You will be hard-pressed to find a home or office that doesn’t have an air purifier in it these days. These devices are critical to improving the quality of your air. But some people feel like their air purifier is drying the air they are breathing.
Is this possible? No, air purifiers don’t make the air in your home dry. An air purifier doesn’t remove moisture as dehumidifiers do. They improve the air by removing allergens and pollutants like pollen, dander, and dust. So, let’s have a look at what air purifiers do to the air in your home and see why your air may be feeling dry.
How Does an Air Purifier Work?
When choosing an air purifier, you typically want to improve your indoor air quality. You can remove pollutants and allergens with a purifier, including pollen, dander, dust, and spores. However, it won’t remove moisture from or add moisture to the air.
Air passes through the purifier’s filter, capturing the particles and chemical gasses present in the air. After this process, pure and clean air is pushed out the other side into your home. Good air purifiers with a HEPA filter or a carbon filter are the most efficient at removing pollutants.
An air purifier doesn’t have a mechanism to draw in or add moisture into the air. So, if you want to add or remove humidity to your home, you need a humidifier or dehumidifier.
Why Does Air Feel Dry With an Air Purifier?
You may find that the air in your home is definitely dry. And if it isn’t the purifier, you need to consider what it could be.
As we mentioned, air purifiers draw in and push out air, which means it blows air just like AC units and ceiling fans do. So, while the purifier doesn’t remove moisture, it can cause the air to feel dry due to this air movement. The same air volume is circulated repeatedly, removing the pollutants with each cycle.
So you need to look at what other factors are present that could be making the air feel dry so you can address the problem. At the end of the day, dry air isn’t ideal for your lungs. It can cause coughing, shortness of breath, skin issues, and wheezing. Dry air can worsen the symptoms if you have the flu or a cold.
The main two reasons that could be causing dry air when your purifier is on include the following.
Air Circulating Too Fast
Warm air has more capacity to hold moisture, which is why hot air usually seems more humid. Although a purifier won’t cool the air, it can concentrate cold air in certain areas. This means the air can feel cold and dry on your skin.
To reduce this effect, place the purifier fan on a lower speed setting or place it further away from where you sit or work so it doesn’t blow directly on you.
Circulating Cold Air
Winter weather is colder and drier, and if you place your purifier in a position that has a draft, it may be drawing in cold air and pushing that around your home. The dry air is not being created by the purifier but instead just pushing it around.
Adding Humidity to the Air
Having 30% – 60% humidity levels in your home is typically considered good quality. But these are not always the levels you will maintain in your home and can also be hard to achieve. There are other methods to improve your humidity levels. Below are some great techniques.
Pair With a Humidifier
If you are really bothered by the dry air, pair your purifier with a humidifier. Fill it with water (and essential oils if you prefer) and turn it on after the purifier. This will release moisture to combat the feeling of dry air.
Check your humidity levels if your skin, nose, and mouth feel itchy and dry. Using a humidifier is a great solution, especially in the winter months. Just recheck the levels in the warmer months to avoid creating mold.
Seal Your Home
In winter, the cold outside air can make your home even drier. If this air is seeping through gaps and cracks, it can make your air feel dry. Seal your home by checking your windows, frames, and doors for air leaks.
If your skin and mouth are constantly dry, you may actually be dehydrated, so start drinking more water and avoid eating salty food. Apply moisturizer to your face and body every morning and night, in order to make you feel less dry.
Slow the Fan
Air purifiers pull the air into the device at a very high speed. But the air leaves the purifier at a slower speed because of the filtration process. This means the air moves around your home quickly, which can feel dry.
Slowing your purifier fan allows the air to circulate more slowly, which means the air will cool less and won’t feel as dry.
It is almost impossible for air purifiers to remove the moisture from the air. Unlike dehumidifiers or humidifiers, it doesn’t have a water collection tank in the circulation process. But, it can make the air feel a bit dry.
The plus side is that you can combat this dry air effect by placing a humidifier in the room, slowing the purifier’s fan speed, and checking if there are air leaks in your house in winter.