Differences Between Air Purifiers Vs Humidifiers

Both air purifiers and humidifiers have been getting pretty popular lately. However, some are getting one or the other by thinking that both are the same.

But is that really the case? Not really!

Well, if you know the differences between air purifiers vs humidifiers, you probably already know that they are not the same appliance.

The main difference between air purifiers and humidifiers is in the working mechanism. Then, there are other differences, such as the function, how they help create a comfortable home environment, and how much they cost.

Want to know more about the things that make air purifiers and humidifiers stand out from one another? Well, you have to keep reading!

Humidifiers vs Air Purifiers – The Core Differences?

For indoor air, we generally have to face two major inconveniences.

Firstly, the air pollutants that float around in the air, such as pollen, smoke, dust, and allergens.

Secondly, the humidity level can drop to 20 to 30 percent in winter and other dry seasons.

Our skin dries out, and we feel pretty uncomfortable being inside in those seasons.

So, how do the humidifiers and air purifiers help with any of those two inconveniences? Let’s find out –

Air Purifier Basics

The working mechanism of the air purifiers is pretty simple. These devices will generally come with an intake fan and some filters.

The intake fan sucks up the air from the surroundings and makes it pass through the filters.

While the air is going through, the filters trap or destroy all the airborne pollutants.

When it comes to the efficiency of capturing all the contaminants, it depends on the quality of the filtration unit.

So, what is the function of the air purifier?

Well, if you have not guessed yet, the primary function is keeping indoor air clean.

In other words, you will have a nearly pollutant-free indoor environment with the air purifier.

Humidifier Basics

The humidifiers do not have anything to do with the pollution of the air. As the name suggests, these devices are there to increase the humidity of the indoor air.

In summer, the humidity level stays near the 40 to 50 percent range. We do not have to face any dry skin issues in that season.

On the other hand, the humidity level during the winter can fall below 20 percent.

And this drop impacts our comfort level on different levels. The common inconveniences that you will face for the air having low humidity levels are –

  • Dry skin
  • Sneezing
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Eye Irritation

Nonetheless, humidifiers can help solve all of those problems. But what working mechanism do they utilize?

Well, it depends on the device. There are mainly two types of humidifiers.

First, there are evaporative humidifiers, which use electricity to boil water and create a mist.

The devices then pass the hot steam to the air to increase the humidity level. You can consider them as tea kettles but for the air.

Secondly, there are ultrasonic humidifiers. These have transducers, which produce ultrasonic waves.

The waves will detect the water molecules from the water’s surface. And after that, the devices will let a cool mist out in the air.

Air Purifiers vs Humidifiers – Health Conditions

From a medical perspective, what role do air purifiers and humidifiers play in certain health conditions? Is one better than the other? Let’s find out –

For Eczema

Before anything else, you need to understand when eczema flares up. Eczema becomes worse in dry and cold weather.

And in such weather conditions, the relative humidity can drop below 20 percent.

So, to avoid such flares, humidifiers would be the right choice.

However, to lower the issues related to eczema, you need to consider the pollutants in the air. And that is where air purifiers come into play.

For Sinus

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, irritated sinus passages are often the result of dry indoor air.

So, for sinus problems, getting a humidifier would be a better overall choice.

For Allergies

Air purifiers and humidifiers play a crucial role in allergies.

Firstly, the air purifier will take out all the allergens that float around in the air. That will provide you with some relief from allergies.

On the other hand, Mayo Clinic states that the increased indoor humidity can help children and adults that have allergies or asthma problems.

That means humidifiers can also help you overcome allergenic issues.

For Cough

Again, air purifiers and humidifiers can help with coughs. A cough can basically be the body’s response to different pollutants.

It can also be because of the dryness of the air.

However, among the two, humidifiers are proven to help with the cough.

According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), humidifiers can help with cold symptoms, including cough. But you should not forget that allergens that float in the air can also make you cough.

So, you cannot entirely rule out the benefits that air purifiers offer for cough.

Air Purifiers vs. Humidifiers for Baby

Are you in a dilemma where you cannot choose whether the humidifier or air purifier is good for your baby?

Well, let us take a look at what can each of the devices can do for your baby –

How Does the Air Purifier Benefit the Baby?

The air purifier will take care of all the pollutants that are in the indoor air. That includes the allergens that can make your baby develop skin issues.

Also, let’s not forget that pollutants that are found in the air can initiate asthma and breathing problems early on.

In short, the air purifier will ensure that your baby has no difficulty breathing. It will also make sure that your baby does not develop any breathing problems.

How Does the Humidifier Benefit the Baby?

During the dry months, the indoor air can have significantly low humidity levels.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the relative humidity of the air should be anywhere from 40 percent and 60 percent for babies. Anything low can make the baby uncomfortable.

And the humidifier can help you in this case. The device will add more moisture to the air during the dry months.

So, you will not need to worry about the relative humidity dropping below 40 percent.

Can You Use Air Purifiers and Humidifiers Together?

As you can see, air purifiers and humidifiers bring their own advantages to the table.

While air purifiers will enable you to breathe properly in indoor environments, humidifiers will let you stay comfortable.

So, why not combine them?

Well, you can certainly run both the air purifier and humidifier together.

It will enable you to increase the relative humidity of the air and get clean air at the same time.

Read More: Where To Put Humidifier?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does an air purifier work like a humidifier?

The main task of an air purifier is to purify the air. It does that by clearing out the air’s pollens, allergens, and other pollutants. However, it does not add any humidity to the air. Considering that, you can conclude that air purifiers do not work like a humidifier.

2. Which is better for a stuffy nose humidifier or an air purifier?

NIH (National Institutes of Health) states that air humidifiers can help you to get some relief from the stuffy noise issue. These devices can also help with the discomfort that you have to face when you have the common flu or cold.

In fact, maintaining the right humidity at your home can offer you protection from different viruses.

3. Do I need to worry about my electricity bills when I run an air purifier and humidifier at the same time?

You will be looking to spend anywhere from $0.02 to $0.32 daily for air purifiers. On the other hand, you will need to spend somewhere between $0.26 to $0.69 per day for the humidifier. That means the total will be between $0.28 and $1.01 daily at most. So, there is no need to worry too much about the electricity cost.

Read More: Humidifiers For Pregnancy?

Final Words

To conclude, there are many differences between air purifiers vs humidifiers.

But in short, just remember that humidifiers are not primarily for cleaning the air, while air purifiers cannot add humidity to the air.

For that reason, you should not consider them as the same appliance.

Last Updated on June 24, 2023

Richard Hicks

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