Humidifier VS Air Purifier

Difference between a Humidifier and Air Purifier

Are you wondering how a humidifier and an air purifier work differently? Or do you want to know which one could be better for your home or commercial property? Well! If you are looking for a good product, then you are at the right place. 

With the advancement in technology, different devices have been developed to improve air quality inside your home. These devices may include air purifiers, ionizers, air conditioners, humidifiers, diffusers, and many others. But all of them work differently as they have their specific functions. 

The basic difference between an air purifier and a humidifier is its functionality. An air purifier removes all the pollutants from the air, filters it, and provides you with clean air to breathe. At the same time, a humidifier makes the air wet for you whenever it gets dry. 

In this article, we will answer the queries about the air purifier and humidifier you have in mind. We will also discuss which one is better for you to get installed in your home. So, let’s get started. 

What are Air Purifiers?

When you install an air purifier in your home, air passes through it. It cleans the air by filtering the pollutants from it and trapping them from re-entering the environment. 

Most people confuse air purifiers with humidifiers. But remember that each machinery has its basic and separate concerns. Air purifiers are made to purify the air from different allergens and contaminants. Along with pollutants, they also combat odors and mold, which can be advantageous for those struggling with asthma and other allergies. 

What are Air Humidifiers?

Do you think that a humidifier is also involved in cleaning the air? Unfortunately, no! The function of an air humidifier neither improves the air quality nor reduces the contaminated particles in it. 

Rather than this, humidifiers are devices that release moisture, water vapor, or steam into the air to enhance the humidity level in your home. Depending on the type used, they may either emit cool water vapors or hot steam. 

Difference between Air Purifiers and Humidifiers 

Below are some main differences between an air purifier and an air humidifier. Let’s have a look at them. 

1- Maintenance 

The maintenance technique for an air purifier and humidifier is completely different. First, the air purifier’s system has to be maintained regularly to ensure that it works properly without creating any kind of noise, vibration, or irritating smells because all of these may affect the quality of your healthy breathing.

However, a humidifier demands a lot of maintenance; precautionary measures are mandatory not just during cleaning but all the time. You have to be careful, from when you have to refill water into it to its running until you have to refill any serving glass with water over the top edge.

2- Usage 

Air purifiers serve you with a lot of functions, such as removing harmful gasses and odor from the surrounding area. While doing so saves you from many breathing problems that may occur due to pollutants in the air. 

While the primary usage of a humidifier is to add humidity to the atmosphere, it also helps you to prevent cracks and damage in woody floors, furniture, and walls due to dryness. It releases moisture into dry air, making it soft and more breathable during extreme weather conditions like cold and hot weather.

3- Function 

One of the major differences between an air purifier and a humidifier is its functions. An air purifier eliminates dirt, dust, pollen, mold spores, and harmful gasses from the air that may cause allergies and other respiratory disorders. 

It has a very effective filter that ensures about 100% fresh, clean, and breathable air to its consumers by creating negative ions. On the other hand, a humidifier produces cool, moist, and humidified air which feels refreshing and soothing. 

4- Aesthetics and Style 

If we talk about the look and design of humidifiers and air purifiers, only a few brands can be part of the list. Pipe-shaped humidifiers come on top with stylish designs and identical functionalities. 

When it comes to the air purifier, it looks more like a spaceship than anything else. However, mechanics are very portable, so you can carry it wherever you want and blend it easily into any surroundings, making it one of the most versatile appliances. 

Air Purifiers vs. Air Humidifiers, How they affect our health 

Now let’s discuss how both of these machines affect our health quality:

Air Purifiers vs Humidifiers for Allergies 

Air purifiers could be the best option to deal with airborne allergens. Their filters trap contaminants such as mold spores, pollen, and sometimes even odors like smoke. However, make sure to use an air purifier with a HEPA filter because HEPA-like and HEPA-type filters are less effective as the mesh is loose for allergens to pass through easily. 

On the other hand, humidifiers could not reduce the airborne allergen count from the air. But they can diminish your allergy symptoms. The increased water vapors in the air soften your nasal passages, making breathing easier for you. 

An air purifier can be operated constantly. However, we suggest you use the humidifier sparingly. Allergens and dust mites may spread quickly when the moisture level rises to 70%. Therefore, a humidifier with a timer or auto-shutoff setting is recommended to keep the humidity level at 30 to 50%. 

Air Purifiers vs. Humidifiers for Asthma 

An air purifier is a better option for people with asthma. Because it removes airborne pollutants that can trigger asthma and provide relief in as little as 45 minutes. But make sure that you have replaced the air purifier filter as often as your manufacturer suggests, generally every 1-3 months. If you don’t, your air purifier will not work effectively.

Humidifiers do not have germ-fighting abilities. But the increased atmospheric moisture can temporarily relieve symptoms like a runny nose. If you use a humidifier for asthma care, completely replace the water between refills. Build up of any mold or moisture may initiate asthma symptoms and worsen your problem. 

Air Purifiers vs. Humidifiers for Babies 

You may have an idea about how babies struggle with coughing conditions like croup and dry and stuffy noses. For them, a cool and mist humidifier can be a great solution as the moist environment makes breathing easier for little ones. 

Warm mist humidifiers are not very safe for your baby’s nursery. The hot steam poses a safety hazard for your child, especially when placed near their crib. Moreover, if someone smokes in your house, it is recommended to double up with an air purifier. Models with activated carbon filters can eliminate smoke odors that may irritate a baby’s lungs. 

Air Purifiers vs Humidifiers for COVID 19

The virus that causes COVID-19 is around 2,000 times smaller than a dust mite. Some air purifier brands claim that their filters can trap that virus, but scientists have not proven that yet. 

According to EPA reports, a portable air purifier is ineffective for contracting COVID-19 and protecting you from it. Some other preventive measures, like wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance, are more efficient. However, a humidifier offers relief if you suffer from COVID-19 symptoms. As cool and mist models of humidifiers can reduce lung irritation. 

What are the pros and cons of air purifiers and humidifiers?

Following are some of the advantages and drawbacks of air purifiers and humidifiers:

Pros of Air Purifiers 

  • They kill airborne germs 
  • Air purifiers promote allergy and asthma relief for people suffering from them. 
  • Models of air purifiers that come with a carbon filter remove odors. 

Cons of Air Purifiers 

  • Some air purifier models are very expensive to operate.
  • Some replacement filters are very brand-specific. 

Pros of Air Humidifiers

  • Air humidifiers provide warm and cool mist options.
  • They can minimize several allergy and asthma symptoms.
  • They also promote hydrated skin, nails, and nasal passages. 

Cons of Air Humidifiers 

  • They do not clean the air as they can’t remove germs and pollutants. 
  • They may contaminate the air if operated too much or not cleaned enough. 
  • The ultrasonic models of air humidifiers can leave white dust on your clothes and furniture. 

Air Purifiers vs. Air Humidifiers, Which one is best for you?

Well! We have thoroughly gone through the discussion of the difference between an air purifier and a humidifier. Now the question is, which one is right for you?

As we mentioned before, air purifiers can sanitize air pollutants. Therefore, they are best for those suffering from health conditions like allergies and asthma that might be aggravated by poor air quality. Furthermore, always use a HEPA filter while selecting an air purifier because portable filters may work effectively in a room but are ineffective in cleaning the air of an entire house. 

But if humidity levels are very low at your place, a humidifier can help you with that. It increases the moisture in your home, restoring it while minimizing the negative impacts of low humidity. It will also help you to deal with chapped lips, a dry throat, and continuously feeling thirsty, which effects of dry air are. While buying a humidifier, check the size suitable for your home. 

Final Verdict 

Air purifiers and humidifiers are established for different purposes, but can they work together? Yes! It’s very safe to operate both of them at the same time. However, you can select any of these best according to your needs and requirements.

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