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Do Air Purifiers Dry Out The Air?

Here's a post that will satisfy your curiosity. As more and more families have an air cleaner at home, we will answer one of the age-old questions: Do air purifiers dry out the air? Bear with us as we explain what causes air to dry, the symptoms/ side effects, and what you can do about it.
Short answer
It does not.

 

Do Air Purifiers Make The Air Dry?

An air purifier will not dry out the air or reduce the indoor humidity level because it lacks a reservoir and heating coil mechanism to draw moisture from the air like a dehumidifier. Air purifiers’ primary function is to improve indoor air quality by capturing airborne pollutants like dust, mites, mold, pet dander, pollen, bacteria, and germs. If the air purifier comes with an activated carbon filter, it will remove smoke and odors, such as formaldehyde, VOCs, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone. Note that some water vapor will be absorbed alongside gaseous pollutants, but the outcome will have little effect on the room’s dampness.

To solidify our point, we have conducted numerous tests with different brands and sizes of air cleaners running in a closed room. The humidity readers show no significant changes to the room humidity regardless of the air purifiers’ fan speed and operational hours.

Do Air Purifiers Dry Out The Air

What Is Dry Air? What Causes It?

Dry air is a natural byproduct caused by cold weather. As temperature drops and the air gets colder, it loses the capacity to retain moisture. Dry air can aggravate dry cough, dry throat, chapped lips, nose bleed, skin rash, asthma, and eye irritation. It can also worsen respiratory illnesses like COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, and sinusitis.

Poor ventilation and insulation in a home are the main reason why dry air is ubiquitous during winter. The reliance on the home’s heating system for heat further accelerates the indoor air from becoming dry and causes a drop in the humidity level down 15% or less.

Why Does The Air Feels Dry With An Air Purifier?

The air feels drier with an active air purifier is because of the strong air circulation known as “wind-chill,” where cool air blows directly onto the body leading to evaporation. You will feel hot, sticky, and uncomfortable as the body disperses heat through sweat. The dryness feeling is momentary and has nothing to do with the air purifier removing moisture from the air.

To reduce the dryness feeling, here’s what you can do:

  • Let the air purifier run 24×7 and lower the fan speed. It is safe to do so even if you’re not at home. Be sure to pick the right size air purifier with sufficient airflow to cover your room.
  • Readjust an air purifier outlet position so it does not blow air directly onto your body. Alternatively, opt for a model with bottom-to-top air purification rather than a back-to-front setup.
How To Deal With Dry Indoor Air

How To Get Rid Of Dry Air

As Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, living in a dry air environment can lead to many health issues. Having well-moisturized air with an air purifier is beneficial to your health, as such:

  • Live healthier and breathe better without nasal congestion.
  • Sleep better with less snoring.
  • Better skin conditions. It also contains eczema and psoriasis from flaring up.
  • Cultivate healthy indoor plants.
  • Protect wooden furniture from dry rot.

To create a more breathable and comfortable home, here are a few improvements that can help 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 in a home. EPA recommends maintaining room humidity levels between 30%-50%. It is best used during the wintertime when air is typically at its driest. Only use distilled water to prevent mold and bacteria growth in the water tank.
  • Reduce the dependency on an air conditioner and fan - Both appliances are known to reduce moisture in a room. You can place a humidifier to balance the lost water vapor in the same room. To get the best of both worlds, look for air purifier humidifier combo models to clean the air while simultaneously releasing water vapor. You can quickly identify the types of air purifiers by checking if a water reservoir is included.
  • Improve room ventilation - By opening doors or windows, particularly during the summer. Doing so prevents the indoor air from being stale and dry.
  • Seal your home - Especially during the winter season to prevent cold air from entering and warm air from escaping. Keep room temperature between 68 °F-77 °F. While you are at it, improve your home insulation and fix any leakage in attics, windows, and doors so you will be less reliant on the thermostat.
  • Shorten shower time - A hot steamy shower might feel great on a cold day, but the excess heat will dry out the air quicker. Instead, opt for a cold shower that is good for your skin and increases moisture by leaving the bathroom door open.
  • Hang your clothes to dry indoors - Do it 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 - Over time, the water evaporates and humidifies the room. Do note that it is nowhere near as effective as a humidifier. You also increase the chance of water spillage, especially for those with children or pets at home.
  • Get indoor houseplants - The process of transpiration will evaporate water vapor from flowers, leaves, and stems. Again, not as effective as a humidifier.
  • Keep yourself hydrated - By drinking plenty of water throughout the day. It will lubricate your nasal passageway and remove excess mucus.
  • Keep your skin moisturized - Use moisturizer lotion daily to prevent flaky skin. Apply lip balm or petroleum jelly on chapped lips.

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.
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