Whole Home Humidifier Installation: Should I DIY or Hire A Professional HVAC Contractor?

The majority of American homeowners are now prepping up to keep their homes warm and cozy this wintertime. Every home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) is a significant piece of house system that should be well-taken cared of.


Maintaining your HVAC takes a lot of factors such as replacing filters and having it inspected at least once a year. With these considerations, you may ask yourself if you can do a DIY or hire a professional HVAC contractor.


Well, the choice is yours, but let me help you further decide. The very first few things you have to consider are your capabilities, budget, and relevant knowledge and tools.


A DIY HVAC installation could definitely save you a lot of money than to hire a professional HVAC contractor but you should understand what you can manage on your own and what requires a professional’s skill.


How Much is the Cost to Install Whole-home Humidifier?

cost of whole home humidifier

The average cost of a whole-home humidifier installation ranges between $400-$800 depending on the type of humidifier you want and on your location.


Even the whole-house humidifiers come in varying sizes for different home needs. You have to consider before buying a whole-house humidifier that the device should also depend and match with the size and model of your HVAC system.


Usual whole-house humidifiers are integrated into your home’s existing HVAC systems. Although there are humidifier experts, most of the installations are done by HVAC companies.


Factors that Affect the Cost of Whole-Home Humidifier Installation

factors that affect the cost of whole home humidifier installation

As a homeowner, your concern here is to cut down the cost of energy expenses throughout the season. The HVAC system is one of the most expensive and energy-hungry so it is your right to understand and learn more about how it works.


Upon deciding to perform a DIY whole-home humidifier installation, you must weigh in some of these important factors that could affect your overall expenses:


Match the Right GPD with the Size of the Whole-home Humidifier


The size of your humidifier greatly affects the way it moisturizes your home, too big can cause too much moisture while too small may not be effective as well.


I know it seems pretty confusing, but let me make it simple, the size of your humidifier should always depend on the calculated the GPD or the "Load / Gallons Per Day" for your home.


Home Size (Sqft.)
1000
1500
2000
2500
3000
GPD or Gallons per Day
1.4
3.2
4.9
6.6
8.3


Now that you have a clear idea of how much GPD you need based on the size of your house, you have to determine the rest of the factors.


Consider your Entire Home Insulation


A properly-ventilated home will cause more outside dry air to enter your home and more humidity will also escape. On the other hand, a poorly insulated home requires a humidifier with a higher GPD amount to maintain the humidity levels at a convenient level.


If you are unsure if your house is well-ventilated or not, try to ponder on the following:


  • Check for wall cracks or broken lines surrounding your windows
  • Determine if your windows are single-panes
  • Try if you can rattle your doors and windows


These are the signs of a poor ventilation house and require that you need to add at least 2 to 4 GPD to the figures in the chart above.


What are the Different Types of Whole-home Humidifiers


There are four types of whole-house humidifiers that you can actually choose from.


Always Check Indoor Air Moisture

Always Check Indoor Air Moisture

Regardless of the type of whole-house humidifier, you plan to use or install. one thing is for sure here, focus on your goal to achieve a balanced indoor humidity. Remember that a warmer home means drier air because warm air holds more moisture than cold air.


Each room has different moisture needs so I highly advise that you should always check on your humidity level by using a humidistat or a hygrometer.


Can I DIY My Whole-Home Humidifier Installation?

Can I DIY My Whole-Home Humidifier Installation?

Absolutely! You can always perform DIY or Do It Yourself f you want to but there are considerations. My point here is that, if you don’t know anything about the HVAC system and how it works, my advice is not to waste more time and money and better leave it to the experts.


However, if you know a few technical works such as plumbing, wiring, or anything HVAC-related, then you can perform a DIY whole-home humidifier installation by reading this post and watching further DIY videos.


Understanding your HVAC System

Since you are already aware of the different kinds of whole-home humidifiers you can install, the next thing you need to learn is to understand the kind of HVAC system running at home.


There are 4 types of HVAC units usually installed for residential houses. These are hybrid systems, split systems, packaged heating and air systems, and duct-free systems.


Hybrid System

This type of HVAC system is now popular because it can decrease energy costs by means of its electric hybrid heating system. It has the ability to switch between two different energy sources, the gas power, which is faster and comprehensive and the electric, which is more efficient, quiet and easy.


You can practically decide which power you intend to use for your home with this kind of system.


Split System (Heating and Cooling)


The split system operates in two different functions- heating and cooling. You can normally see the cooling system outside, which utilizes compressors, refrigerant, and coils to cool air, and a built-in fan to blow the hot air out.


The heater is normally located in the basement and uses gas to heat the entire house. The heat dispersed by either a fan or an evaporator to help circulate the air.


It also utilizes a conventional thermostat to regulate the temperature and is able to keep most houses at your desired warmth.


Most units normally come with purifiers and humidifiers to automatically balance the indoor climate regardless of the outside weather and keep your homes comfortable.


They are most widely used because of their flexibility and generally applicable, without particular requirements or environmental factors.


Packaged Heating and Air

Packaged Heating and Air units are compact in size and usually stored in the attic and serve both cooling and heating options.


This type of HVAC system is ideal for smaller spaces or houses that can allow it to be placed indoors or within the home especially if you don’t have an outdoor option.


They are generally used in warmer climates since the heating system is not as powerful as other options.


Duct-Free or Mini Split


Among the different types of HVAC units, the duct-free is considered to be costly but with greater benefits.


These types of HVAC systems are installed as individual units in each room so you can have greater independent control. Usually, you can see them mounted on the walls inside, and are normally connected to a compressor outside.


Duct-free HVACs are the easiest to install among the various types and are good for new house parts such as your new garage or new room added.


Although the installation is very costly upfront, it gives you a long-term benefit of saving more energy since you have the power to control it in every room.


Overall, the split system is the most common HVAC unit while the hybrid is getting more attention because of its energy-efficient features. If you are too particular with the heating and cooling function in every room, a duct-free is ideal for you.


And the packaged heating and air unit are excellent for small places or warm environments.


How to DIY your Whole-Home Humidifier?


Your whole-home humidifier works in tandem with your HVAC system so it is highly critical that you are fully aware of how your HVAC operates and what specific humidifier is compatible.


I have given you a complete explanation of each humidifier and HVAC system that you can use. Here is a video from Ask This Old House where Richard Trethewey shows how to install a whole-home humidifier.


In this video, you can see that installing a whole-home humidifier takes a lot of technicalities such as heating, plumbing, and electricals. Also, it involves using power tools that would help you with the different processes. 


Time and again, you need a humidistat installed at home to let you know the current humidity level indoors and if there is a need to use a humidifier.

 

Pros and Cons of DIY Whole-Home Humidifier Installation


Doing it yourself saves you a lot of money but also demands a lot of effort. A DIY whole-home humidifier installation has its own sets of pros and cons that you should carefully consider.

  • pros
  • cons

Cons

  • Material cost is expensive
  • Needs a lot of time to learn and execute
  • Might void equipment warranty if not done correctly


Some HVAC companies provide discounts for their service and material costs. Plus of course, they take safety as their first priority whenever installing or servicing your entire HVAC+ humidifier system.


Can I DIY or Hire A Professional HVAC Contractor?

Can I DIY or Hire A Professional HVAC Contractor?

Now that you have all this information, your next concern would be what would be better for your needs, will a handyman solve all your home issues or do you need a contractor?


Let me sort this out for you, a handyman will do a general home servicing and routine maintenance such as:


  • Minor or basic HVAC repairs
  • Painting
  • Basic Plumbing repair and installation
  • Flooring
  • And more


While a contractor has two types, one as skilled and licensed people and a general contractor. A general contractor is ideal for larger projects, usually for commercial buildings. They usually perform home renovations or additions, including electricals, paperwork, and more. You simply set a deadline for the project to be completed.


A regular skilled or licensed contractor works independently and can be your go-to or on-call guy for the following:


  • Installing HVAC system
  • Plumbing works
  • Rewiring
  • Whole-house generator installation
  • And many more


How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Contractor?


The cost of hiring a contractor totally depends on the number of factors like the type of project they will be working on, material cost, and location.


It’s quite impossible to give an average service cost because each project varies widely. Finding the right person or company takes a lot of time and research.


However, it’s well worth the effort once you have found the right one. Always deal with someone who has long term experience, professional and trustworthy.


Conclusion


With all these considerations, the choice is yours, whether doing it yourself or hiring a contractor for your whole-home humidifier installation.


At the end of the day, what matters most is your family’s comfort and overall home maintenance. If you have enough time to spare to learn about whole-home humidifier installation, then go for it. I have laid the complete guide on how to choose and what type of humidifier to use.


Hopefully, you will be able to successfully execute the process. However, if you think this will be just another add-on to your tasks, you might as well hire a contractor. Some contractors also offer cost-effective solutions, you just need to find out the best one in your area.