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How Much Does It Cost To Install A Humidifier?

National Average Change Location | View National
$533
Typical Range
$396 - $716
Low End
$198
High End
$1,000

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The average homeowner spends $533 to install a humidifier with professional services. Depending on the model you choose, the labor rate and the service time, this cost could range from as low as $200 to as high as $1,000. The typical range is $396 and $716. Average units cost about $100-$300, while higher-end options cost $500-$1,100. Labor by HVAC technicians is expected to add $100-$400 for three to five hours of work at $50-$70 per hour.
You don’t want your home to have too much moisture but, if it’s too dry, that can be just as problematic. It can cause dry, itchy skin, nasal irritation and static electricity. A humidifier could be the answer, but it’s a challenge to calculate the cost of installing one versus the value of having one. Your first step should be to talk to a reputable professional. They can explain how it might benefit you and give you a better idea of the price you can expect. There are a few factors that might affect your purchase and installation cost.

On This Page

  1. Whole House Humidifier Costs + Installation
    1. Drum
    2. Flow-Through
    3. Steam & Spray-Mist
  2. Bypass vs. Fan-Powered
    1. Evaporator Pads
  3. Adding a Humidifier to Your HVAC System
    1. Gas, Oil & Propane Forced Air Furnace
    2. Electric Furnaces
    3. Heat Pumps
    4. Dual Fuel Heating Systems
  4. Installing by Brand
    1. Aprilaire
    2. Carrier
    3. Trane
    4. American Standard
    5. Honeywell
    6. Bryant
  5. Additional Price Factors
  6. FAQs
  7. DIY vs. Hire a Pro

Whole House Humidifier Type Costs + Installation

There are tabletop versions that you simply need to plug in. This will work well for one room, much like a space heater works for only a small space. Central humidifiers, however, connect to your heating and air conditioning unit and to your plumbing. The cost to attach this equipment to these large components will be more expensive.
There are three types available: drum, flow-through and steam. Drum models tend to the be the most affordable, with flow-through systems in the mid-range and steam being on the higher end.
The type you choose will affect the price of professional service. A non-steam central humidifier, such as a drum or flow-through type, will be more affordable. High-end models raise the installation cost. Some have an adjustable humidistat or settings that will kick it off in the summer, a convenience many find is worth the higher price tag.

Drum - $150-$250

These are the most affordable type. The system involves a belt, motor and reservoir of water. The motor spins a padded wheel so that the water lifts and evaporates. These units don’t take much to put in place. They will, however, pose an elevated risk for mold growth and demand a lot of maintenance. They can be either bypass or powered. Drum humidifiers range between $150 and $250.

Flow-Through - $200-$300

These use a flow of water through an evaporator pad to create humidity. Water releases when a valve opens and flows through a pad, then drains. Because of this, these units waste more water. The furnace heat cycle triggers the valve. These can also be either bypass or powered. Flow-through units typically cost between $200 and $200.

Steam Humidifier – $300-$1,100

These use electric probes to heat water and create steam. That steam disburses through your home through the ductwork. These styles run independently of your HVAC system’s heating cycle and are the most efficient, as well as the most expensive, type available. The cost of a unit connected to ductwork will be more expensive to install and run because it uses electric heat. This means that it will affect your energy bills. They also pose the lowest risk for mold. You can find these in a range from $300 to $1,100.
  • Spray-Mist - $100-$150 – This type of steam system does not need evaporative pads and must rely on an existing heating and cooling system, unlike other steam humidifiers. The HVAC system triggers a moisture “spray” and the forced air carries that moisture throughout the duct system. They are an inexpensive choice but not commonly used. They are ideal for homes with low demand for humidity or in offices. They will not perform if the water used has a high amount of minerals. They are usually $100-$150.

Bypass vs. Fan-Powered Systems

Drum and flow-through models can either be bypass or fan-powered. Bypass types rely on the HVAC system heat to work, while fan-powered types do not.

Bypass

These systems are often the least expensive and are easy to install. They need a duct attachment so that the air from the furnace can heat and evaporate water. They also demand a lot of maintenance.

Fan-Powered

These systems work in the same way as bypass, but they have an internal blower, so they don’t have to rely on the heat cycle and a bypass duct to work.

Evaporative Pads

Both drum and flow-through models use evaporative pads. They collect water which heats, evaporates and flows through the ducts to serve the home. Spray-mist models do not use these pads.
Consult with a Professional When Choosing a Humidifier
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Adding a Humidifier to Your HVAC System

HVAC technicians usually charge a flat rate, which is comprised of a service fee, an hourly labor rate and the price of materials and equipment. The total tends to divide into $100-$200 per hour, with labor measuring out at $50-$70 per hour. The cost of professional installation will be well worth the value you get, as the technicians will know how to make your humidifier most effective and they won’t damage your air ducts in the process.
Humidifiers are installed on or into your ductwork and furnace to improve the levels of moisture in your home. Installers will place your product either on the furnace with a mounting plate or within the return-air duct. Bypass types will need an attached duct to force the furnace air through.
Steam models are the best choice because they are the most efficient and do not depend on HVAC air. Many of them can also accommodate various usage demands, from 12 to 35 gallons per day (GPD). However, their price can be prohibitive.
Its benefits include:
  • Preservation of materials in the home which respond poorly to dry conditions (wood floors, art).
  • Better climate for respiratory and asthma problems.
  • Better climate for dry skin and cracked lips.
  • Enhanced temperature and climate control.
  • Reduced static electricity.

Gas, Oil & Propane Forced Air Furnace

Most evaporative humidifiers work well with regular furnaces. Flow-through types are the most popular because they fit into mid-range budgets. However, if you have room in your budget to invest in a steam unit, steam is always the most efficient and least prone to mold.

Electric Furnaces

This style can accommodate any type of humidifier. In fact, pairing the two could enhance the furnace’s efficiency. An electric unit uses a lot of energy to maintain home temperatures in colder months and humidifiers help to sustain warmth by way of moisture.

Heat Pumps

Homes with heat pumps don’t usually have humidity problems. If you have a pump and your moisture level isn’t acceptable, consider “tightening” your home to maintain the moisture levels inside. This involves sealing around doors and windows to reduce drafts. If you still have low humidity, the best systems to use are steam and powered models. These are more effective during those months when the pumps can’t produce warm enough air.

Dual Fuel Heating Systems

Turning your furnace into a dual fuel heating system is an alternative to getting a humidifier. These energy-efficient hybrid systems consist of both a heat pump and a furnace. The heat pump will pull in air from the outside until it reaches such a temperature that the furnace needs to take over. This outside air is much healthier for you and your home than that produced by the furnace. Having that healthier air for a significant portion of the year can have a positive impact on your indoor air quality. If you do need a humidifier during the colder months, install it on your furnace. Our Indoor Air Quality Testing Cost Guide goes more in-depth on the price and benefits of testing your home.

Installing Aprilaire, Carrier and other Brands

Lower-capacity models, such as the 12 GPD Aprilaire 500, cost $100-$300 in labor and parts and will take 2-3 hours of work. A steam model like the Goodman HS Series, however, is more complex and will be closer to $500 and 4-6 hours of work.

Aprilaire

Products come with a 5-year warranty, are quiet, need low-hassle maintenance and come with automatic controls.
Aprilaire Whole House Humidifier Models & Their Costs Per Square Foot
Model #Price**TypeMax Coverage AreaGDP*
500$125 - $175Bypass3,00012
600$130 - $200Bypass4,00016.8
400$250 - $350Large Capacity4,20018
800$700 - $1,000Steam6,20011.5-34.6
**Some prices must be sourced through an authorized dealer.
*GPD = Gallons Per Day

Carrier

Carrier products come with a 10-year warranty. They make very little noise and are built to be visually appealing. They have bypass and fan-powered products available in mid (12GPD) and large-sized (17GPD) capacities, as well as a water-saving bypass model that evaporates 17 GPD. Their steam product has a capacity of 34 GPD and works with many hardwater levels.

Trane

Trane products with come with either a 5-year or a 10-year warranty. Their bypass models are available in mid and large-sized capacities, and their fan-powered model performs for up to 4,200 square feet. With their steam unit, you can choose between 6 capacities ranging from 11.5 GPD to 34.6 GPD. It can evaporate for up to 5,000 square feet.

American Standard

American Standard’s humidifiers will carry a 10-year warranty. Their bypass models are available in both mid and large-sized capacities and their fan-powered unit serves up to 4,200 square feet. Their steam unit has similar features to Trane’s.

Honeywell

Honeywell has a number of humidifier products available with either 1-year or 5-year warranties. They carry a low-cost drum model and several bypass models, including a water-saving option. Their steam unit can serve up to 3,000 square feet and evaporate 12 GPD. Their Electrode model can evaporate 11 or 22 GPD.

Bryant

Bryant products have 10-year warranties. They carry mid and large-capacity bypass models, as well as a water-saver option. They have both mid and large-capacity fan-powered units and a steam humidifier that operates at up to 34 GPD.

Goodman

Goodman’s humidity control products are known under the name “Clean Comfort Indoor Air Essentials.” Their steam series will come with 5-year warranties and their evaporative products will have 10-year warranties. They have multiple bypass models available, from mid to large-sized capacity, and they are available in either manual or automatic. Their steam units are available in a range from 10.9 GPD to 28.7 GPD.

Hamilton

Hamilton has a flow-through water-saver model that evaporates up to 13 GPD, serves 3,000 square feet and comes with a 1-year warranty.
Consult with a Pro When Purchasing a Humidifier
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Additional Price Factors

Humidity Gauge (hygrometer) – $10-$60

You want to ensure that you're not pumping too much moisture into your home. One way to protect against this is to invest in a humidity gauge which can tell you the percentage of moisture in your air. This will increase the cost to install a humidifier but will prevent you from having to fix any moisture-related damage in the future. Humidity gauges are typically $10-$60.

Humidistat (hygrostat) – $30-$100

This device automatically checks humidity in your home. Depending on the type, you can either manually or automatically control that humidity. It is more advanced than the hygrometer because it doesn’t just display the humidity reading, it adjusts levels for you. If this is important to you, shop for a humidifier that comes with one of these devices. If you have a humidifier without a humidistat, you can buy one. It is still wise to get a hygrometer to pair with your humidistat, as it can measure humidity levels at varying distances from the humidifier itself. Humidistats cost $30-$100, with manual versions on the lower end of the price spectrum and automatic versions on the higher end..

Location

The location of your HVAC system will have an impact on your choice of humidifier and the complexity of installation. In a basement, you have plenty of space to put in any size unit and your installer will have less trouble accessing the ducts. In a closet, your options are more limited. In an attic, your installer will need more time and your space constraints will be tighter. The best way to get an idea of how location will affect your cost and choice of unit is to get in touch with an HVAC professional.

Maintenance - $70-$100

A professional should perform maintenance on your unit on an annual basis. This way, you can extend the life of your equipment and catch potential problems like mold. Too much moisture can cause mildew and mold to grow in your ducts. If your HVAC technician finds mold, they will recommend that you test it and have it removed. Such mold testing costs around $700. To prevent mold growth in the first place, you can have your ducts cleaned on a regular schedule. The price of duct cleaning is usually around $350. Barring mold and repairs, regular maintenance on your humidifier should only be $70-$100.

FAQs

Do I Need a Whole Home Humidifier?

You will benefit from one of these systems if your home has a humidity level below 30% at any point during the year. Furnaces drive moisture out of the air, especially in colder months, and dry air is unhealthy in the home. Experts recommend a humidity level of 30%-50%.

How Long Does a Whole House Humidifier Last and When Do You Have to Replace It?

They last an average of 10 years. You should replace a unit that is near the end of this lifespan and isn’t performing well. Upgrading to a newer one will increase efficiency and save energy costs. A professional will be able to properly assess the viability of your unit.

Where Do You Install a Humidifier?

You install them either inside the HVAC system of your home and or attached them by way of a hole and a mount. They connect to the plumbing and oftentimes the electricity.

How Much Is It to Run a Humidifier?

The total annual cost to run humidifiers is $20 on average, but it varies by type. Bypass types only use $1-$2 in energy annually, while fan powered types use an average of $10 per year and steam powered types use around $170.

Who Puts in or Services Humidifiers?

HVAC technicians perform this work, though you will need to hire a plumber and electrician for some of the connections. HVAC technicians do installation, annual maintenance and repairs.
See our Humidifier Repair Cost Guide for more information.

Is It Easy to Install a Humidifier to Your Furnace Yourself?

No. Unless you are skilled in HVAC, electrical and plumbing, this project is too complicated and risky. You could compromise your central air or furnace system if you try this project without the proper skills and knowledge.

How to Install a Whole House / HVAC Humidifier?

It is important to turn off your HVAC system before you begin the job. Your owner’s manual will be vital to proper installation, if you decide to do this yourself. Otherwise, you can expect your installer to do the following:
  • Cut a hole in your warm air duct, then mount the unit to it.
  • Cut a hole in the hot-air plenum (for bypass vents) to connect the vent pipe.
  • Install the humidistat (if applicable) on the cold-air plenum.
  • Connect the humidistat to the furnace, then to the humidifier via the solenoid.
  • Connect the water supply (may need a plumber) and install a filter.
  • Test the system.
Hire a Humidifier Installation Pro
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DIY vs. Hire a Pro

This is not a project for the DIY hopeful. To properly install a humidifier, you need experience with HVAC, plumbing and electrical. Your HVAC system is a key part of your home and, if it is damaged, it will cost you money and cause major inconveniences. An improperly connected unit can also fool you by appearing to work perfectly, all while working at low efficiency. The system won’t be putting in its money’s worth. Mistakes mean higher operational costs, then the cost of labor to have the work corrected. Hire a pro the first time to guarantee efficient work. An HVAC professional will know the best unit for your home size, humidity levels and project budget.
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