If your bedroom or living room air quality is poor, it can lead to many adverse health issues. To keep the indoor air quality healthy many devices are available. The two most popular ones are air purifiers and dehumidifiers. For an average consumer, it becomes difficult to decide between the two. That’s because most people are unaware of the difference between an Air Purifier and Dehumidifier. It is crucial to pinpoint the issue in your indoor environment before purchasing any of these units. This article will provide Air Purifier VS Dehumidifier comparative analysis. We hope that by the end of this write up you will be able to make the right decision for your home.
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Air Purifier VS. Dehumidifier: The Things You Should Know
Here are some key information about Air Purifier and Dehumidifier.
What is a Dehumidifier, and How does it Work?
As the name suggests, a dehumidifier sucks the moisture out of the air in your room and blows out dry air. It collects the moisture in a tank, which the user has to frequently clean. There are two ways a dehumidifier generally functions:
First- The first method is called refrigeration. The dehumidifier cools the air, removes excess moisture, warms it back, and releases it into the room.
Second- The second method is called absorption/adsorption. In this method, the dehumidifier absorbs moisture into a material, which is later taken out for cleaning the accumulated moisture.
What is a Dehumidifier Used for?
If your bedroom, living room, basement, or any indoor space has dampness or mold. Or, you notice condensation on the windows. These are telltale signs of excess humidity in the home. In this case, a dehumidifier is used to dry out the air to keep the air moisture levels low. This reduces the risk of mold.
A dehumidifier is ideal for those who regularly dry their clothes indoors. Or people living in tropical climate regions, and if the indoor environment smells musty.
What is an Air Purifier, and How does it Work?
Air purifiers keep the indoor air purified or pollutant-free. These devices trap all kinds of particles present in the air regardless of their size to purify the air. Those having a HEPS filter can extract up to 99.97%/0.3 microns of airborne pollutants.
The device has multiple layers of filters to extract the pollutants and push back clean air into the room. However, to keep air purifiers functioning at their best, you must change their filters every three months. If your air purifier ionizes pollutants, do ensure it doesn’t produce ozone because it may irritate the lungs.
What is an Air Purifier Used for?
The primary purpose of using air purifiers is to reduce the effect of airborne irritants and pollutants. Particles of smoke, pollen, dust, and pet dander can affect your health, especially your lungs. These pollutants can irritate those who already have asthma or allergies.
Air purifiers are must-have units for pet owners, asthma or allergy sufferers, and homes with curtains and carpets because these can trap allergens, pollen, and dust.
Air Purifiers Vs. Dehumidifiers – The Health Benefits
Air purifiers and dehumidifiers can both minimize allergens in your home. Those suffering from allergies or asthma will benefit the most from both units. However, given the various functions these perform, their health benefits also differ considerably.
While a dehumidifier draws moisture from the air, the air purifier traps harmful pollutants such as bacteria, dust, pollen, dander, and mold spores. As I mentioned a bit earlier, mold can be hazardous to your health.
Air Purifiers and Asthma:
Breathing in mold spores can have both short-term and long-term health consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, people with mold sensitivity can experience increased asthma symptoms, skin irritation, and upper respiratory symptoms. It may also cause eye allergies, sneezing, coughing, and nasal irritation.
An air purifier can trap mold spores before they spread. These units have high-quality air filters that trap mold spores and all kinds of contaminants. Unless you don’t replace the filter frequently, these units will keep purifying the air. Therefore, for people with asthma, an air purifier would be a wise and safe investment.
Dehumidifiers and Asthma
No matter where you live, from hot to cold places, dampness and humidity will be present in the climate. Their rates may vary, but their presence is mandatory. Breathing in excessively humid air can trigger respiratory distress and exacerbate asthma. A dehumidifier can help reduce the air humidity levels in an overly humid environment.
Moreover, dehumidifiers can reduce mold, mildew buildup, and dust mites. If your home already has mold, a dehumidifier cannot remove it. But, it can prevent its spread or additional growth. Extra moisture in the air makes it heavy and creates breathing difficulties. Such an environment is hazardous for people who have asthma. Hence, a dehumidifier can help to make it easier for the lungs to breathe in and out. Cooler and drier air will remove mugginess and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Which Device Should You Choose if you have Asthma?
Although asthma can be treated only with doctor-prescribed treatment, people living with asthma may find an air purifier in their bedroom beneficial. It alleviates symptoms associated with a dry nose or throat. Also, it removes asthma triggering agents like pollen or dander from the air. Air purifier is most effective in reducing asthma symptoms and incidences of attacks.
Air Purifier VS Dehumidifier: What are the Main Differences?
An air purifier circulates the air via a filter. The filter traps airborne pollutants and irritants, such as pollen, smoke, or dust.
A dehumidifier, in contrast, only sucks the moisture present in the air. Hence, it can reduce the overall air humidity levels. This helps kill microbes and bacteria that thrive in the moisture.
However, a dehumidifier cannot filter or purify the air, while an air purifier can remove spores from the air and prevent mold buildup. The downside is that the air purifier cannot control indoor humidity levels. Therefore, excess moisture may allow mold to regrow.
Air Purifier VS Dehumidifier: Which is Better for Allergy Relief?
If you are allergic to dust, mold spores, pet dander, or pollen, you can benefit the most from an air purifier. That’s because by eliminating all types of airborne pollutants, an air purifier will ensure the indoor air doesn’t irritate your sinuses. A dehumidifier, although it can keep the air less-humid and easy to breathe for the lungs, it cannot remove pollutants that trigger allergic reactions.
Too humid or too dry air can lead to allergy-like symptoms as well. Such as increased sneezing, dry or runny nose, etc. In case you aren’t allergic to pollutants and pollen, and it’s the humidity that irritates your sinuses the most, a dehumidifier will be most suitable. Moreover, dehumidifiers can effectively prevent mold and spores from multiplying, which generally happens in a moist environment. Therefore, a dehumidifier can help prevent allergies from worsening.
It is, however, recommended that before deciding between an air purifier and a dehumidifier, visit a doctor to discuss your symptoms. A certified doctor can help you determine which of these devices can improve your situation.
How much Electricity do Dehumidifiers Use?
In muggy and warm climates, an increase in air humidity levels prevent our body from releasing heat via sweat. Resultantly, the overall indoor temperature gets higher than the actual temperature. This generally causes people to turn on the air conditioner (AC).
Dehumidifiers efficiently pull the moisture from the indoor air. This feature makes the air temperature feel cooler, so you don’t need to crank up the AC. Though both air conditioners and dehumidifiers use electricity, dehumidifiers consume much less energy. Hence resulting in significantly lowering your monthly electricity bill.
A standard, 70-pint dehumidifier uses no more than 700W of electricity. Essentially, it draws much less energy than an AC, a water heater, and even a hairdryer. An average unit draws just as much electricity as a computer. However, make sure that you purchase an energy-efficient dehumidifier.
How Much Electricity do Air Purifiers Use?
To understand how much electricity your air purifier uses, read its usage, which is commonly in watts. One unit in an electricity bill is equivalent to 1 kW or 1,000 watts in an hour. So if your air purifier’s power is equal to 1 kW, and you run it simultaneously for an hour, your electricity bill will record one unit.
Typically, an air purifier power is around 50 watts. This means you can continuously run it for 20 hours to increase one unit. If compared to the power consumed by a 60-watt lightbulb or a 365-watt computer, the air purifier would be more energy efficient. In fact, it will consume lesser energy than most of the indoor electrical devices in your home.
Therefore, using an air purifier will not impact your electricity bill too much. Though it mainly depends on the air purifier’s airflow speed, usually HEPA units consume 50-100 watts/hour. With 12 hours of daily use, the electricity bill will be around $3 to $5 per month. Or else, $36 to $60 per year. If you use it throughout the day for 24 hours daily, multiply these numbers by 2. So, your monthly electricity bill will be from $6 to $10, and your annual bill will be $72 to $120.
Which is more energy efficient?
It is hard to determine which one of these devices will consume more energy. Both appliances more or less use a similar amount of power. So, whether you choose an air purifier or a dehumidifier, each will set you back with the same energy cost.
A standard dehumidifier or air purifier would cost you around 12c to 15c per hour. The cost entirely depends on your unit’s wattage and power consumption. But, both will use less energy than a computer or a microwave.
The Cost Comparison
An air purifier cost will be between $60 – $500. The price fluctuates with the unit’s quality, brand, size, and type of filter installed. HEPA air purifiers are costlier than others. On the other hand, an average dehumidifier can be bought for as low as $150. If you are looking for branded, durable, and top-quality dehumidifier, it may cost you up to $1,200.
Air Purifier VS Dehumidifier: Which one Do You Need?
The living conditions in your home will determine whether you need an air purifier or a dehumidifier. There are additional factors, such as if you have asthma or allergies, or pets. Here’s a quick overview of factors that indicate which of these devices do you need.
A dehumidifier is most suitable if:
- There’s poor ventilation in your home.
- The walls or ceilings have water damage or stains.
- There’s lingering mildew or musty smell in the environment.
- The climate is hot, sticky, and overly humid.
- You notice mold or tiny black spots appearing on the walls of high-humidity rooms, e.g., laundry or bathrooms.
- You need to manage moisture in the air.
An air purifier should be your preferred choice if:
- You have asthma, allergy, or other respiratory issues.
- You need to reduce odors or pet dander in your home.
- You smoke regularly and want to reduce cigarette smoke particles left in the air.
- There are carpets in your bedroom, living room, or any other part of the home.
- Your home is old and contains asbestos particles.
Air purifier vs. dehumidifier is a tough decision to make. Both offer plenty of health benefits and serve entirely different purposes. So, the best way to make the right choice is to evaluate your home’s air quality and the primary issue you are facing. For instance, if your indoor air is not too humid, you have allergies or asthma, smoke, or have pets or carpets in your home, go for an air purifier. A dehumidifier is right for you if you live along the coast, there’s excessive condensation on your home pipes or windows, there’s fungi/mold/mildew buildup, or you face breathing difficulties. Still, if you cannot decide between air purified or dehumidified, you can get both systems installed within your HVAC system.