There are many ways to make your home environment comfortable and promote your health at the same time – but few methods will beat the benefits of using a humidifier or air purifier. But can you use an air purifier and humidifier together?
They are not the same things, contrary to what many might think. Combining their functions gives you many benefits that include. It reduces the chances of diseases and allergies, improves your air quality, and gets rid of certain pathogens in your home.
If you want to fully reap the benefits of these two devices, it is best to know the differences between them, as well as how to use them as effectively as possible. In this article, we will explain what the differences are. We’ll also talk about when to use each one in your home.
What Is The Difference?
When you talk about an air purifier, you are referring to a machine that cleans your air by removing ‘inactivating’ pollutants. It has two components – the filter surface, and the fan – although the details of its workings will vary from model to model. For instance, some models will have PECO technology. Others have activated carbon filtration. And others will use true HEPA technology.
In many purifiers, air passes through the unit. The filter removes pollutants by trapping them in various ways, then releases clean air into the room. However, air purifiers will not add any moisture to the air. This is where a humidifier comes in.
Humidifiers will not do the job of cleaning your air, but instead add moisture to it. They do this through boiling water until it becomes steam, then vibrating the steam into the air using a wick and fan, or through the use of ultrasonic technology.
Keep in mind that the ultrasonic method can also introduce mineral particles into the air if you are using tap water rather than distilled water. While this does not sound bad, some research also shows that they can have negative effects on your lung tissue. So it is better to always use distilled water, and cleaning your humidifier regularly.
How Do These Tools Impact Your Health?
Both these tools have different impacts on the quality of the air, which in turn will affect your health. Some of the most common conditions include the following.
Allergies and asthma
In some cases, the air purifier will reduce the extent of allergens in the air, which include mold spores, pollen, and dust mites. If you happen to suffer from allergies, the air purifier will reduce your exposure to the triggers.
Traditional filters will capture the airborne particles that carry these allergens. But there are a few filter systems that can actually destroy the allergens completely.
On the other hand, humidifiers will not have any impact on the allergen levels in your home. Instead, they will ease the symptoms of an allergic reaction if your nasal passages are irritated. However, they can also increase the risks of asthma and allergies in some instances. In addition, if you do not clean and disinfect the humidifier, it will develop mold, which then releases spores into the air and triggers asthma and allergic reactions.
Respiratory irritation, flu, and colds
The most common purifiers will capture airborne particles, although this will not apply to all cases. For instance, the particles that carry viruses will pass through because they are very small. If you have a cold or flu, you can ease the symptoms by using air purifiers because they will remove other respiratory irritants.
Air purifiers will not increase air moisture, as we mentioned before. So they will not help you with excessively dry air, and this will worsen your symptoms. Humidifiers, though, will increase the moisture in the air, which improves your condition through increasing relative humidity.
What Will Work Better For You?
This will depend on the circumstances, as one will work better than the other in some cases.
If you have a baby
In the case of dry air, a humidifier in the nursery will prevent the development of dry throat and a scratchy nose. It will also help babies who have symptoms of colds and coughing, as it will shrink the nasal passages and help them to breathe easier.
If you want to improve your air quality in the long term, the air purifier will reduce the pollutants, such as the potential toxins coming from tobacco smoke, removing pet dander, or mold spores. This will make the purifier a better option for the baby’s room.
Dealing with allergens
It is better to use a purifier in this instance. For instance, a HEPA filter will trap particles. Humidifiers will contribute to making allergies worse, because the moisture present in the air will increase the survival of microorganisms.
When you have asthma
If dry air is an issue for you, then humidifiers can ease the symptoms associated with asthma. However, you need to be careful about the extent of humidity you have. Too much of it will encourage the growth and spread of mold, dust mites and harmful bacteria.
It is better to actually use an air purifier for the long term, as it can remove these pollutants. Then use the humidifier for the days when you are sick or when it gets cold.
In addition, humidifiers need to be kept as clean and dry as possible, and always wipe them after every few days.
Can I Use Both?
You can use these two together at the same room, since they perform entirely different functions.
However, avoid placing them too close to each other. The moisture from the humidifier will clog the filters in the air purifier, and this leads to the growth of mold inside the air purifier. Instead, place them on opposite sides of the room.
You need to maintain humidifiers and purifiers properly for them to function optimally. In the case of purifiers, you need to replace the filters after every few months or weeks. For humidifiers, you need to clean and disinfect them after every few days, while also using distilled water.