In my 25 years as an HVAC technician, I’ve had many homeowners ask me about this. This was especially true during the years I lived in a humid climate.
Air purification and humidification are important issues for people, so let’s get some answers.
Do Air Purifiers Dehumidify?
In a word, no.
Air purifiers are designed to remove contaminants from the air in your home.
Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air. Air conditioners do this to an extent as well with the cooling cycle, but that isn’t their main purpose.
So What’s The Difference Between A Dehumidifier And An Air Purifier?
Dehumidifiers simply remove moisture from the air. Dehumidifiers combat issues caused by excess moisture, but they don’t purify the air from contaminants.
Excessive moisture can cause mold growth and foul odors in your home. Mold growth can lead to respiratory issues and illness.
Dehumidifiers remove the humidity that allows mold to grow and can make your home feel cleaner and smell fresher, but they don’t filter your air like purification systems do.
An air purifier removes particles from your home using an advanced filtration system. Filters in a purifier can remove everything from dust to smoke and airborne allergens.
If your air quality problems are caused by moisture, you need a dehumidifier.
If your air quality problems are caused by dust, allergens, pet dander, and other impurities, you need an air purifier.
That being said, if you have a moisture problem, first check your air conditioner. Moisture is more prevalent in warm air than cold air, so when your AC is working correctly, it will remove some of the indoor moisture.
If your AC isn’t keeping up, there could be a refrigerant leak or a weak compressor. However, humid climates may need a separate dehumidification system to combat high moisture levels.
It is possible to use an air purifier with a dehumidifier. In fact, many people use an air purifier+dehumidifer combo. The air purifier helps remove harmful pollutants and impurities from the air, while the dehumidifier helps reduce relative humidity.
Let’s say you have an air purifier installed in your home and need extra moisture removal on days when humidity levels are high.
It’s also possible to install an air purifier combo that will absorb much of the excess moisture from the environment.
An air purifier and dehumidifier can be used together to target a broader range of problems.
An air purifier in a humid environment will be unable to address problems caused by excess indoor moisture. The purifier will remove mold spores from the air, but it will not stop mold from growing. For that, you need a dehumidifier.
If you have both poor air quality and excessive indoor humidity, you will need to use both systems to address your problems.
Simple air quality concerns can be solved with an air purification system.
But if your air quality problems are caused by mold growth at high humidity levels, you will need a dehumidifier to solve your problems.
If you suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory illnesses, it might be a good idea to have a professional air quality test done in your home.
These tests can be costly, but they are the best way to ensure the right air quality issues are addressed.
For more information on how to check your home’s indoor air quality, check out our article here.