How Much Does It Cost to Install a Whole-Home Humidifier in Denver?

May 02, 2018

Denver’s air is notoriously dry. And when humidity levels here drop too low, it can cause damage to your furniture, your home’s infrastructure—and even your health.

That’s why a lot of Denver homeowners opt to add moisture to their home’s air by installing a whole-home humidifier. But how much do they cost?

The cost to install a whole-home humidifier in Denver can cost anywhere from $500 to $850+.

The price you’ll pay depends on 3 factors:

  1. The type of humidifier you choose
  2. The size of the humidifier in relation to your home
  3. Whether you choose DIY installation or professional installation

Live in Denver and want an estimate for a whole-home humidifier installation? Contact us for a free quote.

3 factors that affect the cost of a whole-home humidifier install

Factor #1: The type of humidifier you choose

Denver homeowners typically have 3 types of whole-home humidifiers to choose from:

  1. Bypass
  2. Fan-powered
  3. Steam electrode

The humidifier types above are listed from least to most expensive. Let’s take a look at the differences between these whole-house humidifier types.

Bypass whole-home humidifiers:
  • How it works: A bypass whole-home humidifier works by adding in a “water panel” inside your ductwork. As air passes through this water panel, it’s replenished with moisture before being delivered into your home.
  • Pros: Bypass humidifiers are the least expensive option and are easy to install.

  • Cons: Bypass humidifiers may  be less efficient due to additional ductwork required for operation.
Fan-powered whole-home humidifier:
  • How it works: Fan-powered humidifiers work the exact same way as bypass humidifiers. The only difference is that fan-powered humidifiers have their own internal fan that pulls air through that water panel.
  • Pros: These humidifiers are still a relatively inexpensive option yet are a lot more efficient than a bypass humidifier—some models can add up to a gallon of moisture more per day than bypass humidifiers.

  • Cons: Fan-powered humidifiers still need frequent maintenance to keep the water panel and internal fan clean and unobstructed.
Steam electrode whole-home humidifier:
  • How it works: Steam humidifiers work by heating water via tiny electric heating elements. The water is heated until it changes to steam form. That steam is then blown into the home where it’s quickly absorbed into the air.
  • Pros: Steam offers the most natural and fastest way to add humidity to your home’s air. These humidifiers also add steam to your home whenever it’s needed (vs only when the HVAC system is running).

  • Cons: Steam humidifiers are the most expensive type of whole-house humidifier and absolutely require professional installation. They also require a 220V dedicated circuit and outlet at the humidifier location.

Factor #2: The size of the humidifier

Humidifiers are sized according to how much moisture it can put out in a given time. This is measured in “gpd”, gallons per day.

The higher the gpd, the “larger” the whole-home humidifier—and the more expensive the unit.

Getting the size right is crucial, too.

For example, a whole-home humidifier that’s:

  • Too big will add too much moisture to your home’s air, which can lead to mold/mildew growth, decreased comfort and damage to your furniture. Plus, you’ll overpay for a larger unit that you don’t need.
  • Too small won’t provide the comfort or health benefits you need.

So how do you know what size whole-home humidifier you need for your house? Just follow the 2 steps below.

Determine the whole-home humidifier size you need in 2 steps:

1. Match the size of your home with the humidifier GPD suggestions listed below.

Whole-home humidifier size chart Denver CO

2. Add 2 to 4 GPD if your home is poorly insulated.

The less “tight” (i.e. well insulated) your home is, the more dry outside air will enter your home (and the more humid air will leak out of your home).

That said, a poorly insulated home needs a humidifier with a higher GPD output to keep humidity levels at a comfortable level.

Not sure if your home is poorly insulated or not? Answer the questions below:

  1. Are the windows in your home single-pane?
  2. Can you see cracked or old, failed caulking around the windows in your home?
  3. Can you see daylight underneath the exterior doors in your home when they’re closed?
  4. Can you rattle your windows and doors?

If you answered “YES” to 2 or more questions, you likely have poor insulation levels and need to add 2 to 4 GPD to the numbers in the humidifier sizing chart above.

Note: The questions above will only give you a sense of your home’s insulation levels and won’t provide an accurate humidifier size. The only way to determine the correct whole-house humidifier size you need is to have a professional do this for you.

Factor #3: Whether you choose DIY or professional installation

Having your whole-home humidifier professionally installed will add $200-$400 to the overall cost of your purchase.

But don’t let this deter you from choosing professional installation. Installing a whole-home humidifier requires extensive knowledge of:

  • Your specific HVAC system
  • Plumbing
  • Wiring

Remember, a whole-house humidifier works in tandem with the most expensive appliances you own—your AC and furnace. That said, sloppy or incorrect installation can result in damage to your HVAC system and/or a voided HVAC warranty.

Plus, when you choose professional installation, you typically get the added benefit of a labor warranty that lasts anywhere from 6 months to 2 years after the installation (depending on the contractor you choose).

Live in Denver? Thinking of installing a whole-house humidifier?

Then, if you choose us, we can install the humidifier of your choice that same day. To get a better idea of what to expect once you call, visit our air quality installation page.

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