Difference Between Air Purifier and Air Humidifier (With Table)

An air purifier is an electronic machine that eliminates contaminants and releases unpolluted and clean air. They are also called air cleaners as they are used to improve indoor air quality. Air humidifiers are devices that add moisture to the indoor air. People use it to prevent dryness and irritation in many parts of the body.

Air Purifier vs Air Humidifier 

The main difference between air purifiers & air humidifiers is that the main function of air purifiers is to eradicate airborne contaminants from indoor air and discharge pollutant-free, purified air. Whereas the primary mechanism of air humidifiers is to release moisture in the air of enclosed spaces.

Air purifiers purify the air by trapping dust particles, bacteria, allergens, mold spores, smoke odors, and other harmful particles and removing them. Air purifiers suck the home air and release purified air through filters. The air purifier runs under only two principles: active and passive. 

Air humidifiers are natural moisturizing agents used by people who have problems like dry skin, sinus congestion, nose irritation, dry cough, dry lips, etc. They are widely used in metropolitan cities where there is a lot of air pollution. But while using air humidifiers, caution needs to be exercised because it causes burns if there is negligence in using it. Air humidifiers pump water vapor into a room that can or cannot be seen to increase the moisture in the room. 

Comparison Table Between Air Purifier and Air Humidifier 

Parameters of ComparisonAir PurifierAir Humidifier
DefinitionIt’s also known as air cleaner, which traps air impurities and dust particles and releases clean air.It’s also known as an agent of moisturizers; they add moisture to the air by adding water vapor which may or may not be conspicuous.
UsersIt’s used by people who are allergic to dust particles and asthmatics.It’s used by people with dry skin problems and irritated respirator chords.
TypesThere are two types of air purifiers:- active purifiers and passive purifiers.There are five types of humidifiers:-central humidifiers, evaporators, impeller humidifiers, steam vaporizers, and ultrasonic humidifiers.
Size DifferenceAir purifiers are usually small in size and easily portable.Air humidifiers can be large and small; They are classified as consoles and portable/personal humidifiers based on their size. Console ones are large and have wheels at the bottom to be moved from one room to the other. Portable Humidifiers are small in size.
Suggested HumidityIt does not release humidity. It expels out clean air.It gives humidity from 30% to 50%.

What is Air Purifier?

An air purifier uses filters to remove air pollutants from the room atmosphere. One of the filters is called the HEPA filter, which can capture small particles down to 0.3 microns. The HEPA filter is a set of plastic and fiberglass threads tightly woven together, releasing the filtered air and trapping the air pollutants. It removes 99.97% of the contaminants from the air. It helps people with respiratory issues like asthma and allergies to inhale purified air. 

They were called ‘highly efficient filterers’ after being used in the US’s Manhattan Project to eliminate airborne radioactive contaminants in the 1940s and were commercialized after that. Many doctors and scientists said that using an air purifier with a HEPA filter can reduce the transmission of diseases.  

There are two air purifiers:- active purifiers and passive purifiers. Passive Purifiers have air filters that remove air pollutants, whereas active air purifiers discharge negatively charged ions into the air, forcing pollutants to stick to surfaces. If there is a comparison between the two, passive purifiers are more efficient than active purifiers as all the dust particles are permanently removed from the air and captured in filters.

What is Air Humidifier?

An air humidifier has many benefits as well. Less dry air can prevent cold, cough, and flu. It can also be helpful in loosening congestion which causes problems like clogged nose, sinus pain, etc. Dry air and lack of moisture also negatively impact the scalp and hair. So using air humidifiers can also help maintain a healthy scalp and hair. 

The types of air humidifiers are many depending on their functioning. Central Humidifiers are constructed directly into a room’s air conditioners or heating unit. They are the most conducive options to add humidity and moisture to your indoor space but are also costly. Unlike traditional humidifiers, these types of humidifiers do not throw steam, so there is no potential danger of burns.

Evaporators are single-unit systems that have a moistened filter through which moisture is released in the room. They are comparatively more affordable than central humidifiers. But the drawback of an evaporator is that it can be operated in one room at one time. The other problem is that they may blow too much moisture, which can harm asthmatics.

Impeller Humidifiers have high-speed rotating disks that lead to the formation of cool mists. They carry no risk of burns. They are easily affordable and work in a single room. Steam Vaporizers are electrically powered humidifiers that heat water and then cool it to expel it in the air. They can be easily carried and cheaper than the rest of the humidifiers. But they are not children-friendly as they carry a risk of burning. Ultrasonic Humidifiers use ultrasonic vibrations to produce cool mists to add humidity to the room. They are relatively less risky than steam vaporizers.

Main Differences Between Air Purifier and Air Humidifier

  1. Air purifiers are air sanitizers that purify the air by removing airborne pollutants and giving out clean air. On the other hand, air humidifiers add moisture to the air to safeguard people from dryness and skin irritations.
  2. Air purifiers do not cause any health hazards, whereas air humidifiers can exacerbate respiratory problems and create dampness in the air. 
  3. Air purifiers are generators of ozone, which is an air pollutant. Whereas air humidifiers often cause burns, excess humidity can also lead to bacterial growth.
  4. Air purifiers are easy to carry, manage and last for a long time. But, some humidifiers are bulky and are not easily portable like central humidifiers.
  5. Air purifiers use HEPA filters, but ultrasonic humidifiers do not use any filters. Air purifiers release clean air, and humidifiers produce a cool mist.

Conclusion

Air purifiers are boons for people who have some form of the respiratory issue because it helps filter the air and get rid of pollutants. People can easily travel on their air purifiers from one place to another without worry. It can be used anywhere from personal residence to offices, studios, or other enclosed spaces. Air humidifiers are also beneficial for people with asthma, skin issues, and dryness problems. Many times, doctors recommend air humidifiers to people with these issues. They are also available in various types and sizes that can be used according to the convenience and usage of people.

References 

  1. https://freshandbreezy.com/which-work-better-air-purifier-vs-humidifier-for-baby/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S036013230900359X