Humidifier or Air Purifier: What’s the Difference?

Clean air is top-of-mind for just about everyone right now. Our usual cold and flu season is more troubling this year with the addition of coronavirus, and people are doing everything they can to make sure they keep themselves and their families healthy. As more and more studies are released touting the benefits of adding a humidifier to help fight these viruses, we see more and more customers asking, “What is the difference between a humidifier and an air purifier?”

There are a variety of air purifiers on the market. Most filter air using either a filter, ionizers, or UV light.

  • Filtered purifiers: typically best at removing larger particles, like pollen and dust mites, from the air.
  • Ion emitting purifiers: emit negative ions that attract positive ion particles in the air, which neutralizes them. Avoid models that produce ozone, which can irritate asthma and other lung conditions.
  • UV purifiers: designed to use ultraviolet (UV) light with a filter to remove allergens and impurities from the air. However, many studies show that UV purification does not entirely remove allergens, gases, pet dander, smoke, and dust. Many harmful pollutants – like those found in paint and household products – are unaffected by UV light. These purifiers can also emit ozone.

So, are air purifiers effective? The short answer is, “Yes, but…” An air purifier with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is the best option for helping trap allergens, as well as mold. But, many allergens can live on soft surfaces, like carpet and furniture. An air purifier will not be able to remove particles like these.

Humidifiers work by adding moisture to the air, while also removing impurities. Like air purifiers, there are many kinds of humidifiers on the shelves:

  • Evaporative humidifiers: use a wicking filter to absorb water. As the water evaporates, the humidifier’s fan blows the evaporated moisture into the air. These humidifiers are the best option for whole house humidification.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers: instead of a wicking filter, these models use a nebulizer, vibrating at ultrasonic speed, which breaks water particles into an ultrafine mist. The humidifier then, silently, propels this mist into the air.
  • Steam humidifiers: these models are also wickless and include a heating element that boils the water in the humidifier. This mist is then released into the air.

While a humidifier’s main purpose is to humidify, they also help clean the air. Many recent studies say a healthy indoor humidity level of 40-60% greatly reduces the lifespan of the flu virus and coronavirus. You can read our other blogs for more details on this.

Another benefit – like a filtered air purifier, the humidifier’s filter traps allergens, dust, pollen, dander, and other particles. Medical News Today stated humidifiers benefit people with respiratory ailments, reduce cold and asthma symptoms, reduce infection frequency, and reduce allergens.

You can also add an air filter to many of our evaporative humidifiers. Our 5D6700, 4DTS series, 696 series, and H12 series can all use our AIRCARE air filters. We included two filtration layers in our filters: an electrostatic layer for airborne particles, and a carbon layer for odors.

When you want to improve your air, it doesn’t have to be an air purifier or a humidifier. In most instances, a humidifier can give you both healthy humidity and cleaner air.

OLDER NEWER
11.24.2020
172

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