Difference between humidifier and dehumidifier: Surprising Answer

Summer months are approaching and if you live in a very dry region, you might be looking at buying a good quality humidifier. On the contrary, if you live in a humid area you might be looking for dehumidifier appliances to keep the humidity level low inside your home. A humidifier can add water vapor to the air and make it less dry. A dehumidifier removes water vapor from the air and makes it drier. They have opposite functions. Finding the right balance between air and water is essential. We will discuss this in more detail below.


What are humidifiers?

Humidifiers add more humidity to the air. This can be needed in dry climates or during the wintertime. Water vapor is added to the room so that the air is less dry. This can make it more comfortable to be in a room.

It is important that they are installed correctly as they can lead to mold or damage electronics in your house if they spread too much water. You have to check the manual of your device to make sure that it works properly. A lot of damage can be done to a house with a humidifier that doesn’t work properly.

You need to choose the right kind of humidifier for your home based on your budget and the size of the area you want to humidify. There are console units available that are meant for the entire house, and there are personal ones that are used in a small area. Let’s look at some of the common types of humidifiers available in the market.

1.    Central Humidifiers

They are built directly into your home’s air conditioning or heating unit. Even though they are the most expensive types of humidifiers, they are the perfect ones if you want to humidify your entire house. They are safer than traditional humidifiers as there is no risk of burns from the steam emitted by them.

2.    Evaporators

They blow humid air through a moistened filter. Since these units are powered by fans, they are capable of humidifying only one room at a time. They are less expensive than central humidifiers. Also, you need to control it manually as they might expel too much humidity into the air.

3.    Impeller humidifiers

They work with the help of high-speed rotating disks and are preferred by many homeowners due to their ease of use. There is no risk of burns, however, can be used only in one room at a time. They are often less powerful and cheaper.

4.    Steam vaporizers

These are portable humidifiers that are electrically powered. They use heat to spread a mist in your home. They are available in almost every household and are used when someone gets a cold. This device first heats the water and then cools it before releasing it into the air. One can purchase them easily at drugstores and they are quite inexpensive. It is essential that they are cleaned properly as dirty steam can make your home messy.

5.    Ultrasonic humidifiers

Using ultrasonic vibrations, these devices create a cool mist. You may choose to buy the cool mist and warm mist versions based on your needs. They are not very expensive and sometimes oils can be added to get a refreshing smell in your house.

What are dehumidifiers? How to dehumidify a room

Areas near the seashore are normally quite humid and some people find it difficult to live in such conditions. The damp can create mold or make it uncomfortable to be in a room. For this reason, it can be a great idea to remove some of the moisture from the air. This can be done with a dehumidifier.

A good quality dehumidifier can bring down the humidity levels in the air to about 40 percent. Airconditioners are perfect examples of dehumidifiers as they control the humidity by drawing warm air into its coiled through a fan. The warm air follows the principle of condensation when passed through the refrigerated coils of the dehumidifier.

It collects the moisture from the air and deposits it in the storage tank attached to the dehumidifier and releases dried air from the other side of the gadget.

Most American households do not need dehumidifiers separately as they have in-built centralized air-conditioning systems. If you have inherited an ancestral home that was built in the 19th century or before, you might need to buy an external dehumidifier. These homes normally do not have the provision of centralized HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) systems.

Dehumidifiers often have a filter that needs to be cleaned or replaced. You also have to empty the water reservoir from time to time to keep them running correctly. They also shouldn’t run too hard as dehumidifiers can make the air too dry. For this reason, it is important that professional installs and maintains them. Modern machines have sensors that allow them to detect when the air is too dry and the machines slow down.

Natural humidifiers and dehumidifiers

We have talked about mechanical machines which function as humidifiers and dehumidifiers. However, nature has blessed us with many items which act as natural humidifiers. One of them is a grass called khus. In ancient and medieval times, in countries like India, Persia, Indonesia, etc. people used to weave curtains made of this grass and hang them on their windows. Then they used to soak them with water which used to work as natural humidifiers.

The water used to evaporate and stay inside the house making it cool. It is still used in many parts of the world that do not have access to modern gadgets.

Homes made of clay are natural dehumidifiers as they have the ability to absorb the extra moisture in the air. These homes use terracotta tiles which are eco-friendly as they are made of clay. Terracotta tiles regulate the moisture level and keep the house cozy.


Technology has made our lives easy and man-made inventions like humidifiers and dehumidifiers have helped us to make our homes more comfortable. Too much moisture or too little water in the air can make it unpleasant to be in a house. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can help us to find the correct humidity in our homes.