Does Using A Humidifier Negatively Affect An Air Purifier?

Since moving into my own place years ago, I’ve collected some appliances.

And two of my favorite appliances are my humidifier and air purifier.

These two appliances do wonders for me and make my home feel much more comfortable.

However, many think these two appliances don’t make the best combination.

Some claims using a humidifier in the same room as an air purifier isn’t ideal and can affect your air purifier.

But is there any truth to this?

Well, we’ll get into the answer to this question in this article.

Today, we’re looking at whether or not humidifiers affect air purifiers, how either appliance works, and whether or not you can use these appliances simultaneously.

Read on to learn more.

Does Turning on a Humidifier Affect Air Purifiers in the Same Room?

Humidifiers change air quality and composition.

Point blank, this is why many think humidifiers and air purifiers aren’t a good combination.

I use my humidifier when the air begins drying up in the colder months.

Humidifiers introduce moisture to the air, so my skin and sinuses won’t feel as dry.

And since they introduce moisture into the air, they can change the air quality.

However, a humidifier won’t affect the air quality that gets in the way of air purification.

Modern air purifiers capture particles and work in various humidity conditions.

So, regardless of whether your indoor air is dry or humid, the air purifier can work.

This is why I don’t hesitate to turn these appliances on simultaneously.

That way, the air purifiers remove pollutants and allergens, making the room less stuffy and fresher.

And the humidifier works in tandem with the purifier, keeping the air and my skin moisturized.

That said, some humidifiers significantly affect air quality, which is very important.

But to understand which humidifiers have the most significant effect on air quality and why this is something to be concerned about, we first need to determine how these appliances work.

How Do Humidifiers Work?

Humidifiers work to introduce moisture into the air. 

And these appliances can do that in two different ways. 

This is why humidifiers come in ultrasonic and evaporative varieties.

Let’s look at how either of these humidifiers affects the air.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

This type of humidifier uses a metal plate that’s connected to a piezoelectric transducer

When the transducer is on, the thin metal plate vibrates at a frequency that causes the water not to be able to stick to it anymore. 

When this happens, the water “explodes” on a very tiny scale, making it easier for the water to evaporate.

That way, the air’s humidity goes up much faster.

However, while ultrasonic humidifiers increase humidity quickly, they can produce white dust.

We don’t know much about this form of particulate matter. 

So, if you’re uncomfortable with white dust floating around the room, staying away from these humidifiers might be best.

Evaporative Humidifiers

These humidifiers utilize a wick and water basin.

The wick absorbs as much water as possible from the basin, making it easier for the water to evaporate.

From there, humidity is introduced similarly to ultrasonic humidifiers.

The difference, however, is that this process doesn’t release white dust, which may be more comfortable for you.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Now let’s look at the air purifier.

Most air purifiers, including the one I own, use filtration to clean the air.

In essence, modern air purifiers are just fans with filters attached to them.

The fans blow air through the filters, allowing particles and pollutants to get trapped and preventing them from entering the lungs.

This might sound like an oversimplification, but this is really how air purifiers work.

Most air purifiers use multi-stage filtration systems with a HEPA filter, carbon filter, and sometimes a pre-filter.

But regardless of the filters the air purifiers use, the process remains mostly the same.

That said, some air purifiers use ionizers.

Ionizers can remove particles from the air but also produce ozone, which is dangerous to humans when we inhale too much.

So, if you want to stay safer, I highly recommend using a filtration-style air purifier at home.

Can Humidifiers Worsen Air Quality?

One concern many people have regarding humidifiers is whether or not they worsen the air quality.

While I said that humidifiers affect the air quality, they don’t necessarily worsen it.

However, there are times when they can.

Humidifiers cause water to evaporate and enter the air, increasing moisture.

And if you use tap water with many minerals in your humidifier, these minerals can end up in the air.

Additionally, if you don’t clean the humidifier, the dust and other particles trapped inside can diminish air quality.

So, if you maintain and clean your humidifier regularly, air quality won’t diminish when it’s on.

The reason I know all of this is because it happened to me.

One day, I noticed more particles in the air whenever my humidifier was on.

My air purifier has a digital air quality monitor, so I could see my humidifier’s exact difference.

But once I cleaned the humidifier and removed any dust and particles caught inside, turning it on had no more effect on the air quality.

How to Maintain Good Air Quality While Using a Humidifier

You want your air purifier to make the indoor air more comfortable and liveable.

But the air quality worsens if you don’t maintain and clean it properly.

So, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind if you want to maintain good air quality when using a humidifier:

Use Evaporative Humidifiers

While ultrasonic humidifiers are effective, they can introduce particulate matter into the air.

These humidifiers release white dust that can circulate and eventually enter the lungs.

No evidence suggests white dust harms humans, but you don’t want to risk it.

However, if you have an ultrasonic humidifier and can’t afford to switch, then at least maintain the filter.

These humidifiers have a filter to ensure that the water that enters the air contains no minerals and particles.

Maintaining this filter ensures that none of the white dust ends up in your lungs.

Clean the Humidifier Regularly

Regardless of your humidifier type, it’s crucial to maintain it properly.

This means cleaning the humidifier regularly, removing mineral deposits and whatever else got caught inside.

This can take some effort, but it’s essential to maintain the best possible air quality in your home.

Use Clean Water

Another way to preserve the air quality while using a humidifier is to use cleaner water.

There’s nothing wrong with using tap water for your humidifier.

However, tap water may contain minerals that could end up in the air and diminish the air quality.

To avoid this, I suggest using distilled water in your humidifier.

Distilled water contains no minerals and is purer than tap water, so you won’t have minerals and other particles in the air.

Can I Use an Air Purifier and Humidifier at the Same Time?

The best way to maintain air quality while using a humidifier is by using an air purifier simultaneously.

That way, particles and minerals from the humidifier will get caught in the air purifier.

Modern air purifiers work in various humidity conditions, so you won’t have to worry about the extra humidity damaging the purifier.

Air purifiers and humidifiers serve separate functions.

So, neither appliance affects the other.

When your air purifier is on while using your humidifier, the air will be less dry and feel much cleaner.

I always leave my air purifier and humidifier on and trust me when I say it makes a huge difference.

Does Using A Humidifier Negatively Affect An Air Purifier? Conclusion

It can be hard to figure out which appliances interfere with each other and which ones you can use simultaneously.

When I first got my humidifier, I was worried it would negatively impact the purifier’s functionality.

However, I learned that as long as you clean and maintain the humidifier properly, you don’t have to worry about either appliance affecting the other.

In fact, using your air purifier at the same time as your humidifier offers a lot of benefits and dramatically improves air quality!

So, if you already have one of these appliances at home, rest assured that you can get the other and use both appliances to their full potential.

RELATED POSTS: Water-Based Air Purifier: What It Is, Care, & Pros and Cons