Mother with her daughter and dog on the couch - Do I Need an Air Purifier or Humidifier?

Consider this: you inhale more than 14,000 litres of air a day. By comparison, most people only drink about two litres of water daily. You wouldn’t drink dirty water because it would make you sick. So you shouldn’t “drink in” dry and dirty air in your home for the same reason.

It’s important your indoor air is of good quality, especially during the winter when you spend more time at home. If not, your health may suffer.

If you are worried about your air quality or want to have a professional cover everything you need to know about air purifiers and humidifiers, give Husky Heating and Air Conditioning a call. We will happily explain the different air purifiers and humidifiers available, inspect your current heating systems and suggest the right solution for you. Let’s get you cleaner air!

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The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says you can experience health effects from stuffy air not long after exposure. How soon you will suffer the effects, however, varies from person to person. Still, you can experience symptoms such as:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation.
  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.
  • Lethargy.
  • The winter blues.

You may also experience symptoms of diseases such as asthma. If you already have asthma, it can worsen.

That’s not all. Bad indoor air can also lead to:

  • Allergies.
  • Continuous cold symptoms or sore throats.
  • Dry skin, hair and eyes.
  • Frequent nose bleeds.

The good news is that these symptoms can go away quickly and are treatable. Sometimes, all you need to do is get rid of the irritant, if you can figure out what it is.

In the great air purifier vs humidifier debate, there is a lot to consider. To get rid of air irritants, you should consider buying a whole-home air filtration and purification system. You will spend less time worrying about what’s in your air and your symptoms may improve. This product will give you peace of mind, and help keep you feeling healthy.

What Are the Benefits of an Air Purifier?

There are many benefits to air purifiers. (The term “air purifier” is often used interchangeably with “air cleaner” or “air filter” an air purifier is not always a “HEPA filter” which is a much higher standard filter.) For one, it gets rid of pet dander. They also remove the odours and germs that outdoor cats and dogs may bring into the house.

Air purifiers additionally get rid of pollen, mould spores and dust mites that are known to cause allergies. Flu viruses and bacteria can also be removed by air purifiers, meaning you won’t have those cough and cold symptoms to deal with as often. Essentially, it is meant to improve indoor air quality.

How Do I Know If I Need an Air Purifier?

There are a few telltale signs that may show you that you need an air purifier:

  • Your allergies are acting up. Seasonal as well as pet dander and other airborne allergens.
  • Your home reeks of varnish and disinfectants. These products contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) or toxic particles. (Only some air purifiers can remove VOCs, so be sure to shop around and do research.)
  • Your home has stuffy or stale air.
  • You have a dust mite allergy or suspect a dust mite problem. Dust mites bring other issues with them.
  • You have a serious chest condition, such as emphysema or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). For this, you’ll need to make sure the air purifier can filter dust, tobacco smoke and pollen. Check for a purifier that will filter out these particles.
  • Your family members are often sick, and your doctor doesn’t have an explanation.
  • You snore. Allergens can cause your respiratory system to be congested, leading to snoring.

An air purifier or air cleaner can help with a lot of problems. Note that there are different types of products, however, so you need to find one that suits your needs for getting rid of polluted air. We’ll talk about that later on.

Do I Need a Humidifier?

Humidifiers (as well as dehumidifiers) offer great advantages for keeping your house free of pollutants. This is especially true in the wintertime when your house can be full of dry air. Stale and dry air means there’ll be more toxins and pollution in the air you breathe. Simply raising your indoor humidity to 45 percent can help improve the winter humidity in your home. It will help make the air you breathe much, much cleaner.

You can add a humidifier to address the following symptoms you may suffer from:

  • Excessive sinus congestion.
  • Constant colds, sore throats, allergy flare-ups and asthma attacks (when our nasal passages are better lubricated, we’re less vulnerable to these conditions).
  • Frequent nosebleeds.
  • Excessive snoring at night.
  • Dry winter skin, hair, and eyes.

Humidifiers add moisture to your air, but there are different types that can do the job.

Evaporative humidifiers are ideal if you have children and pets because it doesn’t generate heat, just a cool mist or water vapour without changing the temperature.

A cool-mist humidifier adds moisture as air passes through and filters the airborne pollutants and dust particles, It is sent out into the dry air to adjust the relative humidity of the same room without adjusting the temperature.

A warm mist humidifier is very similar, but it works by heating up the water inside, sending out hot steam and adding moisture to the home’s air.

Husky Heating and Air Conditioning offer humidifiers from Lennox, Carrier, and GeneralAire that work with your current heating system to improve the humidity level in your home. Call us if you want to learn more about what humidifier might work best for your needs.

What Other Products Can Help My Winter Indoor Air Quality?

Many people don’t know what a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) or an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) is. However, either of them will help you retain heat in the winter while providing a steady flow of fresh air. This helps cut down on the stale air and pollutants in your home.

These systems are useful if your home was built in the 1970s or later. Newer houses are tightly packed with insulation to prevent heat from escaping, cutting down on energy costs. This also means, however, that the air in your home remains polluted. That stuffy air can’t escape, and fresher air has a harder time coming in. HRV and ERV systems introduce clean air without losing the heat.

Here are the differences between the two systems:

  • An HRV transfers heat from air leaving the home to incoming air. The air entering your home is then warm and dry. The two airstreams never meet, so the pollutants will leave the home.
  • An ERV not only does what an HRV does but, in the winter, it removes humidity about to leave your home. It puts it back into the incoming air. This helps your home retain humidity if your house is too dry in the winter.

Remember those symptoms we talked about at the start of this blog post? HRVs and ERVs can help alleviate them if lack of fresh air is the issue. This is why the right air purifier keeping your air clean makes all the difference!

Learn About Our HRV and ERV Systems >

Getting Your Ducts Cleaned

Another way to possibly get rid of allergy symptoms is by having your air ducts cleaned. While the EPA notes no studies have shown duct cleaning prevents health issues, allergy sufferers may notice symptom improvements.

How do you know if your ducts are in need of cleaning? The EPA recommends having your ducts cleaned if:

  • There is mould growth inside the sheet metal ducts or on other parts of your heating and cooling system. This can be hard to see, however, as mould can grow in places not readily visible. That’s why you’ll want to call Husky to offer a thorough inspection. Note that you are likely to have mould if you experienced flooding or other water damage in your home.
  • Vermin such as rodents or insects have infested your ducts.
  • The ducts have been clogged with a great deal of dust, debris and particles. If you can see them being released into your home from your supply registers, you’ll need a duct cleaning.

You may also need a duct cleaning if:

  • The airflow going into your furnace isn’t adequate and a technician concluded there were no mechanical causes.
  • You recently renovated your home.
  • Your pets shed fur, feathers and dander in large quantities.
  • You moved into a new pre-owned home and the previous owners didn’t clean the ducts within the previous three to five years. This is especially true if they had pets or smoked.
  • Your home is newly built, as there may be dust and construction debris in the ductwork left by contractors.
  • You are severely allergic to mould, pollen and other substances.

Tip: Cleaning or replacing your furnace air filter is also a great way to help minimize the dirt and debris in your air. If it becomes too clogged, your furnace with shut off. A clean air filter is one of the first things we look for when people need furnace repair in Toronto.

Whole-Home vs Freestanding Units

Consider buying a whole-home filtration and purification unit rather than standalone air purifiers and humidifiers. The whole-home product cleans your entire house, not just part of a room. You’ll remove dust and pollutants everywhere, helping you to breathe easier.

The other advantages to whole-home units are that:

  • You’ll never see them. A whole-home unit connects to your ducts and is “invisible”. This is unlike the freestanding air purifier models that you see in every room.
  • They don’t make as much noise.
  • You won’t need to change the filter, refill the tank or drain them as much.
  • They’re better at trapping smaller airborne specks and work much better overall.
  • You’ll have an easier time managing your indoor humidity levels
  • You have peace of mind knowing both a humidifier and air purifier work indoor air quality at all times.

Let Us Help You Find Your Air Quality Solution

You may have questions about which products and services may suit your needs. If you do, the experts at Husky can help. We offer a wide range of whole-home products, and can help you find a suitable one for you. We’re open seven days a week from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Call us at 1-877-429-9929 or 905-761-9485 and ask us about our air quality products and services.

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