Most people understand the purpose of using a fan or a humidifier. But is using a fan and a humidifier in the same room a good idea?
Well… it really depends. There are a lot of things to consider.
However, people that don’t have a background in HVAC or air quality control often don’t understand the effects of using a fan at the same time as a humidifier. I personally had some misconceptions as well.
After doing a bit of research by contacting HVAC professionals and reading up on air quality control blogs, I decided to address some of the uncertainty about using these two devices in the same room.
Does having a fan on affect a humidifier? Does a fan “cancel out” a humidifier?
One common misunderstanding people have is that having a fan on inside your room will affect your humidifiers ability to do its job well. The thought is that if using a fan will dry out the air, and if a humidifier brings moisture into the air, then the two devices will simply cancel each other out. In other words, your room would be just as humid as it would be if you didn’t use the fan and the humidifier.
However, this is not quite how fans and humidifiers work. First, although it feels like it, fans don’t actually reduce humidity (without ventilation or opens windows in a room that is)1.
In a room where air can’t escape easily, fans simply blow humid air around your room and do nothing to actually take the humidity out of the room. Your room might feel more refreshing but that’s only because the air in your room is moving and not because there is now a lower amount of humidity.
That being said because running a fan in your room with your windows shut won’t necessarily make your room less humid, using a humidifier at the same time will still raise the amount of moisture in the air. The fan just won’t make a difference in terms of the humidity level.
However, if you keep your windows open, if the air is less humid outside than inside, your room will generally become less humid than if you kept your windows shut. With open windows, humid air from your room will slowly filter out of the window leaving your room a little less humid2.
Does a fan help a humidifier spread humidity?
Using a fan is an excellent way to spread the humidity around your room3. When you are using just a humidifier in your room without much air flow or circulation, the humidifier alone won’t be able to fill your room with humid air as efficiently as it would with the assistance of a fan.
Humidifiers tend to create more of a concentrated area of humid air within a room centered around the humidifier. Eventually, the generated humid air will fill the room. However it might take a good amount of time for the humid air to fill your room and even then, the humidity in your room might be a bit uneven with more concentrated levels of humidity around your humidifier.
By using a fan and humidifier in your room, you can circulate the humid air that your humidifier generates around your room more quickly than without using a humidifier. Not only that but you can create a more uniform mixture of humid air within your room as well.
Does the size and type of fan make a difference when using a humidifier at the same time?
Generally speaking, the larger the fan the better it is at circulating the air around your room. However, the position of the fan and the type of fan as well can make a big impact on how well your air is circulated.
Table fans- Although compared to other types of fans, table fans are on the small size, but they can still make a big difference when it comes to circulating humid air from your humidifier around your room. By placing your table fan close by to your humidifier, either on a table next to it or on the ground beside it, you can more effectively disperse the generated humid air around your room.
Ceiling fans- Ceiling fans are probably the best types of fans for circulating air around your room. Given the large size of these fans and their placement right in the center of your room, they can be extremely effective. That being said, if you have one, it might be worth using with your humidifier.
Window fans- Window fans can potentially work well with your humidifier. However, if the air outside is less humid then the air inside, relatively dryer air being sucked inside will lower your rooms humidity level.
So… Should I use both then?
Ultimately, whether or not you should use both a humidifier and a fan in your bedroom should really come down to how well your humidifier disperses humid air, how ventilated your bedroom is, and your personal preferences.
If for some reason, you feel as though your humidifier isn’t very powerful and doesn’t disperse humid air in your room very effectively, you may consider supplementing with a small fan to circulate that humid air more efficiently.
Alternatively, if you have a poorly ventilated bedroom, and you want to run your humidifier, you may also want to run a fan as well. If your room is poorly ventilated, keep your bedroom door open and have a fan running next to it. The open door will allow air from outside to move into your room and the running fan will help to circulate that air around your room.
It is important to keep good airflow in the room that you are sleeping in. Sleeping in a poorly ventilated room can even increase the amount of CO2 in your room throughout the night which can potentially be harmful to your health4.
Putting the benefits of good air circulation aside, sleeping with a fan on is nice for people that enjoy a gentle breeze. Some people even swear that they can’t fall asleep without one.
Regardless, using both a humidifier and fan in your bedroom doesn’t have much of a downside so if you are inclined to use both, don’t hesitate to try it.
- “How airflow affects condensation control efforts.” bigassfans.com, https://www.bigassfans.com/article/how-airflow-affects-condensation-control-efforts/
- “Should I keep the windows open when running a cool-mist humidifier.” hunker.com, https://www.hunker.com/13408854/should-i-keep-the-windows-open-when-running-a-cool-mist-humidifier
- hugheshvacservice.com, http://www.hugheshvacservice.com/
- “How Bedroom CO2 Levels Impact Restful Sleep.” zehnderamerica.com, https://zehnderamerica.com/how-bedroom-co2-levels-impact-restful-sleep/