Air Purifiers vs Humidifiers – What Are the Differences?
Although both humidifiers and air purifiers can impact the air quality in your home or office, they are used for different reasons and different conditions. Someone with allergies does not need the same solution as someone who’s bothered by dry air conditions.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each one, so it’s important to understand if and how air purifiers and humidifiers can help you in your quest for healthier, more breathable air.
So, should you buy an air humidifier or an air purifier (cleaner)? Our goal in this article is to explain what each is, how they are different, and when you should use each one.
What Is an Air Purifier?
In essence, an air purifier or air cleaner is a mechanical device that sanitizes air, removing allergens, toxins, pollutants, and other contaminants that are present in indoor air. Air purification devices are used in locations or in conditions where air pollution is a concern.
These devices are commonly marketed as being beneficial to allergy sufferers and asthmatics, and useful for reducing or eliminating second-hand tobacco smoke.
How Do Air Purifiers Work?
Air purifiers are essentially able to clean the air of pollutants, allergens and toxins. They are the exact opposite to essential oil diffusers or humidifiers that add particles to indoor air.
Air filters are commonly considered an alternative, but filters only remove particles. Purifiers can sanitize the air too. Bottom line, air filters alone are not as effective as air purifiers (air cleaners.)
The type of purifier you choose will determine the how many particles are removed, and how large they are. Some models have filters that trap particles as the air passes through them. Others may remove other particles from the air without filtering.
An air purifier purifies the air by “inactivating”, or removing, pollutants. It consists of a fan as well as a filter. The technology used to clean the air may vary, including HEPA filters, ionizers, or PECO technology. However, most air purifiers circulate the air through them. The filter captures or removes pollutants and cleans the air before it is released back to the room.
How Do Air Purifiers Affect Your Health?
Air purifiers can refresh the air and reduce the risk of indoor pollutants causing respiratory problems, neurological problems or worsening symptoms for asthma sufferers. Air purifiers that are high quality can remove many types of indoor pollutants and keep us healthy.
What Is An Air Humidifier?
A humidifier is a device that adds moisture to the air, increasing indoor air humidity level. Depending on their size and design, they may be used to add humidity to a single room or an entire home or building. The most common types of humidifiers are portable (tabletop) units and whole-house central humidifiers, which are installed as part of your heating and cooling system.
How Do Air Humidifiers Work?
In essence, humidifiers are mechanical devices that release steam or water vapor into a room or building in order to increase moisture levels.
How they do this depends on the type of humidifier. Evaporative humidifiers hold cold water which is dispensed into a container. A wicking filter absorbs the water from the basin, then a fan blows air through the moistened filter.
Steam humidifiers (vaporizers) boil water and release warm steam into a room. Since this is a simple process, it is usually the least expensive way to add moisture to the air.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are also popular and a bit more sophisticated. They use a vibrating metal diaphragm to create water droplets. Some people like these types of humidifiers because they are quiet and produce a cool fog.
How Do Air Humidifiers Affect Your Health?
Humidifiers can help you breathe better when the air is dry. Dryness in the air can lead to dry sinuses, dry throat, irritated nasal passages and cracked lips.
With less moisture in the air, colds and viruses may also spread more easily from person to person through the air. A humidifier can make the air more comfortable for those who suffer with allergies or asthma by providing some relief from dry nasal passages as well as helping to relieve congestion.
Depending on where you live, you may need a humidifier during different parts of the year.
For example, air quality during winter months in colder climates is an issue, since indoor heating systems can make your home very dry. This can lead to static electricity, damage wood furniture (such as cracking or splitting), damage paint and plaster, increase your risk of getting sick because viruses spread more easily
So What Is the Difference Between an Air Purifier and an Air Humidifier?
Air purifiers and humidifiers can have different impacts on the quality of the air we breathe, which can affect our health.
Allergies and Asthma: These are most helped by air purifiers, because they are designed to reduce allergens in the air. These particles can remain suspended in the air for hours. Traditional filters can capture them, but they are not destroyed.
Humidifiers have no effect on allergen levels.
Colds, Flu and Respiratory Symptoms: Although air purifiers can’t cure colds or flus, they can help relieve symptoms by eliminating other respiratory irritating substances
According to NIH, a humidifier may be able relieve a stuffy nose or irritation. It can help reduce symptoms caused by a nose or throat that is too dry.
Dry Air: Indoor purifiers don’t add moisture. This can cause a range of respiratory conditions such as sinusitis and asthma. Humidifiers, on the other hand. improve the humidity and dry air conditions.
Can You Use Both an Air Purifier and a Humidifier?
Both purifiers and humidifiers can improve your comfort level and health, because the improve the quality of the air within a room. Because they do different things (remove pollutants vs add moisture to the air), they can be used together, even in the same room.
Best Air Purifier
The air cleaner we recommend is from ActivePure, because of the vast amount of scientific proof that it removes pathogens from the air – including the virus that causes COVID-19. ActivePure can proactively reduce pathogens in homes, restaurants, factories, arenas, and any indoor space.
ActivePure technology offers a great many benefits, such as fast reduction of recontamination, removal of VOCs, and easy cleaning. There are options for nearly every indoor space.