Can A Dehumidifier Act As An Air Purifier?

Many people suffer from indoor allergies year-round, making air quality in a home something essential to consider.

Mold thrives on moisture and so using a dehumidifier could help control the mold and mildew in your home.

When moisture is lowered, the air in your home could become cleaner.

Dehumidifiers lower the moisture level in your home, but many do not kill bacteria in the air as it passes through. A simple dehumidifier will reduce allergens but not completely purify the air in your home. However, some dehumidifiers can also provide an air purifier function that helps to greatly improve indoor air quality.

Depending on what you’re looking for, a dehumidifier could be the solution to your needs.

If you need a sterile environment, a simple dehumidifier will not work.

However, if you would like to lower the allergens while lowering your home’s moisture, a dehumidifier could be right for you.

Certain models of dehumidifier also offer dedicated air purifying functions that provide improved air quality over the standard dehumidification process.

Our own dehumidifier has an ‘air purifier’ function that we often use when we don’t need to be removing moisture from our home.

There’s an air purifier mode on our dehumidifier

Our dehumidifier also has UV Light and Plasma Ionizer functions for increased air purification.

The button to start the UV light function
The button to start the plasma ionizer function

Comparing Dehumidifiers And Air Purifiers

When looking into how you can use a dehumidifier as your air purifier, it’s good to know exactly how they work.

While both machines essentially have airflow through them and some sort of filter, they’re quite different.

One will sterilize the air while the other simply removes the moisture. How do they actually work, though?

How Do Dehumidifiers Work?

Refrigerative dehumidifiers work by using a fan to take in warm air into their coils. As the air works its way through the machine, it contracts and leaves behind condensation. It then releases cool and dry air into your home.

Desiccant dehumidifiers pull air over chemicals such as silica gel to remove moisture from the air.

Our desiccant dehumidifier

They collect water that will need to be dumped. Depending on your machine’s size and the moisture level in your home, this could be daily or every few days.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers may also bring air into the machine, but instead of taking the moisture out of the air, it sanitizes it.

There are two different types of air purifiers.

  • The first works by using filters to trap any particles that are in the air as the air passes through the machine.
  • The second works by neutralizing the particles in the air.

Can Your Dehumidifier Improve The Air Quality?

A dehumidifier can technically improve the quality of air that is in your home. It does so by taking out all the moisture in the air (or as much as possible).

There are many allergens found in all homes, such as:

  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Mildew

Moisture feeds mold. Without moisture or a much lower level of moisture in your home, an environment is created where mold doesn’t grow as well, or at all.

Bacteria also can grow faster and loves a very humid environment. Higher levels of moisture can also draw in bugs like roaches which can cause several health issues to arise.

A dehumidifier may not be able to sanitize the air as it passed through the machine even though the air passes through a filter like an air purifier, but It can lower the moisture level so much that allergens, mold, and bacteria will not grow well in your home.

This can help to create healthier environment compared to a home without any dehumidifier.

However, the use of a standard dehumidifier won’t be able to match the same level of air purification as a dedicated air purifier, but more sophisticated models of dehumidifier can help to further improve air quality through incorporation of a number of air purification processes.

For example, our dehumidifier has a: 6-stage air purifier system, with:

  • Nano-silver coated filter
  • Active carbon filter
  • HEPA filter
  • Ionizer
  • UV light

We purchased our dehumidifier with the optional Carbon and HEPA filters, which are always in use even when the air purifying mode isn’t on and the dehumidifier function is operating.

The activated carbon filter for our dehumidifier
The HEPA filter for our dehumidifier

This full stage air purification process available on our dehumidifier can be started by switching the mode to ‘Air Purifier’.

The manual to our dehumidifier explains for the Air Purifier Mode:

No moisture will be extracted in this mode, which when used with filters will purify the air. The UV and plasma ionizer can be used in the mode to further improve the quality of the air processed.’


The diagram below is taken from the manual to our dehumidifier and highlights this air purification process.

The air purification process offered by our dehumidifier. Copyright ElectriQ.

As discussed earlier, there are separate buttons on our dehumidifier to turn on the ionizer and UV light processes.

Is A Dehumidifier The Same As An Air Purifier?

A dehumidifier is not the same as an air purifier, but the air quality in a home can be improved through the nature of the dehumidification process. Air purification can also be separate functionality on some models of dehumidifier as another mode where no water is collected.

Is A Dehumidifier Good For Air Quality?

A standard dehumidifier lowers moisture levels in a home that in turns helps to improve air quality through prevention of problems such as mold. For higher levels of air quality, a dedicated air purifier or a dehumidifier with a built-in air purifying feature should be sought.

What To Look For Before Purchasing A Dehumidifier Regarding Air Purification

When looking for a new dehumidifier that can couple up as an air purifier, it’s essential to consider a few things.

Every home is not created equal, just as dehumidifiers are not the same. Different climates, home sizes, and more are critical aspects of figuring which dehumidifier is perfect for your home.

Some things to consider include:

  • The Capacity Of The Machine – This pertains to how much water it can take out of the air during a 24-hour period. The larger the number, the more water it can take out.
  • Your Homes Size, Dampness, And Temperature – A large and damp home will need a much higher capacity dehumidifier than a smaller home that tends to stay a little dry.

Air purification features to look for in a dehumidifier include:

  • HEPA filter
  • Carbon filter
  • Ionizer
  • UV light
  • Air Purifier Mode
The control panel on our dehumidifier allows us to control the different forms of air purification individually

Using Your Dehumidifier As An Air Purifier

If you already have a dehumidifier, it should be providing a certain level of air purification through the means of simply reducing the moisture level of the air within your home.

Its effectiveness will all depend on your situation. If you need to have sterile air, then a standard dehumidifier may not be the best solution. However, for the average home, a dehumidifier will work to lower the moisture level to give you a cleaner home.

For improved air quality, look for a dehumidifier that incorporates features such as an air purifying mode or UV and Ionizer functions, and components such as filters, or look for a dedicated air purifier.