Air Purifier Or Humidifier For Asthma?

Air Purifier Or Humidifier For Asthma

Welcome to our article discussing whether an air purifier or humidifier for asthma will work better in your circumstances.

If you have space that is too dry, humidifiers will do wonders for you within that space and make your life much more comfortable. From guarding your wood furniture if you live in an arid climate, to balancing out the dry air in the winter months, they are certainly powerful equipment for your home or office space.

However, this raises a question: are they actually good for asthma sufferers?

Well, the answer is not as straightforward as you might think, and this article will explain why that is the case.

What Is Asthma?

Many people live their lives knowing that the task of breathing will not always come easy to them. Those people suffer from asthma.

Asthma is generally a condition due to inflammation of the air tubes that lead to the lungs. This inflammation is the reason that asthma symptoms exist – shortness of breath, dizziness fainting, and so on. The condition will continuously inflame the airways, and this causes inefficiencies in air passage. It forces excess production of mucus that makes the breathing more challenging for the person.

Different tissue layers comprise the respiratory tubes. Among them is a layer of smooth muscle. When a person has asthma, the muscles of their airways are unusually large and very strong, so these muscles contract excessively when they have an attack and the airways squeeze. Anything can trigger an attack, ranging from perfumes to dust mites and cold, dry air.

Since the condition is serious and often interferes with the everyday life, it is important to know how to ease its symptoms. Many people will turn to humidifiers to ease the discomfort when an attack happens – but does it actually help? To know the answer, learn the difference between humidifiers and air purifiers.

What Are The Differences?


These will add moisture to the air, but there is a disadvantage to using them. When there is too much moisture in the air, it creates a perfect breeding ground for dust mites, bacteria and mold growth. In addition, you must ensure that you disinfect, clean, and dry them regularly, at least once every two days.

Keep in mind that a dirty humidifier will create more problems for you if you have allergies or asthma. They can release spores that will increase complications relating to your illness due to the contaminated vapor. In fact, steam vaporizers and evaporators are less likely to release many kinds of airborne allergens compared to cool mist humidifiers.

Air purifiers

These are meant to clean the air in your room. They are smaller in scope compared to AC units or furnaces that will alter the air in your whole house. Since they are portable and small, they will not clean all the pollutants in your home – but they will still clean most and reduce indoor pollution significantly.

Similar to an AC unit or furnace, change your air purifier regularly. You will also find it convenient that you can get them in different sizes, which you can clean in different ways.

Do Humidifiers Help Or Hurt Your Asthma?

Since humidifiers increase humidity in the air by releasing vapor or steam, they can help to reduce the discomfort that comes with asthma symptoms. These include inflammation of the moist, delicate tissues of the nasal area, nasal congestion, and irritation.

The moist air will relieve the nasal and air passages by allowing them to blow out any allergens and irritants from your nasal cavity, which reduces allergy symptoms and the negative responses in the airways.

Types Of Humidifiers

Humidifiers have two main categories – warm mist and cool mist ones. The warm mist products will release steam vapors or warm mist into the air, and they are quieter in their operation compared to other humidifiers. They are usually great for reducing mucus secretion thickness and soothing sinuses, and are generally better for smaller rooms. However, you need to make sure to keep children away from them, or else they could get burns from the steam.

Cool mist humidifiers are easy to clean and also quiet, but you must clean them as frequently as possible. They also work better in larger spaces, and the cool mist is better for breathing.

Evaporative humidifier

This uses cool mists through a fan system. Fans pull surrounding air and push it through a moist wick which is submerged in water, and this forces the water to evaporate and cool the air. The efficiency of this humidifier makes it a good option if you are living in a warmer climate.

Air washer humidifiers

These are primarily cool mist humidifiers, and increase the moisture through rotating filter discs. The discs are always submerged in water, and they will remove any pathogens present, as well as irritants in the air. They do need more maintenance and cleaning, but they offer great relief.

Ultrasonic humidifiers

These are all-rounders when it comes to producing both warm and cool mist, while most produce one or the other. They vibrate the water rapidly. An adjacent fan will project the particles into the air as a mist.

Steam vapor humidifiers

These are warm mist types, and they will heat the water and release this as vapor. The heat from the water will also kill pathogens such as mold and algae. This is great if you are looking for relief from asthma.


Humidifiers are great for asthma relief. But there needs to be a balance in how you handle the humidity. You don’t want to create an environment for the growth of pathogens. When you combine both, they will provide benefits in easing your asthma symptoms in different ways. Realistically, each one can be useful if used correctly.

About Rita McMahon 32 Articles
Rita McMahon is a Master of Science degree holder in Electrical Engineering and has done many reviews on various electrical gadgets. She currently works as a lecturer and is passionate about everything electrical. Apart from her teaching job she loves reading and traveling. In a recent conference, she encouraged ladies to join the field of Electrical Engineering because there is a huge gap that needs to be filled by specialists in this field in around the globe, especially in the third world countries that heavily rely on foreign technology and expertise. The field according to her is not saturated and if people continue to shy away, then the development of sustainable and relevant technical solutions will stall, given the pace of technological advancements.