How do you know if you really need an air purifier and humidifier?
Remember that indoor air quality may have a bigger effect on your health – more than you know – so this question could have important health implications.
Lung.org mentions how poor indoor air quality contributes to higher risks of developing infections and other respiratory illnesses. And with the current concern about the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining air quality has never been more urgent.
The past few years saw a rise in the purchase of air purifiers and humidifiers in efforts to improve indoor air quality and safeguard health. This article will explore the differences between the two appliances, how they work, and their overall benefits.
We will also talk about some of the popular air purifier and humidifier combos in the market. By the end, you should get an idea which appliance is best in keeping your workplaces and homes much safer.
Air Purifier vs Humidifier: What’s the Difference?
Let’s first begin by explaining the differences between a humidifier and a purifier.
In a nutshell, the humidifier vs purifier difference can be broken down in this way: air purifiers help keep indoor air clean by removing disease causing contaminants from the air.
Humidifiers, on the other hand, combat issues associated with dry air such as difficulty in breathing, runny nose, and painful nostrils. They have different functions, but both have the same purpose – make indoor air clean, safe, and comfortable.
Due to these differences in application, it’s not uncommon to find an air purifier and humidifier in the same room.
To that end, if you have questions about an air purifier vs. humidifier for allergies, the answer is you’re better off with a purifier.
Air Purifiers Explained
Air purifiers function as their name suggests – to purify the air. The most common approach to how they purify air is by using filters.
Air purifiers follow this cycle:
- Air is sucked into the machine to pass through a filter or series of filters.
- Airborne particulates remain in the filter (usually a HEPA filter).
- If the purifier is equipped with UV light, viruses and microorganisms get killed inside.
- Clean air is blown out and cycles back into the room.
Different kinds of air purifiers may use different kinds of air filters. The most common type of filter is the HEPA, or high efficiency particulate air filter. These filters trap dust, pollen, molds, bacteria, dust mites, and other particulates as small as 0.3 microns.
Another staple filter is the pre-filter. These are usually made of aluminum and are the first in line in a series of filters. They trap larger particulates like hair and coagulated dust and are usually the only washable type of filter on air purifiers.
Some air purifiers feature other types of filters for multi-stage air cleaning. Examples of these other filters include:
- UV or Ultraviolet light filters
- Pleated filters
- Media filters
- Spun glass filters
- Activated carbon filters
There are also other air purifiers that don’t use filters for cleaning air. These are called ionizers since they use ionization to make pollutant particles heavier, drawing them down to the ground where they can’t affect your breathing.
Air Humidifiers Explained
Air humidifiers have a completely different function from air purifiers. They regulate moisture in the air by pumping water vapor which increases humidity levels.
In general, you don’t want your air to have low humidity (too dry). This often happens during winter when humidity levels fall and air loses most of its moisture. Low humidity can cause irritation on nasal passages and even break skin due to dryness, making it difficult and uncomfortable to breathe.
There are three main types of air humidifiers:
- Steam-based – produces mist by boiling water and releasing it as water vapor
- Evaporative – uses a fan and wicking filter to speed up evaporation, then blows it into the room
- Ultrasonic – uses high frequency sound vibrations which in turn produce mist
Both the evaporative and ultrasonic humidifiers release cool mist, while steam-based humidifiers release warm mist.
Do humidifiers clean the air? No, but there are studies that show how extreme humidity levels can have negative effects on health as well.
So Which One Do You Need?
Now that you know the fundamental difference between an air purifier and a humidifier, we’ll then look at their benefits and what they can do for you based on their functions.
You’ll need air purifiers if you:
- Are sensitive to pet dander, dust, and pollen
- Have bad reactions to airborne contaminants
- Occasionally exposed to smoke or nasty odors
- Want to keep viruses and other harmful microbes away
You’ll need air humidifiers if you:
- Have dry, itchy, and flaky skin caused by too much dry air
- Are having a hard time breathing or having nasal discomfort due to low moisture levels
- Want to keep cool by using cool mist
It’s clear that humidifiers and purifiers address different needs. If you’re deciding between getting a humidifier vs air purifier but also need the benefits of both, there are certain products that can serve both functions in one appliance.
The Benefit of Buying a Separate Air Purifier and Humidifier
While the products below may do well as dual-purpose appliances, products that have a single specialty still dominate in their specific field. When it comes to cleaning air, dedicated air purifiers still outperform combos in that area.
A robust air purifier can help safeguard both your workplaces and homes from airborne health threats, including COVID-19. It’s often best to get a unit that excels at one specific area, rather than attempts to do both, sacrificing quality in the process.
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List of the Best Humidifier and Purifier Combos
Here are some noteworthy air purifier and humidifier combos and their distinctive features.
1. Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool
- Aside from being a purifier and a humidifier, it also functions as a fan
- Oscillating head lets air blow in different directions
2. Bonceco H300
- Six performance levels with the ability to be controlled via a mobile app
- Real time monitoring of indoor air quality.
3. Sharp Plasmacluster KC-850UH
- Also comes with a deodorizing filter which is effective for removing smoke and any unwanted smells
- Can Cover an area of up to 254 square feet of open space
4. Venta Airwasher AW25
- Large water tank reservoir of 2 gallons for long hours of humidifying
- Uses an air washer system to clean the air so there are no filters to maintain and replace
5. Opolar EV01 Humidifier and Purifier
- Purifies air via ionization instead of filtration
- Has a running time of up to 24 hours
6. Afloia Air Filter and Humidifier
- Cleans air with a three-stage HEPA filter
- Very silent operation which is good for bedside use while you sleep
7. Hestom TKJ400F-A5
- Can cover a large area of up to 1200 square feet
- Cleans air with several filters including H13 HEPA filter and activated carbon filter
8. Envion FS200
- Essentially a 4-in-1 device with which functions as a purifier, humidifier, heater, and fan
- Also features an overheat protection and low water indicator
9. Brondel O2 Revive
- Has a dual suction system for faster and more powerful air cycles
- Automatic humidifying mode which adjusts to add moisture to the air
AirFixture CleanAir Tower
If you want to guarantee that you’re breathing pure, clean air, you need AirFixture CleanAir Tower.
Our unit is a commercial-grade air purifier specializing in maintaining air quality using a three-stage filtration system. This technology makes it highly effective in keeping indoor air free from pollutants and allergens, as well as killing viruses.
Don’t waste time questioning whether you need an air purifier or a humidifier for allergies – AirFixture’s CleanAir Tower can help rid your air of nasty allergens and get you feeling your best.
Unlike combos or other purifier-only appliances, the CleanAir Tower has a powerful fan that can push 1400 cubic feet of air per minute. This much power can take the place of three regular purifiers, saving you energy cost and maintenance.
AirFixture’s CleanAir Tower is built for heavy duty use and will be a good solution to keeping your indoor spaces much safer.