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How Whole House Humidifiers and Portable Humidifiers Work

How Whole House Humidifiers and Portable Humidifiers Work

In our last blog post, we listed many of the advantages of a whole house humidifier, from helping to keep you healthier to helping to eliminate static electricity. Swan Heating and Air Conditioning is the best air conditioner maintenance company in Loveland. We offer a vast array of HVAC services, from AC repair, furnace repair, and duct cleaning services. In this blog post, we’ll explain exactly how a whole house humidifier works. Contact us today for all of your HVAC needs, including for whole house humidifier installation services!


A humidifier makes your air humid. Well, what does that mean? Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Hence, a whole house humidifier puts water into your home’s air.


If you have an existing heating and cooling system in your home, namely, if your HVAC system has ducts, then a whole house humidifier works alongside — and uses — your existing HVAC system. A whole house humidifier pulls water directly from your water source and then blows this air into your home via the ductwork. There are different types of whole house humidifiers, which we’ll detail below. Suffice it to say that once your whole house humidifier is installed and you set the humidity level, your whole house humidifier will take care of itself. It has little to no maintenance. It takes water from your plumbing system, so no need to fill anything, such as with a portable humidifier where you constantly have to replace the water in the container.

In addition, whole house humidifiers are almost completely silent, so you don’t have to worry about being woken up in the middle of the night because of it flipping on and off. It’s cheap to operate and will pay for itself just in the health benefits you’ll reap in a matter of months.


A portable humidifier is typically what you’ll see. They are made to put moisture in only one room or smaller area. A portable humidifier can be moved from room to room. They run off electricity and typically you fill a container with water that it spits into the air. Furthermore, smaller, desk-sized humidifiers are now available, which are meant to be used at your workspace in your office. These are nice to have, especially in the winter when the cold, flu, and dry air can take you and your skin for a whirl.

What are the advantages to a portable humidifier?

The main advantage of a portable humidifier is just that — the fact you can take it with you if you move, say from apartment to apartment, and you can humidify just one small area if so desired. However, these little guys can be more expensive than a whole-house humidifier because a whole house humidifier uses your existing ductwork and water supply; whereas, a portable humidifier has to take these elements with them.

What are the disadvantages to a portable humidifier?

Portable humidifiers can also be noisy, much like a window air conditioning unit, and there is considerably more maintenance required. For instance, you have to fill their water reservoir at least once a day, depending on how much you use it. This can be hard to do. Some of these tanks won’t fit in sinks, so if you are using a portable humidifier in your bedroom, you’ll have to haul it down to the kitchen sink to fill, or you’ll have to use the bathroom tub. Then, once you have the water filled, you’ll have to carry the tank or water reservoir to your portable humidifier, preferably without sloshing the water around. Furthermore, your kids probably won’t be able to do this for themselves until they are older, which means you are left doing it!

Another annoying feature of the portable humidifier is that you have to clean it regularly as standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria. The filters on these guys have to be changed out quite frequently as well for similar reasons. If you don’t do this, you can actually be spewing germs in your air for you to breathe and become sick, which defeats the whole purpose of you having a humidifier in the first place.

As you can see, Swan Heating and Air Conditioning in Loveland believe it has just made a very strong case for a whole house humidifier installation in your home. Call us today to get started!


If, however, you do decide to invest in one of these portable humidifiers, which can get the job done, implement these tips to make your life with a portable humidifier easier:

  • Don’t use tap water for your humidifier. It will shorten the life of your filter as there is more gunk to filter out, as well as result in more cleaning time required. Swan Heating and Air Conditioning in Loveland recommends using distilled water instead.
  • It’s best to empty your tank or water reservoir every day, give it a quick wipe down, and then refill it before your next use.
  • Don’t leave water standing in your portable humidifier if you’re not going to be using it for any stretch of time. Swan Heating and Air Conditioning recommends emptying the water tank and then storing it properly.
  • Don’t forget to replace the water filter in order to prevent the spread of illnesses.
  • Don’t let the carpet or area around your portable humidifier get wet and/or stay wet. This is promoting another breeding ground for mold and bacteria to grow. One trick is to place a towel under your humidifier, and switch this out every day.


Swan Heating and Air Conditioning in Loveland recommends a whole house humidifier installation for your home or office. As you can see, a whole house humidifier system is easy to install and is little work on your part. In fact, when you partner with us, we’re doing all the work for you.

While we’re installing your amazing new whole house humidifier, it would be a great time to have your ductwork inspected and cleaned. You can think of your ductwork as the arteries and veins in your body, the lifeline that brings life-giving oxygen and whisks away the nasties from your body. Similarly, the ductwork in your home brings you fresh air and helps to filter the nasties from it as well.

Another superb service Swan Heating and Air Conditioning in Loveland offers is furnace and air conditioning tune-ups. This entails us inspecting your furnace and/or ac systems. For example, for your AC unit, we’ll check to make sure the refrigerant fluid is at its proper levels, the condenser is working, the motor is blowing properly, and the air filter is clean. If not, we’ll fix it.

Similarly, during a furnace inspection, we’ll check to make sure all your wiring is looking good, the gas pressure is where it needs to be, the heat exchanger is working, and the blower is functioning optimally. Swan Heating and Air Conditioning is a firm believer that preventive maintenance will prevent hefty bills in the future. Contact us today for a free quote on any of our HVAC services!

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