Dry nasal passages and dry skin, itchy throat, and static shock. These are the bothersome effects of dry winter weather. We all know the problems now what’s the solution? The obvious ingredient needed here is water but how is that put back into the air. An easy short-term fix is boiling water or running a hot shower. These tricks will add water vapor but it’s no long term fix. The only viable options are supplemental humidifiers. Humidifiers come in two common forms; portable and whole house. A portable humidifier is less expensive than a whole-house humidifier but has some serious drawbacks. Generally a portable only has the capacity for one or two rooms, a water tank must be refilled on regular basis, and the water trays must be cleaned periodically. There’s no “set it and forget it” with a portable humidifier. They are perfect when humidity is only needed for one room and for a short period of time. In addition, it doesn’t need to be installed and can be purchased and in operation within a few minutes.
A more long-term fix would would be whole-house humidifier. A whole-house unit is more expensive because it must be installed by a professional near the homes heating unit. The benefit to a whole-house unit is in its name. (Humidity throughout the entire house.) In addition, water is fed automatically from the main water lines. Humidity is automatically injected into the duct stream each time the furnace runs. The result is hands-off humidity all winter long.
In summary both humidifier types can produce comforting moisture but at different costs, capacities, and maintenance levels. In general terms if you want humidity all winter and for more than one room the whole-house is worth the money. However if one room humidity is only needed for a day or two at a time then the portable will more than suffice.