Are These Two Devices Compatible?
If you’ve recently acquired an air purifier, dehumidifier, or both, you might be wondering if it’s possible to use the two together. What are the benefits? Are there any drawbacks? Will they both still work if they’re run at the same time? You can find all the answers here!
Whether you’ve bought both at the same time or you already had one and added the other to your collection, you might not have had the chance to use them simultaneously yet. Either that or you’re a bit nervous to do so in case there are any negative side effects.
You’ll be glad to hear that it is entirely possible to use both your air purifier and dehumidifier in the same room and at the same time! What’s more, you don’t need to worry about any clashes or decreased effectiveness for either device!
Likewise, if you have yet to buy one or both of these clever little machines, you can go ahead and do so now without reservations. If you’d like to find out a bit more about air purifiers before purchasing one, you can read up on how they work and what to look out for here, and if you need pointers on dehumidifiers, the next section should put you on the right track.
What is a Dehumidifier?
Dehumidifiers are machines that work to draw moisture out of the air in a space, making the space less humid. There are several different types of dehumidifiers on the market that utilise different methods for reducing the water content in the air. Some popular types include:
These kinds work similarly to air conditioning units in that they use a fan to draw air into their systems where a refrigerated plate or coil condenses any moisture in the air from a gaseous state to a liquid. Once this change of state has occurred, the water drips from the plate or coil into a collection container which can be emptied manually whenever needed.
Refrigerant dehumidifiers do not run constantly until they are turned off, but rather work until the relative humidity in the air has reached a normal level, at which time they go into standby mode until the humidity rises above a certain point again.
These are popular in households and offices because they make virtually no noise, and are highly renewable. Desiccant dehumidifiers work utilising a desiccant substance that basically acts like a sponge, absorbing moisture from the air.
One of the most commonly known desiccants is silica gel which you’ve likely found in a shoebox or packaging for electronics (the packets are usually labelled “DO NOT EAT”), however desiccant dehumidifiers may use different types.
Inside the dehumidifier is a wheel composed mainly of the desiccant which turns slowly, absorbing moisture from the air that it comes into contact with. As the wheel turns, a stream of warm air reactivates the saturated desiccant by condensing the moisture, which is then collected in a small tank.
Whole House Dehumidifier
This type of dehumidifier uses ventilation to move moist, stale air out of your home, replacing it with drier, fresher air. The basic premise is similar to that of a refrigerant dehumidifier, only it works on a larger scale.
You install a whole house dehumidifier in your home and a fan draws warm, moist air into it, where it passes over a cooling coil, condenses into water, and is collected and drained through an exit pipe. The resulting cool, dry air can then be passed over a warming coil to get it back up to a suitable temperature if necessary, or the cool air can simply be released back into the space.
Whole house dehumidifiers work in conjunction with your home’s existing HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, piggybacking on the existing ductwork infrastructure to draw in moist air and return drier air.
Why Do People Want Drier Air in Their Homes?
So now that we’ve covered a bit more about dehumidifiers and how they work, you might be wondering why people would want to have drier air in their homes rather than humid. This will obviously vary from person to person and from location to location but here are some common reasons:
- Things like mould and mildew thrive in damp and humid environments so drying the air out a bit can act as prevention and treatment for these issues.
- People with allergies might find that drier air harbours fewer of the particular pathogens and allergens that trigger allergic reactions for them.
- Other kinds of insects and pests prefer humid climates, so dehumidifying the air may help lessen infestations.
- Too much moisture in the air can lead to damp and water damage including warping wood and peeling paint whereas dry air is better for preserving these things.
- Drier air can minimise energy costs as things like central heating and air conditioning don’t have to work as hard in dry air as they do in humid air.
There may be many other reasons why individuals or families might want less humid air, but these points provide a good basis for having a dehumidifier. And before anyone objects that dry air can be harmful to breathing, skin, and other things, none of the reasons above state that the air must be completely dry or free from any moisture at all.
Air that is too dry IS indeed harmful in many ways so dehumidifying your space should be about finding the right balance, rather than dehydrating your air completely.
Using Your Air Purifier and Your Dehumidifier in the Same Room – How Does That Work?
As mentioned at the top of this article, there’s absolutely no problem with using an air purifier and dehumidifier at the same time in the same space. Why’s that? Because they serve entirely different functions.
That’s not to say that their functions are opposite to one another, as this would definitely result in one negating the effects of the other, but rather that their purposes are different enough to not affect one another – air purifiers and dehumidifiers are essentially apathetic towards one another.
Your air purifier is not trying to put more moisture in the air, and your dehumidifier is not going to introduce allergens and other particulate matter to the air, so the work of one has no negative impact on the work of the other.
In fact, in some respects, they even work together! For example, in the instance of mould. Most air purifiers are able to draw mould spores out of the air, and dehumidifiers create a harsher environment for mould to survive in. This combination of efforts gives mould a very hard time.
Is There Anything to Worry About?
While there is no reason why an air purifier and an air humidifier shouldn’t work together simultaneously, there might be a few convenience-based issues to take into account. Again, nothing serious, but depending on the situation you’re going to be using them in, these little things might make a difference.
Because both devices are powered by electricity, they’ll both be drawing energy that you’ll have to pay for. Air purifiers tend to be fairly energy efficient, and you can even go so far as to get an “eco” model that is specifically designed to minimise electrical waste.
The dehumidifier might be a slightly noisier one however, especially if it’s a larger, more powerful type. Energy usage will also depend on how hard each device has to work so if there’s a lot of moisture and particulate matter in your house, you can expect to pay a higher energy bill.
Just as your dehumidifier might have a bit of a hum to it as its fan works to draw in moist air, air purifiers are frequently fan-assisted too. If you end up with both a fan-assisted air purifier and an fan-assisted dehumidifier, you might find that this hum is amplified somewhat.
This will be particularly true of larger models of each device. The noise won’t be unbearable by any means, but it might be a bit distracting so it’s important to consider what you’ll be doing in the space that these devices are working in.
Although there are many different exteriors that air purifiers and dehumidifiers come in, regardless of how sleek or modern they might appear, having these strange little devices dotted about your home might not provide the aesthetic you’re going for with your décor.
This is barely an issue, but again, will depend on the person, the house, and the situation. If you’re worried about these devices looking ugly or not matching with your existing furniture, try to shop around before buying to see if there are any models that align with your standards.
In a Nutshell
Using both an air purifier and a dehumidifier should give you air that is clean, fresh, and of a suitable humidity so that you can breathe more easily without worrying about so many allergens and pathogens.
You can have total confidence running both in the same room, at the same time but you also shouldn’t feel obliged to do so. Another option would be to run each device at a different time of the day so you’d still be gaining all the benefits, but the noise and electrical consumption may be reduced.