We often take the air we breathe for granted. We assume it will be clean, life-giving, and available. The reality in our modern world is that many particles and conditions around us often make breathing somewhat uncomfortable, worrying, or even difficult at times. Fortunately, both air purifiers and dehumidifiers can help improve the air quality around us and help us all breathe a little easier.
The main difference between an air purifier and a dehumidifier is that the former works to remove particulates from the air while the latter removes moisture. Both can affect the air quality in our environments.
What is an Air Purifier and What Does It Do?
Air purifiers may also be known as air cleaners or air scrubbers. Regardless of their name, they usually use one or more filtration methods to remove particulates from the air.
For example, some portable air scrubbers employ HEPA filtration and can filter air particles down to 0.3 microns in size. The benefits of an air purifier include the fact that all HEPA filters must remove up to 99.97% of these particles, which can include dust, bacteria, chemicals, and allergens.
When HEPA filtration is used in combination with negative air machines, which use ducts to push contaminated air from a sealed indoor air space to outside through a vacuum effect, indoor air quality can be significantly improved.
Other filtration technology can help remove more specific contaminants. For example, active carbon filtration helps remove smoke and odors while ultraviolet light is frequently used in healthcare and other medical settings to combat viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.
What is a Dehumidifier and How Does It Work?
Dehumidifiers, on the other hand, are designed to remove moisture from the air, not particulates. Three different technologies work to accomplish this task:
- Traditional Refrigerant Dehumidifiers
These dehumidifiers work by pulling the surrounding area through their system and over a coil containing refrigerant. As a result, the water vapor collects or condenses on the coil’s surface and subsequently drips into a collection pan or down a drain.
- LGR Dehumidifiers
This equipment uses a double cooling system, which decreases the temperature of the humid air once inside the machine before pulling it over refrigerant coils. As a result, more moisture is removed.
- Desiccant Dehumidifiers
Instead of using a compressor and cold surface, desiccant dehumidifiers use a wheel that absorbs moisture from the air like a sponge.
Dehumidifiers can also improve air quality because certain things like molds, fungi and even bacteria and viruses may thrive in particularly humid conditions.
Air Purifier vs. Dehumidifier: How to Choose
The main difference between an air purifier and a dehumidifier is essentially what the equipment removes. In order to choose the best equipment, consider the air quality in your working area.
For example, construction areas, healthcare facilities, or companies working with chemicals and solvents may require an air purifier to remove particulates on a regular basis. The benefit of an air purifier in this situation is that through regular HEPA filter changes, you can improve air quality and help protect the health and safety of your employees and customers.
On the other hand, buildings that have been damaged by floods or broken water pipes may require dehumidification to remove excess water and dry the surrounding area before mold, fungi and other contaminants begin to grow. The benefits of a dehumidifier include the fact that they can quickly remove a great deal of excess moisture in the air.
By examining the air quality issue you face, you can select the correct technology for your situation.