Do Air Purifiers Dry Out The Air?

Today, we will be answering one of the age-old questions, do air purifiers make the air dry by taking moisture out? As more and more families have an air cleaner at home, many people started to question is the purifying machine the culprit to the uncomfortable breathing space especially during the winter season. While the clear answer is no, bear with us as we explain why an air purifier does not contribute to dry air, what is actually causing it, and what can you do about it.
Short answer
An air purifier does not dry out the air.


Do Air Purifiers Make The Air Dry?

An air purifier will not cause air to dry out because it does not add or remove moisture from the air. It is a simple device that circulates clean air by removing airborne pollutants like dust, mites, mold, pet dander, germ, pollen, smoke, and odor via a HEPA filter and carbon filter. A HEPA air purifier does not have the heating coil mechanism and reservoir built-in hence the room dampness level will remain the same. Breathing in dry air can aggravate dry cough, dry throat, chapped lips, nose bleed, skin rash, asthma, eye irritation, and worsen respiratory illnesses like COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, sinusitis. To make improvements in dry air condition, you will need a humidifier instead that adds moisture to the air.

To get the best of both worlds in dealing with dry air, an air purifier humidifier combo will clean the air while releasing water vapor simultaneously. You can easily identify the types of air purifiers by checking if there is a water reservoir included in the design.

You can learn more about air purifier, humidifier, and dehumidifier here.

Why Does The Air Feel Dry With An Air Purifier?

Similar to a fan, you will feel dryness in the air when a running air purifier circulates dry air in the room. Warm, dry air will make you feel hot, sticky, and uncomfortable because the body needs to disperse the heat through sweat evaporation. The body cannot cool down when the room temperature is close to your body temperature. You can reduce the dryness in the air by reducing the air purifier speed, improve room ventilation, or with a humidifier.

What Causes Dry Air?

Dry air is a natural byproduct caused by cold weather. As temperature drop and the air gets colder, it loses the capacity to retain moisture. Another reason why dry air is very common during the wintertime is poor ventilation where most people will seal their homes to prevent cold air from getting in. The reliance on the home's heating system for heat further accelerates the indoor air from becoming dry. The low dew point cold air will be heated inside and drive the humidity level down to 15% or less. An Air purifier is only there to keep the indoor air clean and fresh, it does not affect the air dampness level.

A dehumidifier that drains moisture from the air will also cause air to dry out if is used incorrectly. Never use a dehumidifier if the relative humidity falls below 30%.

How To Deal With Dry Indoor Air

An air purifier is beneficial to your health as it removes harmful particles from the air. However, it will not improve a dry air environment that can exacerbate many respiratory issues, especially to an asthmatic person. To create a more breathable and comfortable home, here are few improvements you can make to deal with dry indoor air.

  • Use a humidifier - The quickest and easiest way to add moisture to the air. A humidifier can counter dry air by increasing the humidity level in a home. Remember to only use distilled water to prevent mold and bacteria growth in the water tank. Best used in the wintertime when air is typically at its driest.
  • Air purifier placement - Avoid placing an air purifier close to you and blows directly onto your body. Place it further from the source or re-adjust the air purifier direction.
  • Improve room ventilation and circulation - By opening doors and windows especially during the summer to prevent the air from being stale and dry.
  • Seal your home - Especially during the winter season to prevent cold, dry air from coming in, and warm air from going out. Improve your home insulation and fix any leakage in attics, windows, and doors so you will not have to rely on the thermostat to turn up the heat.
  • Reduce the dependence on air conditioner - It can dry out the air in exchange for cool air. If you have to use an air conditioner, place a humidifier in the same room to balance the humidity level.
  • The right size air purifier - For a smaller room size, pick a smaller air purifier instead of a larger one where the airflow output can be overwhelming.
  • Shorten your shower time - A hot steamy shower might feel great on a cold day, but the excess heat will dry out the air quicker. Instead, shower with cold water that is good for your skin and moisture the air by leaving the bathroom door.
  • Hang your clothes to dry - On a drying, garment, or hanging rack instead of relying on a dryer that uses a lot of energy. The excess moisture will evaporate and add dampness to your home.
  • The classic bowl of water - By leaving a big bowl full of water out, the water will evaporate and humidify the room. Do note that it is not as effective as a humidifier and at risk of water spillage especially if you have children or pets at home.
  • Get indoor houseplants - Through the process of transpiration that evaporates water vapor from flowers, leaves, and, stems. You will need a lot of house plants to make any difference with dry air though.

Final Thoughts

An air purifier has nothing to do with dry air. As Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, Living in a dry air environment can lead to many health issues and needs to be rectified. EPA recommends keeping humidity levels between 30% and 50%. With the ideal humidity level, you will have healthier hair, sleep better with less snoring, relieve from nasal congestion, improve skin conditions e.g. eczema and psoriasis. Your plants will also grow healthier and your wooden furniture will be protected from dry rot. So keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. It will lubricate your nasal passageway and remove excess mucus. Apply moisturizer or lotion on your skin to keep it from drying out. For those with chapped lips, apply lip balm or petroleum jelly when needed.

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.