Air Purifier VS Dehumidifier

Air Purifier VS Dehumidifier: Which Is Better?

An air purifier is not a dehumidifier. Period. They might look the same, comes with air vent and filter, but the functionality is on a different spectrum. In this post, I'm going to touch on every little detail about both home appliances and what are they here for. I'm also listing down the differences between an air purifier and a dehumidifier for comparison. At the end of it all, you will have a better understanding of your needs and make the right purchase.
Short answer
Air purifier cleans air. Dehumidifier removes moisture.
Long answer

Begin we begin the air purifier VS dehumidifier comparison, here's something you should know. Is no secret manufacturers will toot one's own horn on EVERYTHING. No exception with the majority of the dehumidifiers out there. A small dehumidifier will be able to clear out 10-20 liters of water per day with 10-12 hours of operation. A large mechanical dehumidifier will be able to triple that at around 30-60 liters of water. Impressive numbers but the room must be in the manufacturer's "perfect" condition. Expect an exceedingly high humidity level at 80% with the temperature at 86°F. The same story with an air purifier, whatever number provided by the manufacturer, it is in a controlled environment. The result will differ slightly in real-world usage.

What Does An Air Purifier Do?

An air purifier improves indoor air quality by circulating home air through a series of filters. Inflow airborne contaminants, allergens, and smoke particles will all be trapped by the filters. With all the harmful particulates removed from the air, you will enjoy breathing in purified, clean air. One will feel a gradual improvement in their health physically and mentally.

Types of Air Purifiers

  • HEPA air purifier – The most popular type that uses a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. A True HEPA filter is certified to capture 99.97% microscopic particles down to 0.3 microns. Combine with filters such as a pre-filter, carbon filter, ionizer, and UV-light, HEPA air purifier can remove any types of airborne contaminants at home.
  • Carbon air purifier – Also known as deodorizer or charcoal air purifier. Uses adsorbent material like activated carbon filter or charcoal to remove smoke, chemical fumes, and odors.
  • UV air purifier – A proven and safe sanitization technology that is used in hospitals. Powered by a germicidal light, the ultraviolet radiation will kill bacteria and viruses by damaging their DNA cells.
  • Photocatalytic Oxidation – Uses broad-spectrum UV light to reacts with a thin film of titanium dioxide resulted in oxidization. PCO cleans the air through oxidization that accelerates the decomposition of microorganisms.
  • Ionizer – A safe, eco-friendly, filterless air purifier. Ionizer discharge negative ions to merge with positive ion particles in the air. The charged ions will fall due to increased weight resulting in much cleaner air.
  • Electrostatic precipitators – Works just like an ionizer but it comes with a collector plate to collect the dropped particles.
  • Ozone generator – A fake air purifier that will do more harm than good. An Ozonator will split oxygen molecules in the air into a single atom. The single atom will then merge with other oxygen molecules to form ozone. Inhaling to ozone is bad for our health as it can damage lung tissue cells and aggravate diseases like asthma.

What Does A Dehumidifier Do?

A dehumidifier removes moisture in the air thus prevent the growth of mold, mildew, and dust mites. The collected moisture will drip down to a bucket or straight to a drainage hole via a garden hose/ built-in pump. Will the home humidity level maintained at around 50 percent, you will breathe more comfortably without microbes triggering your allergies or asthma. The air will be cooler, fresher, and free from musty smell.

Types of Dehumidifiers

  • Refrigeration dehumidifier – The most common type that works just like an air conditioner. Moist air is drawn to the refrigerated coil for freezing. Through condensation, water will be collected in the bucket and dry air will be heated and dispersed as mist.
  • Peltier dehumidifier – AKA electric or thermoelectric dehumidifier. Drain moisture by converting energy into temperature differences. Heat generated from the heat sinks will create a cool surface for condensation and water collection. With no moving parts to account for, The entire humidification process is silent and energy-efficient.
  • Desiccant dehumidifier – Often used in a renewable humidifier due to the smaller parts and silent operation. Works just like a desiccant packet that reduces humidity through moisture absorption material. The rotating wheel belt will automatically collect moisture from the passing air until it reaches its max capacity.
  • Ionic membrane – Micro-size dehumidifier that can be found in electronic devices, fuel cells, and water applications. Designed to be maintenance-free and silent by using an ionic pump to remove moisture from sealed enclosures.

Air Purifier VS Dehumidifier

Air purifier comes in different sizes and shape of form including a slim tower framework. Barring the renewable type, dehumidifier is typically in boxy shape to accommodate a reservoir.

An air purifier works by circulating air through its internal filtration. Airborne irritants like dust, mold, pollen, smoke, and germs will all be trapped by the filter. On the other hand, dehumidifier works by absorbing moisture from the air. This would halt mold, mildew, and dust mite growth as microorganisms thrive in a high humidity environment.

Air purifier and dehumidifier can relieve discomfort from allergic reactions. This includes cough, sinus, itchiness, headache, and breathing problems. The only difference is an air purifier can target a boarder range of indoor allergies. A dehumidifier is more restricted to mold and microbes allergies.

An air purifier can be placed anywhere indoor. Bedroom and living hall is the most popular spot. Dehumidifier is often placed in the basement due to poor ventilation and no sunlight.

Both appliances are suitable for all age groups from newborns, babies, children, to adults.

Noise level favors air purifier more as the dehumidifier’s motor fan noise can be intrusive at a higher speed.

By reducing moisture in the air, dehumidifier will make you feel less hot and stuffy. An air purifier does not cool down the room temperature.

Air purifier does not require regular maintenance unless it is using a washable filter. You do have to replace the filters like HEPA, carbon every 6-12 months. Filter costs vary from $10 all the way up to $1000. Dehumidifier requires constant maintenance from emptying the bucket to cleaning the permanent filter. The good thing is there is no recurring filter cost to bear.

An air purifier is more expensive to own with recurring costs compared with a dehumidifier. Price point for air purifier and dehumidifier is similar at entry-level category but the gap widens for higher-end models. Air purifier calling the higher shot because of the complexity filtration and features.

You can purchase an air purifier or dehumidifier at any local retailer, official website, or e-commerce store. With plenty of options in the market, we recommend buying straight from authorized dealers for guaranteed filter replacement stock. You will also enjoy better after-sales service and supports if the appliances break down.

The Difference between Air Purifier and Dehumidifier

FeaturesHoneywell HPA300
Air Purifier
Ivation 30 Pint IVALDH30PW Dehumidifier
DimensionCompact, tower, portable, and consoleMedium, large framework size to accommodate the reservoir
FunctionsCirculates air and trap airborne particles through its set of filtersRemove moisture and stop mold and other microorganisms from growth
Health BenefitsCirculates air and trap airborne particles through its set of filtersAlleviate running nose, cough, headache, and respiratory problems associated with mold illness
HumidificationDoes not affect the room humidityDecrease room humidity
Best Used InBedroom, living hall, kitchen, basement with poor air qualityBasement, living hall, or bedroom with high dampness and musty smell
Target GroupNewborn, baby, children, adult, and elderlyNewborn, baby, children, adult, and elderly
  • Mechanical/ HEPA air purifier
  • Activated carbon/ Deodorizer
  • UV-light/ UV air purifier
  • PCO cleaner
  • Ionic/ Ionizer
  • Electrostatic precipitators
  • Mechanical or refrigeration
  • Absorption/ Electronic desiccant
  • Thermoelectric
  • Ionic membrane
Noise LevelSubtle to loudSubtle to very loud
MaintenanceMonthly1-7 days (water emptying, cleaning the filter)
  • Compact air purifiers ($20-150)
  • Medium-sized air purifiers ($200–400)
  • Large-sized air purifiers (>$400)
  • Mini renewable dehumidifiers ($30-50)
  • Small dehumidifiers ($40-80)
  • 30-pint dehumidifiers ($100-200)
  • 50-pint dehumidifiers ($150-250)
  • 70-pint dehumidifiers ($200-400)

Do I Need an Air Purifier or a Dehumidifier?

Get an air purifier if you are allergic to dust, mold, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and viruses. Works well against smoke particles from cigarettes, cooking, or chemicals when you have carbon filter installed. Get a dehumidifier if the air feels damp with a hint of musty smell. If you have a hygrometer/ humidity meter at home, you can keep track of indoor humidity level, particularly in the Summer. To conclude:

Go With An Air Purifier If:

  • Staying in the city or industrial area with heavy outdoor pollution.
  • Dusty home where you constantly suffer from eyes, throat, and nose irritation.
  • Health conditions like hypersensitivity, asthma, or other respiratory diseases.
  • Lingering odors coming from cigarettes, cooking, pets, chemicals like paint, detergent.
  • Pets at home from cats, dogs, and even birds.

Go With a Dehumidifier If:

  • Staying in coastal areas (air absorbs moisture directly from the sea).
  • Exceedingly damp environment (more than 50 percent).
  • The sight of mold, mildew, and dust mites thriving in your home.
  • Air feels heavy and hard to breathe.
  • Constant condensation on windows or pipes.
  • Stale and musty smell of mold, mildew, or fungi.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Can You Use a Dehumidifier and Air Purifier In The Same Room?

Yes, you can use an air purifier and dehumidifier in the same room concurrently. The reason both devices can coexisting together is because of their unique functionality. An air purifier purifies the air by capturing surrounding airborne contaminants like hair, dust mites, mold, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and viruses. A dehumidifier drains out moisture in the air and protects wood furniture from rotting. By maintaining humidity level below 50 percent, microorganisms like mold will NOT thrive and prosper.

Which Is Better Dehumidifier Or Air Purifier For Allergies?

Air purifier is the better option in cleaning the air from allergens like dust, mold, pet dander, and germs. A dehumidifier can only reduce humidity to prevent the spread and growth of mold, mildew, and dust mite. Both devices function differently therefore you can run an air purifier and dehumidifier at the same time. Ultimately, home air quality conditions and the types of allergies will determine the outcome. If you are an allergy sufferer, go with an air purifier first and dehumidifiers when the indoor humidity is high.