What’s the Difference Between an Air Purifier and a Humidifier?

Air purifiers and humidifiers both affect your home’s air, but they serve different purposes. When looking into adding one of these to your home to alleviate respiratory symptoms or give your family the cleanest air possible, it’s important to understand their differences.

At Comfort Temp, we’ve kept area homes comfortable and breathing clean air for over 37 years. Read on as we explain the difference between an air purifier and a humidifier.

Air Purifier vs. Humidifier

Air Purifier

As the name suggests, an air purifier removes airborne contaminants. At Comfort Temp, we use hospital-grade filtration and photocatalytic oxidation to convert household odors and chemical vapors into harmless carbon dioxide and water.


Humidifiers add moisture to the air by dispensing cool or warm water vapor into the room. Ultrasonic humidifiers apply ultrasonic waves via a transducer to water to produce a mist, with the oscillating ultrasonic soundwave breaking up the water molecules to create the mist.

How Purifiers and Humidifiers Affect Your Health

Asthma, and Allergies

Certain air purifiers reduce the number of air allergens like dust mites, mold, or pet dander. Using an air purifier reduces exposure to these pollutants. Humidifiers, meanwhile, don’t affect allergen levels but can alleviate symptoms caused by dry or irritated nasal passages.

Respiratory Illnesses

Air filters alone can’t remove certain viruses with tiny particles, but an air purifier captures these respiratory irritants from the air. The Mayo Clinic suggests that optimal humidity levels inside the home should be kept at 30-50% to reduce virus infectiousness and help relieve symptoms of existing illnesses like dry or scratchy throat.

Air Dryness

An air purifier can’t add moisture to the air, so it won’t help alleviate asthma, bronchitis, or sinusitis. Meanwhile, a humidifier does add moisture to the air, improving dry air conditions.

Which Should I Use?

An air purifier and humidifier have very different purposes, so how do you know which to use? A humidifier may be better suited to short-term use to help prevent symptoms of illness, while a purifier can be used long-term to improve your home’s indoor air quality. But your expert Comfort Temp technician can assess your home’s air and recommend the best system for you. Contact us today and get comfortable at home.

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