How Do Humidifiers Affect Your Indoor Air Quality?

How Humidifiers affect Your Indoor Air Quality?

What’s the connection between indoor air quality and humidifiers, and how do humidifiers interact with air purifiers and filtration systems?

Tired of dry, uncomfortable air and the breathing difficulties that come along with it, more and more people are discovering the wonders of home humidifiers. In 2019, retail sales of humidifiers reached a staggering $643 million in the U.S. alone. With its reputation as a source of relief for respiratory and skin issues, it’s easy to understand why the device has exploded in popularity.

But a recent disaster in South Korea illustrates the potential damage that can be caused by incorrect use of air humidifiers. Up to 14,000 people are believed to have died, over the course of several years, due to inhaling a disinfectant used in many of the country’s home air humidifiers.

It’s clear that despite the benefits, there are risks that accompany the use of humidifiers. So what’s the connection between indoor air quality and humidifiers, and how do humidifiers interact with air purifiers and filtration systems?

What are the benefits of indoor humidifiers?

Dry indoor air is linked to a number of unpleasant symptoms, ranging from worsened allergies to chapped lips. Humidifiers, which add moisture to the air in a space, can help relieve the following issues triggered by dry air:

  • Dry skin and throat
  • Sinus congestions and headaches
  • Nasal irritation
  • Cracked lips
  • Dry cough and irritated vocal chords

Humidifiers have also been linked to a reduced risk of catching the flu and can help cut down on snoring. Added moisture in the air can also help particular house plants thrive, and might even keep wallpaper and furniture looking fresh for longer. Sounds great, right?

But while humidifiers do boost air quality in a room by adding moisture, they may also reduce the quality of indoor air.

Air humidifiers and air quality

Bacteria, viruses, and other biological contaminants love moist spaces, and your humidifier is no exception to that rule. If you don’t regularly and thoroughly clean your humidifier, it’s likely that your device is reducing all sorts of harmful airborne pollutants that can be inhaled by you and your loved ones.

The risk of humidifier air pollution in your home depends on the type of humidifier that you purchase. Consumer Reports conducted an experiment which found that many humidifiers labeled “microbe” or “germ-free” were actually crawling with biological pollutants.

Wick-based humidifiers were the only model that Consumer Reports found did not emit biological contaminants when in use. The reality is that your air humidifier could trigger allergy or asthma symptoms, meaning that you may need to use an air purifier alongside the device.

Indoor air quality filtration systems, which help remove large airborne particles from the air, are critical for improving the air you breathe at home. But just like humidifiers, filtration devices range from the basic and less effective to more advanced models.

Measuring indoor air quality at home

You can use a store-bought device to perform a quick check-up of your home’s air quality, and determine if your humidifier is worsening the air you breathe on a daily basis. An indoor air quality monitor (IAQ) detects the presence of common pollutants including carbon monoxide, lead paint, and molds. The IAQ can give you an idea of what contaminants are floating around inside your home, but it’s a limited overview.

If you’d like to take a deeper dive into what potential pollutants are present in your home’s air, you will have to go beyond self testing. Because volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other contaminants aren’t picked up by DIY air quality devices, you may want to consider reaching out to a professional.

Whether or not your humidifier is contributing to the issue, if you discover that the air inside your home is of poor quality, it’s critical that you take action to improve it. With bad indoor air affecting everything from your health to performance at work or school, time is of the essence.

How to improve air quality while using a humidifier

Tadiran’s Air Care O2 plug-and-play hydrogen peroxide air purifier solution is the perfect way to keep your air free of harmful pollutants, while enjoying the added moisture provided by an indoor humidifier.

Air Care O2’s proprietary technology converts water molecules already present in the air to hydrogen peroxide, which neutralizes airborne contaminants. In FDA-cleared lab tests, the Air Care 02 has been proven to eliminate viruses, bacteria and mold by up to 99.999%.

If you’d like to learn more about a highly effective hydrogen peroxide purifier that can help mitigate potential air contaminants from your humidifier, get in touch with us! We’d love to help you find the right balance between moist air and clean air, and guide you to the right device to keep you and your loved ones safe.