Air Purifiers vs. Dehumidifiers: Which One Is Right for Your Home?

Air Purifiers vs Dehumidifiers in Puyallup, WA

Air purifiers and dehumidifiers are a great investment to make for your home. You can indeed breathe happily in every room when these devices are in working order. No worries about allergies for you or what other pollutants might be lurking in the air around you all the time.

If you have a family member living with asthma, it’s essential to make sure the air you’re breathing is clean and healthy throughout the day. Your lungs will thank you later on down the road for taking the time now to check into your options before deciding on whether to install air purifiers or dehumidifiers.

What Is an Air Purifier and How Does It Work?

Air purifiers are electro-mechanical devices that remove contaminants from the air in a room or building. They are also known as air cleaners, air filters, and air pollution control devices. Air purifiers are used for:

  • Trapping pollutants such as dust, mold spores, and pet dander
  • Removing smoke and other airborne particles
  • Removing odors, such as those from cigarettes and pets
  • Reducing the risk of allergies and asthma symptoms

The most common type of air purifier is the electrostatic precipitator, which uses an electric charge to attract airborne particles. This device consists of a metal grid with holes that small particles can pass through.

The grid sits inside a metal housing unit filled with metal plates charged with electricity. The charged plates attract the particles and hold them until they stick to the grid’s surface. A fan pulls the collected particles into a collection container, and you can safely discard them when full. There are several different types of air purifiers.

Electrostatic Precipitator

In this device, a particle filter removes fine solid particles and gaseous pollutants from the air using an electrostatic charge. The particles become charged after passing through a corona discharge cell in which high-voltage electrodes ionize them. It allows the particles to be attracted to a collector plate where they are collected.

HEPA Filter

HEPA stands for “high-efficiency particulate air.” These filters trap particles 0.3 microns and larger. These include allergens like mold spores and pollen and pollutants like pet dander, dust mite feces, and cigarette smoke. HEPA filters can remove more than 99% of these particles from the air passing through them.

What Is a Dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is a device that removes moisture from the air. Dehumidifiers are standard in homes and businesses, especially in areas that experience high humidity levels, such as basements, crawlspaces, and attics. You can use them to reduce the risk of mold or mildew developing inside a structure. When properly sized, maintained, and operated, dehumidifiers can protect against damage caused by water intruding into a home or business structure.

A dehumidifier may also heat the room while it’s removing moisture, but this only works if there is no moisture in the air to begin with. If there is already moisture in the air, then the first order of business for a dehumidifier is to remove existing water from the air before it can heat it up. Otherwise, you would end up with damp, heated air that is still full of moisture.

How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

A dehumidifier removes excess moisture from your home using one of two methods: refrigerant or desiccant. Refrigerant dehumidifiers work by cooling the air in your home to below its dew point. The cooler temperature causes water vapor in the air to condense into liquid form and drain into a collection bucket or reservoir. Desiccant dehumidifiers use silica gel or adsorbent material to absorb water molecules from the air.

Dehumidifiers vary widely in price and effectiveness, so you want to find one that matches your needs. If you live in a humid area and use your dehumidifier for most of the year, you may want to spend more on a higher quality one — especially if you plan on using it for many years to come.

If you’re trying to pick between an air filtration unit and a dehumidifier, we suggest you first ask yourself why you want it in the first place. Air purifiers are meant to reduce or eliminate unwanted allergens or dust particles and allow control over odors. On the other hand, dehumidifiers help control humidity and make your room less stuffy and sticky.

You can contact our experienced technicians at Puyallup Heating & Air Conditioning for any information you may need to know about the two. We also offer other cooling and heating services, ductwork design and installation, gas piping, and water heater services. We serve Puyallup and the surrounding areas. Call us today for more information.

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