photo: contributed/PuroClean
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GOOD Home is a biweekly column published in partnership with PuroClean of Wilton | Ridgefield about home safety, maintenance, weather preparedness, and damage prevention, with the goal to save homeowners from the hassle and headaches of severe property damage. Located in south Wilton (24 Danbury Rd., Suite 204), PuroClean provides 24/7 water damage remediation, fire and smoke restoration, and mold and biohazard removal services to the Fairfield County community and across southwest CT and Northeastern Westchester County.

You may have lived through the following scenario: you’re at home and sense that the air feels a bit stuffy. Or maybe you’ve noticed that your allergies have been acting up lately, and you’re wondering if the air in your home could be to blame. Whatever the case may be, you’ve decided it’s time to do something about the air quality in your home. But then you start to wonder: what exactly do you need? An air purifier? A dehumidifier? Both? This can come into more focus during winter, with our short days and long nights. As if living in Fairfield or Westchester County did not bring enough winter concerns.

If you’re unsure of the difference between air purifiers and dehumidifiers, you’re not alone. Though they both serve similar purposes, there are some key distinctions that you should be aware of before determining which one is right for your home.

What Is an Air Purifier?

The filters in an air purifier remove dust from your bedroom. (photo: contributed/PuroClean)

An air purifier is a device that removes contaminants from the air in your home. Pollen, pet dander, dust, and other toxic airborne particles are the targets of most air purifiers, making them highly effective in eliminating allergy triggers inside your home.

Air purifiers work by absorbing the air in your home through a filter that traps the contaminants. The filtered air is then circulated back into your home.

There are a few air purifiers on the market, but the most common type is a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter air purifier. These filters can trap up to 99.97% of airborne contaminants that are 0.3 microns or larger. The HEPA filters are reusable after cleaning and allow you to breathe fresh air. Relatedly, ionic air purifiers can produce ozone as an additional feature to eliminate odors.

Less known PECO filtration technology has been shown to completely oxidize and destroy pollutants such as mold, bacteria, viruses, and VOCs and thus represents a substantial improvement in air filtration over any technology available in the home.

What Is a Dehumidifier? 

A dehumidifier pulls moisture from the air. (photo: contributed/PuroClean)

Alternatively, a dehumidifier is a device used to remove excess moisture from the air in your home. High humidity levels can produce condensation on walls and windows, musty odors, mold, and mildew. As a result, a dehumidifier can help reduce mold growth and eliminate offensive smells from your home.

Dehumidifiers draw in air from your home and pass it over a series of coils. As the air travels around the coils, the water in the air condenses and collects in a tank. The tank size can vary depending on the dehumidifier’s model, but most require draining periodically. Some dehumidifiers also have built-in drainage connected to a hose, allowing water to be drained directly from the unit.

What Are the Benefits of an Air Purifier?

Cleaning your air filter is crucial to the performance of your air purifier. (photo: contributed/PuroClean)

Air purifiers can be advantageous for many reasons. They can:

  • Improve the indoor air quality index, which is especially important if you suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory ailments.
  • Reduce unwanted odors in your home and help create a cleaner, fresher atmosphere.
  • Remove smoke particles from the air. A filtered air purifier can remove tobacco and kitchen smoke from the air.
  • Eliminate airborne irritants and pet dander. If you have pets, they are likely to shed pet dander or microscopic skin flakes. These can be breathed in by family members with health sensitivities.
  • Reduce your stress levels. A home free of pollutants and toxins can ultimately lead to a cleaner, fresher home and boost your overall mental outlook.

What Are the Benefits of a Dehumidifier?

Emptying your dehumidifier’s tank is essential to ensure it runs efficiently. (photo: contributed/PuroClean)

Like air purifiers, dehumidifiers are appliances that can be used throughout your home, no matter the time of the year. They can be a very worthwhile investment.

A dehumidifier can provide the following benefits:

  • Help reduce allergens in your home by decreasing the humidity level that causes dust mites and mold to thrive.
  • Relieve congestion and coughing. Dry air can irritate your throat and nasal passages, making breathing difficult. This is especially important for those who have respiratory sensitivities.
  • Protect your wood furniture, floors, and musical instruments. High humidity can cause wood to warp and crack.
  • Drop temperatures to a comfortable level. Humid air feels hotter than dry air, so running a dehumidifier can help you feel cooler without needing to adjust the thermostat in your home.
  • Create a more pleasant environment overall. Humidity levels that are too high can make a room feel stuffy and uncomfortable. A dehumidifier can make your living space enjoyable.

What Is the Difference Between Air Purifiers and Dehumidifiers?

There is one stark difference between a dehumidifier and an air purifier, which comes down to what they remove from the air in your home. Air purifiers remove contaminants such as dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and smoke. Dehumidifiers, on the other hand, remove excess moisture from the air.

Another notable difference between the two devices is how they operate. Air purifiers rely on filters to trap contaminants and circulate the filtered air back into your home. Dehumidifiers draw in air and pass it over coils to condense the water, which collects in a tank.

You may still be undecided about which one you should choose for your home. It may be best to contemplate your needs. An air purifier is your best bet to improve indoor air quality and reduce allergens. A dehumidifier is a clear choice if you’re concerned about high humidity levels and potential mold growth. However, if you live in a humid climate or the air in your home feels stifling, a dehumidifier can regulate the humidity level. And if you’re interested in improving air quality and reducing humidity, you may want to consider investing in both.

PuroClean is Available 24/7 for Your Restoration Needs

In a property emergency, don’t hesitate to call your local PuroClean experts. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help you with any of your property restoration needs. Our team of professionals has extensive experience and can help restore your home or business to its pre-loss condition. We respond to every call with urgency and sensitivity. Look us up on LinkedinFacebook, or Instagram; call us at 475.277.2400; or email us.