Air Purifiers Vs Dehumidifiers: Which Is Best For You?

Do you want to improve the quality of air in your home but don’t know where to start? Maybe you have trouble sleeping at night because of the stuffy air in your room? Or you are concerned about your children’s health as they always cough or sneeze, and you wonder if this is down to the air they breathe in at home?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are in the right place. In this guide, we will discuss air purifiers and dehumidifiers—what they are, how they work, and which is best for you and your home.

air purifiers vs dehumidifiers

Air purifier vs a dehumidifier – A basic overview

Air purifiers

Air purifiers work by drawing in air from the room and passing it through a filter. The filter traps dust, pollen, pet dander, and other airborne contaminants. This cleans the air and makes it easier to breathe, especially for people with allergies or asthma. Air purifiers are also great at reducing household odours.


Dehumidifiers work by removing moisture from the air. This can help reduce mould and mildew growth, as well as musty smells. Too much humidity can also lead to health problems like allergies and asthma, so a dehumidifier can be helpful for people who suffer from these conditions.

How do air purifiers work?

Air purifiers help to remove indoor air contaminants such as dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke and other VOCs (volatile organic compounds). There are many different types and sizes of air purifiers on the market, but they all work by drawing in dirty air and passing it through a filter or series of filters to capture the contaminants. The now-clean air is then circulated back into the room.

HEPA Air Purifiers

HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters are the most common type of filter used in air purifiers. These filters can remove 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter or larger from the air that passes through them. This includes many common allergens, bacteria and viruses.

Carbon Filter Purifiers 

Activated carbon filters are also often used in air purifiers. These filters are especially good at removing VOCs, smoke and other odours from the air.

UVC Air Purifiers

Some air purifiers use ultraviolet (UV) light to kill bacteria and viruses. UVC light is used in hospitals and other medical settings to sterilise equipment and surfaces, so you can be sure that it is safe for use in your home and be confident that when changing the air purifier filter, that no harmful particles are being released back into the air around you.

How ionisation helps with air purification

Many air purifiers on the market have an added layer of protection through the use of ionisation technology. 

The ions created by the ioniser attach themselves to particles of dust, pollen and other allergens in the air. This makes them heavier so that they fall to the ground instead of floating around in the air where we can breathe them in.

Ionisation also helps to reduce odours in the air, as the ions attach themselves to molecules that cause smells. This means that ionisers can help to make your home smell fresher and cleaner.

There are many health benefits to using an ioniser, as it can help to reduce the number of allergens and pollutants in the air that you breathe. This can be especially beneficial for people who suffer from asthma or other respiratory conditions.

Ionisation is a safe and effective way to clean the air in your home and improve your health. When looking for an air purifier, make sure that it features ionisation technology.

How does a dehumidifier work?

A dehumidifier works by drawing in air from the room via a fan and passing it over a series of coils. These coils are cooled by a refrigerant, which causes the water in the air to condense. The now-damp air is then passed over the second set of coils, where it is reheated and released back into the room. The water condensed on the first set of coils is collected in a tank or bucket, which will need to be emptied periodically.

So unlike an air purifier which circulates clean air through the home, a dehumidifier works to reduce moisture levels in the air, making it a less hospitable environment for allergens and mould to live.

There are several different types of dehumidifiers, each with its own benefits and best suited to different environments.

Desiccant dehumidifier

The most common type of dehumidifier is the desiccant dehumidifier, which uses desiccant material to absorb moisture from the air. These units are typically small and portable, making them ideal for use in small spaces or being moved from room to room within the home.

Mechanical/refrigerative dehumidification

Another type of dehumidifier is the mechanical compressor dehumidifier, which uses a compressor to remove moisture from the air. These units are larger and more expensive than desiccant dehumidifiers, but they are more effective in larger spaces which is why you will often find them in office or commercial premises. 

Ionic membrane dehumidification

Some dehumidifiers use an ionic membrane to remove water from the air. This relatively new technology is becoming increasingly popular as it is more energy-efficient than traditional refrigerant-based dehumidifiers.

It works by passing air over a series of positively and negatively charged plates. The water in the air is attracted to the plate with the opposite charge and is passed through a series of pores in the membrane. The now-drier air is then released back into the room while the water is collected in a tank or bucket.

Whole house ventilation dehumidifiers

Finally, there are whole-house dehumidifiers, which are designed to be installed in a home’s HVAC system. These units are the most expensive but offer the best protection against excess humidity.

The pros and cons of dehumidifiers vs air purifiers

So, which is better – a dehumidifier or an air purifier? The answer depends on your specific needs and the environment you are trying to create.

Pros and cons of dehumidifiers


  • Reduce humidity levels in the air, preventing mould and mildew growth.
  • Help with respiratory issues, as high humidity levels can make breathing difficult.
  • Can improve the air quality in your home as excess moisture can lead to musty smells.


  • Can be very noisy.
  • May increase energy bills.
  • Require regular maintenance, i.e. emptying of the water container.
  • Large and bulky sizing may be an issue or make it difficult to move around the house.

Pros and cons of air purifiers


  • Remove a range of particles as small as 0.1 microns from the air, including dust, pollen, pet hair and smoke.
  • Low noise due to operating modes between 19 and 49 dB(A).
  • Eliminate bacteria and viruses from the air, making them ideal for use in homes and offices.
  • Smart technology enables efficient energy usage, including automatic air volume control, timer setting, sleep mode etc.
  • Portable with models like the Ruhens WHA 200 and WHA 500 weighing in at only 4 to 6 kg.
  • Available at various prices and can be rented from £1 a day.


  • Cost of purchasing filter replacements approximately every six months.

Things to consider when choosing an air purifier or dehumidifier

When choosing an air purifier or dehumidifier, there are a few things you need to take into account.

The size of the unit: Make sure you select a unit that is the right size for the space you want to use it in. If the unit is too small, it won’t be effective, and if it’s too big, it will use more energy than necessary.

The type of filter: There are various filters available, so make sure you choose one that is suited to your needs. If you have allergies, for example, the best choice would be a purifier with a HEPA filter.

The noise level: Some units can get pretty noisy, so choose one that won’t disturb you or your sleeping children.

The price: Air purifiers and dehumidifiers vary widely in price, so make sure you choose one that is within your budget.

When choosing between an air purifier and a dehumidifier, the best option for you will depend on what problems you’re trying to address.

  • If you are trying to tackle a humidity problem, then a dehumidifier is the best choice.
  • However, if you want to remove allergens, dust and other particles from the air, then an air purifier is the better option.

Whichever device you choose, make sure you do your research to ensure you are getting the best possible unit for your needs.

At Air Care Solutions, we provide the latest technology in air purification systems, from small units that can be used throughout the home right through to larger devices and whole house purifiers. Whether you are looking for a unit, contact us if you have any questions about which unit might be most suitable for your needs or check out our air purifier buying guide for all you need to know.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is an air purifier the same as a dehumidifier?

    No, an air purifier and a dehumidifier are not the same thing. An air purifier is designed to remove contaminants from the air, while a dehumidifier is designed to remove moisture from the air. While both devices can improve the quality of your indoor air, they serve different purposes.

  2. Can you use a dehumidifier and an air purifier together?

    Yes, you can use a dehumidifier and an air purifier together. Both devices serve different purposes, but they can complement each other in terms of improving the quality of your indoor air.

    A dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air, which can help to prevent mould and mildew growth. An air purifier, on the other hand, sucks in dirty air and filters out pollutants such as dust, pollen, and pet hair. Together, these two devices can help you create a healthier indoor environment.

  3. How long does it take for an air purifier to clean a room?

    It depends on a few factors, such as the size of the purifier and the space, the type of pollutant, and the pollution level. Generally speaking; however, it will take an air purifier several hours to clean a room. It may even take a day or two if you have a very large or heavily polluted room or floor. But remember, an air purifier is not a one-time solution. You need to use it regularly to keep your indoor air quality fresh and clean for best results.

  4. Do dehumidifiers remove dust?

    Dehumidifiers can’t remove dust, but air purifiers can. Dust is mainly made up of tiny bits of dirt, skin, and other particles. Air purifiers work by sucking in the dirty air and then trapping and destroying the particles inside. This leaves the room with clean, fresh air. So if you’re looking to reduce the amount of dust in your home, an air purifier is a good investment.

  5. Do air purifiers stop mould?

    Unfortunately, air purifiers aren’t designed to specifically target mould spores. However, many air purifiers are effective at reducing overall airborne particulate matter, which can include mould spores. In general, the more powerful the air purifier, the better it will be at reducing mould spores and other particulates in the air.

    If you’re concerned about mould in your home or office, it’s important to take steps to prevent its growth in the first place. This includes keeping indoor spaces clean and free of clutter, repairing any water leaks promptly, and using a dehumidifier in damp areas. If you do find mould growing, it’s important to clean it up immediately using a solution of bleach and water.

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