Air Purifier vs Air Humidifier – What is the Difference?

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Air purifiers play a different role than air humidifiers. The first one is more important for cleaning and filtering the air and getting rid of the pollutants and allergens from the air. Humidifiers, on the other hand, regulate the humidity in our homes, help loosen congestion, and help moisturize our skins. Deciding between the two should be done based on your needs.

However, you can get the best of both worlds if you buy purifier humidifier combos. These devices first filter the air and get rid of the airborne pollutants, and then the air is humidified. If you have low humidity in your home, then a humidifier is a better choice. If you are suffering from allergies and poor indoor air quality, purifiers present a complete package.

For some people, both will be very beneficial. For example, asthmatics and allergy sufferers should consider getting both, as humidifiers can bring plenty of benefits to them. Let’s take a look at how purifiers and humidifiers work and what the difference is between the two.

What is an Air Purifier?

Air purifiers are devices that cleanse and purify the air inside your home using various types of filters. These filters can vary, which we will cover later on.

Air purifiers will filter your air and get rid of most of the pollutants; the technology is very advanced, so filters like HEPA filters, especially True HEPA filters, get rid of more than 99% of all contaminants in the air. These include:

  • Allergens
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Smoke and smoke odors
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander and pet hair
  • Chemicals and toxins
  • Foul odors
  • Bacteria, germs, viruses

In addition to clearing pollutants, purifiers will also work towards making your air odor-free, which is excellent news for those looking to improve air quality as well as get rid of odors. Smoke and smoke odors can be an issue, but purifiers are beneficial for eliminating them.

Purifiers are excellent for asthmatics and allergy sufferers. They will improve air quality significantly, and enable you to live in a healthier environment, free of allergens, pollutants, bacteria, viruses, and odors. The sizes of purifiers vary, and some are better suited for smaller rooms, and others for larger rooms.

Types of Air Purifiers

There are various types of air purifiers to choose from. The majority of these utilize a filter or several filters to improve air quality and remove odors. According to the filter they use, we can split them into various types of air purifiers.

HEPA filters

One of the most common types of air purifiers is HEPA filters, especially True HEPA filters. These remove 99.97% of all airborne pollutants and particles, providing you with a safe and effective filtering solution

Activated Carbon Filters

Many of the purifiers will also use an activated carbon filter, besides using HEPA filters. These remove odors and smaller particles and make a great addition to your house.

UV purifiers

UV air purifiers utilize UV light to get rid of viruses and bacteria, which makes them especially popular with those who want to remove germs, bacteria, and viruses from the air.


Ionizers are incredibly effective at performing at a very high-quality level while purifying your air. They will perform very quietly, as they will emit negative ions into the air, which will electrically charge the airborne particles like dust, which will make them easier to trap.

Electronic Air Cleaners

These devices provide a more complete and robust solution, although they can be loud. Very useful for larger rooms and for getting rid of up to 99.98% of all particles.

What is an Air Humidifier?

Air humidifiers work towards regulating the humidity levels in your home by evaporating water into the air, making sure that the air isn’t too dry. Dry air in your home can cause various issues and can worsen breathing problems and medical conditions such as asthma and allergies. In addition, it causes dry skin, congestion, nose irritation, bloody noses, headaches, cracked lips, and more.

Humidifiers make sure that all of those problems are gone. They will also help you ease the symptoms of flu and colds, although it is vital to use humidifiers in moderation. Proper settings should be used in the right humidity levels (30-50% of humidity), as well as not overusing it.

Too much humidity can bring all sorts of issues as well, such as dust mites, mildew, mold, and harmful bacteria, so it is essential to use them in moderation.

Types of Air Humidifiers

  • Central Humidifiers: Inbuilt in the air conditioning system in your home, and regulates the humidity in your home.
  • Evaporators: These will blow out moisture through a moistened filter. Perfect for single rooms.
  • Impeller Humidifiers: These humidifiers use rotating discs that rotate at high speeds. Also suitable for smaller, single rooms.
  • Steam Vaporizers: Steam vaporizers are electrically powered vaporizers that humidify your air.
  • Ultrasonic Humidifiers: Lastly, we have ultrasonic humidifiers that use ultrasonic vibration to humidify your air.

Does an Air Humidifier Remove Dust?

Generally, air humidifiers will not remove dust particles from the air; some utilize an internal filter to protect the unit itself, but the quantities they remove are small. In fact, if they are overused and the humidity is too high, they might even promote dust in your home.

Does an Air Purifier Dry the Air?

No, air purifiers don’t usually dry out the air. If you are still worried that they do, you can get a purifier humidifier combo.

Can an Air Humidifier Cause Mold?

If the humidifier is overused, it can cause mold, as well as other issues in your house. If the humidity levels are not regulated and if they are too high, then you might see mold start to creep in, and you don’t want that. Make sure they are regulated, and the air humidity levels are correct.

Wrapping Up

The main difference between air purifiers and humidifiers is what they do; purifiers filter the air and remove pollutants and allergens, while humidifiers make your air more humid if you have dry air in your home.

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