Air Purifier vs Dehumidifier | Difference & Comparison

The quality of the air we breathe has a significant role in transforming our health, the way we live, and even the way we interact with our loved ones.

I know you would not agree on this; how could the air transform our behavior and our relationships? Well not directly, but indirectly it plays its role.

I am sure that it’s not only me rather you would also hate the day that begins with an itching nose or a severe headache — no one like to see the dark circle under his eyes. Don’t you think your personality and health plays its part when you interact with others?

Well, our primary concern is our health here, and air has a lot to do with that.


According to ACAAI, 50 million people in America are suffering from allergies each year.

The primary cause of allergies is not the pets, blooming flowers or budding trees but it’s your home. Yes, you are more vulnerable to breathing-related health problems when you are at home.

The statistics from the United States Environmental Protection Agency states that the indoor air is 2 to 5 times as dirty as outdoor air.


You are fortunate that a solution to this problem does exist in the market. You can get rid of dusty air and allergens by using an air purifier or a dehumidifier.

Air purifier and dehumidifier seems like the same thing, but they both serve a different role in maintaining the quality of air around you. Now you must be thinking, what are those factors which make them different and what makes them similar.

Well, you are at right place because this post is not written to inform the problems caused by air pollution, but we would discuss the possible solutions. So let’s start our air purifier vs. dehumidifier debate now.

Difference between Air Purifier and Dehumidifier

FeatureAir PurifierDehumidifier
PurposeTo filter air from dust particles and other contaminants.To remove moisture from air and decrease humidity level.
Humidity LevelsDoes not have much to do with humidity level.Can reduce moisture where humidity level is more than 50 percent.
TypesHEPA Filter, Ozone Generator, Ionic Air Filter, UV filter.Portable, Mini, Whole House, Refrigerate style, Desiccant dehumidifier, Automatic.
Recommended forAllergies, Asthma sufferers, dust removal, cigarette smoke removal.Eliminating moisture, mold, dust mites, mildew and other humidity-based allergens.
FunctionTakes air, clean it through different filters.Takes air pass it through some kind of gel or condenses it to remove moisture.


Air Purifier

What Are Air Purifiers Used For?

As the name suggests, an air purifier is a device which helps to clean or purify the air from all kind of unwanted particles. It takes the polluted air and converts it into fresh and clean air which is safe to breathe.

An air purifier can help you get rid of following contaminants and allergen:

  • It helps remove smoke,
  • Eliminates toxins and debris,
  • It helps remove pollen,
  • Can remove pet dander,
  • It can help remove dust mites,
  • It can help you get rid of mold spores,
  • There are few air purifiers which can remove bacteria and viruses too.


How do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifier consists of various filters which help to remove several types of contaminants at different levels. Usually, an air purifier has two filters.


When the air purifier is turned on, the fan starts to push the air through the front grille which creates a suction effect causing room air to enter into through the back grille. The air makes it way through a pre-filter which removes larger particles including animal fur, dust, and pollen.

The billions of smaller particles are not filtered at this stage. Then the same air moves toward another high-efficiency particulate filter. The smaller particles which are larger than the size of the filter’s fiber are removed here.

Some smaller particles still manage to skip these fibers. These molecules have some charge stored on them, the fibers in the filter act as a magnet to those molecules and attract them. This way the Air purifier manages to filter air particles that are 40 times smaller than the size of its fiber.

Types of air purifier

Air purifiers come in different shapes and sizes. Not all air purifiers work in the same way. Different type of air purifiers uses a different type of technologies to clean the air.

Here are the most popular types of air purifier that you will see in the market.

  • HEPA Air Purifier

High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting filters are the most popular and best air purifiers type these days. They use three different components, which are filtration, impaction, and diffusion to remove air particles from the air. This type of air purifier efficiently removes the particles that have strange flight patterns enabling them to escape fibers easily.

  • UV Air Purifier

UV air purifier using electromagnetic radiation to kill bacteria and germs present in the air. These types of filter are not suitable for dust, smoke, or gases removal. That’s the reason most people use a combination of UV and other air purifiers to ensure complete purification.

Some low-quality UV air purifier also produces ozone as a byproduct. So, you should be careful when choosing a UV air purifier.

  • Ionic Air Purifier

Ionic air purifier generates ions that attract harmful particles. These ions combine with the dust and other allergens and make them too heavy to stay in the air. Particles fall down on the floor where you can remove them through cleaner or vacuum.

Again, you should be careful when choosing Ionic air purifier because some produce ozone as a byproduct.

  • Carbon Filtration

Carbon filter air purifier uses activated carbon to filter the atmosphere. The chemical reaction between carbon and organic compounds causes the allergens to stick. Most often carbon filter and heap air purifier are used together to kill allergens, germs and all type of dust, lint, fur, mold and pet hair.

  • Ozone Air Purifier

As you know, the Ozone layer around the earth filters harmful rays to enter into planet’s atmosphere from the sun. Many air purifiers now utilize ozone to purify air from contaminants.

Unfortunately, ozone is also harmful to us and is only used for commercial reasons or in emergency situations i.e. to remove mold or mildew in flood situations. A dehumidifier is best to aid in such a scenario.

Pros And Cons of an Air Purifier

  • Air purifiers help to clean air from dust and other microscopic debris.
  • Air purifiers are for people who have asthma or respiratory issues.
  • Can control allergies.
  • Small and Portable air purifiers are Convenient and inexpensive
  • Air purifiers cannot remove humidity.
  • They are noisy.
  • Air filtration is recommended by the United States Environmental protection Agency for those suffering from allergies but an air purifier is not the proper solution.
  • Using an air purifier still needs you to clean and vacuum home regularly.
  • Strict maintenance and filter changing are required.
  • Some air purifier models do emit ozone which is a harmful byproduct.



Now that we have completely analyzed air purifiers, let’s discuss the features and working of a dehumidifier.

What are dehumidifiers used for?

A dehumidifier is used to reduce humidity and excess moisture from the air. The dehumidifier has nothing to do with air purification or removing dust and other contaminants. It does not have filters like air purifiers. Dehumidifiers suck moisture from the air and collect it in a bucket. It can reduce up to 50 percent of moisture. This helps to get rid of dust mites as these pests need moisture for their growth.

So basically

  • The dehumidifier can help get rid of dust mites.
  • A dehumidifier can reduce moisture from the air.
  • It can help eliminate musty smells that actually come from mold and mildew.
  • Dehumidifier also makes it difficult for mold to grow.
  • Dehumidifier also helps make home cooler by reducing moisture.

Generally, Mold doesn’t grow when the humidity level is less than 50 percent.

How does dehumidifier work?

Normally a dehumidifier has humidistat which monitors the humidity level of the surrounding. When the humidity level reaches a particular level say 20 percent, the dehumidifier starts automatically.

A dehumidifier consists of two sections. One is meant for cooling and condensing and the other one is meant for warming the air. The dehumidifier sucks air inside which flows first through a panel filter. This filter removes dust and dirt. You won’t need to replace this filter as they will last as long as the life of your dehumidifier.


The air then is condensed using compressor and moisture is deposited in a water tank. This air is then again warmed and passed back into the room. As the water tank is filled up the dehumidifier switches off automatically. You can use that water in your iron as it does not contain calcium.

Types of Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers can be classified into several types depending upon their style, working and features. Before reaching a final choice it is necessary to know how that particular type of work and is the desired dehumidifier suitable to accomplish your needs.

  • Refrigerator-Style Dehumidifier

Refrigerator-Style Dehumidifier dehumidifies the air by cooling it. After dehumidification, the Cold air is released into the surroundings. As the process involves cooling so it tends to decrease the room temperature. This type of dehumidifiers is not good for colder climates.

  • Desiccant Dehumidifier

Desiccant Dehumidifiers are an optimal solution to be used in subzero climate (where the temperature is low). These type of dehumidifiers passes the air through some kind of silica gel which absorbs moisture, instead of cooling the air down. They are also available in a portable model and can be the best solution for your basement moisture problems.

  • Portable Dehumidifier

Portable Dehumidifiers are designed for those who are highly sensitive to moisture in their environment. This dehumidifier is suitable for small or medium sized rooms.

  • Mini Dehumidifier

These dehumidifiers are used when space is an issue. Many people use them in their bedrooms.

  • Whole House Dehumidifier

This solution is way more expensive and complex to install. Whole house dehumidifier works to make your complete home comfortable and it’s not a plug and play system. You need to hire a professional to incorporate it with the existing ducts of your home.

Pros And Cons of A Dehumidifier

  • Dehumidifiers help reduce moisture and humidity level.
  • They remove molds spores and musty smells.
  • A dehumidifier can limit the growth of moisture-loving allergens.
  • Dehumidifier need low maintenance.
  • Dehumidifier cannot help to remove dust or other toxins.
  • They are noisy.
  • It can sometimes cause irritation in nasal passage due to dry conditions.
  • Frequent dumping of water is required in smaller models of dehumidifiers.
  • You may need to clean its draining basin because mold may grow there.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Do I need an air purifier or dehumidifier?

That totally depends upon your needs. If you want to get rid of excess moisture and allergens that need moisture to grow then use a dehumidifier. And if you want to filter air from dust, molds, smoke, and other contaminants including allergens then go for an air purifier.

Q. How to choose the best air purifier?

When choosing air purifier Follow these points:

  • Look for Energy Star Certified Model,
  • Consider Clean Air Delivery Rates (CADR) – how quickly the unit filters the air.
  • Consider the coverage area.

Have a look at our top pick.

GermGuardian AC4300BPTCA 3-in-1 Air Purifier with Pet Pure True HEPA Filter



  • Removes dust, pets’ odours, pet dander, mold spores, plant pollen, smoke, smell.
  • Have Charcoal filters. Optional UV light to fight with bacteria.
  • Energy Star Certified.
Q. How to choose the best Dehumidifier?

When choosing a dehumidifier follow these points:

  • Energy Star Certified Model.
  • Size and Space where you want to place it.
  • Type of dehumidifier-for example in colder climates refrigerate-Style Dehumidifier is not suitable.

Have a look at our top pick.

Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier with Effortless Humidity Control



  • Energy Star Certified.
  • Removes Mold, and allergens.
  • Consumes less electricity.

Does air purifier help with mold?

An air purifier can only reduce the mold exposure from the atmosphere but not actually stop it from growing. You need to take other safety measures to figure out its potential production areas and kill the reproduction.

However, a compatible air purifier to rid you from mold should have True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon Filter, and UV- C light feature to capture, remove and annihilate the mold spores.

Q. Air Purifier vs Dehumidifier for allergies?

Both help remove allergies but it also depends on what are you allergic off. An air purifier is suitable for those having problem with dust, smoke, pollen and other air contaminants. Dehumidifiers are good for those having allergy from mold spores.

Q. Air Purifier or Dehumidifier for smell and smoke?

Air Purifier removes any kind of smell or smoke from home. Dehumidifier also removes mold and moisture smell but they too produce their own smell sometimes.

Q.Dehumidifier vs  Air Purifier for humidity?

Dehumidifiers remove moisture completely and are suitable for basements and area with high humidity.

Q. Dehumidifier or Air purifier for dust mites?

An air purifier is best suitable for getting rid of dust mites as it removes their food source i.e. dust.

Q. Best Device to get Rid of Viruses and Bacteria?

Both Air purifier and Humidifier can help you get rid of Germs and other viruses.


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I think I have covered almost each and everything about air purifier and dehumidifier. If you think that I have missed something or if you have any suggestion, please do let me know by commenting.

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