What Is The Difference Between Air Purifier and Humidifier-

What Is The Difference Between Air Purifier and Humidifier?

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What would we do without air? It is the most vital thing for human and every living organism’s survival. But what happens when the air at your home isn’t as crisp and breathable as needed by your lungs?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental dangers, which has been linked to a significant increase in children with severe allergies and asthma.

Nothing is worse than your health and the comfort of your home is threatened. Hence, the essence of equipment that ensures the hygiene of the air in your home is maintained at all times.


For example, air purifiers and humidifiers. One question that always arises when selecting the right installation for your home HVAC system is, “what is the difference between air purifier and humidifier?

While both devices are useful in getting rid of pollutants and irritants in the air, the two are built to offer different functions. Here is a definitive guide on their differences in features, types, benefits, and when to choose one over the other.

What Is An Air Purifier?

The term air purifier is used interchangeably with air filter or air cleaner. Unlike the humidifier, an air purifier has nothing to do with humidity levels but deals more with the contaminants in the air. C?lick here to know more about the types of air purifiers on the market.

How Does It Work?

The air is often polluted by harmful smokes, allergens, dust particles, chemicals and other airborne particles that can be detrimental to your health.

Air purifiers are attached with filters, through which this polluted air is directed, and pollutant particles trapped. you can read more on this article "How does air purifier work?"

Some of the benefits of an air purifier include:

  • Removal of indoor pollutants from the air.
  • Prevention of allergy and asthma symptoms.
  • Removal of unwanted or unpleasant odors.

For more health benefits of an air purifier, click here.

Types of Filters Used Air Purifiers

  • Electronic air filters- use a process referred to as electrostatic attraction to trap airborne pollutants.
  • Gas-phase filters- useful for the removal of gaseous pollutants in the indoor air.
  • Ultraviolet air purifiers- snuff out bacteria and other harmful pathogens, and are commonly used in hospitals and day care centers.
  • Mechanical air filters- trap large pollutants such as pet dander, pollen, and dust, using filters.
  • HEPA, a high-efficiency particulate air filter, is capable of removing up to 99.97 percent of particles in the air, although it cannot get rid of stenches. However, the GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System  combines all the benefits of HEPA filter, UV sanitization and odor removal.
GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System with True HEPA Filter via Amazon

GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System with True HEPA Filter via Amazon

Even though they play their part in clearing the air of impurities, they do have their downsides. Air purifiers demand regular cleaning and maintenance and in some cases, are said to release ions and ozone.

Now that you have an idea of what an hepa air purifier is, let’s look at how different an air humidifier is in comparison. 

What Is An Air Humidifier?

An air humidifier works to elevate the humidity levels of your indoor environment by adding water to the air in your home.

The recommended humidity in any home should fall between 30 and 50 percent. If the humidity decreases, for instance during winter, the dry air can increase the risk of chapped skin, sore throats, sinus headaches, sore throats and even nosebleeds.

Besides preventing these respiratory problems, by moistening the air, a humidifier can also lessen static electricity in the air, which would otherwise cause the furniture, musical instruments and antiques in your home to crack or split.

Other benefits include:

  • Alleviating allergy symptoms and the intensity of asthma attacks.
  • Maintaining the appearance of your luxury home stuff.
  • Reducing inflammation, therefore relieving nasal irritation and congestion.
Small child using his inhaler device for asthma

Small child using his inhaler device for asthma

Factors Considered When Choosing A Humidifer

Humidifiers are self-regulating devices. They normally consist of a reservoir tank for water storage, a wick to absorb the water and a fan to ensure that adequate water is evaporated from the wick, into the atmosphere.

When choosing a humidifier, you need to consider the following options:

  • Evaporative air humidifiers- cold mist humidifiers that use the fan evaporate water into vapor.
  • Ultrasonic air humidifiers- use ultrasonic waves, to quietly emit cold mist at low volumes.
  • Steam vaporizer air humidifiers- which first heat the water to release a warm mist/ steam.
  • Impeller air humidifiers- usually loud, but expel a cool, desirable mist.

The problem with humidifiers is that if the levels of humidity go beyond 50 percent, it can lead to the growth of mold.

URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser, 100ml Aroma Essential Oil Cool Mist Humidifier with Adjustable Mist Mode,Waterless Auto Shut-off and 7 Color LED Lights Changing for Home Office Baby via Amazon

This risk increases, especially if the humidifier filters are not properly maintained, thus breeding harmful organisms such as mildew, mold and bacteria. An adjustable humidifier such as the URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser  would come handy in such scenarios. Click here to view more essential oil diffusers reviews.

What Is The Difference Between
Air Purifier and Humidifier?

  • An air purifier makes the air clean, hygienic and healthy to breath, whereas a humidifier ensure that the moisture levels in your home remain balanced, preventing dry air.
  • While an air purifier prevents you from inhaling of airborne particles, humidifiers do not do much when it comes to such irritants.
  • Compared to humidifiers, air purifiers are strict when it comes to cleaning and maintaining the filters.
  • What’s more, using a air purifier alone is not suffice, as it cannot control the existence of dust mites, pollen and pet hairs which could also get stuck on the floor or furniture items.

    Therefore, measures such as sweeping, dusting and vacuuming still need to be employed. As for a humidifier, in most cases it can be adequate in controlling and maintaining the desired humidity levels to provide quality breathing air while preventing humidity-loving allergens.

Should You Buy
An Air Humidifier or A Purifier?

Digital humidifier with ionic air purifier at home interior

There a number of telltale signs that can help you identify whether an air purifier or a humidifier would be ideal. For instance, an air purifier is your best bet if:

  • You are experiencing occasional allergies.
  • Your indoors reek of toxic particles.
  • You have respiratory problems caused by tobacco smoke, dust or pollen.
  • You snore; allergens lead to congestion and as a result snoring.
  • Loved ones keep getting sick, without a medical explanation.
  • Your home has the recommended humidity levels.

On the hand, if the air at home feels really dry or you experience the following, it is time you invested in a humidifier:

  • Regular nose bleeds.
  • Dry chapped skin, lips or itchy eyes.
  • Frequents asthma attacks, sore throats, colds and allergy symptoms.
  • Sinus congestion.
  • Excessive snoring.
  • You’ve developed a dependence on Kleenex and antihistamine.


What is the difference between air purifier and humidifier? That’s what you need to consider before deciding the best choice for your home and its living conditions.

Although, there are a number of differences between the humidifier and the air purifier, they both serve a common goal of maintaining a clean and hygienic indoor environment, to prevent various health issues and improve the quality of life.

Whether you settle for the GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System or the URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser. I hope this article has been helpful.

More questions on air purifiers and humidifiers? Hit me up in the comments.

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