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Dehumidifier vs Humidifier: What Is Your Solution?

About the quality of air indoor, moisture is also one of the top concerns. Too high or too low humidity are both a problem. So, to you, between the Dehumidifier or Humidifier, which is your need?

Dehumidifier vs Humidifier

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Dehumidifier vs Humidifier

Are you having problems with the humidity in your home? Is it too high or too low? Determining this feature helps you know which one is more suitable: dehumidifier vs humidifier.

These machines will adjust an appropriate level of humidity with your body.

Dehumidifier vs humidifier

Although both dehumidifiers and humidifiers help you adjust humidity to prevent mold and nasal congestion during certain times of the year, they are different.

What’s the dehumidifier?

What’s humidifier

A dehumidifier is an in-room machine, which takes in the moist air to pass it over an evaporator coil and a condenser coil. Finally, this model will release the dehumidified air back into your room.

This machine can maintain and decrease the level of humidity in the air to remove musty odor and prevent mildew development by extracting water from the air. It is usually used in places with high temperature and high humidity.

What’s humidifier?

What’s humidifier?

The humidifier releases moisture in the form of the stream into the air from its water reservoir.

In places with low humidity, it will add moisture to the air to prevent dryness and irritation on your body. In particular, it’s a very effective way to treat dryness of the skin, and lip, nose, and throat, ease some symptoms of the common cold.

Note: Please don’t overuse humidifier because it can worsen your respiratory problems.

Features of humidifier and dehumidifier

Here are the primary differences between these models:

PurposeRaises moisture in the airReduces moisture in the air
UsageCommonly used in winter and dry conditions.

Controls allergies and nasal congestion and keeps your skin from drying.
Commonly used in summer, warm and humid condition.

Prevents the growth of mold and mildew to keep you from allergies and headaches.
Humidity levelsUsed for under 35% humidityUsed for more than 50%

The benefits of dehumidifier and humidifier

Each machine has different benefits to suit different using purposes. Let’s see their outstanding features:

The advantages of the humidifier

The advantages of the humidifier

The humidifier can help you improve the quality of the air around you by adding moisture. Thus, it’s very useful if you use cool seasons or areas having a very dry climate. If you use a forced-air furnace, it will distribute air through a duct system to create dry heat and decrease humidity levels in the atmosphere. I strongly recommend you use in rooms under 35% humidity.

Here are its outstanding features:

  • Keep your skin from drying
  • Moisten nasal passages when you have a cold
  • Improve dry, scratchy, and sore throats
  • Minimize coughing, headaches, and nose bleeds.

The advantages of a dehumidifier

The advantages of a dehumidifier

Like the humidifier, the dehumidifier can also improve the comfort level of the air around you. But, it removes moisture without adding it. This machine works well in warm and humid climates (over 50% of the humidity level). Please take a look at the following benefits:

  • Minimize mold, dust mites, and mildew
  • Alleviate allergy and asthma symptoms

The types of dehumidifier and humidifier

Both dehumidifiers and humidifiers have many types. Let’s see the information to determine which one is more appropriate for your case:

Types of dehumidifiers

The dehumidifier has 5 types as follow:

Mechanical/ Refrigerative

Mechanical is the most common dehumidifier type. This model uses a small fan to pull moist air over its refrigerated coil. Condensation on the coil will drip into a collecting space. This machine works well over 65 degrees Fahrenheit (19 degrees Celsius) of the air temperature and over 45% of the humidity.

Absorption/ Desiccant

The desiccant can absorb moisture from the air easily. This type of dehumidifier is rotated on a belt with one heated end of the system to draw the moisture.

We strongly recommend you use it in places with low temperatures and high humidity, especially it’s helpful for industrial processes under 35% of humidity level.


Electronic comes with a Peltier heat pump, which creates a cool surface. In this area, condensation will extract water vapor from the air.

This type of dehumidifier works quietly due to the lack of moving parts. So, it results in a low-efficiency rating.

You had better apply Electronic for restricted areas (under 300 cubic feet) and small appliances.

Ionic membrane

The ionic membrane can remove water at the molecular level from the environment, whether it is gas or liquid.

In particular, specialized ionic membranes can pump water out of and into a sealed environment without creating water.

This is why it is applied for water filtering, fuel cells, and chemical engineering.


Air conditioners, stand-up, and window units run as a mechanical or refrigerative dehumidifier. This type of dehumidifier releases the accumulated condensation outside and adds heat.

Types of humidifiers

Humidifier has warm mist humidifiers and cool mist humidifiers. Each of them comes with specific types of humidifiers:

Warm mist humidifiers

Steam humidifier

The steam humidifier is a common and straightforward type. What you have to do is only to boil water and release steam into your room. If you want, you can add medical inhalants, antibacterial, and aromatic compounds to the water.

Cool mist humidifier

Wick or evaporative humidifier

This type of humidifier uses a wick like cloth to absorb water from a storage container. There is a fan that will blow over the wick’s surface area to evaporate the water. If you use cold water, it can lower the ambient temperature quickly, running as a makeshift air conditioner.

Impeller humidifier

Impeller humidifier is usually a big area mister, which produces fine foggy mist.


It throws water onto a diffuser through a rotating disc. Then, the diffusing element will smash the water into tiny droplets and spray them into the air.

Ultrasound humidifier

The ultrasound humidifier breaks down water into tiny droplets through solid or membranous, vibrating at the ultrasonic range, or a diaphragm. Then, its fan will blow the mist out as fog. If you are looking for a quiet-running machine, this is an ideal solution because the ultrasonic vibration is outside the human hearing range.

The differences of dehumidifier and humidifier

The dehumidifier and humidifier differ in the following aspects:

The mode of operation

Each type of model has a different mechanism of operation.

The design of a humidifier usually has a tank and an atomizer plate. The latter will convert water into the warm or cool mist to disperse in the air. On the market, there are available many models that come with filters, allowing you to get rid of minerals and bacteria from the water in the tank. Some humidifiers with aesthetic illumination can help you improve the environmental ambiance.

Speaking of the dehumidifier, it will draw the air through the grille opening by a fan. The machine will remove the moisture or humidity in the air by coolant or water-absorbing material into the tank of the dehumidifier. The last step is that the moisture-free air comes back to your environment through another opening.

Whenever you fill the tank with the water, remember to empty the dehumidifier’s tank or moisture-collection tray.

Last but not least, the humidifier takes less time to disperse moisture into the air than the dehumidifier even when you use an equal amount.


The humidifier works extremely quiet because of the high-frequency vibrations, which is out of the hearing range of humans. However, if you use cool and warm mist humidifier that uses a fan to push the moist air from the model, it will create a little noise.

When it comes to the dehumidifier, although it is not as quiet as a humidifier, it won’t be as loud as a window or portable air conditioning model.

With a little noise during operation, it’s better to locate your dehumidifier beyond your bedroom or any place, requiring a high level of quietness.

When used in cold condition and winter

Basically, these machines can adjust the suitable temperature and humidity with your body during the cold winter.

Winter air is dry, requiring you to add more moisture to minimize airborne viruses, which cause flu infection. The cold air is denser than warm air, so winter usually doesn’t have much room for water vapor. Thus, we strongly recommend you use a humidifier in winter to prevent cold.

For chest and sinus congestions due to a cold, the humidifier will increase the humidity level to moisture your airways and nasal passage.

The humidifier can improve the air quality and humidity level up to 30% in winter. Moreover, this model helps you improve your skin softer and more glowing. Notably, it preserves your pieces of real wood furniture in cold months better.

Meanwhile, the dehumidifier gets rid of moisture from the air to treat asthma. You shouldn’t use a dehumidifier in winter since it will reduce moisture, making the air drier and drier.

When used for the basement to treat mold

Basement exposes less sunlight, which tends to get high humidity, so there is the buildup of mold over time. Thus, you need to invest in a dehumidifier to decrease the moisture in this place.

What’s more, if you leave your basement the too high humidity, it will ruin your walls and damage your floorboards slowly. However, your floors and ceilings may be cracked at too low humidity. You can buy a hygrometer to check the humidity of your home. Remember to maintain an optimal level of 40-50%.


Because of the differences between humidifier and dehumidifier, how to take care of them is also different. Please take a look at the maintenance for these machines below:

How to maintain a humidifier

  • The humidifier only accepts distilled and demineralized water since it can cut down molds, bacteria, and the buildup in filters, tanks, and reservoirs.
  • It’s crucial to clean the filter and water tank regularly. Remember not to leave water in these things longer than one day, if you don’t want to see the buildup of molds and bacteria.
  • After cleaning, be sure to rinse thoroughly. If not, it may release harmful chemicals.
  • The areas around your humidifier need to be dry, as well. This way will show the possible leaks and minimize the potential for the bacteria and mold buildup.

How to maintain a dehumidifier

Like humidifier, keep in mind to clean the water tank and the coil frequently. Don’t leave water in the tank for more than one day to avoid the development of bacteria and mold.

When the weather is colder, don’t forget to check the buildup of frost in the coil. Remove it as soon as possible, or it will decrease the efficiency of the outcome.

Which one is your choice: dehumidifier vs humidifier?

In sum, the humidifier can increase moisture in the air while the dehumidifier decreases moisture in the air. The final decision depends on your demands.

If you found out your own answer, don’t forget to let us know by leaving your comment in the section below. In case you encounter any related issue about these machines, you can ask as well. We will come back to you with an answer. If you find my post informative and helpful, please share it immediately.

Thanks for reading my article! And see you in the next post.

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