do humidifiers clean the air

Do Humidifiers Clean the Air? (You May Be Surprised)

Do Humidifiers Clean the Air?

A humidifier is not the same thing as an air purifier and doesn’t have a way to filter air.

But a humidifier can be a type of air purifier when the air is too dry.

Maintaining the proper relative humidity in a room has an air purification effect on the air.
  This is because humidity droplets are heavier than the dust particles , including viruses and bacteria.

  So when the humidity binds itself to the dust in the air, the dust becomes too heavy to float and falls out of the ambient air that you breathe.

  Very similar to the way an ionic air purifier works.

  Except in the case of the air purifier it is ions that are binding to dust and causing it to fall.

Humidifier for Plants


Another way that humidifiers help clean the air is by keeping your air purifying plants healthy.

If you haven’t seen it, there’s a popular list of plants that NASA was conducted research on and determined natural air purifiers.

A humidifier is one of the best ways to keep your plant life thriving in your home.

Adding some of the plants like spider plant and rubber plant that NASA has determined are air purifying plants to your home is an excellent way of utilizing a humidifier in an air purification mode.

Dry air can cause a variety of issues including interrupting respiratory function and causing skin and acne problems.

When the Air does not have enough moisture, it allows dust to float and travel freely making it into your pores and also absorbing the moisture out of your skin and your nasal cavities.

Using a humidifier to keep the relative humidity in your home at 40 to 60% will alleviate most dry air symptoms.

  But on the flip side…  over-humidifying the air can have the opposite effect.

  Air that is too humid can explode the dust mite population exponentially in your home. It will also promote mold growth which in turn will unleash mold spores into your Air.

When the humidity gets above 60%, running a  humidifier we’ll make the air quality worse.

For instance, Basements are notorious for being extra humid. Running a humidifier in a basement would be the opposite of what you need to do.

A dehumidifier is a more useful device at that point. Refrigerated air conditioners double as dehumidifiers and some even have “dry mode” settings that allow you to bring the humidity level down in your home without bringing the actual temperature down.

Many basements require industrial vents to pull the moisture out of the area.

Monitoring and keeping your relative humidity between 40 and 60% is the key .

You can purchase humidifiers and dehumidifiers that have a hygrometer or a humidistat built in to ensure that you are adding or taking away the right amount of humidity to stay healthy.

Both humidifiers and dehumidifiers come equipped with smart apps that you can get notifications from as well as monitor your relative humidity remotely at any time.

Though a humidifier can be a huge factor and do a great deal to help manage the air quality when conditions are dry,

A humidifier is not a replacement for an air purifier because indoor air pollution does not rely solely on the air being dry or extra humid.

And air purifiers are useful all year long whereas humidifiers usually gets stored away during the warmer and hot months.

But an air purifier will do nothing to add or take away moisture from your air.

And unfortunately there is not an appliance that can humidify, dehumidify, and filter the air. At least nothing available that can do a great job at any of the three.


A humidifier can help clean the air when conditions are dry.

Without the adequate moisture in the air, airborne particles, including germs, bacteria, and viruses, can float much easier and travel much further.

A humidifier will add moisture droplets to the air that will bind with the dust particles and cause them to be too heavy to float. The result will be cleaner and fresher air.

But a humidifier can actually make the air quality worse when the humidity is on the high side.

Higher levels of humidity promote mold growth and feed dust mite populations.

Reducing the humidity with a dehumidifier or refrigerator air conditioner will help keep the air quality good during times and seasons of heavy humidity.

But neither a humidifier or a dehumidifier is a replacement for an air purifier.

Air purifiers work 24/7 all year long to keep your air clean. Whereas humidifiers and dehumidifiers are both seasonal devices that are stored away when not in use.

Published by

Dennis Reed

Dennis Reed Owner and Author @