A dehumidifier or air purifier, which one should you invest in today?
Do you often wake up in the morning, with your throat feeling itchy dry, and for no apparent reason you have sneeze uncontrollably several times? For some you will keep on sniffling and blowing your nose constantly, while your nose is not necessarily runny, you just feel discomfort, while you don’t have a cold you have allergies.
Over 35% percent of people from various allergies. The biggest percentage of this group is usually children. While some allergies get better as one gets older, this cant is a reason to ignore the allergies in your children.
While regular sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming, keeping the pets away from the bedroom, taking the recommended allergy medication, and avoiding the outdoors especially in the allergy seasons – will help alleviate your allergy symptoms most of the time this will not be enough. You need to turn to technology to improve the air quality in the home for better relief.
Today, most understand people understand allergies are caused by an allergen in the air we breathe. Controlling this allergen can significantly change the quality of your life in your home – zero allergies definitely equal a better life.
There are 2 commonly used home appliances for allergy relief. They are :
1. Air purifiers – This is an electronic appliance that circulates your indoor air through filters that trap: dust, mold spores, dust mites, pollen, and other allergens.
2. Dehumidifiers – These are electronic appliances that regulate and remove moisture from the air. Controlling the humidity levels in the air makes it impossible for mold, mildew, and dust mites- which are the main causes of most allergies to grow or survive in your home.
While both the air purifiers and dehumidifiers improve the quality of your indoor air in their own unique way. So, how then do you choose between the two appliances?
The simplest answer to this question is you have to determine what your needs and problems are indoors first. This is because needing cleaner air and wanting to get rid of the excess moisture causing dampness indoor are two completely different needs.
In this post, we are going to provide you with a detailed air purifier and dehumidifier comparison report to help you identify the difference in features, benefits, and capabilities of the two appliances to make them easy for you to choose.
1. Air purifiers.
Air purifiers are only helpful if your allergies are caused by dust mites, pollen, or pet fur. These are the easiest often airborne irritants that an air purifier can easily filter out. Some air purifiers can be installed in the existing HVAC system to easily clean the whole indoor air while some are small and portable.
The air purifier pro includes:
· Will remove most air-borne allergens like dust, pollen, and other microscopic debris, giving you cleaner air.
· Great for people with respiratory issues and asthma.
· Built small and portable which makes it convenient to use and cheap.
The cons include :
· While operational the air purifier does can be noisy hence can make your home uncomfortable.
· Does not control humidity that allows dust mites, mold, and mildew to survive in your space.
· The air purifier is only able to clean out air-borne allergens, if the pet fur, dust, or even pollen is on the floor or on the surface of items in the house the air purifier will not be able to remove them.
· You will be needed to dust, sweep and vacuum your space often, to reduce the allergens in your space that the air purifier will not be able to cleanout.
· Air filtration clearly improves the quality of air, however, according to the American lung association and the U.S. Environmental protection agency (EPA), air filtration is not a solution by itself.
· Failure to control moisture levels will allow mold. Mildew and dust mites to continue surviving in your home.
· An air purifier will require constant maintenance and filter change.
· Some air purifier models emit ozone, which can irritate your lungs.
Types of air purifiers.
i. Electrostatic air purifiers – This air purifier uses charges to attract allergens from the air, hence cleaning it.
ii. HEPA(high-efficiency particulate air) filters – These air purifiers are equipped with very fine fiber filters that can trap up to 99.97% of particles larger than 3 microns in the air. HEPA filters are highly effective and can last over 3 years without cleaning or requiring replacement.
iii. Ionizing air filters – These air purifiers use an electrical field and oppositely charged particles, which attach to the pollen or dust and drop to the floor or walls, where they are unlikely to be inhaled. These air purifiers are not highly effective as the allergens can be recirculated into the air after some time.
iv. Ozone generating – work similar to the ionizing air filters, but they change the makeup of the oxygen levels by altering its molecules. These are more effective in reducing odors but do not filter dust or pollen.
v. Absorbent – These purifiers use absorbent material and substances to trap smoke, odors, and chemical emissions. These purifiers are not as effective in trapping allergens.
vi. UV air purifiers – These purifiers use ultraviolet rays to destroy viruses and bacteria. These purifiers are not as effective in getting rid of allergen unless they are equipped with HEPA filters.
most air purifiers in the market today, are equipped with 2 or 3 purifying modes. Most utilize HEPA filters, UV-C, and odor reduction to provide quality clean indoor air.
A dehumidifier will regulate the relative humidity level indoor maintaining it at below 50% R.H. A dehumidifier is a must-have appliance for anyone living in wet or humid climate areas. High humidity levels create the perfect environment for mold, mildew, dust mites, and other allergens to grow and reproduce first.
If you notice condensation on the windows and glass door especially in the morning, or your home feels stuffy or smells musty - you have a humidity problem that is the cause of your increased allergies. The humidity levels can vary from room to room. Some like the kitchen, the basement, the laundry, or the crawlspace are more likely to have higher levels of humidity. This is because activities, like cooking or doing laundry, can produce over 5 liters of moisture per day.
Pros of a dehumidifier are :
· Control allergens growth in your home meaning fewer allergies.
· Low relative humidity means increased comfort levels.
· A dehumidifier will extract the increased moisture will not only decrease your allergies but also protect the structural integrity of your home by protecting it from moisture damage.
The cons are:
· Low relative humidity can cause you to have a dry nasal passage that may be irritating.
· You will still have to clean up the already existing mold and mildew.
· You will be required to empty out the condensate collection tray several times a day especially in the smaller models. This can be an inconvenient daily task. It is therefore important to choose the right dehumidifier capacity. Check out our guide on which dehumidifier best suits your space.
· A dehumidifier without any filters will not clean the air of any mold spores, dust mite, pollen, or dust. This is a major challenge, however, some of the newer dehumidifiers are equipped with air filters.
· A dehumidifier too can be noisy while operational, which can make your home uncomfortable.
Types of dehumidifiers:
i. Refrigeration/mechanical dehumidifiers – Suck the air into the unit using a fan and passes the air over a series of refrigerated coils, which condense the moisture out of the air. The condensed water is collected on the collection tray while the dry air is expelled from the unit. This type of dehumidifier is highly effective in warmer temperatures and they struggle to be effective at low temperatures.
ii. Desiccant/absorption dehumidifiers – The air is sucked into the unit, the air is then passed over a rotating water-absorbing material. Once the moisture is absorbed then the material rates and is heated to release the collected water into the collection tray. These dehumidifiers are lighter and are more effective at low temperatures compared to mechanical dehumidifiers.
iii. Ionic dehumidifiers – They remove water through electrolysis, separating hydrogen, and oxygen molecules. There are no moving parts or water. These dehumidifiers are recommended for small spaces.
iv. Electric dehumidifiers – They use a Peltier pump that cools a plate that is used to condense the moisture from the air. They are a lot quieter as there are moving parts, however, they are not as effective in moisture reduction, especially at low temperatures.
So, which should you choose?
1) Choose the air purifier when?
ü When your home has no musty mold smell.
ü When there is no odor.
ü When you or someone in the home suffers from allergies or asthma.
ü When you are sure the humidity levels are well controlled.
2) Choose the dehumidifier when?
ü When you can spot clear signs of moisture condensation in your home.
ü When your allergies are made worse by moist air.
ü When your home feels damp and has a musty odor.
ü When you reside along the coastline or near a large water mass like a lake.
Some people with severe allergies choose to operate both an air purifier and a dehumidifier. However, this can be an expensive choice as it is expensive to buy both the appliance and they will definitely increase your power bill.
Save money today, buy a filter-equipped dehumidifier here!