Congestion is one of the most common allergic symptoms. Both humidifiers and vaporizers add moisture to the air. Breathing in moist air can reduce nasal congestion and relieve sinus irritation. However, people with allergies should be careful when using either device.
While these can be effective and safe, some evaporative humidifiers can dissipate too much water in the air. If this occurs, it can cause relative humidity levels in the room to increase too much, which can worsen congestion symptoms. Dirty tanks and filters in humidifiers can quickly generate bacteria and mold. Dirty humidifiers can cause problems especially for people with asthma and allergies.
But even in healthy people, dirty humidifiers have the potential to cause flu-like symptoms or even lung infections when contaminated mist or vapor is released into the air. Steam evaporators and vaporizers may be less likely to release airborne allergens than cool mist humidifiers. That said, the steam produced by steam vaporizers can be more hygienic, since the water is boiled before leaving the machine. Both humidifiers and vaporizers are powered by electricity, and portable humidifiers and vaporizers can be easily moved from room to room.