Are you looking for the perfect climate control in your home? Humidity levels too low or too high can be uncomfortable and expensive to maintain. But with so many different forms of humidifiers out there, from steam models to evaporative whole-house humidifier varieties, it can be hard to choose the right one that’s best suited for your home.

If you’re unsure which type of humidifier will work for your home, don’t worry! In this blog post, we’ll review steam vs evaporative whole-house humidifier pros & cons to help you make an informed decision on which type you should get.

Get ready to learn more about how these two humidity options differ and determine what type could work best in keeping your living space perfectly balanced all year round!

How does a whole-house humidifier work?

whole-house humidifier

Whole-House Humidifier

A whole-house humidifier is an air-care appliance that adds moisture to the air inside a home. It works by drawing water from either its internal reservoir or an external supply line and then dispersing it into the air as steam or mist.

This allows for more comfortable living conditions, as humidifiers help reduce the amount of static electricity in the air, prevent dry skin and sinuses, reduce illnesses caused by dust mites and other airborne irritants, and even make wood furniture last longer.

Humidifiers can be installed directly into a home’s heating and cooling systems, ensuring everyone enjoys a more comfortable atmosphere. Investing in a whole-house humidifier is worth considering for those looking to immediately improve their quality of life.

But here’s the real question: steam vs evaporative whole house humidifier, which one should you choose?

Steam whole-house humidifier pros and cons


One of the key benefits of a steam humidifier is that it creates moisture more quickly than an evaporative whole-house humidifier. This is because the steam is created instantaneously and released immediately into the environment. These are best for smaller living spaces.

Additionally, steam humidifiers can cleanse and remove airborne pollutants from the air since any impurities are removed during water evaporation. Furthermore, due to their quick action, steam humidifiers provide immediate relief from skin dryness, nose and throat irritation, coughing fits, and other discomforts associated with dry air.

Lastly, you won’t have to worry about replacing filters or changing the water at regular intervals as you would with an evaporative whole-house humidifier – just fill it up occasionally with clean water for easy maintenance.


However, although this comes with many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to using a steam whole-house humidifier that should be considered. These include higher energy consumption costs due to the heating element running constantly. More regular maintenance is required than other types of humidifiers. In addition, due to a large amount of water used by this type of device, there must be proper drainage installed so that mineral buildup and water damage is avoided.

Finally, mist may sometimes be visible near the unit due to temperature or humidity levels.

Evaporative whole-house humidifier pros and cons


The primary benefit of an evaporative system is its use of natural water evaporation to increase the humidity levels in your home, which eliminates the need for potentially hazardous chemicals.

Additionally, evaporative units require less energy use and maintenance because they don’t need a large water reservoir. This means that it is much more efficient in terms of both energy costs and maintenance needs. Furthermore, these systems are easy to install and maintain compared to more complex steam models and can keep your indoor air quality balanced for months at a time with minimal effort.


This model of humidifier will require significant upkeep — the filters must be changed once every three months or so. Secondly, proximity to windows/doors should be taken into account when locating the unit to prevent humidity levels from becoming too high or low.

Additionally, they require frequent monitoring by homeowners in order to ensure they are operating correctly and efficiently.

 Steam vs evaporative, which is best for your home?

Now that we’ve looked at the two different types of humidifiers, how do you decide which one you should choose?

When considering a whole-house humidifier, there are two main types of options to choose from, steam and evaporative. Both will provide your home with moisture, however, they differ in their operation.

An evaporative or “cool mist” humidifier uses a fan to blow air through a wetted filter; this absorbs water, then releases it as vapor into the room. On the other hand, the steam model combines electricity and water to produce a hot mist or steam in the air.

Each type has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of efficacy, cost-effectiveness, maintenance requirements and noise levels; ultimately, it comes down to finding the best fit for your home based on what you value most from your humidifier.


Overall, the decision of whether to choose a steam vs evaporative whole-house humidifier depends on your personal needs as well as the size and layout of your home. Remember, too much humidity can cause mold and mildew, so be sure to pick the right product for the job.

If you’re still unsure which type would be best for you, contact a professional from a local heating contractor who can come and assess your home and make recommendations that are tailored to you and your budget.

Other posts you might enjoy:

Why a Humidifier is Beneficial Indoors

5 Top Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality at Home

Top Factors to Consider When Buying a Humidifier

Effective Ways to Cool Your Home Without AC

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About the Author: Patricia Davis Brown

Patricia, like her blog, is not a one-dimensional designer, which is evident in her accolades of 17 national design awards. Over a 38-year career in the industry, she has carved a niche in several areas of design. Licensed in interior design and certified in kitchen and bath design, she offers a full menu of design services ranging from whole house interior design, kitchen and bath design, lighting design, full remodels, commercial design and universal (ADA) design. Patricia is a sought-after speaker in the industry and has been published in many publications as seen on her interior design firm’s website, She writes for such publications as QuinStreetinc, Relaxed Remodeler, and talent offering design tips.