Informational Guide

Do Humidifiers Help With Dust?

If you suffer from dusty homes & allergy issues then help is often needed. We explore if humidifiers help with dust and can remove it from the home.

by Josh M

You’ve wiped it off every surface, corner, nook, and cranny, and yet it keeps coming back. Dust is the unfortunate buildup in our homes, and it can be a nuisance for our respiratory systems and health, too. So how exactly do we keep the dust bunnies under control?

Our allergies can be easily conquered with a humidifier, but can it help the source of the problem? Here, we will explore the ways we can reduce dust and answer, ‘does a humidifier help with dust?’

  1. .Human Skin/Hair
    Like me, this will be the one you were told about in school. Our skin is a living organ, and when our cells die, they shed and flow into our homes and become dust. The same goes for your hair once it dies and falls off your body.
  2. .Fabric Fibers
    Anything from our clothes, sofas, and carpets will generate dust from the loose fibers as they age. The threads in our clothes will gradually deteriorate over time, which will create more dust for us to clear. The same goes for your carpets; as we walk on them, the dust is disturbed and thrown into the air.
  3. .Pollen
    You’ll know already that pollen is the cause of hay fever, so it’s no surprise it also attaches itself to our homes. Pollen latches onto our clothes and bags when we are outside, then is brought in and released back into the air as we disturb the particles.
  4. .Animal Fur
    You might be thinking, “but I don’t own a dog?” Even if we don’t have pets, animals shed their fur everywhere, which will also go into the air. This, again, will attach to every possible surface, and that means us outside.
  5. .Insects
    Disgusting as it may be, insects make their way into our homes and will leave droppings. They will also die, and their bodies deteriorate and turn into – you guessed it – dust. This will also include dust mites; tiny, microscopic insects living inside and consuming the dust in our home.
Male Sneezing in Front of Laptop

How To Tell You Have Dust Allergies?

Dust will irritate our nasal passages and cause an itchy nose. But an allergy to dust is slightly different and comes with different effects:

 Coughs/Sneezes

When we cough or sneeze, this is our body’s way of clearing our airways or reacting to an irritant attacking our respiratory system. If you find yourself coughing or sneezing a lot, particularly if you’re asthmatic, you might have a dust allergy. There are some excellent humidifiers on the market that are designed to help with coughing.

 Itchy Throat, Nose, Or Mouth

This will also be a reaction to dust entering our body. If you have an allergy to dust, your nose, mouth, and throat will react to the particles latching themselves on and will create an itchy sensation.

 Watery & Dry, Itchy Eyes

Our eyes have a brilliant defense system in our tear ducts. Each time you blink, the eyes are clearing away any irritants on the surface, which are also kept moist by our tear ducts.

An allergic reaction may cause a watery eye as it tries to clear it away or create a drier sensation as the duct becomes blocked. View some humidifiers made for relieving this discomfort here.

 Runny Nose/Postnasal Drip

As the respiratory system clears away the irritants, this will cause your nose to become runny. This also occurs in the back of the throat, called postnasal drip. Excess mucus in the top of the sinus will leak down the back of your throat. An allergy to dust can cause both of these.

 Sinus Pressure

This is when you feel pressure around the nose area. This can be because of a headache or your sinuses reacting to an irritant. Your upper nose and around the eyes can feel the weight of the pressure. Certain humidifier models perform better at relieving sinuses.

Will A Humidifier Help With Dust?

We know that dust is irritating and a pain to continuously clean, but does it pose a significant risk?

The short answer is yes – the dust accumulates over the years and is the perfect breeding ground for dust mites, which, if left over time, can lead to potential infections and diseases becoming airborne and spread into your home.

So, does a humidifier help with dust? Yes! In fact, they can help control the level of dust mites in your home. Some of the reasons you should consider a humidifier are:

Humidity Control

Dust mites thrive in a humidity level of 70-80%. Some humidifiers come with a humidity tester, which will help aid them to control the levels. An ideal percentage is between 40-60%, where the dust mites will die out.

 Airborne Dust

A humidifier will create water droplets that will attach to the dust, making them unable to float in the air. This will make it much easier to clean up the dust once it has settled. Learn more about how well humidifiers clean the air in this guide.

Air Purifying

Humidifiers will purify the air that we breathe while it’s running. The extra moisture in the air can clear our airways and reduce the polluted air in our system.

It seems like a no brainer! But be careful, because a humidifier can greatly increase the humidity, which can also lead to potential problems further down the way.

Purple Mist from Humidifier

Humidifier Types & How They Keep The Dust Out

Below is a guide on what different types of humidifiers can control dust the best.

 Evaporative vs Ultrasonic

If you’re unsure where to begin, an evaporative humidifier is a good place to start. The filter inside will catch any dust particles potentially in the water.

Ultrasonic humidifiers can create white dust, as hard water will release the excess minerals into the air. If you use an ultrasonic, consider using filtered water to prevent more dust.

We compare these options in further detail in this article.

 Portable vs. Whole House

A whole-house humidifier is attached to your existing HVAC system through the ducts. This helps humidify the whole house but could also cause excess humidity. A portable humidifier will release much less water and can help where the dust is at its worst.

 Warm Or Cool Mist?

A cool-mist humidifier will simply release the water as it is filtered. This could be useful for the warmer months, but in the wintertime, a warm air humidifier is better. The water is boiled before its released, killing any potential bacteria present in the water.

White Humidifier on Top of Bedside Table with Books

People Also Ask (FAQ)

What type of humidifier does not leave white dust?

An evaporative humidifier will filter the water before releasing it into the air. An ultrasonic humidifier, however, vibrates two plates together to release the water, and so will release all the excess minerals along with it, creating the white dust.

Do humidifiers help you breathe better?

Yes – if the air in your home is too dry, this can create an itchy or dry throat. A humidifier will help by increasing the moisture and cleansing the air already present.

Can I put lemon juice or vinegar in my humidifier?

Adding a tablespoon of lemon juice will create a nice citrus smell, while the acid in the lemon will break down bacteria. Adding ¼ cup of vinegar is a great way to disinfect your humidifier, and you can do this every time you change the water.

How can I make my humidifier smell nice?

If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, some humidifiers allow you to add a few drops of essential oils to the water, which will be released into the air and create a fresher smell in your home.

Of course, the easiest way to keep your humidifier smelling nice is to clean it regularly and use fresh, clean water with every use.

Conclusion

Dust is not just a nuisance; there can be some real health hazards if we don’t clean it away regularly. If the dust becomes out of control in our homes, a humidifier can help us with keeping it under control.

The humidity level at home is important, and with a humidifier, half of the job is done for you! Keep the pests at bay and give yourself cleaner air to breathe.

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.

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