Although air purifiers and humidifiers have a massive impact on your home’s air quality, they affect it differently. Each has its unique benefits, and many people often have both for use in different situations.
But, if you are not sure which one you need between these two, here we look at them side by side to highlight how they differ and the best situations to use either.
Air Purifier vs. Humidifier
1. Application: Air Cleaning vs. Moisturizing
While these two tools are meant to improve your home’s air quality, they do it differently. The air purifier’s primary purpose is to make the air cleaner by removing common pollutants. Also, many types can improve the smell by eliminating foul odors.
Air humidifiers add much-needed moisture to your air to ensure you do not breathe in dry air, which can have adverse health effects. Dry air can be very problematic, especially for individuals with chest or nasal congestion.
Adding some moisture to your air raises humidity levels and provides relief to these issues. Hence, as the air dries out in the cold winter months, a humidifier is always a handy home appliance to have around.
2. Types: Variety of Options to Choose from for Both
Both air purifiers and humidifiers use different technologies, so they are available in various types, which you should know when deciding what to choose.
For air purifiers, the types typically depend on the filter type the machine uses. Here the most common options are HEPA, activated carbon, ultraviolet, and negative ion.
HEPA air purifiers use filters to trap contaminants, which are in many instances at least 99.97% effective at trapping 0.3-micron size contaminants. Activated carbon ones are for odor removal, ultraviolet kills bacteria and viruses, while the negative ion purifiers will trap fine particles as small as 0.1 microns.
With the air humidifiers, the main types are warm mist, cool mist, and ultrasonic. Warm mist humidifiers heat up water to produce a warm mist that is pumped into the air while cool mist evaporates cool but invisible moisture into the air. On the other hand, the ultrasonic humidifiers use a metal diaphragm to create water droplets that are then pushed into the air by a fan.
3. Removes: Air Purifiers Remove Much More from the Air
When it comes to removing things from the air, purifiers do much more than humidifiers. While a humidifier’s primary and perhaps only role is to remove the dry air by adding moisture, a typical air purifier can remove dust, pet dander, pollen, smoke, and a wide variety of other airborne allergens or pollutants.
Some air purifiers also come in a hybrid design that allows them to both clean and humidity the air. These models are highly convenient and can help you save money since you will not need to buy two separate tools for the different functions.
4. Cost: Humidifiers are Typically More Affordable
Humidifiers are relatively simpler tools, given they perform a much simpler task than air purifiers. Hence, they tend to be more affordable as you can get one for as little as $15, and the price for most portable standalone models hardly goes past $500.
However, the whole house humidifiers can cost up to $1,000 or more. Prices for good air purifiers range between $100 and $1,000, but you can still get a few models that will be a little cheaper than this. Also, the whole house air purifier system can set you back thousands of dollars.
Air purifiers and humidifiers are two essential tools for improving your air quality, but they do it differently. Therefore, if you have dry air in winter or live in an arid climate, a humidifier is the best for you. However, if you want to remove pollutants and contaminants from your air to make it cleaner or have a respiratory condition that worsens from breathing polluted air, go for an air purifier.