AprilAire 600 vs Honeywell HE 280A: A Detailed Humidifier Showdown

AprilAire 600 vs Honeywell HE 280A

Whats the Best Whole House Humidifier Solution For Your Home?

Key Takeaways:

  • AprilAire 600 is a high-capacity, whole-house humidifier ideal for larger homes, featuring automatic humidity control and relatively simple maintenance.
  • Honeywell HE 280A is more energy-efficient and easier to install, suitable for medium-sized homes, with a focus on cost-effectiveness.
  • In terms of performance, both maintain optimal humidity but AprilAire covers a larger area.
  • Installation and maintenance are more straightforward with the Honeywell, while AprilAire requires more involved setup but less frequent maintenance.
  • Cost-wise, Honeywell is more affordable upfront but consider AprilAire for long-term investment and efficiency in larger spaces.
  • Customer reviews indicate high satisfaction with both, but preferences vary based on home size and individual needs.
Feature/Aspect AprilAire 600 Honeywell HE 280A
Type Whole-house humidifier Whole-house humidifier
Coverage Area Up to 4,000 sq. ft. Suitable for medium to large-sized homes
Dimensions Approx. 15.75″H x 15.5″W x 10.25″D 18.5″H x 16.25″W x 9.75″D
Water Capacity 17 gallons per day Typically around 12-16 gallons per day
Filter Replacement Frequency Annually or as needed based on water conditions Every 30-60 days
Filter Cost Varies depending on type and supplier Varies depending on type and supplier
Floor Drain Required Yes Yes
Electrical Specifications 24V, 0.5 amp 24V, 0.5 amp (similar in most whole-house humidifiers)
Weight Approx. 8-10 pounds 14 pounds
Humidity Control Automatic Manual
Installation Professional recommended DIY-friendly
Energy Efficiency Moderate High
Maintenance Frequency Less frequent (seasonal checks) Regular (filter changes, cleaning)
Noise Level Low Low
Initial Cost Higher Lower
Long-term Cost Higher upfront, efficient in large spaces Economical in the long run
Pros – Superior area coverage
– Automatic humidity control
– Less frequent maintenance
– Energy-efficient
– Easier and cheaper installation
– Lower upfront cost
Cons – Higher initial cost
– More complex installation
– Lower coverage area
– Manual humidity control
– More frequent maintenance


Maintaining the right humidity level in your home is crucial for comfort and health. In this article, we compare two popular humidifiers: the AprilAire 600 and the Honeywell HE 280A, to help you decide which suits your needs best.

Overview of AprilAire 600

The AprilAire 600 is a whole-house humidifier designed for larger homes. It boasts a comprehensive automatic humidity control system, ensuring consistent comfort. Its high capacity makes it suitable for spaces up to 4,000 square feet.

Overview of Honeywell HE 280A

The Honeywell HE 280A, on the other hand, is designed for medium-sized homes. It stands out for its energy efficiency and user-friendly installation process. Though it covers less area than the AprilAire, it’s an economical choice for many homeowners.

Performance Comparison

The AprilAire 600 excels in larger spaces, maintaining stable humidity levels efficiently. The Honeywell HE 280A, while effective, is more suited to smaller areas. Both operate quietly and are reliable in performance.

Ease of Installation and Maintenance

The Honeywell scores higher in ease of installation, making it a favorite among DIY enthusiasts. Maintenance-wise, the AprilAire requires less frequent attention despite a more complex setup.

Performance: Efficiency Meets Affordability

AprilAire 600: Known for its high efficiency, the AprilAire 600 stands out with its impressive coverage area of up to 4,000 square feet and an evaporation capacity of 17 gallons per day.

The highlight is its automatic operation with dual sensors, adjusting the humidity based on external temperatures and internal moisture levels. This feature ensures optimal humidity levels throughout your home, regardless of changing weather conditions.

Honeywell HE280A: The Honeywell HE280A earns praise for its cost-effectiveness, consuming 33% less water than its counterparts.

Though it features a plastic construction that requires careful handling, its efficiency in operation makes it a strong contender, especially for budget-conscious consumers.

Price: Balancing Cost and Quality

AprilAire 600: Priced around $302.86, the AprilAire 600 is a pricier option but justifies its cost with superior performance and extensive coverage.

Honeywell HE280A: Available for around $200, the Honeywell model is more wallet-friendly, offering efficient humidification for those on a tighter budget.

Pros and Cons

  • AprilAire 600 Pros: Superior coverage, automatic control. Cons: Higher price, complex installation.
  • Honeywell HE 280A Pros: Energy efficiency, ease of installation. Cons: Smaller coverage area.

User Experience and Reviews

Customers of both models report high levels of satisfaction. The choice often comes down to house size and specific humidity needs.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the AprilAire 600 is an excellent choice for those seeking high performance and efficiency without constraints on budget. Its wide coverage and automated operation make it a standout option.

On the other hand, the Honeywell HE280A is a solid alternative for budget-conscious consumers, providing efficient humidification with a more affordable price tag. Your decision will ultimately hinge on your specific needs, preferences, and willingness to invest in long-term home comfort.

Drum HumidifiersSummary Review of the AprilAire 600 Humidifier

The AprilAire 600 Whole Home Humidifier has garnered a remarkable reputation among users, particularly for its efficacy in transforming indoor air quality in various climates. Here’s a summarization of user experiences and evaluations:

Positive Aspects:

  1. Transformation of Indoor Air Quality: Users from dry climates like Colorado have experienced significant improvements in indoor air comfort, with the humidifier effectively battling dryness and associated discomforts.
  2. Ease of Installation: Despite its sophisticated technology, many users have found the installation process straightforward, with clear instructions making it manageable even for those not particularly handy.
  3. Automatic Humidity Control: A standout feature is the automatic control, which adeptly maintains optimal humidity levels without the need for constant adjustments, contributing to better sleep and reduced static electricity.
  4. Overall Performance: Notably, the humidifier quickly and efficiently improves home comfort. Users report less dry skin, improved allergies, and a beneficial impact on wooden furniture and floors.
  5. Energy Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness: Several users appreciated the energy savings, especially when connected to on-demand water heaters, as the unit doesn’t trigger unnecessary heating.
  6. Compatibility and Improvements Over Previous Models: The newer model boasts enhancements like easier access, a built-in summer/winter valve, digital controls, and an outdoor temperature sensor.

Challenges and Considerations:

  1. Documentation: Some users mentioned the documentation could be improved, particularly regarding different wiring solutions and troubleshooting codes.
  2. Installation Complexity: Although many found installation manageable, others noted it can be time-consuming and challenging, especially for those without prior experience in plumbing and electrical work.
  3. Warranty Conditions: A few users pointed out that the warranty only applies if installed by a licensed professional, a crucial factor for DIY installers to consider.
  4. Water Flow Control and Adjustments: The lack of a precise flow control was a minor issue for some, necessitating careful adjustment to achieve the desired humidity levels without causing window condensation.
  5. Compatibility with Older Furnaces: In a few cases, additional work like installing a relay was necessary to integrate the humidifier with older furnace

    Summary Review of the Honeywell HE280A Humidifier

    The Honeywell HE280A humidifier has received a mix of positive and critical feedback from users. Here’s a comprehensive summary of their experiences:

    Positive Feedback:

    1. Overall Comfort Improvement: Many users report a significant enhancement in home comfort after installing the HE280A, particularly in terms of alleviating dry air issues.
    2. Upgraded Features: Customers who replaced older models with the HE280A appreciated its advanced features and compatibility with other systems like the Aprilaire Thermostat.
    3. Effective Humidification: Users noted the humidifier’s efficiency in maintaining desirable humidity levels, especially in homes around 2400 sq ft in size.
    4. Ease of Installation for DIYers: Several users found the installation manageable, with clear instructions provided, making it a good fit for intermediate-level DIY enthusiasts.
    5. Value for Money: The humidifier was often mentioned as a great value, offering good performance at a competitive price compared to other market options.

    Critical Feedback:

    1. Complex Installation Process: Some users found the wiring and installation process moderately complex, requiring specific tools and a good amount of time to complete.
    2. Incompatibility Issues: There were reports of incompatibility with certain digital controls, like the Honeywell T6, which caused frustration among some users.
    3. Poor Customer Support: Users expressed dissatisfaction with the manufacturer’s customer support, citing experiences of rudeness and unhelpfulness.
    4. Quality and Durability Concerns: Several reviews mentioned issues with parts like the solenoid valve failing after a couple of years, leading to additional expenses and inconvenience.
    5. Design Flaws: Some users pointed out design flaws in the unit, such as its placement of valves and the overall system design, which hindered efficient operation.

    Overall Verdict:

    The Honeywell HE280A humidifier offers notable benefits in terms of improving home comfort and humidity levels, and it is often praised for its value. However, potential buyers should be aware of the possible challenges in installation, compatibility with certain thermostat models, and concerns about parts’ durability and customer service. The mixed reviews suggest that while the HE280A can be a good choice for some, it may not be the best fit for every scenario, especially where high-end digital control systems are involved or in situations where long-term durability is a priority.

Overall Verdict:

The AprilAire 600 is highly recommended by users for its effective humidity control, ease of use, and significant impact on improving indoor air quality. While installation might pose a challenge for some, the benefits of enhanced air comfort, reduced heating costs, and maintenance of home furnishings make it a worthwhile investment for many homeowners.


Frequently Asked Questions: AprilAire 600 vs Honeywell HE 280A

  1. What type of homes are best suited for the AprilAire 600?
    • Ideal for larger homes up to 4,000 sq. ft.
  2. Is the Honeywell HE 280A suitable for small apartments?
    • The Honeywell HE 280A, like most whole-house humidifiers, is designed for homes with a central HVAC system. It may not be suitable for apartments unless they are equipped with a compatible HVAC system. In typical apartment settings, a portable humidifier might be a more practical choice.
  3. How often do I need to replace filters in the AprilAire 600?
    • It varies based on usage, but generally once per season.
  4. Can I install the Honeywell HE 280A myself?
    • Yes, it’s designed for easy, DIY installation.
  5. Which model is more energy-efficient?
    • The Honeywell HE 280A is known for its energy efficiency.
  6. Do these humidifiers come with a warranty?
    • Both models typically come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Check specifics upon purchase.
  7. How do I control the humidity level with the AprilAire 600?
    • It features automatic humidity control for ease of use.
  8. Is manual control available with the Honeywell HE 280A?
    • Yes, it allows for manual control of humidity levels.
  9. Which humidifier is quieter in operation?
    • Both models are designed to operate quietly.
  10. Are there any additional costs to consider after purchase?
    • Consider maintenance costs like filter replacements and energy usage.
  11. Can I use these humidifiers in areas with hard water?
    • Yes, but it may increase maintenance frequency due to mineral buildup.
  12. How do I clean and maintain these humidifiers?
    • Regular cleaning and filter changes are recommended. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  13. Which model is better for allergy sufferers?
    • Both are effective, but the AprilAire 600’s larger coverage might be more beneficial.
  14. Can these humidifiers be integrated with smart home systems?
    • It depends on the specific model and smart home system. Check compatibility before purchasing.
  15. Where can I buy these humidifiers?


Published by

Dennis Reed

Dennis Reed Owner and Author @ BreatheBetterAir.org