Informational Guide

Does a Humidifier Clean Home Air?

A common misconception is that humidifiers clean the air in your home, which is not true. They can, however, still improve the air quality in your home.

by Josh M

Humidifiers can be a great addition to your home. They work by increasing the humidity in your indoor air environment, which can prevent itchy and dry skin, stuffy noses, and brittle hair.

A common misconception is that humidifiers clean the air in your home, which is not true. In this guide, we will walk you through how a humidifier works and how you can use one to improve the air in your home.

Humidifiers are designed to increase the humidity in a room by adding moisture in dry climates. The two most popular humidifier types are evaporative and ultrasonic.

An evaporative model relies on the science of evaporation to add water to the air. An ultrasonic model uses vibrations to create a cooling mist.

  • Reduce Congestion Dry air can cause your nasal passages to become irritated. Adding moisture to the air can help loosen up mucus and clear your nose of congestion, especially during the winter months. When it is cold outside, your nose might get runny. Once you step inside to the artificial heat, your nose will dry up again, sometimes causing nose bleeds. Humidifiers can help prevent these symptoms.
  • Alleviate Cold and Flu Symptoms Once the dreaded flu season hits, you want to do everything you can to protect yourself. Some studies show that humidity levels above 40% rapidly deactivate flu and common cold virus particles. A humidifier designed for reducing sinus problems can help with this.
  • Helps with Dry Skin Low levels of humidity can dry out your skin, causing it to crack and itch. Increasing indoor humidity levels can help reactivate moisture in the skin, which prevents it from becoming dry.
  • Helps Keep Hair and Scalp Healthy In the cold winter months, your hair can become brittle and dry, causing it to break or split. A humidifier can help add moisture to your hair, which expedites growth.
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Does a Humidifier Clean the Air?

While humidifiers have amazing benefits for your indoor air environment, they do not actually filter or clean the air. This is a common misconception that many people have before they purchase a humidifier.

A humidifier works by adding moisture to the air, but it does not filter or improve the air quality. Air purifiers are the best way to purify the surrounding air in your room. Air purifiers contain multiple stages of filtration to reduce the contaminants in the air.

A humidifier does not contain a HEPA or pollutant-reducing filter. Some models, like evaporative humidifiers, pass air through a wick filter to create moisture, but the filter does not reduce pollutants.

Most of the filters in humidifiers are there to reduce the amount of hard water being pushed through the system.

In some ways, a humidifier can reduce the number of virus particles by increasing the humidity in the room. Some viruses cannot survive in humid conditions, so the increased humidity breaks down their structure.

This is one of the most important ways a humidifier can help reduce common cold and flu symptoms.

If you want to decrease the number of contaminants in the air, you should consider getting a large, whole-house air purifier for your home.

Can I Use an Air Purifier and Humidifier Together?

If you want to increase the humidity in a room and purify the air, we recommend getting both an air purifier and a humidifier. Using them together will solve both of your problems. You can even use them in the same room.

We recommend placing them far apart because the increased moisture might clog the filter of the air purifier. If you want the best indoor air environment, using an air purifier and humidifier can keep you healthy year-round.

The Risks Involved When Using Humidifiers

  • Too Much Humidity Maintaining a humidity level of 30 to 50% is ideal for your home. If the humidity gets higher than that, it can cause mold growth and increased dust mites. Both of these are one of the leading causes of allergies. Ensure you have the proper settings on your humidifier before using it.
  • Dust Mite or Mold Growth Dust mites and mold tend to thrive in areas where the humidity is above 50%. The increased moisture is a breeding ground for all types of illness-causing mold, including black mold. You should monitor your humidifier to make sure it is maintaining the proper humidity levels.
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People Also Ask (FAQ)

Can humidifiers cause pneumonia?

Humidifiers do not cause pneumonia. In fact, they can often alleviate cold and flu-like symptoms. Humidifiers can treat the symptoms of coughing and wheezing as well.

Should a humidifier run all night?

You can run a humidifier all day or night. Just ensure you have the proper settings on your humidifier before going to sleep to ensure the best indoor air environment.

How do you dehumidify a room quickly?

The best way to reduce moisture in a room is to use a dehumidifier. Many dehumidifiers can remove up to 50 pints per day of moisture.

Do humidifiers make the room wet?

If you set the humidistat correctly, you should not experience any wetness in the room. This will only happen if you have the humidifier set too high for the recommended humidity range.

Does a humidifier fill the whole room?

This will depend on the size and effectiveness of the humidifier. If you have a large humidifier, then you will certainly notice an increased humidity level throughout the whole room.


Here at the Air Conditioner Lab, we care about your indoor air environment. In this guide, we have cleared up the common misconception that humidifiers purify the surrounding air.

We have also provided you with proven scientific knowledge about how to increase humidity in your home.

Last Updated on July 16, 2021

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.