Is It Better to Dehumidify or Humidify?

Humidification and dehumidification control the amount of moisture in the air and reduce health issues, but using either in the wrong circumstances can actually exacerbate these health problems. This article will highlight the differences between the two, citing the benefits of each and the different types available.

misty landscape

What is a humidifier?

A humidifier is a device that adds moisture into indoor air to make it humid. Humidifiers are needed when the air inside your home is too dry. This usually occurs in winter, when families put their central heating onto its maximum output.

A variety of health conditions are caused or aggravated by a lack of moisture in the air. These include:

  • Chapped lips
  • Dry eyes
  • Nasal congestions
  • Increased risk of infection and illnesses
  • Sore throat
  • Asthma
  • Increased allergies

Types of humidifier

There are many different types of humidifier, each adding moisture into the air using different methods. The most common types are:

  • Evaporative Humidifiers – Evaporative humidifiers operate by using a wick filter and a fan. The wick absorbs water from the basin and is blown by the fan, causing the water to evaporate into a mist. The mist disperses into the room and hydrates the air. One of the reasons why the evaporative humidifier is so popular is that it is self-monitoring. The water on the wick will struggle to evaporate if the room is already quite humid, meaning the system is only able to add moisture into the air when the air is dry.
  • Steam/mist humidifiers – These humidifiers boil water to produce clean steam that is dispersed into the air. Boiling the water is less energy-efficient than humidifier alternatives but the mist produced is purer and will help to reduce allergens.

Other types of humidifier include:

  • Ultrasonic humidifiers
  • Impeller humidifiers

What is a dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is a device that removes moisture from indoor air to make it less humid. They are needed when the air inside your home is too moist and are typically used in rooms where moisture is rife, such as in bathrooms. Too much moisture in the air can attract microbes and prompt the growth of mould and mildew. 

Living in an environment that contains mould and mildew can be damaging to your health. Mould and mildew emit spores that wreak havoc on the body when inhaled, including problems such as:

  • Airway inflammation
  • Nasal congestion
  • Coughing
  • Skin rashes and redness
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Abdominal pain

Types of dehumidifier

There are various types of humidifier, each drawing moisture out of the air using different methods. The most common types are:

  • Refrigerant dehumidifier – The refrigerant dehumidifier uses a fan to pull air into the device, where it passes over a cold evaporator coil. The cold coil cools the air below its dewpoint temperature, resulting in condensation. The condensed water is collected in a pan and either removed manually or expelled through a hose automatically. The remaining dry air is passed over warm condensing coils before being expelled from the machine.
  • Desiccant dehumidifier – These dehumidifiers feature a rotating material that absorbs water. The dehumidifier draws air into the device and the desiccant material draws the water out. The remaining dry air is expelled back into the room. A heater is used to dry the desiccant material and evaporate the water where it is removed from the building.

Other types of dehumidifier include:

  • Thermoelectric dehumidifiers
  • Ionic membrane dehumidifiers 

Does air conditioning affect humidity levels?

Air conditioners offer an all-in-one solution to humidity problems. Many of the air conditioners from leading brands produce humidification/dehumidification by heating or cooling the air and collecting the moisture. By installing air conditioning in your home, you can protect your family from the harms of dry and moist air. 

 

Based in Sheffield, FM Mechanical provide high-quality air conditioning installation and maintenance services to customers throughout Yorkshire and Nationwide. If you’re looking for swift air conditioning installation from some of the world’s leading brands, we can help. We have over 30 years of industry experience and possess a team of fully certified engineers to deal with all of your air conditioning needs. To enquire about any of our products and services, give our team a call today.