Can a Dehumidifier Cause a Cough? Complete Guideline in 2022

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The humidity of a room determines what types of cough you are suffering from. People use humidifiers to increase the moisture in their room. In contrast, people living in cold areas use dehumidifiers to reduce the humidity level in their rooms.

A dehumidifier is a machine that takes air and separates moisture from this air in your room. People buy dehumidifiers for different benefits, such as – dehumidifiers stopping the breeding of mold, dust mites, and mildew, alleviating allergy symptoms. Dehumidifiers also remove musty odors, prevent water leakage, protect household items, improve respiratory issues, etc.

But the question is – can a dehumidifier cause a cough?

No, a dehumidifier does not cause cough until you misuse it. If you run your dehumidifier continuously when room humidity is 30%, the humidity level will decrease, and dry air will increase in the room. Ultimately, dry air causes a dry cough.

In this article, I will discuss dehumidifiers, humidifiers, humidity, and types of cough related to humidity in-depth. Stick around with me to learn everything you need to know before buying a dehumidifier.

What Causes A Cough?

According to HealthLine, the followings are the causes of cough –

What Causes A Cough

  • In the room environment, excessive dust, dust mite, pollen, etc., occlude our throat. So, we frequently cough. In high humidity, dust, dust mite, mold exists in the room air. You should reduce the humidity level by using a dehumidifier. In low humidity, pollen and other hypersensitive agents remain in the air. You should use a humidifier to increase the humidity level of your room.
  • In low humidity, bacteria and the virus remain vegetative in the air. They multiply in your respiratory tract and cause respiratory infections. Then you will cough. So, you have to use a humidifier to increase the humidity level up to 40 to 60 percent.
  • A smoker’s cough is caused by smoking with a distinctive sound.
  • If you have asthma, you will fall into the following symptoms – sneezing, wheezing, coughing.
  • Acid reflux means stomach acid causes cough, especially in the night when back up into your throat.
  • Besides, inflammation, sleep apnea, drug side effects are the minor causes of cough.

My advice here is – if you are suffering from cough due to dust mite, mold, mildew, you should pick the right piece of a dehumidifier. I found desiccant dehumidifier is the best dehumidifiers. However, as it produces warm air, you should use a wall-mounted dehumidifier instead. A wall-mounted dehumidifier makes less noise, and warm air will not affect you.

You might be wondering, why am I not right to the point? I have written the causes of cough to save your money from buying a dehumidifier when dust mites, mold, mildew do not cause the cough. Let’s debunk your question.

Can A Dehumidifier Cause A Cough?

No, a dehumidifier does not cause a cough. You should stop it when the room humidity level is the minimum of 40% or 30%. If you run a dehumidifier constantly, this will make your home air dry. Dry air causes a dry cough. So, a dehumidifier can cause a cough when it decreases the humidity below 30%.

Can a dehumidifier cause a cough

In the winter season, the air has low water vaporization. If you run the dehumidifier all day long in the winter, you will face a dry cough.

What Does A Dehumidifier Do?

A dehumidifier takes water out of the air, decreasing the humidity level. As it is taking out water from the air, your skin gets rid of the sweat into the air. So, you will feel comfortable. In comparison, our body can not expel sweat into the air in high humidity. We feel anxiety and warmth.

What Does A Dehumidifier Do

Is A Dehumidifier Good For Cough?

Yes, a dehumidifier is good for a cough caused by mold spores when you operate it correctly. Whooping cough mainly occurs in humans and pets due to high humidity in the environment. A dehumidifier reduces the humidity level to normal if you run it in a damp environment. You will get cured of cough.

Is A Dehumidifier Good For Cough

Decrement of humidity level to normal is decrement of bacteria, viruses, molds in the air. So, a dehumidifier is good for cough caused by these pathogens.

A dehumidifier also alleviates nasal congestion, harnesses, sore throat, etc. You can breathe better using a dehumidifier in your room.

Why Do Dehumidifiers Make Me Cough?

I have mentioned earlier the causes of cough. With that said, a dehumidifier causes a dry cough when it makes the air too dry. Besides, I found from research that when a dehumidifier itself is contaminated with bacteria, viruses, molds, it will make you and my cough. How?

Why Do Dehumidifiers Make Me Cough

A dehumidifier pulls your room air into its system. Then it separates the moisture from the air and releases air. A contaminated dehumidifier discharges bacteria, viruses, and mold into the room air during this air releasing time. In our breathing, we inhale these pathogens that give us irritation in the larynx, pharynx, trachea, bronchus and cause coughing.

Humidifier Vs Dehumidifier For Cough

A humidifier is the best choice for cough. For a dry cough, you must use any type of humidifier because it will add moisture to the throat. So, the dry cough will quickly clear up from the throat.

Humidifier vs. dehumidifier for cough

For wet cough (inflammation of the mucous membrane), you should use a cool-mist humidifier. If your humidifier adds more moisture (70/80%) to the air, there will be a convenient environment for growing molds, dust mites. Molds and dust mites cause respiratory issues.

Dry cough is caused by dry air and caused by molds. Mold needs a warm and moist environment to grow. A dehumidifier reduces the humidity of your room, so mold growth becomes retarded. So, if you realize your home has a high moisture level, you should use a dehumidifier.

For COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), the relative humidity level should be 40% and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. A dehumidifier can adjust the humidity for them, so their airways relax. They will not face coughing or other respiratory symptoms.

People with asthma suffer respiratory issues in high humidity. A dehumidifier can help them by reducing moisture levels. But very dry air makes the condition severe for people with pneumonia, so you should not run your dehumidifier to reduce humidity below 30%.

Side Effects Of A Dehumidifier

You may have this question inside yourself. Can you get sick from a dehumidifier? No, you will not get sick or dehydrated using a dehumidifier. But you have to use it properly to escape the side effects of using a dehumidifier.

Side Effects Of A Dehumidifier

What are the side effects of a dehumidifier when you are not maintaining it –

  • It will increase dry air, so the dry cough.
  • A dirty and uncleaned dehumidifier is a cesspool of bacteria, viruses, and molds. These pathogens will cause several respiratory issues.
  • It is not good for people with pneumonia.
  • The dry cough will be worse.
  • Eczema will flare-up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a dehumidifier make a cough worse?

A dehumidifier can not make a cough when you use it properly. Running a dehumidifier in a dry environment can irritate the throat. Irritation in the throat cause coughing. So, you have to use a dehumidifier until getting 30/40% to 50/60%. You can measure your room humidity level using a hygrometer.

What causes a dry cough with no other symptoms?

Excessive dry air causes dry cough with no other symptoms. When mold spores cause the dry cough, you will feel the symptoms, but when dry air causes it, you will not feel the symptoms. Keeping your doors or window open in winter can increase the dry air in the room. Or, running a dehumidifier 24/7 can cause dry air.

Can dry air cause a cough?

Dry air can cause a cough, which is the most common and overlooked cause of coughing. However, anything that goes wrong in your windpipe can cause a cough. Smoke can also cause coughing. Allergy, pollen are also the causes of cough, along with dry air.

Can a dehumidifier give you a cold?

A dehumidifier makes the room cooler so that you will feel cool. Though the back of the unit produces warm air, it will give you cold. When the moisture level is not saturated in the air, your body can get rid of sweat into the air. If our body can expel sweat, we feel more relaxed than when our body can not.

Can a dehumidifier cause congestion in the throat or nose?

No, a dehumidifier can not cause congestion in the throat or nose. Instead, it is suitable for nasal or throat congestion caused by bacteria, viruses, and mold. Because a dehumidifier retarded the growth of these pathogens.


If you want to know my and other researchers’ ultimate take on “can a dehumidifier cause a cough?” No, a dehumidifier can not cause a cough. You have to run it following instructions. Do not operate it for more than 12 hours. Some dehumidifiers may take more or less than 12 hours.

Clean the tank daily, wipe the dehumidifier weekly, keep 2 feet gaps between wall and dehumidifier, and follow the user manual. You will get higher quality output from your dehumidifier, and it will not cause cough, sore throat, etc.

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