When General Filters, Inc., ventured into the whole-house humidifier market in the 1950s, the GeneralAire brand was born. GeneralAire has since become the go-to premium brand for high quality indoor air quality solutions like whole-house humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air cleaners, and air purifiers. With this diverse line of products, GeneralAire aims to help homeowners everywhere to “Breathe Healthier.”

If you’re interested to learn about the best GeneralAire humidifiers available on the market today, you’ve come to the right place. This article highlights all the great features (and some of the flaws) for each model so that you can make an informed choice.

  • Evaporative whole house humidifier
  • Covers up to 2,800 sq. ft.
  • 17-gallon daily humidity output
  • Manual and automatic humidity control with digital humidistat
  • Patented KineticFlo water distribution system
  • 10-year warranty

  • Evaporative whole house humidifier
  • Covers up to 2,800 sq. ft.
  • 17-gallon daily humidity output
  • Shut off damper
  • 5-year warranty

  • Steam whole house humidifier
  • Covers up to 6,000 sq. ft.
  • 25-35 gallon daily humidity output
  • Digital automatic humidistat
  • Multiple installation options
  • 5-year warranty

  • Steam whole house humidifier
  • Covers up to 3,500 sq. ft.
  • 15.8-gallon daily humidity output
  • Multiple installation options
  • 5-year warranty

  • Evaporative whole house humidifier
  • Covers up to 2,000 sq. ft.
  • 12-gallon daily humidity output
  • Automatic digital humidistat
  • Patented KineticFlo water distribution system
  • 10-year warranty

  • Evaporative whole house humidifier
  • Covers up to 2,800 sq. ft.
  • 16-gallon daily humidity output
  • Manual control duct mount humidistat
  • 1-year warranty

Quick Navigation

1. GeneralAire 900A

The GeneralAire 900A is part of the brand’s Elite Flow Through series that features fan-powered humidifiers. Capable of covering up to 2,800 sq. ft., the 900A uses a patented KineticFlo system that ensures even distribution of water throughout the highly evaporative vapor pad.

This sophisticated whole-house humidifier will be expensive. In addition to upfront costs, long-term costs will also increase because it will need to be installed and maintained by a licensed contractor. Although generally low maintenance, the 900A’s vapor pad will also need to be replaced annually. Overall, however, the 900A is a good option for those looking for a whole-house humidifier that they can control manually or let run automatically depending on the current conditions. It’s easy to maintain and runs so quietly you won’t even notice it’s there.

Pros

  • High daily humidity output
  • With Patented KineticFlo water distribution system
  • With manual and automatic humidistat
  • Optional automatic humidity control
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Energy efficient

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Coverage area is not as large as with other brands
  • Needs to be installed by a professional
  • Vapor pad needs to be replaced annually

The Legacy line 1042LH from GeneralAire is easily one of the brand’s most popular whole-house humidifiers that can cover up to 2,800 sq. ft. of space and comes with a manual humidistat. Using evaporative humidification, the 1042LH supplies much needed moisture to all parts of your home 24/7.

Like most whole-house humidifiers, the 1042LH will need to be installed by a licensed contractor, which presents an additional cost on top of the cost of the humidifier itself. Another downside to this product is that it does not have automatic humidity control, so you’ll have to set the right humidity yourself. The humidifier’s vapor pad will also need to be changed annually, too. All things considered, though, the 1042LH remains to be an attractive option for those looking for a whole-house humidifier that’s easy to use, durable, and long-lasting.

Pros

  • High daily humidity output
  • Shut off damper
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • With manual humidistat
  • Can be mounted left or right

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Coverage area is not as large as with other brands
  • No automatic humidity control
  • Needs to be installed by a licensed contractor
  • Vapor pad needs to be replaced annually

The RS25 Elite Steam Humidifier is GeneralAire’s most expensive humidifier but is also one of the most powerful premium whole-house humidifiers in the industry. It’s capable of covering very large residential areas up to 6,000 sq. ft. in size and comes with an array of incredible features.

While this humidifier may be the humidifier of your dreams, it comes with a substantial price tag. On top of the upfront cost, the humidifier will also need to be installed by a licensed contractor just like the other humidifiers on this list. The humidifier’s steam cylinder also needs to be replaced by a licensed contractor annually.

While costs with this model may seem endless, it will repay you in unmatched performance. The humidistat allows you run the humidifier manually or automatically depending on external conditions. This model boasts both multiple installation options and a cutting-edge smart monitoring drain pump that flushes automatically during inactivity.

Pros

  • Large coverage area
  • High daily humidity output
  • Integrated smart monitoring drain pump assembly
  • Multiple installation options
  • Manual and automatic humidistat
  • Automatic humidity control
  • Automatic flush with inactivity
  • Maintenance indicator

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Needs to be installed by a professional
  • Steam cylinder needs to be replaced annually by a licensed contractor

If the RS25 has too steep a price for you, then you might want to consider the DS15P Steam Humidifier instead. Part of the Elite Steam Humidifier series, the DS15P is capable of covering areas up to 3,500 sq. ft. in size and produces steam by electrically heating water.

Although cheaper than the RS25, the DS15P is still expensive with a price tag 3 times higher than the rest of the humidifiers on this list. Another problem with this model is it doesn’t come with a humidistat. Furthermore, installation and maintenance for this model will also need to be carried out by a licensed contractor. Luckily, maintenance will only take place once a year.

If you’re looking for a quality steam humidifier from GeneralAire, then the DS15P is a robust and durable choice. Fully automated and water efficient, the DS15P will be able to cater to your home’s humidity needs automatically so you can set it and forget it.

Pros

  • Large coverage area
  • High daily humidity output
  • Multiple installation options
  • Maintenance indicator
  • More water efficient
  • Automatic humidity control
  • Automatic flush with inactivity

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Needs to be installed by a licensed contractor
  • Steam Cylinder needs to be replaced annually by a licensed contractor
  • Does not come with a humidistat

The GeneralAire 570A is part of GeneralAire’s is an evaporative humidifier capable of covering up to 2,000 sq. ft. in size. Although the coverage isn’t as great as with the other humidifiers on this list, the 570A makes up for it in ease of use and maintenance. It also allows for automatic humidity control with its automatic humidistat.

While it comes cheaper than both the RS25 and DS15P, the 570A definitely loses out on room coverage and daily humidity output at 12 gallons per day. In addition, installation and maintenance will also need to be performed by a licensed contractor. Despite these few flaws, the 570A remains to be a desirable,well-rounded entry-level humidifier for people with smaller homes. It’s also fully automated and can be installed to the left or right of the bypass duct.

Pros

  • With Patented KineticFlo water distribution system
  • Manual and automatic humidistat
  • Automatic humidity control
  • Can be mounted left or right
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Cons

  • Less coverage area
  • Lower daily humidity output
  • Expensive considering the specs
  • Needs to be installed by a licensed contractor

The 81 is one of GeneralAire’s most affordable whole-house humidifiers that is nevertheless capable of covering sizeable areas up to 2,800 sq. ft. in size. Unfortunately, the 81 only comes with a short 1-year warranty. On top of that, it’s humidistat only allows for manual humidity control so you’ll have to set it yourself depending on your needs. Like the other humidifiers on this list, it will need to be installed and maintained by a licensed contractor to ensure its longevity. Still, the 81 is an affordable, entry level humidifier for homeowners that is easy to use and is highly water efficient.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Good coverage area,m
  • High daily humidity output
  • Comes with humidistat
  • Highly water efficient
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Cons

  • Short warranty
  • Needs to be installed by a licensed contractor
  • Need to replace evaporator sleeve every season
  • Need to clean water pan regularly
  • Manual humidity control

FAQ

What are the different types of whole house humidifiers?

There are 3 main types of whole house humidifiers:

Bypass – This type of whole house humidifier works by drawing warm air from your home’s furnace and allows it to pass through the water panel to activate the evaporation process. The air is moisturized and then distributed throughout your home. They can either be installed in the supply or return plenum of your forced air handling system. These types require a floor drain, but drainless bypass humidifiers are also available.

Fan-Powered – Fan-powered humidifiers work the same way as bypass humidifiers but include a fan that speeds up the evaporation process by blowing air across the water panel. Because of the fan, this type of humidifier is able to produce about 1 gallon more moisture daily than bypass humidifiers. These types don’t require a bypass duct so they can be installed in small spaces.

Steam – This type of whole house humidifier adds humidity to the air by electrically heating water to create steam even without the help of a furnace. The steam is then distributed throughout your home with the help of the system blower. Steam humidifiers are the fastest and most efficient at humidifying entire homes. They work as needed independently of your HVAC system.

How often do I need to change my GeneralAire humidifier’s vapor pad?

GeneralAire recommends replacing the vapor pad at least once a year. If you don’t, you run the risk of allowing minerals to build up on the pad over time, which can reduce the pad’s ability to absorb water. This buildup can also hinder warm air from flowing through the pad, which is crucial to the evaporation process.

What range of humidity is ideal for my home?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor humidity levels should be kept between 30% to 50%, with the sweet spot being 45%. For more information about maintaining the ideal humidity levels at home, read our in-depth guide here.

How often does my GeneralAire steam humidifier drain water? Why does it do that?

GeneralAire Steam Humidifiers will drain water automatically after 120 hours to remove mineral sediment at the bottom of the steam cylinder.

Can I wash my vapor pad instead of replacing it?

No! The pad has a coating on it that helps it absorb water and control water flow. While this increases efficiency overall, it also makes the pad very fragile. If you wash your vapor pad in an attempt to clean it, you risk removing the coating and might render the pad ineffective at holding water and producing humidity. This will ultimately result in the decreased output of your humidifier as well as an increase in water consumption. Instead of washing the vapor pad, GeneralAire strongly recommend simply buying a new one each year.

Final Thoughts

GeneralAire is a great whole-house humidifier brand that puts a premium on ease of use, durability, and reliability. They offer a wide range of whole-house humidifiers, including bypass, fan-powered, and steam humidifiers.

If we had to pick our favorite GeneralAire humidifier, it would definitely have to be the GeneralAire 900A because it strikes the perfect balance between price, quality, power, and functionality to maximize the bang for your buck. The GeneralAire 81 is also a good option for people who are sticking to a strict budget.