Indoor air quality is essential to maintain as air contains contaminants like dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, smoke particles, and volatile organic compounds can trigger respiratory problems and various allergies.
And, if the moisture in the air is less than 30%, it means that the air is dry and can cause various skin problems like dry skin, irritation in the eyes, and sore throat.
Air purifiers and humidifiers are the best solution to improve indoor air quality and increase moisture in the air, but can you use a humidifier and air purifier together? Yes, both a humidifier and air purifier can be used together in the same room to perform completely different functions and supplement each other. However, placing them too close to each other can cause problems as the humidifier’s moisture can clog the filter of the air purifier and limit its effectiveness.
Since these two are so different, it’s important to review their features and how they can work together.
Air Purifier Vs Humidifier
Both humidifiers and dehumidifiers serve different purposes, which are essential for indoor air quality. Humidifiers are used for an ideal humidity level between 30 to 50 %, and air purifiers purify the air from harmful contaminants. The absence of one of these can cause various problems in comfortable living, but one should still know when to use them.
Use of an Air Purifier
An air purifier should be used when:
- Dust is abundant in your home
- When you stay inside, your allergies trigger
- You feel shortness of breath at home
- The air in your home feels stale
- There are smells of paint, varnish, or chemicals in the house
- You or someone smokes the cigarette at home
- You have pets at home, and their hair circulate with the air
- You feel respiratory conditions that make it difficult to sleep
Air purifiers can help in eliminating various health-related problems if kept running over an extended period of time.
Use of a Humidifier
A humidifier can help with various problems caused by dry air, like:
- Sinus congestion
- Dry skin and hair
- Asthma Attacks
- Irritating eyes and sore throat
- Common Cold
- Frequent nose bleeding
Your skin requires moisture in the air to stay hydrated. Your respiratory tract needs lubricants as the humidifier is used to increase the water vapors in the air so you can use them to ensure that your body gets proper moisture. Without enough moisture, the mucous membranes of the body start drying out and it becomes difficult to breathe.
This moisture in a room is measured as relative humidity, or RH. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends an RH inside a home of at least 35% in order to stay hydrated enough to maintain proper bodily function.
Types of Air Purifier
Air purifiers are an effective way of improving indoor air quality and removing contaminants to avoid health risks. Air purifiers are divided into several categories depending on their methods through which they purify the air.
HEPA Air Purifiers
HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air technology) purifiers use HEPA filters, which trap 99.9% of contaminates. These filters have an accordion-like surface, giving them a large surface area to trap as many pollutants as possible.
Although, you’ll have to be careful about manufacturers that advertise their filters as “HEPA-like” or “similar to HEPA” when shopping for a HEPA air purifier. You can read more about HEPA filters in this blog post.
Activated Carbon Filters on Air Purifiers
Activated carbon air purifiers consist of filters made from carbon extracted from things like bamboo or charcoal. They have a highly porous surface, which is efficient in absorbing air contaminants. The filter pores make chemical bonds to trap the smaller pollutants that a HEPA filter usually can’t.
Such cleaners, which are sensitive to pollutants of small molecular size, like odors and chemicals, are great for both home and commercial use.
Activated carbon filters are best when they are heavy and made up of granules (instead of just being a sprayed-on layer inside an air purifier), although you’ll naturally pay more obviously. If you’re just getting started, we recommend trying out a few activated carbon bags and dispersing them throughout the home where you’re noticing the most odors and chemical smells.
Air Purifiers with UV Technology
Air purifiers having UV technology can capture small organic pollutants we call mVOCs, like the bacteria, germs, and viruses that are also present in the air. UV technology on an air purifier is not as commonly found as the HEPA or activated carbon filters.
That’s because the jury is still out on these. Sure, a ton of research exists showing how effective UV light is at destroying microbial pollutants, but when it comes down to practicality, many products advertising this feature have ended up falling short of expectations. So, do your research if you plan on buying an air purifier with UV light.
Also, don’t confuse UV air purifiers with ozone air purifiers, which can be dangerous. While not all UV air purifiers have been proven to work, UV light isn’t dangerous like ozone. The key is to look for a UV air purifier that doesn’t produce any ozone. Again, the conclusion is to do your research if you plan on buying one of these.
Types of Humidifier
Humidifiers are considered the best solution to dry air, mostly found in many homes during the winter season. But before buying a humidifier, it is better to know about various types of humidifiers available in the market and how they humidify the air.
Warm Mist Humidifier
Warm mist humidifiers consist of the heating mechanism which is placed inside them. This heating mechanism converts water into warm mist vapors. The mist produced through this technology is considered clean, and therefore, the warm mist is preferred for treating seasonal colds.
Despite their advantages, warm mist cleaners are big and difficult to clean. Moreover, it is also essential to keep in mind that it produces hot steam and should be kept away from children and pets.
Cold Mist Humidifier
A filter is placed in the cold mist humidifier, which holds the impurities and prevents them from mixing in the air and the mist. Compared to the warm mist humidifier, it is easy to clean, but it covers more ground even if its capacity is the same as warm mist humidifier.
One drawback of a cold mist humidifier is that it makes a lot of noise (opposite to the warm mist humidifier, which is quiet) and is not suitable for night time use in the bedroom. Moreover, due to the filter, which can get dirty, this humidifier requires maintenance more often.
Ultrasonic humidifiers function using the power of waves. In an ultrasonic humidifier, a metal diaphragm vibrates and creates water drops that are then released in the air in cool fog.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are easy to take care of, but you might notice white dust on the furniture after using them. It is a common problem with cold air humidifiers, which can be avoided using distilled water instead of tap water.
Whole house humidifiers are mostly connected to your house’s HVAC system, but it is not necessary to connect them. Moreover, such humidifiers are very heavy and large; therefore, moving them from one place to another is quite difficult.
Such humidifiers are equipped with large tanks and can hold water for days, but these tanks are difficult to clean. Whole-house humidifiers also have air filters, which require cleaning after three months.
Air Purifier and Humidifier Combo
Nowadays, devices that have both humidifier and air purifier are very famous, and if you can afford them, they can benefit you with the following:
- Top-rated air purifier humidifier combos contain functions that are therapeutic and stress relieving. Thus, it puts you in a good mood by relieving you from stress
- Some air purifier humidifiers have air freshening capabilities, and they make your home smell good.
- This device is cost-effective as it offers the services of two separate devices. It also spares you from buying two different appliances which occupy more space. Energy consumption will also be reduced as instead of two; only one device will be used.
- Many air purifier humidifier combos are portable and have useful features like a digital screen.
- The use of this device reduces medical bills to a great extent as this device makes your home free from bacteria and virus and prevents the effects of dry air.
Can we use a humidifier and air purifier in the same room?
Yes, you can use an air purifier and humidifier in the same room at the same time. Both devices serve a different function as the humidifier brings moisture to the air and the air purifier purifies the air from contaminants.
However, it is best to place both devices in the opposite direction of the room as if both the devices are placed near; then the humidity will make the filter of the air purifier damp. The damp filter will become clogged, and its efficiency will also decrease.
What’s better for a room with a baby, an air purifier or humidifier?
Both devices are good for the health of the baby. The humidifier will add moisture to the air and make it easy for the baby to breathe. Moist air reduces the symptoms of cough and the common cold. Similarly, the air purifier will make the air clean, which will help in promoting better health.
If you use a cool-mist humidifier, it will shrink the nasal passage, which will allow infants to breathe better.
Air purifier or humidifier, what’s better if you have asthma?
An air purifier is preferable for asthma conditions as an air purifier removes the contaminants and asthma triggers, so you don’t inhale them while breathing. A humidifier, on the other hand, only makes the air fresh to breathe.
A humidifier will only ease the symptoms caused by the dry air. One more thing to notice is that if the humidifier is used for a long, it will raise the humidity level, and a humidity level above 50 can become the reason for asthma attacks as viruses and bacteria grow in high humidity.