To best answer this question you must first have a basic idea of what each one does for the air you breathe.
A humidifier’s primary job is to add moisture into the surrounding air. Now that being said, there are some humidifiers that use filters and wicks that may also help to eliminate some airborne bacteria, dust, and pollens.
An Air purifier uses a filter system that may include a HEPA filter amongst others to pull in surrounding air and literally filter out contaminants that may be in the air in your home. Thus, an air purifier may help to improve the quality of the air in your home and or office while a humidifier will help replenish and maintain the proper humidity levels.
It is extremely important to monitor and maintain both the air quality and humidity levels in the air you breathe to maintain optimal health year-round.
When should you choose to use a humidifier?
If you are having health-related issues to low humidity levels such as nose bleeds or congestion, then this may be your best choice for quick relief.
If you have a cold or stuffy nose, you may benefit from an increase in humidity levels, and if your skin is dry and ashy looking this could be a sign that humidity levels are too low and you may want to consider boosting the moisture levels.
Without the proper humidity levels in your environment, you could suffer multiple health-related ailments that an air purifier will not help you control.
According to the National Asthma Council Australia the optimal health-related humidity should be between 30-50%. A low humidity level can cause skin issues, breathing issues, and even affect your quality of sleep. You may also find that in low humidity areas, you will fall susceptible to cold and flu viruses more easily.
If you live in cold climates or arid climates you may want to check the humidity levels in your home or office, and if they are low, you might consider adding a humidifier to the room to improve the moisture levels.
When should you choose an air purifier?
While both units may help anyone suffering from allergy or asthma symptoms, you may not need to adjust the humidity level in your home, and in fact, this could lead to over humidifying the home and cause additional problems.
An air purifier will help allergy suffers and anyone with asthma by filtering out contaminants that are much too small for other filters to handle. HEPA filters are known to capture particles that are 0.3um in size and can also help reduce dust mites. Pet dander and other pollutants from the air you breathe.
Humidifiers are not meant to filter out all of the contaminants from the air as is the case with an air purifier so if you have allergies you may want to look into the variety of air purifiers available and forego the humidifier.
When should you use both?
An argument could be made that to truly improve the quality of air in your surroundings; you need the addition of both a humidifier and an air purifier.
Why might you ask? Well, you would reap the most reward if you lived in certain areas of the world where humidity levels are often below the healthiest levels, and air quality is lower than it should be for you to remain healthy.
Winter climates and arid climates often don’t have enough humidity, and this would affect the humidity levels in your home and office as well. This would mean that you should address this situation and then also use an air purifier to eliminate the pollutants from the air as well.
Air pollution has become the world’s single biggest environmental health risk and has been linked directly to the illness and death of millions worldwide. The World Health Organization report stated that new data in 2012 links indoor and outdoor air pollution with a dramatic rise in cardiovascular disease.
Using the combination of humidifier and air purifier in certain climates may help you boost your chances of improving your overall health.
What is the best humidifier for my needs?
You will need to consider a few things before you purchase a humidifier to help you select the one that will be of the most benefit.
- Room size – pay close attention to the details the manufacturer provides and take into count that the humidifier may not boost humidity levels as high as the manufacturer states. You may want to choose a unit that is adjustable and will allow you a better custom fit to your needs.
- Climate you live in – If it is cold outside during the time you intend to use this humidifier, you may not want to use a cool-mist unit as it could lower the ambient room temperature. The reverse if you live in a hot climate, you may not want a warm-mist unit.
- Continuous run time – some humidifiers may run for 24+ plus hours, and some may only run for less than 12-hours so you will want to pay attention to this and select accordingly.
What is the best air purifier for my needs?
Well, the best person to answer this question is you. Look at any health issues you may have and speak with your health care professional for their recommendations.
A good rule of thumb is to pay close attention to the filters that the different air purifiers use.
- Carbon filters- help to eliminate large particles and odors from the air.
- Pre-filters- also can help eliminate larger particles from the air.
- HEPA filters- eliminate small particles, pollens, pet dander, dust mites, and other allergens that may slip through other filters.
Selecting the best unit or combination
You will need to customize your inside air to your specific needs and wants. Using a humidifier may help you with some of the issues you are having but then so will an air purifier. It might come down to a financial choice as either of these units can be a bit pricey on the initial purchase.
Overall cost could also be affected by the cost of maintaining the units and replacement filters. You may want to spend a little time doing some head to head comparisons of the different types of units to get the one that fits your needs.
If you suffer from known indoor air pollutant allergens, then it may suit you best to invest in the air purifier and either forego the humidifier or look into a cheaper nonfilter type so you could afford both.
No matter what you choose you will be improving the air quality in your home or office, and that alone should help you to breathe easier, but you should look at the big picture when shopping for appliances that are to help with your air quality and select them accordingly. A small investment now may hold larger benefits in the future of better health.
Don’t hesitate to ask your health care provider their opinion as they may have some insight regarding your existing medical issue or offer advice in reducing your chances of further issues.
Improving the air, you breathe can have almost instant benefits to your health so don’t hesitate. You will have the best insight into what you need, and you should put in motion the best plan for your breathing needs.
Sometimes you cannot do much to improve the air quality in the outside environment, but the choices you make inside can help reduce some of the effects that the environmental air can cause.
Breathing easier might be just what the doctor has ordered, so choose your weapons and start breathing cleaner, better air as soon as possible.