Humidifiers. Air purifiers. Vaporizers. Oh, my!
On the quest to improve your health and the well-being of your family and loved ones, you inevitably run into an abundance of product recommendations. At a certain point, the benefits and functions of humidifiers, air purifiers, vaporizers, diffusers, and other home health improvement technologies start to blur.
Do these devices do the same thing? Which one do I need? Or, which one(s) do I need? Can I get a miracle device that does everything? Help!
You got it. In this blog, we will analyze humidifiers vs. air purifiers. We will discuss what each device actually does, the similarities between these devices, the key differences, and the resulting health benefits.
What is a Humidifier?
Humidifiers use ultrasonic, evaporative, or steam-based technology to release water vapor into the air increasing moisture levels or “humidity.”
An ultrasonic humidifier releases a cool mist into the air by vibrating a metal diaphragm at sonic speed. This vibration creates water droplets, which are blown out into the room with an internal device fan.
Evaporative humidifiers draw air from the room into the device and fan that air through a moistened wick. The air released back into the room contains water droplets, which increase the relative humidity of the room.
The last type of humidifier is a steam-based humidifier. The steam-based humidifier releases a warm mist created by boiling water into a fine vapor, which is then fanned into the room. This type of humidifier can slightly elevate room temperatures and is often used during the colder months.
Home humidity levels should range from 40% to 60% to stay comfy cozy. Stable humidity levels in your home, office (or any personal space, really) can create a myriad of health benefits for you and your family.
Pro tip: you can purchase a hygrometer for $10.99 on Amazon to read the current humidity levels in your home. You may be incredibly surprised at the low humidity read, particularly if you regularly run your AC or heater.
What is an Air Purifier?
An air purifier is a device used to remove or “inactivate” pollutants from the air including allergens, mold, germs, pet dander, pollen, odors, and improve overall air quality.
This device works by sucking in air from the surrounding room and passing it through a filter, which traps pollutants and releases clean air back into the room. HEPA filters are the most common filtration technology used in air purifiers while new technologies like the PECO ionizing filtration technology have recently entered the market.
The Similarities & Differences
An air purifier vs. a humidifier serve two distinct purposes: the air purifier filters allergens and irritating particles from the air while a humidifier increases moisture levels to mitigate the effects of dry air. In fact, many people use both an air purifier and a humidifier in their home to achieve the benefits of clean, hydrated air.
The similarities between these two devices are scarce and exist only in their health benefits, which are listed below. Both devices can improve allergies and allergy symptoms, reduce the frequency of asthma or respiratory attacks, and both devices are safe to use with babies.
The Health Benefits
Air purifiers and humidifiers can improve your overall health by reducing allergens in the air and improving the common symptoms associated with asthma and other respiratory conditions. Humidifiers and air purifiers are safe to use with children, though the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends against the use of a steam-based humidifier in your home with small children.
If you suffer from moderate to severe allergies, you may experience sneezing, a runny nose, watering eyes (or dry eyes for that matter), cough, hives, or a laundry list of other symptoms. While you may suffer allergy symptoms more prominently during allergy season, there are many allergens in your home that may trigger symptoms year around.
An air purifier helps to reduce allergens by filtering harmful particles from the air, producing fresh, clean air for improved breathing. A humidifier, on the other hand, releases moisture into the air without a regular filtration system. Our Canopy humidifier was developed with allergy sufferers in mind; our paper filters prevent common contaminants from entering the air while UV technology kills 99% of bacteria, mold, and viruses that can enter the water tank.
Asthma and Respiratory Conditions
Asthmatics and individuals who suffer from various respiratory conditions often experience a worsening of their symptoms when exposed to common allergens. The filtration system on an air purifier helps to reduce the levels of allergens in the air, which reduces the frequency of allergen-triggered asthma and respiratory symptoms.
Humidifiers elevate the moisture levels of your home, which can help to clear the throat and nasal airways. Since individuals with asthma suffer from excess respiratory mucus, the elevated humidity can help to improve breathing and congestion.
Air purifiers and humidifiers are great tools to keep handy for your little bundle of joy, though they both serve different purposes in a nursery setting.
A baby’s respiratory system is very sensitive to environmental factors in the first months of life. Placing an air purifier in your child’s nursery can reduce dust, allergens and potentially harmful air particles that can irritate a sensitive or underdeveloped respiratory tract.
Babies also tend to be quite smelly, particularly when it comes to the ever increasing volume of discarded diapers. Diaper Genie or not, you may be left with quite an odor that seems to follow you through the house. An air purifier can help to reduce diaper odors, which is a big perk.
A humidifier is another tool to keep in your parenting toolbox. Our blog What Does a Humidifier Do for Babies? elaborates on the many benefits of using a humidifier for your bean; in brief, a humidifier can ease congestion in a dry environment, improve dry skin associated with common baby skin conditions, and relieve cold symptoms should your little one get sick.