When choosing the best solution for relieving allergies, many people find themselves at a crossroads between a humidifier and an air purifier.
Both of these indoor air quality solutions offer different advantages that can be beneficial for controlling irritants like dust mites and pet dander in the home; however, which one is better?
To help you make an informed decision about which product best suits your needs, we will dive into how each device tackles irritants and compare their performance. We’ll also share some tips on how to increase your indoor air quality even further!
Stick around as we tackle this topic head-on: Humidifier vs Air Purifier: What is Better for Allergies?
The difference between humidifiers and air purifiers
Humidifiers and air purifiers are two very different types of devices designed to improve the quality of your indoor air, but they serve different purposes. Humidifiers work to introduce moisture into the air, while air purifiers remove airborne particles such as dust and pollen from the atmosphere.
Humidifiers add moisture to an environment in order to counter problems associated with dry, stagnant air, such as exacerbating respiratory illnesses like asthma or allergies.
Some humidifier models also have antibacterial features that kill bacteria in the water before vaporizing it into mist dispersed into the room’s atmosphere. This helps reduce levels of harmful germs, improving overall health and well-being.
Air purifying machines can range from simple filters targeting larger particulate matter (such as pet hair) to more sophisticated models armed with HEPA filters for filtering out smaller particles like tobacco smoke or cooking odours.
These more advanced air purifiers may also have activated carbon which traps chemical pollutants from paints, varnishes, smoke and other sources. Others may include ultraviolet germicidal irradiation technology capable of destroying dangerous bacteria or mould spores in the atmosphere.
So while humidifiers work on raising humidity levels indoors by adding extra moisture, they can’t trap any kind of indoor air pollutants. This job falls to an efficient air purifier specifically designed for this purpose!
How humidifiers work
Humidifiers work by releasing water vapor into the air, helping to alleviate dryness and create a more comfortable living environment. This is achieved through a simple process of water evaporation.
The humidifier takes in room-temperature water and distributes it via an internal fan, allowing for a consistent rate of evaporation that creates comfortable humidity levels.
Where does the water for humidifiers come from?
The water used in humidifiers comes from either tap water or distilled water, depending on what type of device you are using.
Tap water contains minerals that can eventually build up in the device and make it less effective over time.
Distilled water will prevent this build-up but may be more expensive than tap in some areas.
What are the different types of humidifiers?
There are several types of air humidifier to choose from, each with its own benefits:
These use a wick filter which absorbs the moisture before evaporating it into the air. They’re typically quieter than other models but require frequent filter changes due to mineral build-up (which often requires replacement filters).
Steam / Cool Mist / Ultrasonic Humidifiers
These use an ultrasonic vibration or boiler system to vaporize any liquid into tiny particles that become airborne mist or steam released into your home’s atmosphere. They generally provide better coverage than evaporative models with fewer maintenance tasks required for upkeep since no wicks need replacing.
Also known as fogger technology, these types employ rotating discs at high speeds, allowing them to generate minute droplets of mist suspended within your living area. These droplets then slowly dissolve as humidity increases. Impeller humidifiers are also relatively quiet during operation.
How do humidifiers help with allergies?
No matter what type you choose, all humidifiers offer additional benefits, such as reducing inflammation caused by dry air and helping ease symptoms associated with asthma and allergies caused by dust particles circulating throughout the home when humidity is low.
As well as staying healthier overall thanks to reduced exposure to bacterial growth like mold spores found in naturally damp environments present indoors without an adequate amount of humidity in your home year-round.
Additionally, adding moisture back into overly dry winter months helps protect furniture against cracking due to excessively low indoor air quality levels while preserving optimal comfort within our homes!
Read more >> 7 Ways to Naturally Prevent Mold in Your Home
How air purifiers work
An air purifier uses a filter or collection grid to eliminate particles and pollutants from the air that passes through it. This is done by drawing in the contaminated air and passing it through several stages of filtration.
The most common air filters used in types of air purifiers are mechanical filters, carbon filters, and HEPA filters.
Mechanical filters trap airborne particles using physical barriers such as mesh screens or plates with small holes that reduce the size of contaminants like pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, and smoke particles.
These mechanical barriers may also attract some large particulate matter into the filter material, where they can be permanently trapped until needing replacement.
However, these filters cannot remove smaller particulates such as bacteria or viruses as efficiently since their tiny sizes allow them to pass through relatively easily unless another type of filter, like a carbon filter, is present before them.
Carbon filters use chemically activated charcoal to capture gaseous airborne pollutants with its larger surface area allowing for more absorption than usually possible with other mediums.
This activated carbon works by adsorbing VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are found in everyday household items like cleaning products and paints, as well as hazardous gases emitted from cooking appliances such as stoves, ovens and grills.
Carbon filters leave fresh, clean air behind without any additional odors that are often left unaddressed when no other filter besides a mechanical one is used alongside it.
High-efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) is considered one of the best filtering mechanisms available on many modern models. This is due to its ability to capture 99% of airborne pollutant particles down to 0.3 microns in size.
A HEPA filter can trap particles, including pollen grains, dust mites and mold spores. This makes HEPA filters ideal for people who suffer from allergies since these small-sized irritants can cause serious health issues if continually inhaled over time without proper protection.
How do air purifiers help with allergies?
Allergens such as dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores and other small particles circulate through the air in homes and offices. An air purifier can remove those airborne particulates from the indoor environment, which helps to alleviate allergy symptoms.
In addition to removing allergens from the air inside the home or office, an air purifier also removes other particles like smoke, odors, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), gases, and viruses that may trigger an allergic reaction.
This can help reduce physical and mental stress for people with respiratory conditions or asthma.
Read more >> Does an Air Purifier Help With Radon?
Which is better for allergies – a humidifier or an air purifier?
Regarding allergies, both a humidifier and an air purifier can be beneficial. Understanding how they help with allergies is essential to decide which is best.
Humidifiers increase the moisture content of the air, while air purifiers actively remove pollutants from the air. Both have their advantages when it comes to allergies.
Humidifiers help prevent symptoms like dry nasal passages, nasal congestion, dry throat, dry skin and irritated eyes that come from having dry indoor air due to cold weather or central heating systems. By increasing the indoor humidity level appropriately (ideally around 30 to 50%), they can help relieve allergy symptoms caused by dryness in your home’s air.
Additionally, high humidity levels inhibit dust mite growth and reduce allergens floating in your indoor environment, such as mold spores, pet dander and smoke particles which are known triggers for asthma attacks or worsened allergic reactions.
On the other hand, an air purifier actively removes airborne irritants from your home’s indoor environment. This prevents them from entering our lungs entirely, helping people with severe allergies breathe more easily.
This is especially beneficial during seasonal changes where allergens peak most commonly or even year-round despite any change of season since irritants may already be present.
The best air purifiers also have HEPA filters designed specifically for capturing smaller airborne particles, which cannot be captured by regular materials used inside humidifiers.
This makes air purifiers the best choice as an allergy device if any type of airborne particulate is suspected as being responsible for aggravating one’s condition even more than before!
In conclusion, both a humidifier and an air purifier can offer significant benefits when it comes to improving allergy symptoms in various settings. However, depending on what type of allergies someone has, certain devices might suit better than others.
Overall, air purifiers actually remove the substances from your home environment that are irritating allergies. Humidifiers, on the other hand, work to ease symptoms being experienced and stop the chances of allergy irritants building up.