March 20, 2020

Does one of your live-in family members suffer from respiratory problems? Perhaps you’re just a proud and fastidious housekeeper who craves the best possible air inside your home. Either way, caring about indoor air quality is the smart choice. As an emerging air-quality connoisseur, you may be wondering whether humidifiers or dehumidifiers can clean indoor air of pollution?

First Things First: What Is Air Pollution?

Air pollution occurs when excessive amounts of toxic elements are released into the atmosphere. It can lead to respiratory ailments, including but not limited to COPD and lung cancer. According to University of Oxford researchers, approximately 3.5 million people die every year from complications caused by air pollution.

What Is Indoor Air Pollution?

Weather reporters talk a lot about air pollution, but many people don’t consider how outside contaminants find their way into our apartments, condos and houses. Every time we open a door or window, pollutants saunter inside. Moreover, all sorts of contaminants let themselves in through nooks, crannies and barely visible cracks in walls and floors.

People also create indoor air pollution by burning wood, coal, candles and fragrant oils. The University of Oxford also tells us that indoor air pollution is a leading cause of premature death globally. On the bright side, thanks to increased public awareness, the number of indoor air pollution deaths has decreased by about 1 million per year since 1990.

Humidifiers Versus Air Purifiers

Humidifiers and air purifiers serve two different functions. Humidifiers moisturize the air, and air purifiers get rid of pollutants. Most humidifiers have HEPA filters to trap allergens, dirt and dust, but they don’t have the anti-polluting power of an air purifier. Other benefits of humidifiers include:

  • Softer, younger-looking skin
  • Faster healing times
  • Snoring cessation
  • Better sleep
  • Healthier indoor plants
  • Reduced risk of infection

Types of Humidifiers

Humidifiers generally come in five different types. The following provides a quick overview of each.

Central humidifiers: Central humidifiers are built directly into a home’s architecture. They are the most efficient models, and they cost the most to install.

Evaporators: This type of air moisturizer blows water mist from a single unit. Typically, they only work in one room at a time. However, most models are portable.

Impellers: Impellers can be budget-friendly. They feature a high-speed rotating disc that disperses moisture into the air. Like evaporators, they only work in one room at a time. As far as portable options go, impellers work great; however, people with allergies or asthma should consult an HVAC expert before purchasing this type. It might not be the best option for their condition.

Ultrasonic: These units produce cool and warm mists using ultrasonic vibration technology. They come in a variety of models for a range of budgets.

Steam vaporizers: Steam vaporizing units heat and cool water before releasing it. They are the most economical and portable humidifiers. In a pinch, you can usually pick one up at the local pharmacy or nearest big-box store.

Humidifiers: The Good and the Bad

Humidifiers can be lifesavers for people suffering through allergy season and folks with chronic sinus conditions. Individuals saddled with perpetually dry lips and skin also appreciate the wonders of an in-home humidifier. Plus, wooden furniture lasts longer in properly humidified environments because it’s less prone to cracking.

But humidifiers can also cause problems. When not correctly calibrated and used, they can make things too wet, which can lead to bacterial and fungal growth. If you’re not careful, a humidifier can unwittingly turn your house into a toxic Petri dish.

What Is a Dehumidifier?

The opposite of humidifiers, dehumidifiers wick moisture out of the air. They do not clean the air of pollutants.

Do Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers Alleviate Indoor Air Pollution?

Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can improve your home’s air quality, but they aren’t a catchall solution for indoor air pollution. Zapping pesky indoor air pollutants requires an air purifier. Though most temperature-control units and devices come with filters, they don’t do the job of a dedicated air purification system.

Air purifiers eliminate dust, allergens, bacteria, smoke, pet dander and mold spores that could be floating around your space. This improves your air quality and cuts down on your risk of developing respiratory problems.

If you want to learn more about air quality solutions, contact Controlled Climate Services in Kennesaw. Our indoor air experts have the answers and products you need to breathe easy. We also offer heating and cooling services for residential and commercial clients. These include repairs, installations and maintenance options. Call us today to see how we can help you.

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