Humidifier vs Dehumidifier: A Detailed Comparison

Humidifier vs Dehumidifier: A Detailed Comparison



Decreases moisture in the air

​Adds moisture to the air

Four types: refrigerative, desiccant, ionic membrane, and electronic dehumidifiers

Usually pulls moisture from indoor air by the use of a fan

​Introduces moisture into the air via a water reservoir

​Aids in alleviating asthma and allergies that are caused by mold growth

​Aids in alleviating diseases triggered by air dryness such as congestion, skin dryness and allergies

​Ideally used during summer

​Ideally used during winter

A humidifier and a dehumidifier are built for the same purpose: to improve overall health by controlling moisture in the air. But Just like two opposite poles, a humidifier and a dehumidifier work contrastingly. Switch the two and the air’s moisture level can get out of hand, making you more prone to a variety of problems.

Unfortunately, many people fail to distinguish between these two hefty devices. To debunk all misconceptions, below are the major differences between them, along with when you should use a dehumidifier vs humidifier.

Let’s Learn the Basics

According to the  National Asthma Council Australia, the ideal indoor humidity level is somewhere between 30% to 50%--anything below or beyond these figures can greatly affect the quality of air that circulates in your home.

With seasonal changes and other factors that alter moisture levels, it can be extra challenging to keep humidity within its ideal range, making dehumidifiers and humidifiers an important household tool.

A humidifier is basically an electrical device that adds moisture to the air, while a dehumidifier, as its prefix suggests, is used to decrease air moisture. Since they work towards a different goal, improper usage can negatively impact air humidity levels.

Humidifier vs Dehumidifier: Types and Working Mechanism

A dehumidifier exists in four major types: refrigerative, desiccant, ionic membrane, and electronic. The most common among these is the refrigerative type, which pulls moisture from indoor air by the use of a fan. The air is then passed over to coils that bring back dehumidified air in the room and drain extra humidity into a bucket that links to a drainage hose.

Instead of absorbing humidity from the air, a humidifier introduces moisture into the air via a water reservoir. It is available in two types: warm and cool mist humidifier. The first type boils water to produce steam that humidifies air, while a cool mist uses a rotating disc to facilitate the process of evaporation.

Dehumidifier vs Humidifier: Health Implications

Want to live till 100? A study  suggests that surrounding yourself with green spaces reduces mortality risk factors, including extreme heat and pollution. Bottom line: the quality of the air we breathe has significant health implications that can affect not just our quality of life, but our longevity as well.

Good thing that aside from air purifiers, humidifiers and dehumidifiers can also improve air quality, which can help you avoid common health problems. The only question is, when do you need to use them?

Let’s go back to their main use. A humidifier increases moisture, while a dehumidifier does the opposite. Putting this in mind, the former aids in alleviating diseases triggered by air dryness such as congestion, skin dryness and allergies. A dehumidifier, on the other hand, prevents or relieves asthma and allergies that are caused by mold growth, which is mainly due to excessive moisture buildup. 

Ideal Humidity for All Seasons

Seasons change, and so does indoor humidity level. During the summer season when air is extra warm and humid, it’s always best to “dehumidify” so you can block the possible growth of mold and mildew. This also applies to tropical countries that experiences summer almost all-year-round.

A humidifier, by contrast, is best used when the air lacks the moisture it needs. A staple household tool during winter, a humidifier doesn’t just keep skin dryness at bay as it also prevents ceilings and floors from cracking, which can be caused by an extremely low humidity level.

To make sure you’re using the right tool be it summer or winter, it’s wise to invest in a hygrometer along with a dehumidifier and a humidifier. This device continuously monitors indoor humidity levels, which can help you decide between using a dehumidifier or a humidifier. The golden rule: monitor and use the right tool.

​Dehumidifier vs Humidifier: Which One Wins?

As far as controlling humidity level is concerned, neither a dehumidifier nor a humidifier wins if used improperly. Both are useful for specific seasons and humidity levels, making it critical for homeowners to properly assess their day-to-day needs.

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