Many people use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality by removing impurities like dust, pollen, animal dander, bacteria, and viruses. If you have allergies or a respiratory illness, an air purifier can be beneficial in reducing your symptoms and improving comfort.
Since a purifier removes substances from the air, you might be wondering whether moisture is on that list and whether it’ll affect your indoor comfort. Excessively dry air can cause a range of issues, from itchy skin to irritated nasal passages.
However, air purifiers don’t directly affect humidity, as they don't remove moisture from the air. But they can cause indoor air to feel drier than normal.
Why Your Home Feels Dry When You Use an Air Purifier
Air purifiers clean air by pulling it through filters that remove airborne contaminants, then blowing the fresh air back into the room. Unlike a dehumidifier, which removes moisture from the air, an air filter doesn’t have any mechanism to remove water.
So, why does it feel like the air is drier in spaces where you have an air purifier?
When the appliance blows filtered air back into the room, that circulation can make the room feel cooler—and cooler air feels drier than moist air. Using an air purifier that is too large for the space can increase this effect and make the air feel too dry.
Another possible reason the air feels dry when using an air purifier is that the appliance might be too close to you. Sitting near the device and having the fan blow air around your face can dry out the nasal passages.
How to Maintain Humidity When Using an Air Purifier
Do air purifiers help with humidity? No, because these appliances only eliminate contaminants from the air and not moisture. Running an air purifier on humid days will not help reduce moisture. If the air is already dry, having a running fan can make it feel worse.
The good news is that you can make some adjustments to be more comfortable.
Reduce the fan speed
Turning down the fan speed can reduce air circulation, making the air feel warmer and less dry. A gentler speed also helps prevent excess evaporation from your skin, which would otherwise contribute to feelings of dryness.
Move the air purifier
Make sure there’s enough space between the air purifier and the wall or furniture to ensure good airflow. Obstructions could force the device to work harder than it needs to. If you feel like the air is too dry, move the machine to another location with enough space for proper airflow.
Use a smaller air purifier
When shopping for an air purifier, choose one that is the right size for your space. Small units are best for 200-square-foot spaces. Double that square footage for a medium-sized device.
Invest in a humidifier
If the air is too dry, use a home humidifier to add moisture. This extra moisture can reduce irritation and discomfort, and you can continue to use the air purifier to preserve air quality.
Finding the right balance between clean air and indoor humidity can help you stay healthy and feel your best all winter long. Our original humidifier and large-format Humidifier Plus rely on specially designed paper filters that remove contaminants from the water, so you don’t have to worry about anything extra getting into your home’s air supply.