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Maintaining clean air and ideal humidity levels in your home can be a hassle, especially in dry seasons. While some consumers either use an air purifier or humidifier, you may be wondering if you can use these appliances together. Well, we did thorough research on this concern, and here's what we found out.
Yes, you can use an air purifier and humidifier together. The air purifier will serve as a cleaner that extracts contaminants in the air while the humidifier will increase your room's humidity levels, thus creating better living conditions for your home with improved indoor air quality.
If you're worried about the energy consumption of running both appliances, the good news is that you may not always need to operate an air purifier and humidifier together. Keep reading to know when you should use these devices at the same time. We will also cover the factors to consider in their operation and how they may affect various health conditions.
The Best Time To Use An Air Purifier And Humidifier
The best time to operate these appliances together is during the winter and allergy seasons (spring and fall). At these times of the year, these two devices can efficiently work at the same time, ensuring unhealthy air issues are dealt with.
Wintertime brings about lower humidity, where cold air tends to be dry and furnaces can even remove more moisture during the heating process. And so, in these cold months, you'll need a humidifier to add moisture back into the air. It's usually in combination with an air purifier that can help reduce the effects of winter air pollution.
An air purifier and a humidifier can also be helpful during spring and fall, which are commonly known as allergy seasons. Your air purifier does remove pollen in the air, while your humidifier helps relieve and reduce nasal irritation due to dry air.
Running An Air Purifier And Humidifier In The Same Room
Aside from timing, here are other factors you should consider to effectively use an air purifier and humidifier in the same room.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the ideal level of indoor humidity should be between 30 and 50 percent. In addition, house dust mites quickly multiply in humid areas. To make sure they don't multiply and interfere with your air purifier, avoid humidity levels that are above 50 percent. Also, don't let the humidity go over 80 percent, for it can promote mold growth.
Humidity On HEPA Air Filters
Your room's overall humidity should not exceed the humidity level of 90 percent. Otherwise, it will make an air purifier HEPA filter less efficient. So you should be careful and avoid very humid conditions.
Continual moisture on the HEPA filter may promote the growth of fungi on the filter that may spread the fungal spores into the air. Though both an air purifier and humidifier can be operated in the same room, it would still be advisable to place these devices as far apart as possible.
Humidity On Activated Carbon Filters
Water molecules form weak bonds with activated carbon. When the humidity is high, the water molecules will likely occupy most of the available space on its filter. As a result, there will be fewer sites on the filter for volatile organic compounds and other chemicals to bind with. As the humidity increases, the carbon filter becomes less effective at extracting chemicals from the air.
Lastly, take note that the carbon filter will work well if the humidity level is always below 60 percent.
As much as possible, an air purifier and a humidifier should be placed far from each other. With this setup, the air purifier filter will not be saturated with water droplets coming from the humidifier.
To maximize each unit's functionality, it's ideal to put them on the opposite sides of the room.
Using A Separate Air Quality Sensor
Humidifiers may alter the reading of any inbuilt air quality sensor. The built-in sensors of air purifiers tend to be cheap and use infrared technology. Infrared sensors are known for giving not very accurate measurements, unlike the more accurate laser diffraction technology.
This technology works with an emitter and infrared receiver. When the light reaching the receiver detector has decreased, it assumes that it's because of air pollution. The greater decrease of light, the more air pollution it registers, and it will run the air purifier at a higher speed.
The water particles can then absorb the infrared radiation, and the sensor detects it as air pollution. Once the humidifier releases water particles, the air purifier thinks there is an increase in air pollution.
Effectiveness-wise, a standard stand-alone air sensor is more powerful and accurate compared to a standard built-in sensor of an air purifier. The sensor may usually cost around the same as an entry-level air purifier.
Both sensors are made through advanced technologies and give more accurate results. Moreover, it's more convenient to use a separate air quality sensor that uses laser diffraction technology when checking the air quality in the room. It enables you to adequately reduce the particle count to keep the air clean and healthy for you to breathe.
Humidifiers On Air Quality
Most manufacturers recommend the use of distilled water in the humidifier since using your regular supply of water may add mineral particles and bacteria to your home's air. Using the wrong water in a humidifier device can also reduce air quality.
While the air purifier is trying to clean and reduce the particles in the air, the humidifier may be adding them. Hence, it's safe and convenient to use distilled water for the humidifying process.
Can An Air Purifier Remove Moisture In The Air?
The air purifier doesn't remove any moisture in the air. Basically, its function is to clean the air and not filter out air moisture. However, the appliance can make the air feel drier. It happens when your unit's setting is on fan speed, which should be too high for your comfort.
Or maybe your air purifier is too large for your room. Yet regardless of how the air feels, when it comes to moisture, the air purifier is not the culprit.
Also, keep in mind that dry air is mostly caused by cold air from the winter cold months. So every time the room's air feels drier, there's a big possibility that it's caused by the cold weather and not by your air purifier.
Air Purifiers Plus Humidifiers And Your Health
Air purifiers and humidifiers can have positive effects on your health. Here are ways they prove helpful in some common health conditions:
Colds, Flu, and Respiratory Irritations
Your air purifier can help relieve respiratory symptoms by removing pollutants and respiratory irritants from the air.
On the other hand, your dehumidifier can help relieve the discomfort of colds or flu. It doesn't offer a quick remedy when you're already sick, but it can make the symptoms less severe by helping prevent dry, scratchy nose and throat.
Asthma and Allergies
Air purifiers can reduce the presence of allergens like dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores, that would otherwise trigger asthma and allergy attacks. While traditional air filters may attract and capture these irritants, air purifiers efficiently destroy allergens.
Humidifiers do not directly affect allergens. They help relieve symptoms of allergic reactions, specifically if your nasal passages are dry and irritated. Humidifiers help in maintaining the ideal humidity levels, making the symptoms of allergy-related sicknesses less severe and those afflicted less miserable.
Should I Buy An Air Purifier Humidifier Combo?
Some experts don't recommend the use of an air purifier humidifier combo. According to them, the air purifier humidifier often compromises its specifications, especially the air purifying function. Furthermore, this combo usually doesn't have HEPA filters, making its air purification less reliable.
To achieve high-quality air cleaning and humidifying, they advise that you buy the air purifier and humidifier separately. But if you're a bit skeptical about it, you might as well try air purifier and humidifier combos on the market. You can find some with great features and a number of advantages.
It's ideal to use an air purifier and humidifier together. You'll usually need these devices during winter and allergy seasons, but there are factors to consider to efficiently run both of them. Remember that you should choose the right size for each unit. Lastly, having good ventilation and maintaining a clean environment can also help in having clean and healthy air.
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