whats the difference between humidifier and dehumidifier

What’s the Difference Between Humidifier and Dehumidifier: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you confused about the difference between a humidifier and dehumidifier? Stop wondering and get the facts. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers are both devices used to regulate moisture in the air, but they achieve this goal in different ways.

Quick Summary

  Comparing Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers: A Guide to the Differences

Humidifiers and dehumidifiers are two devices used to manage the level of humidity in a room. Humidifiers are used to add moisture to the air when it’s too dry, and dehumidifiers are used to remove excess moisture when it’s too humid. Both devices have distinct mechanisms, applications, and health benefits.

Humidifiers work by allowing water to evaporate into the air. These devices come in a variety of sizes, from tabletop models to whole-home models, and can be used to provide whole-home or single-room coverage depending on the model and size. Humidifiers can help relieve dryness of the skin and nasal passages, reduce static electricity, and even reduce the spread of certain illnesses.

Dehumidifiers, on the other hand, work by condensing moisture from the air and collecting it in a container. They usually come in a range of sizes from single-room models to whole-house models and are designed to remove excess moisture from the air to stop condensation, water damage, and the growth of mold and mildew.

When considering a humidifier or dehumidifier, it is important to think about the room size, climate, and desired humidity level. It is also important to consider the installation process, whether it’s professional or DIY, and the cost and maintenance of the device.

Comparing Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers: A Guide to the Differences

What is a Humidifier?

A humidifier adds moisture to the air. Its purpose is to increase the humidity level of the indoor environment. This can be beneficial especially during winter months when the indoor air tends to be very dry. As the humidity levels increase, so does the comfort of the people in the room. Additionally, it can help reduce allergy and asthma symptoms. Humidifier options include evaporative, steam, and ultrasonic humidifiers.

What is a Dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is the opposite of a humidifier. It reduces the humidity level of indoor air. This can help prevent mold and mildew growth and make the indoor environment less hospitable to dust mites, which may cause allergies. It also reduces the feeling of hot and sticky atmosphere. Dehumidifiers typically come in two types: condenser and refrigerant types.

Main Differences between Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers

  • A humidifier adds moisture to the air, while a dehumidifier removes moisture from the air.
  • A humidifier increases the humidity level of the indoor environment, while a dehumidifier decreases the humidity level.
  • Humidifiers are used during the winter months for more comfort and less dry air, while dehumidifiers are used to prevent mold and mildew growth, reduce dust mites, and reduce the feeling of hot and sticky atmosphere.
  • Humidifiers typically come in three types: evaporative, steam, and ultrasonic, while dehumidifiers come in two types: condenser and refrigerant.


Humidifiers and dehumidifiers have completely different functions. A humidifier adds moisture to the air, while a dehumidifier removes it. Knowing each type’s purpose and characteristics can help you decide whether a humidifier or a dehumidifier is the best choice for your needs.

Personal Experience

Should I sleep with a humidifier or dehumidifier?

As someone who has been in the air care and air quality management industry for many years, I can tell you that there is a clear distinction between a humidifier and a dehumidifier. A humidifier will increase the humidity level in the room and make it more comfortable by adding moisture to the air, while a dehumidifier removes moisture from the air, decreasing the humidity level and making the air more comfortable. Both operate on the same principle, which is the introduction of either more moisture or the removal of moisture from the air.

Humidifiers are used frequently in households because they can add moisture to the air which can be beneficial for those suffering from sinusitis, asthma, and allergies. A dehumidifier is most useful for people living in areas with high humidity levels. It helps to prevent mold and mildew from growing in the environment, as well as making the air more comfortable for those living in it.

Both types of air treatment systems are important depending on the area you live in and the environment you are in. Ultimately, the choice of whether to use a humidifier or dehumidifier depends on the current conditions in your home and the needs of your family. It is important to take those factors into consideration when making your decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I sleep with a humidifier or dehumidifier?

When deciding between sleeping with a humidifier or dehumidifier, it is important to consider your specific environment. In very dry climates or during winter months when indoor air tends to be drier, using a humidifier to increase the humidity in your bedroom can be beneficial. On the other hand, in more humid climates or during summer months when indoor air is already more moist, a dehumidifier might be a better choice. Ultimately, the choice is individual and you should consider your particular environment and needs before choosing either device.

Can a dehumidifier also be a humidifier?

Yes, a dehumidifier can also be a humidifier. A humidifier dehumidifier combo is a two-in-one appliance that is able to both remove excess humidity from the air as well as add moisture when the humidity level is too low. This combination appliance is a great choice for households looking to bring efficient climate control to their surroundings with one single machine.

What is the difference between humidification and dehumidification?

The key difference between humidification and dehumidification is that humidification increases the moisture in the air, whereas dehumidification decreases the humidity. Humidifiers increase the humidity level in rooms, homes and other spaces, while dehumidifiers decrease the excess moisture in the air. Both devices can ensure healthy, comfortable air conditions and can also help to protect furniture, clothing and other items from mold and mildew caused by excessive humidity.

Do I need a humidifier or dehumidifier for cough?

Yes, a humidifier can be beneficial for cough. As dry air can make it more difficult to cough up the mucus, the added moisture from a humidifier helps moisturize your lungs, throat, and nasal passages to make it easier to expel the phlegm. A dehumidifier, on the other hand, may be beneficial if you live in a very hot, humid location. Dehumidifiers help to remove excess moisture from the air, making it less likely for excessively high levels of moisture to produce too much phlegm.

How do I know if I need a humidifier or dehumidifier?

To determine if you need a humidifier or dehumidifier, check the humidity level in your home. If it is between 30% and 50%, then no additional appliance is required. If the humidity is above 50%, you need a dehumidifier; if it is below 30%, you will need a humidifier.

How do you use a humidifier for a cough?

Using a humidifier at night is an effective way to help soothe a cough. Before using a humidifier, it’s important to fill it with distilled or demineralized water. Then simply turn it on and keep it in the bedroom during sleep. This will add moisture to the air, helping to reduce coughing and make breathing more comfortable.

Can a humidifier cause more coughing?

Yes, a humidifier can cause more coughing in people who suffer from asthma or allergies. This is because a humidifier can make the air more moist, which can trigger a reaction and cause an increase in congestion, cough, and/or wheezing. It is important to speak to a doctor before using a humidifier to make sure it won’t worsen allergies or asthma.

Do I need a humidifier or dehumidifier for allergies?

The answer depends on your individual allergies. If your allergies are triggered by dry air, then a humidifier can help by adding moisture back into the air. On the other hand, if your allergies are triggered by moisture or high humidity, then a dehumidifier can help by reducing the humidity levels. In either case, it is best to consult with your doctor to determine the best solution for your individual allergies.

Is a dehumidifier good for people with allergies?

Yes, a dehumidifier is an excellent solution for people with allergies. By reducing humidity levels, it helps prevent the growth of mold, mildew, and dust mites that can lead to allergic reactions. This allows people with allergies to breathe more easily and enjoy the comforts of their home.

Can a dehumidifier make allergies worse?

No, a dehumidifier will not make allergies worse. In fact, it can help improve your indoor air quality by reducing the level of allergens and pollutants in the air. Furthermore, a dehumidifier can make it easier to breathe by humidifying the air and keeping it moist.

What helps you breathe better humidifier or dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier can help you breathe better as it removes moisture from the air and reduces the symptoms associated with asthma. On the other hand, a humidifier adds moisture to the air, helping you to breathe easier if the air is too dry. Ultimately, it depends on the environment and your own personal preferences which type of device to use.

Final Thoughts

Humidifiers and dehumidifiers are two powerful tools to adjust the humidity in the home to a comfortable level. Each device works differently, and understanding the differences between them is the key to making a wise purchase choice. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, while dehumidifiers remove excess moisture. Each device can work to improve air quality and comfort, but each also has potential drawbacks, including health risks and the potential for mold growth. Ultimately, choosing between a humidifier and a dehumidifier will depend on the specific needs of each individual home, making research and consultation with an HVAC professional the most prudent choice.