How to choose a humidifier-air purifier: types, selection tips + an overview of the best models

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: Oksana Chubukina
Last update: October 2019

A variety of instruments for normalizing the microclimate can lead even an experienced consumer into a dead end. Before choosing a household humidifier-air purifier, you should understand the features and evaluate the performance of various devices, as well as determine the required equipment parameters.

In advance, you need to find out the minimum necessary functionality, so as not to overpay for secondary options. Let's try to deal with these nuances in detail.

When can you do without an air purifier-humidifier?

The market of climate systems and equipment is annually replenished with new technological devices. The main goal of the units is to improve indoor air performance. Air purifiers and humidifiers that perform two radically different tasks are in constant demand.

The importance and necessity of purchasing a particular device is determined individually. For example, people with an allergic reaction to pollen or dust, the priority is the purchase of a cleaner with multi-stage filtration.

For families with young children, it is important to control the normalized humidity indicator, since a dry air environment lowers immunity and contributes to the quick “catch” of viruses by kids.

However, to achieve a healthy microclimate, one cannot neglect any parameter. In a metropolis, the air in the apartments can hardly be called clean - car exhaust, street dust and polluted fumes penetrate inside the premises.

The situation with humidity is no better - with the onset of the heating season, the percentage of moisture in the atmosphere drops to 25%, instead of 60-65% regulated by sanitary standards.

Fresh air
The humidifier is designed to optimize the level of moisture content - increase it to 40-60%, and the purifier eliminates harmful impurities, preventing the development of allergies and other diseases

First of all, polluted and overdried air has a negative effect on humans.

Likely consequences:

  • the appearance of sore throat, dizziness, weakness and fatigue;
  • the development of allergic reactions (especially in children);
  • mucosal irritation and skin overdrying;
  • the course of viral diseases in a complex form.

Dry air helps increase static electricity from a computer, TV, and other equipment. As a result, the dust is electrified and rises.

The effects of dry air
The conclusion is obvious - dry, polluted air impairs well-being. Multifunctional humidifiers-cleaners are used to rid the atmosphere of dust and moisture saturation.

Features of the device and operation of units

In order not to get lost in the variety of devices and make the right choice, one should proceed from individual needs. Some models are focused on moisturizing, and cleaning is a secondary concern.

Others, on the contrary, qualitatively filter the air and partially increase its humidity. There are universal devices that equally perform cleaning and moisturizing.

Humidifier cleaner

This category includes household cleaners with an integrated humidifier filter. In fact, the device first performs a phased cleaning of the incoming air, and then passes it through the hydraulic filter to the outside.

Humidifier cleaner
An air purifier device with the humidification option on the example of Bork A801: 1 - coarse filter, 2 - charcoal and antibacterial filter, 3 - HEPA filter, 4 - ion exchange layer, 5 - pan, 6 - water tank, 7 - humidification filter

The degree of purification is determined by the levels and types of filtration:

  1. Mechanical. Provides preliminary cleaning, trapping coarse litter and particles of wool. Primary filtering is performed by reusable fabric or plastic nets. A mechanical barrier holds particles at 5-10 microns.
  2. Carbonic. The main task is the removal of extraneous odors due to the many micropores in the absorption material. The addition of zeolite to coal increases the spectrum of activity, eliminating volatile harmful gases (freon, formaldehyde). The filter is ineffective in a humid room.
  3. Photocatalytic. Act on the principle of UV radiation, breaking down bacteria, toxins into water and carbon dioxide. Manufacturers declare the self-healing qualities of the filter - to update the properties it is enough to “fry” it in the sun. The cleaning efficiency reaches 98-99%.
  4. Electrostatic. The operation of the filter-ionizer is based on the mutual attraction of bipolar charges. Air masses passing through the ionization chamber acquire a positive charge. At the exit, they settle on plates having a negative charge. Dust removal - 85-90%.
  5. HEPA filter. Made of dense fiberglass retaining particles of 0.3 microns or more. HEPA-filtered cleaners are the best choice for allergy sufferers. The level of air purification is up to 99.8%.

Combined cleaners use the traditional wetting method - “cold evaporation”.

Air filtration
By circulating through the prism of the filters, the air is cleaned and filled with moisture. The disadvantage of this device is its limited moisture content (within 45-60%). To increase efficiency, it is recommended to place the device in areas of active air circulation (doors, windows)

Ionizer Humidifier - Anion Cleaning

To significantly improve the microclimate, a humidifier-ionizer will help. The main task of the device is high-quality humidification of the air, an additional bonus is the enrichment of negatively charged ions. The device brings apartment air parameters closer to natural indicators - it becomes easier to breathe.

Anions activate oxygen saturation of the body, absorb dust and harmful impurities.The environment gradually "heals" - the particles in the atmosphere tend to settle down, and the person breathes clean air.

Anion Saturation
The humidifier saturates the house with moisture, additionally providing an antistatic effect on the composition of the air. The ionizer, as a component of the apparatus, is responsible for the neutralization of cations

According to the principle of operation, ionizing humidifiers and air purifiers are “cold” or ultrasonic evaporation. In the first case, the polluted air stream passes through the “water bath”, is cleaned, saturated with moisture, and enriched with air ions at the outlet.

In an ultrasonic humidifier, water is supplied to a pulsating membrane. With an increase in the oscillation velocity, the liquid breaks up into tiny particles, transforming into an aerosol. Water fog is fed up to the ionizer by a fan, and then into the room.

Ultrasonic devices are more effective in terms of moisturizing and cleaning. The main advantages: maximum humidity - more than 70%, the ability to automatically adjust indicators, the destruction of some microorganisms when heating water on an ultrasonic membrane.

Humidifier-ionizer device
Variants of the device for humidifiers with ionization of air: 1 - AIC "Rainbow" with a photocatalytic barrier, a UV lamp, 2 - Fanline Aqua with an electrostatic precipitator that provides ozonation and ionization

A common disadvantage of humidifier-ionizers is settling on the floor, furniture and surfaces of dust objects. When buying equipment, you need to be prepared for frequent wet cleaning. However, it is better to wipe the dust regularly than to inhale it.

And about what points you should pay attention to when choosing an ultrasonic humidifier, read Further.

Air Wash - Effective Hydrofiltration

Air washing is a kind of hybrid of a cleaning unit and a traditional humidifier.

Compared with the latter, the “air washers” win in two ways:

  • increased productivity;
  • the ability to clean air masses.

Disadvantages of the equipment: relatively noisy work and high cost.

Sinks are attractive at the same time performing two tasks: cleaning and humidifying the air. However, do not assume that the unit fully replace the allergy cleaner.

The sink is not able to hold the smallest allergens - particles less than 1-2.5 microns pass through the water barrier in transit and return to the room. Particles of wool, coarse construction and household dust, fluff, etc. can be hydrofiltered.

Air wash
The main working units of the air washing: water pan, drum with moisturizing disks, paddle fan, air supply and exhaust ducts

The principle of the "washing":

  1. The tank is filled with water to the indicated mark - the disks should be immersed in water 2/3.
  2. The fan starts up and draws in contaminated air through the upper duct.
  3. Streams rush to the drum, and are moistened by rotating elements.
  4. Dirt particles become heavier, stick to the shaft and rinse off into the sump.
  5. Purified, moistened air masses are blown out.

In some models, the air is not treated with a disk drum, but passes through a water screen. A perforated plastic cone is installed in the center of the pallet; when rotating, many water jets pass through it to clean the air currents.

In order to improve the quality of cleaning, manufacturers supplement the “sinks” with filters.

Cleaning the airwash
The level of cleaning the atmosphere depends on timely care. The washing must be washed regularly, and change the water in the tank every day

Ultrasonic Cleaning Devices

Ultrasonic devices simultaneously clean and moisten the air flow passing through them. They are equipped with high-frequency generators, which turn the water inside inside into cold steam. In a vaporous state, water settles on a membrane atomizer with micromillimeter holes.

The processed air mass is pumped by a fan onto a membrane atomizer moistened with cold steam.Passing through this type of filter, the air partes with impurities and is saturated with moisture useful for breathing. The most popular ultrasonic models are supplemented by hygrometers that control the level of moisture depending on the state of the atmosphere in the room.

The following gallery will introduce popular models of ultrasonic air cleaners:

Climatic complexes - balance of functionality

The air conditioner combines an almost complete range of functions to maintain an optimal microclimate.

The equipment solves the following tasks:

  1. Cleaning up. Most models have multi-stage airflow filtering, including rough cleaning, allergen removal and antibacterial treatment.
  2. Getting rid of odors. An advanced filter system with biophotocatalysts better cope with undesirable aromas than an absorbent carbon barrier in conventional air purifiers.
  3. Moisturizing. Complexes provide high-quality hydration. High-tech modifications are equipped with an intelligent relative humidity control system for operating the unit in stand-alone mode without the participation of the owner.
  4. Ventilation. Often the ventilation function of the room is integrated in the climate control system - the device creates an air flow.

In addition to the basic options, manufacturers supplement the equipment with secondary functionality: ionization, aromatization, air drying, etc. Some air conditioners are able to partially fulfill the tasks of a split system - cooling / heating the room.

Climatic complex
In climate complexes, there are many sensors that detect smoke, respond to odors, dust and the content of harmful bacteria in the atmosphere. Thanks to the “filling”, the maintenance of the multifunction device is facilitated

The high cost of the device and the high cost of replaceable filter cartridges are the main arguments for not using the air conditioner. If the purchase budget allows, then the climate complex is the best choice. There are no restrictions in use - the equipment is the same approach for allergy sufferers, people with a weak respiratory system and small children.

What to consider when choosing?

Efficiency and usability of the air purifier-humidifier depend on the initial characteristics and the compliance of the device with the operating conditions.

The choice of model should be based on the following parameters:

  • performance;
  • noise impact;
  • Energy consumption;
  • number of operating modes;
  • quality of a filtration / moistening;
  • maintenance costs;
  • additional options;
  • dimensions.

Performance. Each unit is designed to service a certain meter. Room area is the main parameter for choosing an air purifier and a humidifier, regardless of the type of model.

Purifier Performance
Most household appliances are of the zonal type. The equipment is designed for room service 15-50 sq.m. high-performance models are able to "cover" the premises up to 100 sq.m

Nuances of choice:

  • it is necessary to determine in advance the installation room of the unit - it is advisable to make a reserve of 5 sq.m in area;
  • when buying one device for several rooms, the area of ​​a larger room is taken into account.

Important feature - cleaning speed. The quality of the air purifier depends on the correspondence of power to the volume of the room. The air exchange rate ranges from 80-450 cubic meters / hour.

Air exchange rate
To calculate the appropriate performance, the area of ​​the room must be tripled. The value obtained is the recommended air exchange per hour. Do not assume that a device with an indicator of 100 cubic meters per hour will effectively serve a room of 70 squares

Noise impact. For round-the-clock use, it is necessary to choose a slow-moving model with a noise figure of up to 35 dB. In a nursery or bedroom, it is better to put a low-noise unit - within 20 dB.

Sound power is determined by the fan power and design features. Disk "air washers" are less noisy in comparison with the conical type of hydrofiltration. Within normal limits, noise exposure in cleaners with “cold” or ultrasonic humidification.

Energy consumption. This indicator plays an important role when using the climatic device round the clock. It is understood that the power consumption of high-performance devices will be appropriate. Therefore, chasing a heavy-duty device does not make sense - everything should be in moderation.

Operating modes. Several cleaning / humidification speeds will allow you to choose the most suitable mode and optimize energy consumption.

Silent operation
Demanded modes: night - almost silent operation at low power, intensive - fast recovery of the microclimate with maximum air exchange, normal - maintaining specified parameters

Filtration / humidification quality. The degree of purification depends on the filtration system used, and humidification on the type of device. Qualitative characteristics of the devices were considered above.

For clarity, information can be systematized:

  • humidifier cleaner - high cleaning rate with moderate saturation with moisture (on average - up to 50%);
  • humidifier ionizer - providing humidity up to 70%, single-stage cleaning with ionization (for allergy sufferers the device is ineffective);
  • air wash - high-quality moisturizing and cleaning from "coarse" pollution, against allergens is powerless;
  • air conditioner - high level of cleaning / humidification.

Maintenance costs. It is necessary to take into account the demanding care of equipment and the regularity of filter changes in advance. In terms of price, air washers and humidifiers-ionizers are less expensive to maintain.

Replaceable filters
The operation of climate systems and purifiers with multi-stage filtration will cost more. Recommended filter change frequency: rough cleaning - annually, antibacterial “barriers” - after six months, carbon layer and HEPA filter - once a year

Minor Functionality. Manufacturers are trying to highlight their product by integrating various “utilities”.

Additional practical options:

  • hygrostat - the humidity sensor turns the device on when the air is dry and turns it off - if there is sufficient moisture saturation;
  • flavoring - compartment for placement of aroma capsules will fill the house with your favorite aroma;
  • timer - programming the duration of work;
  • backlight - if necessary, can replace a full night light.

Dimensions. The dimensions of the humidifier-cleaner are important if the device is purchased for servicing different rooms. Carrying a bulky unit will be problematic. A possible solution is the presence of wheels.

Overview of brands and popular models

Products of the following brands can boast of high quality and durability: Venta (Germany), Boneco (Switzerland), Sharp (Japan), Panasonic (Japan), Bork (Germany), Electrolux (Sweden). Among domestic brands, Fanline has gained a reputation as a reliable manufacturer.

Range of Venta air washers

"Sinks" Venta are used in everyday life and in production. For the home, the manufacturer offers three modifications: LW15, LW25 and LW45. Each of the devices is designed for a specific area of ​​humidification / cleaning.

Distinctive features:

  • the use of aromatic additives;
  • the ability to connect a hygrostat;
  • when there is a shortage of water, work stops;
  • lack of replaceable cartridges;
  • when using the Venta-Absorber hygiene product, water replacement is allowed twice a month.

Estimated price LW15 - 250-300 cu, LW45 - 550 cu

Venta air washer
General characteristics: type of hydrofiltration - plate drum, the presence of indicators of work and topping up water. LW15 works in 2 modes, LW25 and LW45 - in 3 modes. Warranty - 10 years

Boneco - air ionization sink

The Swedish company has developed an air washer with an ionizing rod. Model W2055D in addition to rough cleaning performs antibacterial protection and aromatization of the liquid. Along with an impressive service area, the Boneco washer saves energy.

Boneco W2055D
Additional parameters: noise - 25 dB, two operating modes, LCD display for tracking and setting the humidity level. Air ionization provided

The W2055D is equipped with a cleaning indicator, and its maintenance does not require the purchase of replaceable filters. An additional plus is the competitive cost in the range of 230-260 USD

Cons of the model: relatively large dimensions (36 * 36 cm, 5.9 kg) and lack of cleaning for allergy sufferers.

Sharp COP - a symbiosis of cleansing and moisturizing

The KS series humidifier cleaners-humidifiers (840E, 850E, 860E) are full-featured air conditioners with high-quality filtration. Devices work on Plasmacluster ionization technology.

Strengths of Sharp KC:

  • three-speed fan;
  • filtration system includes: rough cleaning, antibacterial HEPA filter, absorbent deodorizing barrier;
  • the presence of odor, dust, humidity and temperature sensors;
  • energy-saving inverter control;
  • the “pollen control”, “ion rain” modes are provided.

The air conditioners have two fans, the air flow is discharged at an angle of 20 °.

Sharp Humidifier Cleaner
Recommended area: 840Е - 26 sq.m, 850Е - 38 sq.m, 860Е - 48 sq.m. The accuracy of the digital humidity display is up to 1%. Estimated price - 650-700 cu

Smart climate system from Panasonic

Japanese technology Panasonic F-VXH50 - the embodiment of innovative solutions in the fight for clean air. The treatment complex minimizes the content of allergens, contaminants and evens out the moisture indicator.

Functionality F-VXH50:

  1. Nanoe Technology. The module generates radicals in water, due to which the efficiency of removing odors and bacteria increases. Since nanoparticles are formed from moisture contained in the atmosphere, the Nanoe-module practically does not wear out.
  2. Cleaning with a composite air filter. The device captures allergens and viruses. The degree of filtration is 99%.
  3. Econavi function. Optimization of air cleaning speed, activation of the device as necessary.
  4. Mega Catcher. 3D circulation and powerful air intake. Provides uniform intake and exhaust air flow.

The F-VXH50 eliminates odors, ensuring high-quality cleaning with air, deodorizing and moisturizing filters.

Panasonic F-VXH50
There are humidity and atmosphere sensors, a lock for children, an indicator for changing filter cartridges. Low-speed operation (18 dB) in the sleep mode

The cost of the F-VXH50 is 450-500 cu

Bork A802 - two-level filtering

The second name for the A802 humidifier is Rain. The model is characterized by a convenient bay system, simple and elegant design, combined with functionality.

Technical and operational characteristics of A802:

  • service area - 30 sq.m;
  • noise range - 6-42 dB;
  • power - 23 W;
  • the volume of the water tank is 3.2 l;
  • maximum hydration - 600 ml / h;
  • touch control panel;
  • the presence of a hygrometer, indicators of operating modes (5 speeds).

Air goes through two levels of cleaning. First, the enzyme filter removes mold spores, bacteria, and passing through water, the air stream gets rid of dust particles.

Read more about Bork cleaners. Further.

Bork A802
A802 does not eliminate odors. The drop-shaped thicket has limitations in location: the minimum distance to the wall is 30 cm, the space above the purifier is from 120 cm

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

The device, the principle of operation, efficiency and recommendations for the maintenance of Venta air washers:

Characteristics of Boneco air washers (W2055D, W2055DR series):

Features of the climate complex F-VXH50 from Panasonic:

The ability to compare one's own needs with the characteristics of a humidifier-cleaner is the main condition for an unmistakable choice of a climatic device. The final decision should be made only after evaluating all relevant parameters.

You still can not decide on the suitable type of cleaner-humidifier? Or have questions about the topic of the article? Leave your comments, ask questions - we will understand together.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Artyom

    The humidifier, of course, added an expense item for filters and electricity, but then our family began to save on the means of colds and sitting on sick leaves in a circle with one child or another. We have a regular ultrasonic humidifier-ionizer, the dust settles, yes, but regular and scrupulous wet cleaning serves the same purpose as the device itself, so it does not bother.

    • Julia

      But ordinary tap water can not be poured into this humidifier? We do not have filters on the water supply, so it is not known what flows there. Perhaps the rigidity is higher than normal, but bleach certainly is, especially in the spring. Will the humidifier cover itself with such water? There should be some filters inside the device.

      In any case, if I decide to take a humidifier, it will be without an ionizer. I read horror stories about them.

      • Vitaliy

        The best option for humidifiers is distilled water, devoid of mineral impurities. You can buy distilled water at a pharmacy or do it yourself.

        We collect water from the tap and put it in an open container to stand for at least 6 hours. Then we pour water into the kettle, wait until it boils and substitute a can or a beer glass to the nose. Condensation forms from the steam, which flows into the container in advance. The resulting distilled water is poured into a humidifier.

  2. Nataliya

    Oh, now, in fact, a huge number of their options are presented with differences in price, design, functionality, and manufacturers. So at the shelves in the stores you get lost. It was useful for me to read the information provided here.Well, the truth is, I agree with the author, first you need to decide for yourself what you want to get from the operation of this device, and half of the models will disappear by themselves.