Air Purifier & Dehumidifier Buyer’s Guide

The quality of the air inside your home is a major factor in your health and quality of life. Fortunately, it is also something that you have a high degree of control over. Many Australians have decided in recent years to improve the quality of the air they breathe in their residences through the purchase of air purifiers and dehumidifiers. However, there are many products on the market. How can you know that you’re choosing the right one for your needs? Let’s take a look at some of the considerations when searching for the right air purifier or dehumidifier.

Difference between Purifiers and Dehumidifiers 

The best place to begin this discussion is in the difference between air purifiers and dehumidifiers. As the name would suggest, an air purifier purifies the air in your home by removing various substances. These include things such as pollen, pet dander, bacteria, dust mites, smoke, mould, and toxins. Air purifiers are excellent products for people that have allergies and for responding to places with mould problems. Additionally, many Australians like using air purifiers for removing smoke form the home during bushfire seasons.

Meanwhile, dehumidifiers do not actively remove toxins and debris from the air; rather, these units remove water vapor from the air. While dehumidifiers do not directly remove toxins, they also help in the control of mould by removing moisture, a key ingredient for growth and spread of mold spores. A Mayo Clinic study also found that dehumidifier’s reduce dust mites which thrive in humid environments. Thus, they can also be beneficial to people with allergies.

Pug Siting Next to Winix Air Purifier

Things to Look for in Air Purifiers

If you’ve decided to invest in an air purifiers, there are many things that you should consider related to the purchase. Not all air purifiers are built the same and there can be a vast difference in the quality of product. Here are some things to keep in mind when assessing the options available. 

HEPA Filter. One of the hallmarks of a good air purifier is the inclusion of a HEPA filter. These filters are able to trap particles as little as 0.3 microns in nature. HEPA filters can also remove over 99.9% of airborne particles. HEPA filters are very effective for people suffering from asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses. Look for a Hospital Grade HEPA filter for the best performance.

Filter Stages. Air purifiers with multi-stage filters perform the best. Multi-stage filters allow for a purifier to target specific contaminants with different components of the filter. Typically, these systems include pet filters, pre-filters, activated carbon for controlling odors, and a HEPA filter.

PlasmaWave technology. Technology is constantly improving and one innovative new element is PlamaWave. This technology leverages a natural process to generate positive and negative ions which safely break apart dangerous pollutants without creating any harmful ozone. Air purifiers with this technology tend to vastly outperform competitors.

Environmental Fit. It is critical to find an air purifier that works well with your particular environment. For Australians, this tends to involve models that function well in a hot climate as well as those that are effective in eliminating smoke from the air. The importance of this was truly illustrated last summer as air purifiers were incredibly helpful in removing bushfire smoke from homes.

Room Size. This is a critical consideration as different air purifiers are designed for different spaces. Finding one that can operate in larger rooms can often result in a much improved experience for consumers. 

Various options. While many air purifiers only operate with one mode, finding one with various options such as different fan speeds or the presence of sleep modes that provide quieter operation can improve the experience.

Warranty. While air purifiers are relatively simple machines that tend to operate well without problems, choosing one with a warranty can provide added peace of mind. Typically, most provide a six months warranty so finding warranties of a year or more is a positive attribute. 

Decision. An Affordable Air Purifier that satisfies all of these criteria is the Winix Pro 5 Air Purifier. This is our recommended choice to customers, and was recently independently voted the best Air Purifier available on the Australian market by consumers. 

Compressor vs. Desiccant Dehumidifiers

There are two major types of dehumidifiers on the market today: compressors and desiccant dehumidifiers. Understanding the difference in these two types can help to better inform consumer decisions. 

Compressor dehumidifiers are the most prevalent on the market. They utilize an air compressor that draws in warm, damp air and passes it through refrigerated coils. This creates condensation that allows water to be separated from the air. This condensed water is channeled into a tank while dry air is reheated via a warm coil and released back into the room.

Compressor dehumidifiers function exceptionally well in warm climates, making them well suited to Australia. They also help maintain room temperature as air is reheated before being released back into the environment. Compressor dehumidifiers are also often the best option for cost conscious consumers as they tend to be cheaper. They are also a good choice for people interested in sustainability and lower utilities as they tend to consume less energy per hour.

Meanwhile, desiccant dehumidifiers function much like a sponge in that they absorb moisture directly from humid air through the use of a desiccant wheel. This wheel is regenerated by an internal heater that allows the process to be ongoing.

There are many advantages to desiccant dehumidifiers. They work well in both hot and cold climates, helping to keep your home warm during the winters. They also have lower noise levels as they do not require a compressor. They are typically also lighter than compressor dehumidifiers. Finally, desiccant dehumidifiers are relatively low maintenance and more durable because they have fewer moving parts and do not contain compressors or refrigerant. 

Things to Look for in Dehumidifiers

Room Size. Much like air purifiers, finding a dehumidifier that will work with the size of room you wish to deploy it in is critical. Whether you wish to use it in a small room or larger open room, this is an important feature to assess.

Moisture Extraction. The performance of a dehumidifier is best described by the amount of moisture it is able to extract in a day. Dehumidifiers should be able to extract a significant amount of water, and the best will be able to reach nearly 50 litres per day. 

Tank Size. Who doesn’t like devices that require little attention? With dehumidifiers, tank size is an important factor for this. Humidifiers with a larger tank size will need to be emptied less frequently. We recommend extra-large tanks that can be easily removed. Furthermore, models with a continuous drainage option enable drainage through a hose for even easier operation.

Variety of Settings. The most basic dehumidifiers have only one or very few settings. However, consumers typically prefer those with a variety of settings including timers and variable humidity settings.

Warranty. As with any appliance, warranties help consumers to know that a company has confidence in their products. This is particularly important for compressor dehumidifiers that have more working parts. Warranties of two years are ideal within this market. 

Decision. If you're looking for an affordable Dehumidifier that satisfies all of these criteria, then we recommend checking out our Ausclimate Dehumidifier range. This is our recommended choice to customers, due to the inexpensive nature of the units, and different options available depending on the room size. For a whole house dehumidifier we recommend the NWT 50L Supreme model. For a small Dehumidifier we recommend the Compact 12L Compressor model. For a Average sized room we recommend the Medium 20L Compressor model. Finally, if you're looking for a Desiccant Dehumidifier we recommend the 10L Desiccant Dehumidifier. All of these recommended Dehumidifiers are manufactured by a local Australian brand that offers excellent value of money and unparalleled customer satisfaction. 

White Air Purifier on White Rug in Home

Final Thoughts

The quality of the air we breathe is important. Many Australians are turning to air purifiers and dehumidifiers to improve the quality of air in their homes. Air purifiers effectively filter out a number of contaminants including allergens, mould, bacteria, pet dander, and other compounds. For Australians, the ability to filter smoke during bushfire season is also an important consideration. The best air purifiers use HEPA filters and multi-stage filtration while also offering deodorizing through activated charcoal. Looking at things such as environmental fit, room size, features, warranty length, and innovative technology such as PlasmaWave are important when deciding upon an air purifier. 

Meanwhile, dehumidifiers remove humidity from the air which helps control mold, dust mites, and other aspects of air quality. This can also be very beneficial for people suffering from asthma and allergies. Dehumidifiers operate either as compressor or desiccant versions. The compressor versions are more affordable and generally suited to warm climates while desiccant versions are quieter, more durable, and suited to all climates. When looking to purchase a dehumidifier, important considerations include room size, rate of moisture extraction, tank size, the ability for continuous drainage, setting options, and warranty.

By choosing the right air purifier or dehumidifier for your needs, you will be on your way to improve the quality of air in your home and breathing easier!