Do Air Purifiers Dry Out The Air? (Moisture Explained)

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

Last Updated On

“If you make a purchase using our provided links, we may receive a commission. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways

  • Air purifiers do not dry out the air. They serve the primary function of cleaning the air and do not impact the humidity levels.
  • If you want to dry out the air, you will need to use a separate device known as a dehumidifier. 
  • If the air is too dry and you want to raise the humidity levels, then you will need to procure a humidifier.

People who have never used an air purifier before always come to me with questions and concerns.

A very common concern people raise with me is whether or not the machine will dry out their air.

Many homeowners share the common misconception that air purifiers can make the air in their homes feel drier.

However, that’s just not the case. A dehumidifier can reduce the humidity levels in your home, but an air purifier won’t take moisture out of the air.

Keep reading to learn more about how air purifiers work and why your air may actually be dry.

Do Air Purifiers Make The Indoor Air Dry?

Air purifiers don’t have an effect on your indoor humidity.

can air purifier help with mold
Air purifiers improve the air quality in your home and reduce allergies by removing airborne pollutants.

To do this, they circulate air through your room, and that circulating air becomes cooler. The cooler air can make it feel drier.

Various other things can make the air in your home feel dry. For example, during winter, cold air is typically drier than warm air in the summer. 

ACLAB Note:

Heating devices like furnaces and heaters can also dry out the air in your home, leading to various health problems.

Similarly air conditioners can also suck moisture out of the air in summers.

An air humidifier will add moisture back into the cool air, making it more comfortable for you and your family. 

If you don’t have a humidifier, boiling water on the stove, leaving damp clothes to dry, and adding plants to dry rooms can also help alleviate the dry air problem.

humidifiers vs air purifiers

However, purchasing a humidifier is the easiest and most effective way to add moisture to your home.

TL;DR: No, air purifiers do not dry out the air. If your air feels dry, consider investing in a humidifier.

Why Your Home Feels Dry When You Use An Air Purifier?

I touched on it earlier, but it may appear that your purifier is drying out your air because it’s putting cooler air into your room. 

Your air purifier will pull in air through air filters that remove air pollution like dust, pollen, and pet dander and release clean air into the room.

do air purifiers help with allergies

This makes an air purifier great if you have allergies or respiratory issues.

The air filter won’t remove moisture from the air like dehumidifiers, but the circulation of cooler filtered air can make the room feel cooler and drier.

This effect is more noticeable if the air purifier is too big for the room. Sitting too close to the air cleaner can also dry out your nasal passages. 

Using the right size air purifier for your space and keeping a safe distance from it will help keep the air in your room from feeling dry.

ACLAB Note:

An air purifier is sized according to the covered area in square feet that requires purification and its CADR and ACH rating.

TL;DR: In the process of air purification, the device releases cool air into the environment which can give you the sensation of dryness.

What Causes Dry Air In Homes?

Dry air is commonly caused by cold air and heaters in the air.

Dry outdoor environments will also cause you to have a dry indoor environment.

This is especially true during colder winter months when humidity levels are low. Dry lips, dry skin, a stuffy nose, and headaches are all sure signs of dry air.

To combat this issue, it’s important to add moisture back into the environment with a humidifier. 

Adding a humidifier can help keep moisture levels in a comfortable range, improving your overall comfort and health.

What are the Optimal Humidity Levels

Related Article: How Do Humidifiers Work?

TL;DR: Generally the weather and the devices being used, including cooling and heating devices, can lead to dry air.

Signs Of Dry Air At Home?

  • Breathing Trouble
    Trouble breathing or a dry throat is a sign you have dry air at home. If you wake up with a dry, itchy nose or throat, you likely have dry air in your home.
  • Dry Skin And Lips
    Another sign of dry air at home is having dry skin and chapped and cracked lips. Cracking and even bleeding skin can be another sign of dry air.
  • Warping Wood, Cracking Paint
    Warped wood or cracked paint on your walls is a sign that your home doesn’t have enough moisture. Hardwood floors and paint need normal moisture levels to avoid damage.
  • Getting Zapped
    If you frequently find yourself “zapped” when you touch clothing or furniture, your home has excess amounts of static electricity. Dry air creates this static electricity buildup.

TL;DR: Dry skin, lips and eyes, static discharges and damaged furniture and paint are tell-tale sings of dry air.

how do air purifiers work

Health Risks Of Indoor Dry Air

Dry air can create several health risks because our bodies need to have an appropriate level of water. 

We get this water through drinking and eating, but we are also at our best when we get some of our moisture through the air.

Our body brings moisture in via our respiratory system, and without enough water vapor in the air, this doesn’t happen. 

An itchy or dry nose, irritated sinuses, or chapped lips are all signs you may not be getting enough moisture through the air.

ACLAB Note:

You can use an air purifier and a humidifier together and reap the benefits of each device in improving the overall air quality.

The following list showcases some of the health risks of indoor air:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness Of Breath
  • Chest Tightness
  • Skin Problems
  • Nose Bleeds
  • Chills
  • Worsened Cold & Flu Symptoms
  • Increased Chances Of Contracting Respiratory Illnesses
  • Increased Spread Of Influenza

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How Do You Sleep With Dry Air?

You should not sleep with dry air. Instead, you can buy a small personal humidifier for your bedroom or nursery if you have a baby.

Using an air purifier will ensure the air you breathe as you sleep is healthy.

Can The Moisture In My Air Be Too High?

The moisture in your home can be too high. The ideal indoor relative humidity, per Energy Star, should be between 30 and 50 percent.

Anything above 50% is considered high and can cause discomfort, health issues, and even damage to your home.

Will An Air Conditioner Dry Out My Air?

An air conditioning system could make your air drier. AC systems can reduce indoor humidity as they cool down your home. If your AC is used excessively or the humidity is already low, it can quickly dry out the air.

What Type of Filters Does An Air Purifier Use?

Air purifiers can use various filters. By far the most common type of filter in air purifiers is a HEPA filter (high-efficiency particulate air). Activated carbon filters are also commonly used.

No, Air Purifiers Do Not Dry Out the Air

I’m constantly reassuring people that their air purifier will not dry out their air.

Instead, it will help limit air pollution and allergens in the air. 

If you’re experiencing dry air, you can buy a humidifier to maintain proper moisture levels.

Take my word for it – an air purifier and a humidifier will help keep you comfortable and healthy. 

With comfortable moisture levels from your humidifier and no airborne allergens because of your air purifier, you can sit back and relax in your home.

Was This Article Helpful?
YesNo

Josh Mitchell

Founder

Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

My Favorite Home Appliance?

Midea U Shaped Window Air Conditioner

See Our Editorial Processes

Meet Our Team

Share Feedback