Does a Humidifier Clean the Air of Your Home?


That time of year has come again, where the dry climate is increasing and the impact on both your home’s air quality and human health can take a slight shock. The colder months of the year are a pivotal time in which many homeowners are stuck dealing with dry irritating winter air that will make its way into your home, if you are not prepared. The immediate effects of dry air to the human body can be slight, with minimal symptoms such as fly-away hairs, scaly skin, and chapped lips. However, these are not the only potential effects that dry air can have on an individual. According to the Cleveland Clinic, they state the following in regard to breathing in dry air;

“When you breathe in dry air it can cause respiratory ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and nosebleeds. Along with the cause of dehydration since body fluids are depleted during respiration.”

When it comes to the dry air invasion within your home, many people will turn to the aid of an air device called a humidifier to help combat this arid air. Humidifiers are air devices that work quite differently than other types of air devices used in the home such as air purifiers. Although both air purifiers and air humidifiers are often compared to one another, with many thinking that both machines will be able to clean the air of your home, this is simply not the case.

In this article we are going to discuss everything you should know about a humidifier and learn does a humidifier clean the air of your home, similar to that of an air purifier.

What is a Humidifier

Have you ever used a humidifier inside of your home before? If not, you may be wondering what is a humidifier and how does it work when placed inside of your indoor environment. Humidifiers are described as air devices that will emit water vapor or steam into the air to increase the moisture levels, or humidity, within the air of the environment. This type of device, for example, will help to focus on one of the main aspects to indoor air in a home, and that is the control and regulation of humidity levels in the air.

Humidity is an important factor to consider inside of your home, and a humidifier will be a resource to implement inside of this environment to help regulate its levels to normal conditions. The amount of water vapor in the air of an indoor space is referred to as humidity, which levels will vary depending on the seasons, weather, and where you live. It is recommended by Mayo Clinic to keep your indoor air’s humidity levels between 30% and 50%, because when humidity is too low or too high it can cause certain problems for both your indoor air and the health of those exposed to these conditions in their home.

How Does a Humidifier Work

A humidifier can have many benefits when added to the inside of a home, and this is due to the way in which the humidifier works when placed in an indoor environment. Humidifiers will work to put the much-needed moisture back into the indoor air, which can in turn help to reduce and/or eliminate potential health effects that the arid air can cause to those individuals who are exposed to these conditions. Additionally, when humidifiers are placed into the environment, they can help you save money by keeping your personal items from fading and by helping to keep your thermostat turned down, conserving energy and your power bill.

The process in which the humidifier works is by changing liquid water into a mist or steam, which will work to increase the humidity in the air to levels that are considered normal for indoor environments. Sometimes this process is commonly compared to that of running a hot water shower in your house, due to the increase in steam that will be released into the air. Typically, the water tank on the humidifier will store water that will last for several hours while running – which makes it great for overnight use in a bedroom.

What is the Purpose of a Humidifier

When deciding whether or not you want to purchase a humidifier for your home, there are several benefits and purposes that you should be aware of that will help you make your decision. According to Medical News Today, humidifiers can benefit people with both respiratory system ailments or those with dry skin. They also state that a humidifier can help to reduce cold & asthma symptoms, keep sinuses from drying out, reduce snoring, keeps skin moist, reduces frequency of infections, and even helps to reduce allergens in the environment.

Furthermore, humidifiers can also be placed in the home to protect many items that can be impacted by either high or low levels of humidity. A humidifier can protect wooden items from drying out or cracking, it can protect walls such as wallpaper peeling or paint chipping because the air is too dry, it can reduce heat costs, and even reduce static electricity in the home.

Different Types of Humidifiers

There are many different types of humidifiers on the market today that consumers can purchase from, each utilizing specific mechanisms to work within the environment. The type of humidifier that you choose from can depend on preference, budget, and or size of the area that you will need to add moisture into. The five major types of humidifiers to pick from include the following;

  1. Central Humidifiers: This type of a humidifier is built directly into your home’s air handling system and is generally the most expensive type of humidifier. Central humidifiers are deemed the best choice when it comes to adding humidity throughout the entire house.
  2. Evaporators: Evaporators blow moisture within a saturated filter, this humidifiers fans power the unit and expel the humidity into the indoor environments air from a single-unit system in your home. Theses humidifiers, however, are only able to run in one room at a time and may expel too much moisture into the air.
  3. Impeller Humidifiers: An impeller humidifier is often a least expensive option when it comes to humidifiers. It works with the aid of a rotating disk that runs at high speed. A downside to this type of humidifier is that it only works for single rooms and is said to potentially cause breathing difficulties in those with allergies or asthma.
  4. Ultrasonic Humidifiers: A humidifier that produces a cool mist with the assistance of an ultrasonic vibration – this humidifier will vary in price and size. Also, this type of a humidifier is available in both cool and warm mist versions.
  5. Steam Vaporizers: An electrically powered vaporizing humidifier, steam vaporizers heat water, and then cool it before releasing it into the air. This is classified as the most inexpensive and portable humidifier for consumers – easily purchased at a local drug store.

Humidifier Pros and Cons

An air humidifier, like anything, has its pros and cons that it will provide to both the health of those in the environment where this device is utilized and to the air quality of the indoor space. As we discussed earlier, one of the major functions and benefits of using a humidifier is to add moisture into the environment to regulate the humidity levels in this enclosed environment. However, what other pros and cons are there to the use of a humidifier in a home or other personal indoor environment?

Below we are going to break down the pros and cons of the many benefits and negatives to humidifier use indoors.

Pros of Using a Humidifier

  • Said to soothe and ease dry air systems – such as sinuses, bloody noses, cracked lips, etc.
  • Longer life for furniture – due to proper humidity levels in a home
  • Adds moisture into the air to regulate humidity levels

Cons of Using a Humidifier

  • Needs to be refilled frequently
  • Condensation increase that can lead to high humidity levels
  • Growth of microorganisms like bacteria and fungi on humidifiers moist surfaces and in water tank
  • Release of white dust from ultrasonic humidifiers, which can disperse in the air of your home
  • Potential risks of burning, with warm mist humidifiers that boil water and disperse them into the air in form of steam

Does a Humidifier Clean the Air?

An often-common misconception about air humidifiers is the belief that these devices can clean the air, similar to that of an air purifier. However, humidifiers and air purifiers are completely different than one another, with each one working in a specific function in your indoor air. Humidifiers add moisture into your home’s air, whereas air purifiers work to filter the air of pollutants to help clean the air within this environment. Each humidifier contains a filter within the device that will trap allergens, dirt, dust, and other particles in the filter – however, this cannot compete with the air cleaning ability of utilizing an air purifier in your home.

Difference Between Air Purifier and Humidifier

The differences between air purifier vs humidifier for cleaning the indoor air are vast, as they each will work in completely specific manners to work in your indoor air. Air purifiers are designed to clean the air by removing particulate matter and other pollutants from the indoor air, with each type of air purifier using a specific form of technology to eradicate a broad spectrum of noxious and toxic chemicals and odors.

Whereas humidifiers are air devices that you add water to increase the relative humidity of the indoor environment. By adding moisture into the air, you can help to reduce dry skin and decrease certain breathing issues, while also acclimating the humidity levels to normal conditions within the indoor space.

Air Purifier Benefits

Air purifiers can possess many benefits to both your home and to the health of those exposed to these indoor environments. This type of an air device can effectively work against noxious odors, toxic chemicals, particulate matter like allergens, and other types of debris that can be present in your indoor air. When these different types of pollutants are removed from indoor air it will help to improve indoor air quality and help to reduce potential health issues that may be acquired from exposure to elevated levels of airborne pollutants.

There are a wide range of different air purifiers, that will vary in size, price, square foot coverage, and even technology that is used within the machine to filter pollutants from the air. The most popular technologies used in air purifiers today include carbon, ozone, and ionizers that have been implemented in air purifiers for a long time. However, recently, new and inventive technologies have been created that have redefined the air purifier market and the capabilities that this air device offers in an indoor environment.

EnviroKlenz Air Purifier

The EnviroKlenz Air Purifier contains a patented revolutionary earth mineral technology that uses ‘adsorptive neutralization’ to contain and neutralize a broad spectrum of noxious and toxic chemicals and odors that are airborne. Unlike other air purification technologies, EnviroKlenz is safe to use and does not contain any chemicals or create any byproducts into the air – as the technology will completely break down and/or neutralize the chemical compounds in the air.

This proprietary technology is embedded into the first stage filtration in the EnviroKlenz Air Purifier, the EnviroKlenz Air Cartridge – which will last for up to 6 months to combat noxious and toxic chemicals and odors. The second stage filtration is a hospital-grade HEPA filter that is able to effectively remove particulate matter larger than 0.3 microns in size at a 99.99 percent efficiency.

Article Sources:

  1. Cleveland Clinic: How Dry Winter Air Can Cause Respiratory Problems – From Bronchitis to Nosebleeds (link)
  2. Mayo Clinic: Humidifiers: Air Moisture Eases Skin, Breathing Symptoms (link)
  3. Medical News Today: 6 Humidifier Uses: Benefits and Risks (link)
  4. Healthline: Humidifiers and Health (link)
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