Can You Use A Fan With A Humidifier At The Same Time?

Liz Yang

Both the fan and the humidifier are functional appliances to make us feel comfortable in different climates. We understand the essential functions of these two devices, but not everyone is sure about whether they can work together or not?

Can you use a fan with a humidifier at the same time? Yes. A fan will help a humidifier spread humidity all over the room, allowing the space to achieve an appropriate humidity level quicker. They don’t cancel each other out in most cases.

Anyway, this is a quick answer. If you want to understand why a fan and a humidifier can work together and if it is possible to affect a humidifier negatively,  you should check the information in the following paragraphs. 

Do fans affect humidifiers?

In order to decide if keeping the fan on can affect the humidifier, we need to understand how these two appliances work at first. If the effect of the humidifier is counterproductive to the effect of a fan, they shouldn’t work together. Otherwise, they can.

How does a fan work?

The mechanism of a fan is really simple. It uses a motor to turn a shaft where there is an impeller. When the impeller turns, it will create air pressure, causing airflow. 

People like to use a fan since it can make them feel cooler. However, it doesn’t lower the air temperature at all. It cools people because it evaporates the sweat on the body and increases the heat convention. 

It circulates the air around it but doesn’t bring or take away anything. It doesn’t dry out the air as some people assume. 

How does a humidifier work?

A humidifier works by adding vapor or cool mist to the air. When the air contains more water, the relative humidity will increase accordingly. 

There are different types of humidifiers, but all of them come with a water tank. It turns the water in the tank into the droplet in the air. 

It will keep working until it arrives at a certain indoor humidity level if it has a built-in humidistat. 

So, you can see the fan and the humidifier have totally different functions. One is for creating airflow, and one is for adding moisture to the air. No matter how powerful the airflow is, it can’t increase or decrease the water in the air, assuming the window and door are closed. 

So fans will not affect the performance of humidifiers in a closed room.

How Do Fans and Humidifiers Work Together?

put a fan in front of a humidifier

We already know that fans don’t cancel out the humidifiers in most cases. It will not be problematic if you use the fan and the humidifier at the same time.

So what will happen if they work together? The good news is that turning a fan on will benefit the humidifier.

While a humidifier can produce cool mist or steam and release it into the air, it is not responsible for distributing the humid air to every corner of the room. Along with the dust, most mists will land on the furniture and other surfaces nearby. 

It will increase the overall humidity of the room eventually, but it takes a long time. There would be a concentrated area of humid air, making you feel uncomfortable somewhat.

The fan can boost the distribution of humid air regardless of which type of fan you are using. When the impeller turns, it will send the moist air around the humidifier to other places in the room. 

That being said, using a fan with a humidifier can make the humid level in the room become even very quick. 

Instead of adding more humidifiers in the room, you can improve the humid level in a short time by turning a fan on.

Can a fan cancel out a humidifier in some circumstances?

In one case, a fan is possible to cancel out a humidifier.

When the window is open, and the climate is dry, the dry air gets in from outside. In this case, the fan will mix the dry air with the humid air and then distribute it all over the room. So the humid level decreases with the dry air, and the fan increases this process’s speed.

Using the window fan is the same story as it will also pull the dry air into the room.

What type and size of fans are the best for use with a humidifier at the same time?

type of fan for a humidifier

The large blades of fans could create more air pressure and circulate the air more effectively. Therefore, a larger fan would be a better choice. 

A ceiling fan is the best when it comes to working with a humidifier. It has a set of large blades and is located just in the center of the room. Hence, it could be very effective in distributing humid air. The overall humid level will increase very soon.   A table fan is small, but it is helpful as well. To make the most out of it, you’d better place it near the humidifier. When the mist comes out of the water tank, it will disperse the humid air immediately to other areas in the room. Nowadays, some table fans are very powerful, creating strong airflow just like other larger units.   As I said, window fans are likely to cancel out the humidifier. So I don’t recommend you use it with a humidifier at the same time on dry days. If it is in a humid summer, using it would not be an issue.

Where to place a fan when using a humidifier together?

If you are using a ceiling fan, you can’t adjust its position. To make the humidifier more effective, you can move the humidifier close to the fan so that the humid air can distribute in every direction equally.

You can place it in front of the humidifier for those who have a portable fan. In this way, the tiny water droplets will be distributed as far as possible.

Conclusion 

Using a fan with a humidifier at the same time is totally fine. It will not cancel out the function of a humidifier. Instead, it will help to disperse the moist air to the far ends of the room, providing a more comfortable environment for you to live in. 

Don’t use them together when the windows are open on a dry day since the dry air outside will be sucked in and sent all over the room by a fan, which will lower the humidity in the end.

Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested a lot of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

Leave a Comment