Dehumidifiers work great for getting excessive moisture out of the air, which can ultimately help you feel like a room has been cooled down and the air feeling fresher.
In order to protect the components inside, dehumidifiers typically incorporate one or more filters located at the air inlet to the appliance.
Does this mean a dehumidifier can serve other purposes, such as helping with dust?
Dehumidifiers can help to reduce dust within the air of a home. The filter(s) in a dehumidifier can help to purify the air that passes through it, removing dust, pollen, and other particles. A dehumidifier also helps create a less desirable environment for dust mites to thrive.
Our own dehumidifier has a range of filters (such as activated carbon and HEPA) and other modern features, including a dedicated air purifying mode and Ionizer and UV light.
It works fantastically well in helping to reduce dust in our home, even just when running it in the standard dehumidifier mode.
We’ve discussed and explained how a dehumidifier can help with dust in more detail below.
Dehumidifiers can help with dust.
However, this doesn’t mean that they should be bought with the sole purpose of fending off dust mites. Standard dehumidifiers may lend a helping hand, but they aren’t specifically designed for dust, mold, or other household ailments.
On the other hand, certain models of dehumidifiers (like ours) can also act as an air purifier and have dedicated modes for doing so.
For example, our dehumidifier has an air purifier mode that we could use if we just wanted to help clean the air of dust etc (no water is collected in this mode).
Before understanding how a dehumidifier helps with dust, it is important to understand where dust comes from.
Obviously, not running a duster or a paper towel and Pledge over furniture can lead to dust accumulating over time.
Aside from not enough cleaning, another major culprit of dust is humidity.
High humidity levels are like a sponge for dust. This means that if your interior has high humid levels, you’re likely to have a considerable amount of dust within the space.
By reducing the level of humidity, the area can become less hospitable to dust and pollen.
The filter and overall dehumidifying process also act as a dust defense:
- The dehumidifier sucks in air through the vent.
- Moisture is extracted and collected in the water tank.
- The moisture-free air passes through a filter.
- The filter captures dust, pollen, and other bacteria.
- Clean, dust-free air is pushed out.
That said, a dehumidifier works in two ways to help reduce dust.
The effects of the dehumidifier are clear when you go to clean the machine. You will notice dust buildups that should be swiped away regularly to keep the dehumidifier in good working condition.
Depending on how many filters, and what type, are installed within a particular model of dehumidifier, dust collection can be very good.
Our dehumidifier has three sets of filters:
- Nano-silver coated filter
- Active carbon filter
- HEPA filter
These filters work together to clean as much dust out of the air as it passes through the dehumidifier while it’s working to reduce the humidity of our home.
The diagram below is taken from the owner’s manual of our dehumidifier:
Our dehumidifier also incorporates a Plasma Ionizer that we can use to aid in purifying the air even further, with the owner’s manual stating ‘the ionizer can refresh the air while killing viruses, dust mites, mold and airborne allergens’.
Looking for a dehumidifier with these range of features can help your dehumidifier to remove as much dust from your home as possible.
Keep in mind, though, that a dehumidifier is not a replacement for dusting or cleaning. It is nothing more than a helping hand that can significantly help with dust problems.
You’ll still need to do the actual act of wiping accumulating dust off tables, shelves, etc.
Air filters and dehumidifiers are fairly similar, but they have their differences, too.
An air purifier is best for someone that solely wants to remove airborne contaminants, such as dust, allergens, pet dander, and mold, from their air.
They do not help with reducing humidity. Instead, they are focused on purer air, which is beneficial for all consumers, especially those who suffer from allergies and asthma.
On the other hand, a dehumidifier can remove some dust mites and mildew, but the main focus is pulling moisture from the air and reducing humidity levels. That said, a dehumidifier should not necessarily be bought as an air purification tool.
While it has some purifying qualities, the goal is to reduce humidity first and foremost.
Someone who is struggling with serious allergies or asthma might consider an air filter.
Those who live in areas with high humidity and see an increase in dust due to the harboring environment of humidity will enjoy the effects of a dehumidifier in the room.
You may also want to consider buying a dehumidifier that has a built in air purifier feature, but the downside of this is that it can’t typically remove moisture when in this air purifier mode.
As such, an air purifier and dehumidifier can work well when used together.
Dehumidifiers can improve air quality.
It is important to remember that that is not the main focus of a dehumidifier, though. You should not purchase a dehumidifier with the sole intention of improving air quality. That is a job better suited for an air purifier.
However, you can definitely expect somewhat improved air quality by placing a dehumidifier in the home. This is especially true for those that live in heavy humidity. Since humidity creates an environment where dust, pollen, and mildew thrive, getting rid of the excess moisture will improve overall air quality.
Dehumidifiers do not kill mold.
They are quite handy for preventing mold from growing, though.
Mold spores are found everywhere in the home, and removing all of them is basically impossible. The spores remain dormant until there is enough moisture in the air to make them grow. By reducing the moisture in the room with a dehumidifier, you will fend off mold growth.
If you’re struggling with a mold problem, it is important to seek professional help right away as mold damages your health.
Once the mold is removed and the source is fixed, you can use a dehumidifier to fend off any future mold issues from forming. But do not expect a dehumidifier to fix mold growth.
See our article on whether a dehumidifier can prevent mold for more information.
While there isn’t necessarily a rule that says you can’t run your dehumidifier all the time, it doesn’t mean you should.
A bit of humidity in a room is perfectly fine. The only time you should start to be concerned about humidity levels is when they reach over 50% or 60%.
That said, keep an eye on the humidity levels of your home. If it reaches over 50%, turn the dehumidifier on until the percentage is lowered. High humidity will not only be uncomfortable for you and your loved ones, but it is the golden percentage for dust, pollen, and other undesirables to start migrating and accumulating.
Running a dehumidifier for longer periods of time also allows for more dust to be removed from the air in your home.
For more information see our article on whether a dehumidifier needs to be on all the time.
Unless you live in an area with extremely high humidity, dehumidifiers are typically placed in rooms with the most humidity, such as basements and laundry rooms.
However, if you have high humidity throughout the home, you can place it wherever you’d like.
If you’re using a dehumidifier to work as a dust-busting tool and a moisture-reducing powerhouse, it might be best to place it in a room with a lot of furniture and foot traffic.
For example, the living room or kitchen might be best.
Dehumidifiers are great for removing moisture from the air. As a bonus, this creates a less desirable environment for the dust to accumulate.
Dehumidifiers can therefore be an excellent way to help with a major dust problem, but they will not replace regular cleaning.
They should not be bought and used with the sole purpose of purifying the air or removing dust from an area.
If you are dealing with a room that does not have high heat, but there is a lot of dust, it would be better suited for an air purifier, or a dehumidifier that has an air purifying mode.
Make sure that you also regularly clean the area to truly conquer dust problems in your home.