Air Purifier vs Dehumidifier: What’s The Difference?

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If you aren’t clear on the differences in the air purifier vs dehumidifier debate, you aren’t alone. After all, they look very similar, and they have something to do with taking stuff out of the air.

But the differences are stark, and depending on your life goals, making sure you select the right one is essential. Either one can be beneficial for your health. But knowing which one to choose might be slightly trickier.

So we’ll give you the lowdown on the essential differences between the two devices. And pretty soon, you’ll know which one is going to be most suitable for you. This is all the more important, as we continue to recognise the damage that air pollution can do to us.

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Air Purifier vs Dehumidifier: What’s The Difference?

Air purifier vs dehumidifier
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Credit: Frigidaire

In broad terms, an air purifier and a dehumidifier both do a similar job: namely, they draw air in, and help to reduce the number of allergens in the space. But it’s how they do it that is the crucial difference.

An air purifier, as the name may suggest, helps to clean the air, by drawing it through a series of filters. Those filters then trap pollutants and allergens such as dust, pollen, and other particulate matter. What you are left with is much cleaner air, with reduced numbers of those particles that can cause a reaction, or impact your health.

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A dehumidifier meanwhile, also draws air in. But rather than filtering the air, it removes moisture and reduces the humidity in the air. By doing this, a dehumidifier helps to reduce the population of mould spores and other microbes that thrive in damp and humid environs.

It’s important to realise that while there is a degree of overlap, they really are quite different devices. As such, knowing which one will be right for you will depend on a few factors. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Read More:Best Air Purifier 2022: Our Top Picks For Cleaner Air

Air Purifier vs Dehumidifier: Pros and Cons

As we said earlier, both devices can help to remove allergens and other nasties from the air. But because they work in different ways, each has a particular set of strengths and weaknesses. Let’s explore these now.

Air Purifier Pros and Cons

Air purifiers are great if you live in a dusty or polluted area. They extract many of the nasty things we would probably prefer our lungs don’t have to deal with. This includes things like dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, VOCs, and mould spores. If you have an air purifier with a HEPA filter, these can remove over 99% of airborne contaminants down to as little as 0.3 microns in size. Air purifiers also help remove odours.

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An air purifier won’t, however, reduce the humidity in your room. So if you are suffering from a dampness issue, it isn’t going to help reduce the amount of moisture in the air. So while it might catch many of the spores that thrive in damp and humid environments, it doesn’t really help to deal with the underlying issue. You will also need to change the filters to ensure it remains effective.

Read More:Are Air Purifiers Worth It?

Dehumidifier Pros and Cons

Air purifier vs dehumidifier
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Credit: Blueair

In contrast, a dehumidifier is great for helping to reduce moisture levels in your home. It helps to draw moisture out of the air, and collects it in a bucket, which you can then pour away periodically. By reducing moisture levels, a dehumidifier will help to eliminate the conditions in which mould thrives. This has obvious benefits.

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By reducing moisture levels, a dehumidifier can help to remove musty and damp odours. It can inhibit mould growth, and even reduce the spread of dust mites, which are also like a humid environment. And it can reduce some of the other side-effects of high moisture levels, such as peeling wallpaper or flaking paint.

But a dehumidifier is not an air purifier. In other words, it extracts moisture from the air, but it doesn’t have any filters to trap things like pollen, dust, and other pollutants. You also need to remember to regularly empty the reservoir, as it will stop working when this gets full.

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Air Purifier vs Dehumidifier: Which One Should You Get?

As you can see, there are clear differences between the two devices. But which one should you buy?

Well, an air purifier might be best for you if any of the following apply:

  • You suffer from allergies, or health conditions such as asthma, which are triggered by pollutants in the air.
  • If you want to remove smells from your room, for example, those caused by pet smells, smoke, or mould.
  • Maybe you want to remove allergens and dust from the air you are breathing, or VOCs if you’ve recently repainted.
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A dehumidifier may be your preferred option if any of the following apply:

  • You have an issue with high humidity levels (a dehumidifier works best when humidity is above 50%) and want or need to reduce this.
  • If there is mould present, and you need to reduce its growth and spread.
  • If you have a health condition that is exacerbated by high humidity levels.
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When it comes to deciding which one to go for, there are a wide variety of factors which will mean the answer won’t be the same for everyone. If you aren’t living with high humidity levels, or dealing with mould, then a dehumidifier, in general, may be less suitable than an air purifier.

Air purifiers will usually be more effective when dealing with pollutants, while a dehumidifier will help to reduce moisture levels in your home. In some cases, you may even decide that you need both.