HVAC TipsHumidifier working in a home. What is the difference between a humidifier and dehumidifier? We break it down for you in this article!

It may seem a little odd, but we all care a lot about how much water is in the air we breathe. In fact, the amount of water vapour, or humidity, in the air is such a concern, we invented humidifiers and dehumidifiers to control it in indoor air. 

There are good reasons for the concern. The level of humidity in your home can affect your health and wellbeing, including issues like asthma, dry skin, and even nosebleeds. And that’s why it’s good to learn more about the differences between humidifiers vs dehumidifiers.

What Do Humidifiers Do?

Humidifiers add moisture to the air to raise the humidity level in your home. That means, due to the climate here in Toronto and the GTA, we usually use humidifiers in the winter because colder temperatures can make the air dry. 

In addition to drying out your skin, and causing those nosebleeds by drying out your nasal passages, drier air can also harm your wooden furniture and trigger allergy attacks.

There are two basic types of humidifiers. Steam humidifiers, or warm-mist humidifiers, heat water until it evaporates into steam, before releasing it into your HVAC ducts for distribution throughout your home.

Cool air humidifiers use a dedicated fan, or your furnace’s blower, to distribute moist air in your home. 

What Do Dehumidifiers Do?

Dehumidifiers work to remove moisture from the air, thereby lowering indoor humidity. Again, considering our local climate here in Southern Ontario, we usually use dehumidifiers in the summer due to the often high humidity levels in the outside air.

Too much indoor humidity can cause a number of health issues and problems around your home. Moist conditions, especially in basements where moisture doesn’t evaporate as quickly due to the cooler air, are ideal for the growth of mold and mildew. In addition to indoor air quality issues that can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms, mold and mildew can damage wooden furniture and the wood structure of your home.

To learn more about improving your indoor air quality, check out our post “Should You Buy an Air Purifier?”.