What is the difference between a dehumidifier, humidifier and air purifier?

Joanne Lia

Joanne Lia

Joanne is a qualified Building Biologist and certified Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) consultant who specialises in creating healthy indoor environments. As well as conducting healthy home and office audits, Jo conducts pre-lease and pre-purchase audits for homebuyers. This mother of three’s passion lies in creating safe spaces for kids to grow and learn. In 2015 she...
Updated on Jul 06, 2024 · 2 mins read
What is the difference between a dehumidifier, humidifier and air purifier?

When it comes to keeping our homes safe and healthy for our families it’s not always easy to know where to start. We know dust and mould are no good for children (or adults) and you might have heard people talk about air purifiers,  humidifiers and dehumidifiers. But what are they exactly and which one do you need? Kiindred’s healthy homes expert, Jo from NoToxRox breaks each one down for us, so we know exactly what each one does and how it can help.

Air purifier

An air purifier is really important if you live in the city, high-pollution areas or near a high-traffic road to purify the air in your house. It can also be really useful if you’ve got a new build or a renovation because there can be off-gassing from a lot of products used. What happens is the air comes into the air purifier, it gets filtered and it comes back out and you’ve got fresh air.


A humidifier adds moisture to the air, and that can be really important if you live in a dry climate. Have you ever been in a hotel room and you’ve woken up in the morning and you’ve felt really dry, your skin is really dry, you feel dehydrated?  It’s often because the air-conditioning is just that little bit dry and there’s not enough humidity, so if you were to take a humidifier (or a diffuser which also adds moisture to the air) then you’d feel more comfortable.


A dehumidifier is really important to draw moisture out of the air. What I find in a lot of the houses I go to is that there’s excess moisture in the house. We also live in a pretty humid environment here in Australia and there’s just a lot of indoor moisture – and with our homes being built so close together, it’s almost like we’re in a plastic bag.Once you get excess moisture in the house you can get condensation on surfaces and that leads to mould growth. And a mouldy home is the perfect environment for dust mites and these are really bad for children (and adults, and anyone living in the home).

My Mould Story

Our healthy homes expert takes a look around Emmy’s home to point out the hidden causes of mould. Watch as she shares her tips for ensuring the optimum home environment.

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