Does a Dehumidifier Help Purify the Air?

If you live in Fresno, Los Angeles, and Bakersfield, all in California, you could be breathing in polluted air, without knowing.

And that is not all, because California has an average yearly humidity of 67.8 percent. That is why you need to run a dehumidifier. However, seeing as the air quality is not too good, does a dehumidifier purify the air?

While a dehumidifier has a filter, it really is not designed to remove pollutants from the air. Rather, it is for lowering the humidity level by removing the extra moisture from your indoor air. The suction fans draw the moist air and pass it over the dehumidifier condenser coils, where the water condenses and drips to a collecting pan, and the dry air is blown back to the house. 

A dehumidifier will make a room slightly warm, lower the indoor humidity level, and prevent damage to your items. It will also prevent the growth of toxic black mold. While it is a “super” appliance, there are things it cannot do. One of them is to remove pollutants from the air.

Do dehumidifiers clean the air?

Dehumidifiers improve the air quality in your home, but only by lowering the moisture. If it is working correctly, a dehumidifier blows warm air back into the room.

This does not mean that the air is purified. Rather, it is just drier. But if there is something wrong with the unit, the dehumidifier blows cold air.

So, in essence, a dehumidifier is not going to remove the pollutants from the air. However, it can prevent some of them from thriving.

For instance, by lowering the humidity level, a dehumidifier prevents the mold spores from forming new colonies. Mold is a serious indoor allergen and exposure to it can make your family experience signs of mold toxicity.

In all circumstances, you need to run a dehumidifier in a new house. But still, this is only going to remove the extra moisture, and not the other air pollutants.

In a new house, you need to run an air purifier to remove formaldehyde. Only an air purifier can make the air odor-free, and remove viruses and bacteria.

Can you run a dehumidifier and air purifier at the same time?

While a dehumidifier is not going to purify the air, you will be happy to know that you can run an air purifier alongside the dehumidifier.

That way, you can achieve clean air and at the same time, you can lower the moisture content in your indoor air.

Both appliances work by drawing the air into them. They then remove the relevant things and release the air back into the room.

While a dehumidifier does not consume a lot of electricity, an air purifier consumes more. Therefore, running the two together is going to raise the electricity bill.

However, since the air purifier operates based on air changes per hour (ACH), you don’t need to run it all the time. Switch it off after some time, especially if you keep the doors and windows locked so that the outdoor air does not get in.

The same applies to the dehumidifier. Unless you are running a basement dehumidifier with drain hose after there has been flooding, you should not run it for many hours on end. Rather, switch it off in five hours or less.

To remove the guesswork from the picture, check the hygrometer. If the humidity level is between 30 and 50 percent, switch the unit off.

Also, most big and even small dehumidifiers come with a built-in humidistat, so it is going to switch off automatically after attaining the set humidity level.

What can help you purify your indoor air?

You need an air purifier to cleanse the air. It is the only appliance that is designed to remove the following things from your indoor air:

  • Dust
  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Smoke
  • Pet dander
  • Dust
  • VOCs
  • Microbes
  • Heavy metals

Investing in a Levoit air purifier can help to remove all of these things from the air. There are so many air purifiers on the market; some have high ACH, and others have low ACH.

One with high ACH is better because it can purify the air faster. A good air purifier can even remove odor from the air, but for that, you have to choose one with an activated carbon filter.

There are small and big air purifiers. Since these appliances are space-rated, it is best to know the size of your rooms before buying one. For instance, the Honeywell HPA300 Air Purifier is a large-capacity air cleaning unit.

It is rated for 4.8 ACH, which is quite commendable. It means it changes the air almost five times an hour.

Other air purifiers, such as the Slevoo Air Purifier that you can buy on, are small and can purify 86 square feet of air in about 20 minutes.


There are even battery-operated mini air purifiers that you can use on your desktop, in the car, RV, and other small spaces. The same way that we have the best small humidifiers for 2×2 grow tent is also the same way there are also small air purifiers.

Will dehumidifiers get rid of smoke?

Will dehumidifier get rid of smoke

Once again, a dehumidifier is not going to get rid of smoke from your room. For that, you must use an air purifier to get rid of the smoke molecules.

A dehumidifier is only designed to lower the moisture in the air. For this, it comes integrated with a humidistat, which senses the level of humidity.

If you have set the maximum humidity level at 50 percent as recommended, and it rises above that, the dehumidifier starts to remove the excess moisture automatically.

If you have high humidity in the basement, and you would like the unit to run continuously, get a dehumidifier with a pump and drain hose. It will dispose of the water vertically.

An air purifier with three-stage filtration is going to get rid of smoke, even cooking or burned food smoke in the kitchen.

If you have smoke pollution, and you live in humid Florida, running a dehumidifier is going to lower the humidity level. However, it will not do anything about the smoke.

Is a dehumidifier better than an air purifier?

Because both of these appliances serve different purposes, there is no way you can compare them side by side.

None is better than the other. For instance, if you have high humidity inside the house, the dehumidifier is the appliance to go for since it removes excess moisture from the air.

If you have air pollution and there is smoke, dust, VOCs, microbes, heavy metals, microbes, and others, you need an air purifier.

Sure, a dehumidifier will lower air moisture, and as such, dust mites can’t thrive in high humidity. Mold spores also fall to the floor, where you can pick them up using the vacuum cleaner. Still, a dehumidifier is not for purifying the air.

If you live in California, you will need both a dehumidifier and an air purifier. In many instances, you might also want to add a humidifier to the mix.

You can also check for a dehumidifier and air purifier in one on If we have humidifier and dehumidifier combo units, you might also find air purifier and dehumidifier combos.

Wrapping it up

The dehumidifier is not going to purify the air. Therefore, if you have the right humidity level for sleeping, you can still get sick if your air is polluted.

To keep an eye on your indoor air quality, you should buy the PinoTec air quality monitor on It is a 5-in-1 monitor that monitors TVOC (total volatile organic compounds), CO2 (carbon dioxide), HCHO (formaldehyde), temperature, and humidity levels in the house.

Use the right tool for the job, so do not depend on the dehumidifier to purify the air. Likewise, an air purifier is not going to lower the humidity indoors.