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Humidifier vs Dehumidifier. Which is Better for My Home?

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Humidifier vs Dehumidifier. Which is better for your home? Well, the answer is —it depends on your humidity needs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the ideal humidity level lies anywhere between 30% and 50%, with 45% considered as the sweet spot.

Humidifier vs Dehumidifier: How much is too high or too little humidity?

An indoor environment with above over 50% is too humid, and you’ll need a dehumidifier to control the levels. When the humidity levels fall below 30% during certain times of the year, the air becomes too dry. In this case, you’ll need a humidifier to add moisture inside your home to a safe level.

Humidifier vs Dehumidifier Texas Air Repair

Your home is your castle of comfort and safety. However, having excessive or too little humidity in your home can influence the comfort level, as well as affect your health. Fortunately, achieving the right balance of humidity has become a lot easier, thanks to the dehumidifiers and humidifiers.

Almost all the latest humidifiers and dehumidifiers are designed with a built-in hygrometer, allowing you to determine the level of humidity in your home accurately. And even if you don’t get a machine with this feature, you can buy a hygrometer as a separate device. It’s cheaply available and can be placed on tabletops, shelves, or mounted on the wall.

Effects of too little humidity you can control with a humidifier

Low indoor humidity is linked to several health issues, especially in asthmatic and allergic patients. It can lead to respiratory distress, bloody noses, sinus congestion, dry skin and hair, and increased static electricity. The body moisture can evaporate quickly, making you feel cold even when your thermostat settings are normal or high.

The effects of low humidity can also spread on to your furniture and valuable items. Wooden furniture, floors, and furnishing can warp, shrink, and split. Additionally, the valuable paints and artworks on your walls can crack, loosen, and peel off.

Having a humidifier can help prevent these issues.

Effects of excessive humidity you can control with a dehumidifier

Humidifier vs Dehumidifier. What is a Humidifier Texas Air Repair

When humidity is too high, it can encourage dust mites and create a breeding ground for mold and mildew. These elements will pollute your indoor air quality, triggering allergies, and aggravating asthma symptoms. Your family members will also become susceptible to respiratory illness. 

If you’d like to learn how to prevent mold in your humidifier, you can check out our recent post. 

Too much humidity can wreak havoc on your home’s structural integrity, wood furniture and floors, art paintings, fabric, books, electronics, and stored foods. Structural damage makes your home prone to pest infestation.

An excessive amount of water vapor indoors also puts people with heart issues at a high risk of heatstroke. The body’s ability to cool itself is disrupted, especially when high humidity is combined with high temperatures.

Your air conditioning system suffers, too. The AC will have to work extra hard at its primary job, which is cooling the air. It will need to run longer. This will not only increase your monthly utility bills but also the risk of a breakdown in the future.

Installing a dehumidifier is a great way to combat these problems.

Humidifier vs Dehumidifier. What is a Dehumidifier? Texas Air Repair

Humidifier vs Dehumidifier: How Do They Work?

How do dehumidifiers work?

When humidity is too high, it can encourage dust mites and create a breeding ground for mold and mildew. These elements will pollute your indoor air quality, triggering allergies, and aggravating asthma symptoms. Your family members will also become susceptible to respiratory illness.

Too much humid can wreak havoc on your home’s structural integrity, wood furniture and floors, art paintings, fabric, books, electronics, and stored foods. Structural damage makes your home prone to pest infestation.

An excessive amount of water vapor indoors also puts people with heart issues at a high risk of heatstroke. The body’s ability to cool itself is disrupted, especially when high humidity is combined with high temperatures.


Your air conditioning system suffers, too. The AC will have to work extra hard at its primary job, which is cooling the air. It will need to run longer. This will not only increase your monthly utility bills but also the risk of a breakdown in the future.

Installing a dehumidifier is a great way to combat these problems.

How do humidifiers work?

Humidifiers have a water reservoir. If your hygrometer detects low humidity levels, the machine will be activated and start releasing water from its reservoir into the air in the form of moisture. It will keep adding the water vapor to the desired level.

Types of dehumidifiers

You will come across several options when shopping for a dehumidifier. The most popular dehumidifiers in the market include:

Refrigerative dehumidifiers: This is hands down the most well-known type of dehumidifier. It has a fan that pulls in moist air into the system and passes it over the cold metal plate(s). The condensed moisture drips into the dehumidifying water tank while the dehumidified air is released back into the living spaces.

Desiccant dehumidifiers: With the desiccant dehumidifiers, they have a chemical material with moisture-absorbing properties. The desiccant wheel is often impregnated with hydrophilic materials, such as silica gel. This wheel rotates slowly through the incoming air as it works to take out the moisture and blow out warm, dry air.

Heat pump dehumidifiers: Just like the refrigerative types, the heat pump dehumidifiers also use the condensation technique to remove moisture from your indoor air. A fan gets the air past the icy heat exchange coils, where the water vapor condenses.

Rosahl dehumidifiers: Also known as ionic membrane dehumidifiers, this option does not involve liquid water in the removal of excess moisture from the air. The units work like ionic pumps by removing water vapor through electrolysis. The beauty of these dehumidifiers is that they’re silent, have a low running cost, and are maintenance-friendly.

Types of humidifiers

When it comes to humidifiers, there are just two main types you’ll need to consider.

Warm mist humidifiers: The warm mist humidifiers typically boil the water in the reservoir and use a fan to release it into the air in the form of steam.

Cool mist humidifiers: They use ultrasonic vibration to evaporate water to cool mist. There’s a fan or rotating disc to spray cool mist into the air.

Safety precautions for using humidifiers

Keep your humidifier clean

If you’re going to use a humidifier, make sure it is always clean, and all parts are dry. It helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew. These elements could be dispersed into the air and cause health issues you’re trying to avoid.

Use distilled water

Some people will still use tap water against the manufactures instructions. It’s imperative to stick to distilled water to avoid mineral deposits, which can promote bacterial growth in your humidifier. You and your family members may also be breathing the mineral particles as they are disbursed into the air.

Empty the water reservoir

Once you’ve achieved the right humidity level, don’t let water stand in the reservoir. Dump it out.

Use cool mist humidifier for children

Warm mist humidifiers are not recommended for adding moisture if you have children around your house. The steam they produce can burn the kids, especially if they get close.

Consult an HVAC technician at Texas Air Repair

Whether you need professional installation or advice on the best dehumidifiers or humidifiers, we can help. Call the best air conditioning company in San Antonio, Houston, and all of the areas in between at (210) 380-8000 to speak with an indoor air quality testing specialists today!

Henry Rodriguez

Henry Rodriguez

Henry Rodriguez is the owner of Texas Air Repair with physical locations in San Antonio and Houston.

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Texas Air Repair offers air conditioning, heating, and indoor air quality services to residential and commercial customers in San Antonio, TX & the surrounding areas with their 25+ years of experience. 

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