Humidifier Vs Dehumidifier For Cough: Which One You Should Use?

We don’t like uncontrollable coughs, but they can happen to anyone, anywhere. Coughing is so unpleasant that we always want to find a way to get rid of it.

Many people have heard that humidity can affect the condition of a cough and attempt to try a dehumidifier or a humidifier.

So humidifier vs. dehumidifier, which one is good for a cough? Continue reading to find out what the answer is.

If you are in a hurry, both devices could be a good choice for cough, depending on how humid your room is. That is to say, you should turn on a dehumidifier when the air is moist, whereas running a humidifier when the air is dry. Maintaining an appropriate humidity level is critical for relieving or preventing a cough.

What is a cough?

A cough is not a type of disease. It is a reflex reaction designed to keep your airways clear. When your body detects any irritants in your airway, it will react and try to expel these impurities.

Therefore, any disease or condition that can produce irritants in the airway can cause a cough. Some cause a dry cough, while others cause a wet cough.

It is critical to investigate the cause of coughing before deciding whether to use a humidifier or a dehumidifier.

Common triggers of a cough

We need to breathe constantly. As a result, several airborne contaminants we inhale can trigger a cough, including dust, pet dander, mold, pollen, strong smell, and smoke. 

Some medical conditions can also cause a cough because they often cause an increase in mucous secretion, and mucus is a type of irritant that our bodies want to get rid of.

Cold, flu, Pneumonia, asthma, allergies, and whooping cough are common diseases that can cause a cough.

By investigating the effects of a dehumidifier or a humidifier on the causes of a cough, you can decide which is better.

How does a humidifier affect coughs?

humidifier for cough

A humidifier works by moistening the air. The indoor humidity will increase as more water vapor enters the air. Humidifiers are frequently used to combat dryness problems during the winter months or in arid areas.

Does a humidifier help with a cough?

When the air is dry, bacteria and pollen can spread faster, increasing the likelihood of catching a cold, flu, or having an allergic reaction.

Meanwhile, it will have an impact on the mucous membrane’s function. Mucus thickens in order to keep our sinuses or other organs moist, resulting in a cough.

Using a humidifier allows more bacteria and pollen to settle out and keeps our airways in good condition, which can help with coughing.

Does a humidifier worsen a cough?

It may seem to be contradictory, but a humidifier can worsen a cough in some cases. 

If it runs for an extended period of time, it can produce excessive moisture, promoting the growth of mold on the walls and other surfaces. Mold, as you may be aware, can cause allergies and asthma, both of which can result in a cough.

Furthermore, stagnant water in the water tank can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, which can cause respiratory infections in our bodies. The white dust caused by minerals in the water may also have an effect on our airway health.

If you want to avoid these counteractive effects, you should monitor the humidity level and fill the tank with distilled water rather than tap water.

How does a dehumidifier affect coughs?

dehumidifier for cough

Unlike a humidifier, a dehumidifier works in the opposite way. Instead of sending moisture particles into the air, it sucks them up and turns them into liquid through condensation and a rotor containing silica gel to absorb moisture.

Does a dehumidifier help with a cough?

No one likes the sticky feeling when the humid summer comes around. When the air is moist, it can make us uncomfortable and lead to other consequences. 

When the indoor humidity level goes above 60%, mold spores and dust mites will start to grow. Both are triggers of a cough, and they can result in allergy symptoms and asthma.

In this case, a dehumidifier can be an effective cough treatment because it reduces humidity and thus inhibits the growth of mold and dust mites. When there are fewer contaminants in the air, you are less likely to get a cough.

Does a dehumidifier worsen a cough?

Dehumidifiers can also aggravate or even cause a cough. If your dehumidifier does not include a humidistat, it may continue to remove moisture from the air, resulting in extremely low humidity levels.

When the air is dry, it can cause sore throats, bacterial growth, and coughs.

Furthermore, a dirty dehumidifier can spread mold spores in the air, causing coughing.

Humidifier vs. dehumidifier: which one is better for cough?

Based on the information in this post, you should be able to make an informed decision. It is difficult to provide a single definitive answer as to whether a humidifier or a dehumidifier is better for cough.

When the air is too humid, using a dehumidifier can prevent the growth of mold spores and dust mites, which can help relieve coughing.

When the air is too dry, running a humidifier can control the growth of bacteria and pollen, reducing the likelihood of getting a cough.

As a result, you should make your decision based on the humidity level. Maintaining a humidity level of 35% to 55% can keep you comfortable and free of coughs and other respiratory symptoms.

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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.

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