A black button mounted on a white wall with the words, "Air Quality" written in white text above a green "thumbs up" icon. The button is being pressed by a person's index finger.

Having clean air in your home is essential to living a healthy life, but unfortunately, many contaminants can affect the quality of your household air.

Although humidity isn’t always the first thing people think of for cleaner air, a dehumidifier could go a long way to improving indoor air quality in your home.

Dehumidifiers will help to provide cleaner air in your home by removing the excess moisture from the air and reducing the number of microbes in the environment. Mold and mildew require a moist environment to thrive, so a dehumidifier makes your home much less hospitable.

If you’ve ever wondered how a dehumidifier can help with cleaner air, this article will shed a lot more light on it.

Here, I’ll explain how a dehumidifier can promote cleaner air and a few benefits of using one.

If you’re not sure whether the air in your home is clean or not, you could be interested in our article about how to measure air quality in the home.

How Does a Dehumidifier Help With Cleaner Air?

A picture of two dehumidifiers side by side.
Dehumidifiers pull moisture out of the air, which can help address discomfort in sensitive individuals. The reduced moisture in the air reduces the prevalence of mold spores and dust mites, which are the cause of many allergies.

Having clean air to breathe in your home is a priority in maintaining your family’s health.

According to the World Health Organization, reducing air pollution will decrease the chances of experiencing many heart and lung diseases.

While increasing ventilation is the most common way to get cleaner air in your home, it’s not the only way.

A dehumidifier could be just as good as ventilation, and using both the right way could leave you with significantly better results than simple ventilation.

Let’s see exactly what your dehumidifier does to impact indoor air quality.

The Dehumidifier Pulls Moisture From the Air

A stylized image of a home dehumidifier showing gray arrows pointing into its air intake and blue arrows coming out of the outlet.
Allergies can be alleviated or eliminated by running a home dehumidifier to bring down the moisture levels in your home.

The main function of a dehumidifier is to remove excess moisture from the air.

It does this by pulling the air into the unit and extracting the water vapor before pushing the dry air back out. The water removed from the air is condensed and collected into an easy-to-remove tank.

Ideally, you should aim for a humidity level of 30 – 50% in your home. With this range in mind, a dehumidifier comes in handy during warm summers when temperatures rise.

Normally, the heat combined with the naturally humid summer weather can leave you quite clammy when you’re home.

However, you’ll be much more comfortable with a dehumidifier to regulate this.

The Reduction in Moisture Causes a Decrease in Microbes in the Air

It’s great that a dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air because a humid environment can be uncomfortable. But what does this have to do with air quality?

High moisture levels can promote microbe growth, increasing their population rapidly. In addition to mold and mildew, dust mites also thrive in a moist environment.

Increased moisture levels can result from many day-to-day activities like showering, cooking, and cleaning with water.

A dehumidifier would provide a buffer by reducing the moisture in the air and maintaining a happy middle ground. This will stifle microbe and insect propagation, improving your air quality.

That said, it’s important to note that a dehumidifier does not actively “clean” air. Technically speaking, a dehumidifier will have a positive impact on air quality. However, it is not cleaning the air itself.

Through its primary function of reducing ambient humidity, the dehumidifier creates an environment that is less hospitable to microbes that cause air quality problems.

The lower the humidity, the lower the levels of mold, mildew, and dust mites your home will have.

So while a dehumidifier is not technically cleaning the air, it does help. Additionally, the benefits of a dehumidifier’s functions can significantly improve your quality of life.

Let’s investigate how this is possible.

How Can a Humidifier Benefit You?

There are many health benefits to reducing the humidity in your home’s air.

By reducing the number of microbes present in the air, you can effectively reduce the level of allergy and asthma symptoms sufferers face.

Additionally, you can significantly decrease the spread of mold and mildew, which can be toxic.

Reduced Humidity Can Ease Allergy Symptoms

A black and white picture of a woman sitting down holding her finger under her nose and red graphics indicating sinus inflammation overlain on her face.
Sinus problems can be extremely painful. Controlling the humidity of your home can help to ease these symptoms.

Several allergy symptoms can result from exposure to microbes that thrive in a humid environment. These symptoms include the following:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rashes

One of the primary allergens that cause these symptoms is the dust mite. Dust mites absorb the moisture from the air to survive, so they thrive in humid environments.

Running a dehumidifier to reduce the overall humidity of your home will make the environment uninhabitable for dust mites, reducing your allergy symptoms.

However, do not decrease the humidity too much, as this can negatively affect your health.

Some moisture is required to combat certain allergens and viruses. Overly dry air can also be physically uncomfortable, causing respiratory problems and other irritations.

Reduced Humidity Can Ease Asthma Symptoms

A woman reaching for an inhaler and clutching at her throat.
Reducing humidity in the home can improve the comfort for occupants and reduce the amount of mold spores and dust mites that are responsible for allergies and exacerbating asthma symptoms.

While a dehumidifier will not treat asthma symptoms and should not be used as a substitute for any medication, it can be used as an additional method of easing your symptoms.

It’s important to note here that a dehumidifier will not magically cure your asthma. In this case, it works similarly to how it ‘cleans the air.

Rather than being a direct solution, the dehumidifier creates an environment that indirectly improves the air quality.

High temperature and humidity levels can leave the air muggy and heavy, occasionally making it hard to breathe, aggravating your asthma.

As a result, a dehumidifier can be a great way to ease your asthma symptoms by making the air easier to breathe.

It is essential to note that you should only use a dehumidifier to return the humidity levels to the recommended 30 to 50% and nothing less. Having too low humidity can also cause breathing difficulties for someone with asthma.

Also, bear in mind that a dehumidifier will only help with asthma symptoms caused by humidity.

So, if your asthma is being worsened by something utterly unrelated to the humidity in your home, it’s better to rely on your standard medication or consult a doctor.

A Dehumidifier Can Help Reduce Mold

A professional in a hazmat suit removing mold growth in the corner of a room
Mold removal is a tough job, but failure to address mold problems can be harmful to the health of those living in your home.

Mold isn’t just unpleasant to look at. It can also harm your health, worsening your allergies and asthma. Its presence is frequently associated with excess moisture and high levels of humidity.

The ideal temperature for mold growth is commonly the same temperature you enjoy the most – 50 – 70℉, which means that your home is often the perfect location for mold growth.

While moisture is essential for mold growth, it does not have to be in puddles or large quantities.

Mold spores can use the moisture that’s in the air to grow. The first signs you have that mold is growing may not be visible. You may smell a musty scent in your home, indicating its presence.

The best way to reduce mold growth in your home is to reduce the humidity levels.

Mold grows on organic materials that it can feed on, such as wood. You may also find it growing on inorganic surfaces where it feeds on the dust that has settled.

When you find mold, you need to act quickly. One of the best steps you can take is to reduce the overall moisture in your air with a dehumidifier.

While this won’t clean the spores from the air, it will make the environment less mold-friendly.

Conclusion

A dehumidifier does not pull pollutants from the air, but it does contribute to cleaner air by causing a decrease in their production.

By removing excess moisture from the atmosphere, dehumidifiers make it difficult for organisms like dust mites, mold, and mildew to grow.

They can also ease allergies and asthma symptoms caused by humidity.

Further reading on the topic of humidity can be found on our blog. Why not start with our article, “Best Home Humidity Level for Winter and Summer? – 5 Tips to Achieve It“?

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