Humidifier vs Dehumidifier: Which Is Better For Your Home?

humidifier vs dehumidifier

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We’ve all heard of the saying, home is where the heart is. And this is because our house is the place where we can relax and unwind. 

But what if the outside weather tries to crash into your home? What’s best for your health? To regulate external factors like the weather or to completely shut them out? What works better for your home, humidifier vs. dehumidifier? 

In this article, we’re about to break down each. 

What Is a Humidifier?

A humidifier is a device (typically an electrical one) that increases the humidity of a room. You can typically control the rate at which the humidifier produces humid air to suit your comfort. A humidifier requires a water tank to produce pure humid air. 

What Is a Dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is an electrical device to control or reduce humidity in a room. You can even use a dehumidifier to maintain the level of humidity in a room per your preferences. In some cases dehumidifiers are used at home to prevent rooms from developing odors. 

What Is the Difference Between a Humidifier and a Dehumidifier?

A humidifier distributes moisture into the air. Typically, people that have breathing issues use humidifiers during the winter. This is because the air around winters is drier than usual, making it more difficult to breathe. And so, a humidifier can provide fresh, humid air. Additionally, some people like to add different scents to their humidifiers. 

A dehumidifier is usually used when the air is too humid and uncomfortable. A dehumidifier can remove the moisture from the air or maintain the level of humidity. For example, people use dehumidifiers during the spring or summer when the air is particularly humid. 

The humidity in the air can sometimes magnify or enhance odors present in a room. This can lead to the room smelling unpleasant and cause discomfort, especially for people with allergies. A dehumidifier can help prevent such odors by eliminating the humidity in the air. 

How Does Humidity Affect Health?

Humidity can affect your health, whether there is too much of it or not enough. For example, some people use dehumidifiers to reduce the humidity in the air to help them breathe better. This is because humidity makes it hard for them to breathe.

On the other hand, if you have nasal congestion, a humidifier can provide clean humid air that helps clear that up. 

How Does the Weather Affect Indoor Humidity?

The weather has a large part in the need for humidifiers and dehumidifiers. In the summer months, for instance, there is excessive heat and humidity in the air. As a result, the temperature in your house significantly rises. So, the air passing through is also warmer and more humid. 

Similarly, in colder months, the air becomes drier and loses most of its moisture. Eventually, the temperature in your house is significantly lower, and the air is cool. Whether the temperature rises or lowers down, you can feel a significant change in the air around you. 

What Are the Different Types of Dehumidifiers, and How Do They Work?

A dehumidifier removes the moisture from the air. However, there are different types of dehumidifiers, and they are given below:

Refrigerative Dehumidifier:

This is the most common type of dehumidifier that you can find out there. It may not have the highest cooling potential, but it can help maintain a healthy humidity level (at 45%). So, now the question is: how does a refrigerative dehumidifier work?

Well, a refrigerative dehumidifier absorbs and contains warm air through the fan. Metal coils within the dehumidifier cool this warm air. These metal coils are coated in a chemical coolant. It helps keep the coils cool and helps the coils cool the air.

As the warm air begins to cool, it also shrinks and produces smaller, warm water droplets. These water droplets are collected as condensation in the dehumidifier tank.

A second fan now blows the cool air back into the open. Again, this air is cool and free of the moisture that the dehumidifier tank has collected.

Desiccant Dehumidifier:

This is a much more powerful version of a dehumidifier as it can lower the humidity levels anywhere between 45% to 35%. However, you will not see this type of dehumidifier in a home as it is more commonly used for commercial purposes. This dehumidifier is more likely to be used by pharmaceuticals, food, and chemical companies. 

A desiccant dehumidifier uses chemical attraction instead of condensation. It pulls the moisture out of the air through a strong chemical reaction. 

What Are the Different Types of Humidifiers, and How Do They Work?

A humidifier can provide some much-needed moisture back into the air. Several different types of humidifiers can help you achieve this. 

Warm Mist Humidifiers:

Warm mist or steam humidifiers are some of the most common types of humidifiers used. They come with a tank that requires water to function properly. The warm mist models boil the water in the tank and disperse this warm air across the room. So, how does a warm mist humidifier work?

The humidifier is plugged into an electrical outlet and uses this energy to boil the water in the attached tank. The boiling water emits steam that is cooled before releasing into the air.

Cool Mist Humidifiers:

The cool mist humidifiers – as the name suggests – add moisture into the air in the form of cooled water droplets. Cool mist humidifiers are the safer option because they do not use boiling water. 

However, these types of humidifiers need to be cleaned regularly. Else, it can develop bacteria. 

Evaporative Humidifiers:

An evaporative cool mist humidifier uses a fan and blows cool air through a wet belt or filter. This is one of the most common types of cool mist humidifiers as it uses evaporation as a technique to cool the mist. 

A cool-mist humidifier is usually larger than the average humidifier as it comes with a fan and a filter. Bear in mind, you will need to change the filter from time to time. 

Ultrasonic Humidifiers:

These humidifiers employ two spinnings, wet plates that produce extra fine water mist through their motion. As a result, ultrasonic humidifiers are quieter, smaller, and less expensive because they do not need filter changes. 

These humidifiers come in many different shapes and sizes. Additionally, they come with USB power, LED lights, and aromatherapy benefits that make them very popular.

Impeller Humidifiers:

These models feature a rapidly spinning disc or a ceramic plate that breaks down water into tiny droplets. These much smaller droplets are dispersed into the air as a cool mist. This model is much louder than the ultrasonic humidifier. Not to mention it also requires routine maintenance to prevent the build-up of bacteria. 

FAQ

Does A Humidifier or A Dehumidifier Help Congestion?

Both dehumidifiers and humidifiers are suitable for people with allergies. However, dehumidifiers are specifically suitable for people with asthma during warmer months. And humidifiers help to disperse moisture in the colder months and break down congestion. 

How Do I Know I Need a Humidifier?

In general, the humidity in most homes is between 30% to 50%. Therefore, if your home is above 50% and you feel uncomfortable with the humid air, you need a dehumidifier. On the other hand, if the humidity level is lower than 30%, you need a humidifier.

If you struggle with sinus problems, allergies, or asthma, you generally understand how the weather affects you. However, if you need the air to be warmer in the winter months or at night when the temperature is cooler, you need a humidifier.

Should A Humidifier Run All Night?

Let us start by saying that the right humidifier can run all night. However, different brands and different products have other run times. If you want a humidifier that can run the entire night as you sleep, you can find those kinds of humidifiers on the market also. 
If you struggle with breathing as you sleep, you should run the humidifier the entire night. This will aid your breathing, help you sleep, and help you wake up refreshed. Additionally, your skin, mouth, and throat will be under a soft layer of moisture to prevent irritation.

The only catch here is that the humidifier should be well-maintained to run smoothly every night.

Do Humidifiers Help Stuffy Nose?

A humidifier produces clean air that helps break up mucus and clear stuffy nose. In addition, it can help reduce the symptoms of flu. 

Conclusion

We gave you a breakdown of humidifiers vs. dehumidifiers and which one of them works best for your home. Both have diverse uses, different designs, and disadvantages.

You, however, have to consider your needs when deciding which one to choose. We hope you found this article helpful and were able to find what you were looking for.


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