Fan-Powered VS. Bypass Humidifier: Make The Right Choice


A humidifier is a fantastic way to make the air in your home feel more comfortable by making it less dry. There are two main types of humidifiers: bypass and fan powered. In this blog, we’ll compare the two to help you find the best choice for your home.


Process for humidifying

The main difference between the two is the process they use to humidify the air. A bypass humidifier uses a furnace’s blower to distribute moist air through the home, whereas a fan-powered humidifier uses an independent fan for air distribution. So you can only use a bypass humidifier with a functioning furnace.



Generally, the upfront cost of a bypass humidifier is less than a fan-powered one. On average, a fan-powered humidifier requires more maintenance than a bypass one because it has more moving parts that are more likely to break down.



A bypass humidifier doesn’t have a fan, so it produces practically no noise. A fan-powered humidifier’s fan does make a whirring sound, but you can add some soundproofing or insulation to reduce the noise.



A bypass humidifier is less efficient because the air they moisturize has to first pass through the furnace fans, which results in humidity loss. They also use a significant amount of water to prevent buildup in the panel.

A fan-powered system doesn’t require a furnace’s fan to distribute air, which results in far less humidity loss and more moisturized air. It’s well-suited for larger homes.



A bypass humidifier has low installation costs, but it requires ductwork which takes up additional space that smaller homes may not have.

A fan-powered humidifier system also has low installation costs with fewer space requirements. It also doesn’t require an HVAC to have been previously installed.


Average lifespan

The lifespans of both humidifiers vary depending on maintenance and model. On average, a bypass humidifier lasts 10 years, while a fan-powered one lasts 15 years.


Make the right choice with Premier Comfort HVAC

Whether you’re considering a bypass or a fan-powered humidifier, you can count on our expert team to give their honest, unbiased recommendation after a thorough inspection of your home and a great understanding of your needs. Our team of NATE-certified technicians will answer all your questions. We’ve been in the HVAC business serving Brighton, Colorado, and its surrounding areas for 12 years. We’ll be happy to help you!

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