Modern bedroom with ceiling fan

Should I Leave a Fan on With a Humidifier?

Staying comfortable inside is important, which is why you use humidifiers and room fans in the first place. But they do different things: Your humidifier releases water vapor or steam into the air to increase relative humidity, while your fan circulates air to help sweat evaporate for a cooling sensation. As both devices boast different benefits, you may be asking yourself, “Should I leave a fan on with a humidifier?” The simple answer is yes, but you can use this deep dive to truly understand why. 

Potential Drawbacks to Using Room Fans

Room fans can be useful when it’s time to turn in for the night. The white noise can lull you into a sound sleep, while the steady airflow can prevent overheating that disrupts your slumber. Unfortunately, turning on the fan can also kick dust, pet dander, pollen, and other allergens into the air. Breathing in the particles could exacerbate asthma symptoms, lead to sneezing fits, and cause additional cold-like symptoms. 

A drop in air quality isn’t the only concern. Fans increase air circulation, which can pose a problem if the air in your home is dry. Dry air will spread throughout a room and pull moisture from your nasal passages, throat, skin, and eyes. While you may wake well rested, you might also start the day with a sore throat, nosebleed, and skin or eye irritation. 

Achiness after sleeping in the direct air path from a table or window fan isn’t uncommon, either, because exposure to intense air can cause muscle tightness.  

How a Humidifier Offsets These Concerns

Woman asleep with Canopy humidifier at bedside

A humidifier can combat the dryness caused by a running fan. The device hydrates a room, and breathing in moist air stops your throat, nasal passages, skin, and eyes from drying out. This is beneficial because moist mucous membranes are better equipped to catch germs before they reach the lungs and cause infections. 

Running a humidifier can provide relief for people with allergies, too. When a fan causes allergens to become airborne, the condensation from a humidifier’s water vapor weighs down the airborne particles and causes them to fall back to the ground.  

Can You Sleep with a Fan & Humidifier On?

As previously discussed, a room fan just pushes air around. It won’t necessarily make the air in a space dryer, but it can contribute to a room’s reduced humidity levels. This would be the case if you were to run a fan with the windows open. The fan would push the humid air inside your room out the window and allow the outdoor air, which may be dryer, inside. This is especially true if it’s colder outside than it is in your room because air holds fewer molecules as temperatures decrease, reducing humidity as a result.  

Does a humidifier work with a fan on if the latter affects humidity levels in certain situations? Yes! In fact, using the devices simultaneously is a good idea. A humidifier hydrates the dry air while a fan helps the moisture spread quickly. Ceiling fans are particularly helpful because they are often larger and centrally located in a room, allowing them to spread hydrated air faster than other models. This makes fans and humidifiers the perfect pairing for a good night’s sleep. Just be sure to keep your windows closed to avoid losing out on moisture! 

Now that you know a humidifier will work with a ceiling fan on, turn to Canopy to meet your indoor air quality needs. Our original humidifier hydrates up to 500 square feet, so it’s the perfect choice for your bedside in the spring and summer. For comfort in larger spaces, count on the Humidifier Plus, which works in spaces up to 1,000 square feet to maintain optimal humidity levels.