drain that discharges to a floor drain or directly to the outside. This feature bypasses the water reservoir bin and discharges water, so you don’t have to worry about emptying the collection reservoir.

Most whole house humidifiers and dehumidifiers do not have a water reservoir. A commercial-grade whole house dehumidifier drains water removed from the air to a floor drain or directly outside. A whole house furnace humidifier is installed now on the home’s HVAC ductwork and connects to your home’s water supply.

Quiet Operation

Portable dehumidifiers and humidifiers are much louder than their whole-house counterparts. You want to be sure the mobile unit is not too noisy since it manages the moisture levels directly in your house. Search for a machine that runs quietly, and you’ll be much happier with the outcomes.

Humidifier and Dehumidifier Combo FAQs

Can you get a Humidifier and Dehumidifier in one?

There are no humidifier and dehumidifier combo units that will do both functions. We prefer whole-home humidifiers over portable humidifiers because they provide more consistent humidity and little maintenance. If you still need a dehumidifier in the summer, consider a portable dehumidifier for finished basements or a whole-house dehumidifier for an unfinished basement or crawl space.

Do Humidifiers also Dehumidify?

Humidifiers only add moisture to the dry air. Humidifiers do not dehumidify (remove moisture from humid air). A dehumidifier is needed to remove moisture from humid air.

Do I need a Humidifier or Dehumidifier in Winter?

While you can have low or high humidity any time of the year, low humidity is more common during winter when furnaces are heating homes. You will need a humidifier; for high humidity, you will need a dehumidifier.

Author

Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.