The air quality inside your home is critical to keep your family healthy — especially if someone in the home is prone to allergies or has asthma. There are several different types of appliances available to control the environment inside your house, including air purifiers and humidifiers. But some people may wonder — are air purifiers and humidifiers the same thing?
Air purifiers and humidifiers can both solve issues with the air inside your home, including dry air, pet odors and mold buildup, but these two devices serve totally different purposes. So, which of these two is best for you: Does your home need a humidifier or an air purifier, or perhaps both? Read on to learn more.
What does an air purifier do?
Air purifiers clean the air of irritating airborne particles that might otherwise cause health problems. Think of it this way: On average, we inhale about 14,000 liters of air each day, while we only drink about 3 liters of water daily.
We do everything we can to avoid using or drinking dirty water by having a water filtration system at home. But on the contrary, we do nothing to clean the air, even if the evidence is clear such as foul smell, mold buildup and too many dust particles. So how to know if you should invest in an air purifier?
Signs you need an air purifier:
- Frequent snoring, due to allergens causing congestion in the respiratory system
- Stale air
- You have pets, contributing to odors and dander in the air
- Allergy flareups
- Frequent asthma attacks
- Someone at home has chest problems like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or emphysema
- Presence of foul smells
- Visible mold somewhere in the house
- Someone in the home smokes cigarettes (even if they smoke outside, smoke clings to clothing and is carried indoors)
- You own varnished furniture (varnish contains Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs, which give off toxic particles)
There are many different types of air purifiers on the market, so it’s important to choose the right product with appropriate features to solve specific air problems in your room. There are air purifiers with allergen removers that are perfect for homes with someone suffering from asthma, while air purifiers with HEPA filters work great for people with allergies.
What does a humidifier do?
During the winter season, air tends to be dry which can lead to dry skin, sinus congestion, sore throats, nosebleeds and more. You can increase the indoor humidity level at home to about 45% during winter by adding vaporized moisture back into the air. How do you know if you need a humidifier?
Signs you need a humidifier:
- Dry skin and/or hair
- Regular sinus or nasal congestion
- Nosebleed is becoming frequent
- Constant sore throats
- Regular colds
- Flareup of asthma or allergies
It is also essential to note that extremely low humidity can cause other problems in your house, aside from health implications. Wood furniture and floors will crack or split, wall and ceiling paints will chip, and some electronic devices may be damaged or will have some issues. You can avoid these impending problems by using an air humidifier to maintain the appropriate humidity level.
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The right device for a healthy home environment
While both the humidifier and air purifier have beneficial effects, each has a unique role. A humidifier prevents dry air by adding vaporized moisture back into the environment. On the other hand, an air purifier purifies and cleans the air. This is done by getting rid of unwanted minute particles using a technologically-advanced air filter.
The air in your home needs regular cleaning as dust particles tend to buildup over time. Likewise, humidity plays an important role in the home atmosphere. Indoor humidity should stay within 30% to 50% range. Below this range, air is too dry and can cause health problems. Above the range can also promote mold growth and the presence of dust mites; in this case, you may need a dehumidifier.
It’s important to maintain a balanced indoor environment by having the right appliances like an air purifier and a humidifier. They should be considered standard equipment for every home just like the TV and microwave oven.
Which one do you need: humidifier or air purifier?
Now that you know the answer to the question “Are air purifiers and humidifiers the same thing?”, only you can tell which one is best for you.
If you want to control the room humidity to reduce snoring or prevent skin dryness, then an air humidifier would solve that problem. But if you’re having some issues with odors or allergens, you can get rid of them by having an air purifier around. If you’re ready to shop for an air purifier, check out a compilation of the Best Air Purifier reviews.