Most of us often tend to take the air around us for granted, simply because it’s available in abundance and always present around us. But the air we breathe rather than the type of air we inhale is of utmost importance. If you hadn’t realised it already, this post would help you do so. The quality of indoor air (the one we breathe at home all day and night long) makes a significant impact on our overall health. The more impure indoor air we’re surrounded by, the more often we tend to remain sick all the time.
Here we try and explore the possible solutions to making indoor air purer via the use of devices such as air purifier and humidifier. They may seem the same at the onset, but the way they function is indeed different. Therefore, this post is intended to bring out the differences between the two and which one would suit your need better.
Difference Between Air Purifier And Humidifier
The fundamental difference lies in the way both the devices work. An air purifier, as suggested by the name, works on purifying the indoor air. It does by cycling the air circulating in the room through several filters. What do these filters do? They in turn work on filtering out or removing the allergens and contaminants present in the air. This helps improve the quality of the air, making it pure and safe to breathe for the people living indoors.
The role of a humidifier, on the other hand, is to add moisture to the air present in the room. Sometimes dry air circulating inside the room can irritate sinuses or the respiratory tract in some people. A humidifier can help provide relief in such cases. Does a humidifier clean the air too? To get an answer to this, let’s look at the detailed comparison between the two devices:
- Advantages – An air purifier works best for people suffering from asthma or airborne allergies; a humidifier also provides relief to asthmatics and helps provide relief to those who suffer from irritation in respiratory tracts because of dry air.
- Contaminants removed – An air filter helps get rid of several airborne pollutants such as allergens, dust mites, pet dander, mould, dew, spores, bacteria, and smoke; a humidifier helps remove dry air by adding moisture to it.
- Recommended humidity – While an air filter adds ‘0’ amount of humidity to the air, a humidifier can add about 30-50% to the atmosphere.
Recommended: Best Air Purifiers for Molds
Conditions in Which You Need an Air Purifier
Now that you have an idea about the different uses of both let’s see how you can find out which one’s the most suitable for your needs. Here are a few signs you’d know that your home needs an air purifier:
- You have become allergic to dust mites or developed an airborne allergy, or your inherent allergies have started flaring up of late.
- You’ve got your house freshly painted or cleaned, and now it smells of varnish and disinfectants. Note that these products, though effective, contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which are toxic chemicals. An air purifier can help remove VOCs from the air; however, not all can so you’d need to shop around a bit to look for the right one for your home.
- Your home stinks of stuffy or stale air.
- You suffer from serious chest condition, such as emphysema or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). An air purifier can help filter dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from your home’s indoor air, helping to purify it for your good health. Again, you’d need to look for one that can effectively filter out these contaminants.
- Your family is often sick, and your doctor can’t seem to explain why. You’d know that the issue lies with the air you breathe within.
- You or any of your family members tend to snore a lot. This is also caused by air allergens which result in congestion in the respiratory system.
If you still have doubts on the Air Purifier, you can read on how air purifiers work to help you decide better.
Conditions in Which You Need an Air Humidifier
Now let’s look at the reasons why your home could do better with an air humidifier fitted inside:
- You or your family members often complain of unusual and excessive sinus congestion.
- You suffer from a constant cold, sore throat, allergies, and get frequent asthma attacks.
- You experience frequent nosebleeding.
- You tend to snore a lot at night.
- You have dry winter skin, hair, and eyes.
Which Is Better For You: Air Purifier or Air Humidifier?
We looked at the comparisons, and we also understood the different conditions under which each of them is required and works best. Now let’s take a look at which one’s more suitable–air purifier or humidifier for allergies and respiratory conditions.
We understood from the above that an air filter primarily works at filtering out the allergens and other contaminants always present in the air inside our homes. We may often think that we’re the safest within the four walls of our house, unexposed and unaffected to the dust and allergies floating outside the home. However, this is far from reality. (Learn More About Carbon Air Filters)
Our indoor air is often ‘polluted’ by the presence of dust mites, pet dander (if we have one at home), mould, and even smoke (from cooking and smoking). A lot of people tend to develop allergies to these airborne pollutants. Using an air filter can help remove such particles and in turn, provide relief to people suffering from allergies and other respiratory conditions such as asthma.
Besides, if you have pets at home, getting rid of pet dander is inevitable but difficult. An air purifier or humidifier for babies would be the need of the hour in that case, for it’s important to keep your little one free of pet dander and other common air pollutants. You use Air Purifier for Pets to eliminate pet danders.
Not to forget, the smoke emanated all day from the aromatic food we cook in our kitchens, along with the dust that collects on our furniture and keeps floating in the air, tends to accumulate in our respiratory tracts, causing irritation and constant coughing. Using an air purifier can help get rid of the problem.
Coming to an air humidifier, it generally works best if you tend to live in an area which has a dry or arid climate nearly all year long. Living in such climatic conditions can often cause multiple allergies and constant cold and cough among its residents. Getting an air humidifier for your home can provide significant relief by adding the necessary amount of ‘missing’ moisture into the indoor air.
Besides that, some people may suffer from frequent nose-bleeding, sinuses, or migraines, again because of dry air circulating inside the house. Getting a humidifier fitted can put a rest to these issues.
Wrapping it Up
So as we see, the need for an air purifier or air humidifier is essentially a matter of individual requirements as per their unique situation. If you feel your house is more infested by allergens, then air purifier is what would work best for you. If you feel you need to buy an Air Purifier, check out our in-depth comparison of different Air Purifiers to help you choose one that is worth your money. If you are more vulnerable to falling sick because of dry air irritations, then a humidifier is perhaps the best gift you can give to your home and yourself.