Adding a humidifier to a furnace could offer the ideal humidity you desire to every corner of your house. But unlike buying a simple independent humidifier, more factors will affect a whole-house humidifier cost, such as the labor costs, the house size, and the humidifier type.
Simply put, installing a whole-house humidifier can cost you $300 to $1200. The furnace humidifier alone will cost around $200 to $1000, and the cost of professional installation will add $140 to $500.
In this post, I will analyze the cost according to each factor and guide you on how to find the best solution that fits your budget.
Whole House Humidifier Costs by Type
Furnace humidifier type is a critical factor in deciding how much you will spend on the installation. Some types are much more expensive than another. Here are the main types you need to know.
Drum humidifier cost
Drum humidifiers are also known as reservoir humidifiers. This type is similar to evaporative humidifiers, which make use of the drum-styled foam pad to evaporate moisture particles into the air. The foam pad will soak up the water in the reservoir when the drum rotates and release the water vapor into the duct.
Drum humidifiers work on a simple principle and come with a low price tag. A standard drum humidifier alone often costs about $150 to $250. In addition, it is easy to install, so that it will cost around $100 to $300 for professional installation.
However, the reservoir design would lead to more bacteria and mold growth issues. You need to clean it more frequently and replace the filter regularly.
Flow-through furnace humidifier cost
If you want a furnace humidifier with a lower likelihood of mold, a flow-through model would be better.
The water will constantly drip through a metal-coated screen when the furnace is running and get into the duct. As the water is flowing all the time, there is much less stagnant water remaining.
You don’t need to replace the filter often, but the cost of a flow-through humidifier is about $200 to $500 alone. Adding to the labor cost, getting a flow-through furnace humidifier installed will cost you about $300 to $950.
Whole-house steam humidifier cost
The whole house steam humidifier is a more advanced model on the market. It comes with an independent heater which could turn the water into steam vapor and disperse it into the airflow. In this way, you can get rid of harmful mold and bacteria as well.
A steam humidifier unit alone can cost about $300 to $1200, and the installation cost would be around $200 to $1000.
Given that it is running through electricity, it would take more effect to make it run and connect to the duct. So the labor cost will increase accordingly.
Spray mist humidifier cost
This is not a common type of whole house humidifier, but it is the most affordable type you can get.
It works by directly adding mist into the duct system without any filters or reservoirs. While it doesn’t have an impressive performance, it is a sensible option for tight spaces.
Usually, a spray mist model can cost $100 to $150, and because you have to do it on your own, there would not be any labor cost.
Whole-house humidifier costs by brands
The product price and warranty policies vary according to brands. Some brands have a relatively higher price and better warranty. Remember to register within a certain period of time to ensure the warranty is valid.
Aprilaire humimdifier prices
Aprilaire is a famous whole house humidifier brand you often come across online. It offers different types of whole house humidifiers to accommodate various budgets and home sizes. An Aprilaire steam humidifier can cost around $1000, but the drum model will only cost less than $200.
This brand provides a 5-year warranty.
American standard humidifier prices
Every American knows this brand. It carries a 10-year warranty and provides flow-through type and steam type, but it doesn’t have many options for you to choose from.
The steam humidifier can support up to 4200 squares, and many options are priced under $500.
Honeywell humidifier prices
Honeywell is a trustworthy brand that many people want to stick to. Luckily, you can find many options when shopping for a furnace humidifier.
You will be able to find a flow-through model for under $200. Some steam models are also under $500. If you are looking for a cost-effective furnace humidifier, you can start by searching on products of Honeywell
Whole house humidifier costs by home size
Usually, the larger the room, the higher the furnace humidifier price is. When the home size is over 3000 squares, the product cost could be over $1000.
This is easy to understand as it needs a more powerful motor or larger reservoir and filter when covering a larger space. Accordingly, the price will increase.
If you have a big house, you are preparing to pay more.
Labor cost to install a humidifier for a furnace
Many brands require professional installation for the warranty to be valid. After all, adding something to your HVAC system is not a walk in the park.
Usually, the technician will charge a flat rate composed of a service fee, an hourly labor rate, and the fee for related materials and equipment.
The labor rate ranges from $70 to $150 depending on where you live, but the total cost per hour would add up to $100 to $200 per hour.
If you can save some money, you could opt for hiring a handyman who has a label rate between $50 to $100.
Although it is not advisable, you can try to install a furnace humidifier on your own if you have enough knowledge of HVAC, electrical, and plumbing. Otherwise, the whole installation process is a bit complicated and could damage your HVAC system, meaning that you can end up spending more money on repairing it.
But if you can do it yourself and don’t care much about the warranty, you can save a bunch of money.
How long does it take to install a humidifier on a furnace?
We already know how much you have to pay per hour for an HVAC technician or handyman, and now it is time to calculate how many hours you have to pay.
Generally, it will take two to five hours to get the job done, depending on whether or not any special setup is needed and where your HAVC system is.
For example, the technician can easily access the system in a basement than in an attic. When they work in an attic, every action they take could be limited to some extent and will take up more time to finish the tasks.
How much does it cost to repair a whole-house humidifier?
According to the report of HomeAdvisor, the average cost of repairing a humidifier is $239. The typical range is $122 to $357. However, the repair cost can be as high as $675 if you get the service from a highly rated provider and need to replace some old parts.
Other costs when installing a whole-house humidifier
There are some extra costs you may neglect, but they all add up together. It would be a big number.
Humidistat is a part that can turn off the furnace humidifier automatically when the target humidity level is reached. The whole-house humidifier is often running during the whole winter. With this gadget installed, it can help to remedy the over-humidifying problem.
The price of a humidistat is about $40 to $70.
A hygrometer is a device for you to monitor the humidity level in the house. Even though there are many ways to know the humidity without using a hygrometer, this is the most straightforward way.
A hygrometer is usually affordable, ranging from $8 to $20. As it would be a gadget you may need to use daily, you should make sure you get a solid one.
As discussed earlier, drum-style humidifiers and flow-through humidifiers should work with filters.
A drum-type filter often costs $10 to $20, and a flow-through type filter costs $30 to $40.
However, changing twice every heating season for a drum humidifier filter and once every heating season for a flow-through humidifier filter is recommended. So the overall cost of filters is more or less the same.
The steam-style furnace humidifier is powered by electricity. It can use about 250watts or more. So it will increase by about $40 to $80 per year on the electricity bill.
But the increased humidity can let you feel warmer under the same temperature so that you can save some money on your heating system. So they may offset each other.
Annual maintenance cost
To extend the lifespan of your whole house humidifier, it is better to have annual maintenance for it. Usually, it will cost $60 to $100.
The cost will increase when there is mold in the ductwork. To remove it may cost you more than $500.
You can clean your duct every year to prevent these potential issues. But cleaning the duct may cost you more than $300.
How long does a whole house humidifier last?
On average, a whole-house humidifier can last about ten years. Even though the upfront cost is a bit pricy, it can serve you for a long time.
With the advancement of technology, the furnace humidifiers these days are much more advanced than the models ten years ago.
So you should replace it every decade or a few years to get the model with better performance.
Should I buy a drum or flow-through whole house humidifier?
The drum whole whose house humidifiers are usually a bit cheaper than flow-through models. However, they need more maintenance than the other.
As it is more prone to mold and mildew growth, you should clean it and regularly replace the filter.
If you don’t mind, you can save some money upfront.
In this post, we discussed the whole house humidifier cost and analyzed all the factors that will affect the final price.
Usually, the main cost includes product cost and installation cost. The drum-style humidifier is the most affordable, but it is susceptible to mold and bacteria. The steam humidifier is easy to maintain, powered by electricity, and has a higher price.
The installation cost is decided by the labor rate and how long the installation will take. Besides, you will also buy some extra equipment such as a humidistat and hygrometer. Also, the maintenance and repair will cost you some money.