Air Purifier or Dehumidifier for Basement

An Air Purifier or Dehumidifier for Basement: Comparison, Buyer’s Guide

Suppose you’re looking to remove the mold and mildew smell, an air purifier or dehumidifier for basement is the best option. In that case, it’s important to remember that you don’t want to cover it up with some air freshener or spray that will add chemicals and toxins to the already unhygienic space. The only real way to get rid of those mold spores and allergens is by either doing some major remodeling or you can make sure the air quality in your basement remains at an acceptable level by investing in either an air purifier or dehumidifier.

Air Purifier or Dehumidifier for Basement

A basement may be your best choice for a home office, playroom, fitness center, man cave, etc. Because it’s easier to keep warm than rooms above ground level during cold weather and its walls are often well insulated, it’s also likely to be your most energy-efficient room. So whatever purpose you’re using your basement for, you want to ensure indoor air quality isn’t compromising that purpose. Here’s how air purifiers and dehumidifiers can help. 

An air purifier removes germs, gases, and odors from the air. An important feature of an effective unit is a HEPA filter because it captures 99% of particles that are 0.3 microns in size about 1/30th of human hair diameter including dust mites and mold spores as well as pet dander and pollen grains. Most units come with additional filters such as activated carbon filters which absorb smells, gases, and other chemical vapors like formaldehyde commonly found in new carpeting or furniture off-gassing.

What is an air purifier?

An air purifier is a device that takes in air from its surroundings and then cleans it, resulting in clean air. If a room has become infected with mold, an air purifier can be used to treat the affected area quickly and easily. Likewise, most of these devices have HEPA filters capable of removing allergens like pollen, dust, animal dander, and other irritants. 

You can breathe cleaner and healthier air inside your home with an air purifier. You will need less reliance on your HVAC system since an air purifier also has heating capabilities. Your household pet will also love having one around since they are very effective at removing pet dander from their environment.

What is an air dehumidifier?

Air Purifier or Dehumidifier for Basement

An air dehumidifier, also known as a humidistat, is a device that removes excess moisture from the air by collecting it in a reservoir and either draining it into another container or releasing it into an outside area. This equipment serves to dry out any excess moisture found in basements due to high humidity levels. They are often used with dehumidifiers, which remove humidity from warm areas. It works well with whole-house humidifiers. Please read below to learn more about air dehumidifiers and their use in basement spaces!

Pros of air purifier.

Air dehumidifiers are often used in basements to remove moisture that can cause mold and mildew. Moisture removal also allows the wood to dry more slowly. This can prevent shrinkage and cracking, making it easier to get a more even stain over your finished product. Moisture reduction may help prevent minor settling cracks and major foundation problems associated with excessive moisture build-up. A dehumidifier can also reduce allergens like dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, and pollen from floating around your home, which can trigger allergies and other respiratory problems.

Best to get rid of allergens

Over time, your home can become filled with allergens like dust mites, mold spores, and pet dander. You may not notice these tiny irritants at first, but over time they build up and affect your health. It’s important to have a good cleaning regimen to eliminate these allergens before they become an issue. A whole-home air purifier can help you deal with allergens in certain areas of your home.

Effectively control odor

Odors can be eliminated from your home in two ways. First, you can remove their sources to prevent their formation. This involves removing dirty laundry and other items that smell, disposing of rotten food, and cleaning your bathroom regularly to prevent mold from growing there. Second, you can use an air purifier (or dehumidifier) to remove odors when they do form in your home.


If you live in a big house, you may need an air purifier that can cover your space. If your home has several floors, it might be best to get two separate units – one on each floor – rather than having one with multiple outlets that could blow cold air on you when you’re trying to sleep. Dehumidifiers also come in different sizes and capacities; measure your basement before buying a dehumidifier so that it can adequately control moisture levels.

Cons of air purifier.

air purifier or dehumidifier for basement

The main disadvantages of dehumidifiers are their high energy costs, large size, and noise. Many home dehumidifiers are noisier than air conditioners, but some silent models, which operate at less than 50 decibels (dB), have emerged in recent years. These machines use multiple fans to move air through a desiccant that absorbs moisture into a filter.

Cost of filters due to replacement

The cost of filters can vary widely based on your device. In some cases, such as an air purifier, replacement filters can be very cheap and easy to find; other systems like a dehumidifier may require a custom filter (depending on size) which could be more expensive and difficult to obtain.

High energy cost

If your utility bills are higher than they should be, it’s time to re-evaluate your air-cleaning strategy. You may have heard that an air purifier in a basement can be beneficial for several reasons, but which type of machine do you need? And how does one work, anyway? To make an informed decision about purchasing either a dehumidifier or an air purifier, you’ll want to understand what each machine can (and cannot) do.

Large in size

Since different brands of dehumidifiers have different BTU power levels depending on their cooling capacity and features needed by an individual customer. You need to measure your space first to decide which one best suits your basement.


Why you may ask, do we need a whole post on choosing an air purifier or dehumidifier when all you want to know is whether one will work better than another in your basement? The answer is that air purifiers and dehumidifiers are designed to work differently.

You can also check out our other related articles Are Air Purifiers and Dehumidifiers the same in any case?

Pros of air dehumidifier.

air purifier or dehumidifier for basement

There are many aspects of air dehumidifiers that make them a great option to consider. For one, they are fairly easy to install. You do not need to hire a professional, and they will often be installed within a day. They also provide an efficient way to remove moisture from your basement so that you can avoid having any potential mold problems in your home. 

They are very effective at doing what they are designed to do, and many people have had their basements completely dry out once their dehumidifiers have been installed. Overall, these appliances do what they say they will do and have positive attributes that can make your life easier when having quality air in your home’s basement. So, this is a good choice of air cleaner for the basement.

Incredibly efficient

If you have a basement, chances are it’s humid. In fact, according to most estimates, over half of all homes and buildings in North America have basements. Humidity like that has a lot of negative consequences like mold growth and peeling paint—but those can be minimized with an air purifier or dehumidifier. For many homeowners, air purifiers work wonders in reducing pollutants in their indoor air, while dehumidifiers reduce high humidity levels.

Best for food preservation

While dehumidifiers are mostly used in basements, attics, and other small spaces, their biggest competitor in food preservation is refrigerators. Compared to using a dehumidifier to preserve food, refrigerators have a higher capacity, meaning you can fit more food into them at once. However, they are also more expensive and require an external power source – meaning that if you lose power, so does your fridge.

Temperature control

Many people use their basements to store items they don’t want to put into storage, including household items and anything that could be damaged by humidity. Setting up a dehumidifier in your basement is good if you don’t want mold developing on your belongings. If specific areas of your basement are prone to being hotter than others, you can also look into installing an air purifier.

Best for mites

An air purifier generally works better than a dehumidifier in cases of mold and mildew, as it can cleanse an area of all airborne particulates. A dehumidifier, however, provides one advantage over an air purifier pertinent to basements the ability to remove excess moisture from space. If you have water damage due to flooding or leaking pipes, a dehumidifier may be your best bet for getting rid of molds and mildews. But an air purifier will do just fine if you want to clear out dust and pollen particles floating around your basement.

Cons of air dehumidifier.

Air Purifier or Dehumidifier for Basement

Are air purifiers dehumidifiers?  Air dehumidifiers are much less common than air purifiers. If you’re looking to buy an air purifier, you’ll probably have more options. Also, it may be harder to find replacement parts and customer service help if you need it. As with any piece of equipment—whether a car, a furnace, or an appliance—air dehumidifiers can break down and require repairs at some point. (However, they tend to last longer than air purifiers.)

Harder to find a replacement 

If your purifier or dehumidifier has a washable pre-filter and replaceable/rechargeable carbon filter, you may have an easier time finding replacement filters and parts. If not, get a unit that can be easily maintained. This way, you’ll only need to purchase a new air purifying machine when it starts to break down from excessive use.

Dehumidifiers can break down

Dehumidifiers don’t remove moisture from the air. Rather, they remove excess humidity that accumulates in basements and other spaces with high humidity levels. Humidity is simply a measure of how much water vapor is in a given space; it has nothing to do with whether that space contains mold or mildew. (See How Mold & Mildew Work to learn more.) As such, dehumidifiers are better suited to dry climates than humid ones.

Not work well for allergies

Most air purifiers are good at removing dust and other airborne pollutants. Still, they don’t do much to target mold, mildew, viruses, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and other allergy-inducing compounds. Instead of using an air purifier in a basement room that might house one of these allergens (which would only blow it around), consider an air dehumidifier to absorb excess moisture and reduce musty odors.

How do air purifiers Work?

An air purifier works using a combination of an electrical fan and a filter. The fan pulls polluted air through a pre-filter, where most large pollutants are caught. Next, it passes through an electrostatic filter which removes smaller particles like pollen, dust, and pet dander, and then through some carbon filtering to remove odors and gases (like cigarette smoke). Finally, it enters an ultraviolet (UV) chamber where any remaining microorganisms are killed with UV light. Since they have such a simple design, air purifiers are relatively inexpensive to produce and easy to maintain.

How do air dehumidifiers Work?

Air dehumidifiers are climate control devices that remove moisture from humid air. The moisture removal process requires an evaporator and a condenser. Cold air enters the device through an inlet, passes over a cold coil, and gets cooled to produce vapor. The condensed vapor then drains into a tank located on top of dehumidifiers. In residential settings, removing excess moisture can help reduce mold and mildew growth in basements, crawl spaces, and walls with high humidity levels.

Which one is the best option, air purifier or dehumidifier for the basement?

So first, you must decide if you need an air purifier and dehumidifier or just one. If you have enough space, go for both since they do different things. An air purifier cleanses your room’s air by removing odors, pollutants, dust, and other airborne particles. Some people use a UV lamp instead of an air-purifying filter because UV rays kill airborne bacteria as it passes through (similar to how sunlight kills bacteria). For basement use, though, it might be overkill. So if your purpose is solely getting rid of mold spores on humid days in your basement (due to leaky windows), then an air dehumidifier may be more fitting.

Why is an air dehumidifier recommended for the basement?

Does the dehumidifier filter air? Yes, Since a basement tends to have a high humidity level, using an air dehumidifier will help reduce levels. When humidity levels are at 50 percent, mold and mildew may begin to grow. By lowering that level, your basement will be safer from mold and mildew growth and musty odors caused by mold and mildew. A dehumidifier can also decrease your electricity bill by removing moisture from your air when you don’t use electricity for heating or cooling. For example, if it’s very cold outside, but your basement stays at a constant temperature all year long, you might not need heat when temperatures reach 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

An air purifier or dehumidifier for basement mold

Why both air purifiers and dehumidifiers can kill mold. air purifier vs dehumidifier for mold, which one should you choose? You can use both of them to remove mold in your home, but when it comes to removing moisture and killing spores which one works better, an air purifier or a dehumidifier? Difference between air purifiers and dehumidifiers.


Get the answers to your questions.

What is an air purifier, and how does it work?

An air purifier, also known as a particle, dust, or allergen remover, removes particles from indoor air. They help eliminate harmful airborne particles like smoke, pet dander, pollen, and bacteria. Most use filters to trap particles that are separated from clean air before being released back into your home. 

What is an air dehumidifier, and how does it work?

An air dehumidifier works by removing moisture from inside air using a refrigeration process called desiccant cooling. A desiccant, like silica gel, absorbs water and then releases it when heated back up. The heat comes from your home’s HVAC system, so it’s an energy-efficient way to remove excess moisture from your home, in addition to removing particles like mold spores and pollen.

How do I choose between an air purifier or a dehumidifier for the basement? 

If you’re looking for something that will reduce allergens in your home, then an air purifier may be best since it can also capture mold spores and other particles that cause allergies. However, if you need to remove excess moisture from your home to prevent mold growth, then an air dehumidifier is a better choice. 

What else should I consider when buying one of these devices?

When choosing between models of either device, there are several factors to consider, including energy efficiency (if applicable), noise level (if applicable), size and capacity. Some models come with remotes, while others have digital displays that allow you to program them with specific settings depending on the environment they’re placed in… 

How much do these devices cost? 

Prices vary by model, but air purifiers tend to be less expensive than air dehumidifiers since their main purpose is removing particles from indoor air rather than moisture inside your home. However, if you choose a model with an integrated HVAC system, it may cost more since it’s designed to work with your existing system rather than replace it entirely.


You can purchase either an air purifier or a dehumidifier, but which one will better address issues with your basement? If you want to remove dust and other allergens, buy an air purifier. If you’re concerned about humidity, then look into getting a dehumidifier. 

If you have both problems in your basement – allergies and high humidity – it might be best to get both appliances! Remember that if you have mold present in your basement from water damage, you’ll need more than just an air purifier to solve that problem. In those situations, we recommend looking into hiring professional mold remediation services to clean up and sanitize affected areas of your home properly.

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