If you are debating whether or not to invest in a new system, you may want to become familiar with how a central air conditioner operates. Do air conditioners dehumidify a house or living space? Yes, a central air conditioning system is designed to remove humidity, but it can only do so much by itself. If you are dealing with high humidity levels in your living space, you may want to install a dehumidifier. To ensure you are comfortable, we have created an outline of what your air conditioner can and cannot do to dehumidify your home.
Most people know that air conditioners help cool a room by removing heat from the air. But did you know that air conditioners can also dehumidify a room? Air conditioners work by removing heat from the air in your space. The cooled air is then blown back into the room. In addition to cooling the air, air conditioners also have the ability to dehumidify the air.
Does Air Conditioning Reduce Humidity?
The short answer is yes, but not enough to make a huge impact. A dehumidifier draws in humid air and carries it through an evaporator. The humid air containing the moisture is then cooled. The cold dry air continues through a condenser, heating the air up and returning it to the room to gather the new humidity or moisture. This cycle continues until ideal conditions are met.
The same components found in a dehumidifier are also used in air conditioning. Both devices use an evaporator, compressor, condenser, and metering device. In place of a dehumidifier, an air conditioner, aka a spot cooler, can be used for controlling humidity, and the same goes for HVAC systems. Modern HVAC systems use evaporator coils, which cause moisture to condense and leave the air. As the moist, hot air contacts the cold coil, the same process happens as when a cold can of soda begins to sweat on a hot day. The water collects on the cooling coils and slides outside, and the cooled air is pushed into the room.
The benefits of dehumidification
With these health and environmental concerns, it’s easy to see that the benefits of maintaining proper humidity control in your indoor environment cover so many areas… from personal comfort to the actual health of your family. Here’s why removing some of the excess moisture in the air through dehumidification is so important when air conditioning your home.
Improved comfort levels
It seems obvious to say, but dehumidification reduces humidity levels, which means levels of comfort are immediately increased. Dehumidification will help you feel more comfortable without dramatically lowering the thermostat settings on your air conditioner (which means it’s more energy efficient too). You’ll immediately feel less clammy, less sweaty and less tired, as the air will feel less heavy.
Pros of Air Conditioners
Helps to Reduce The Amount of Heat in a Room
Your air conditioner is able to reduce the temperature of a room quickly and efficiently. This can help you to stay comfortable in hot weather, without having to resort to drastic measures such as opening windows or turning off lights.
Moderately Dehumidifies Indoor Air
As mentioned earlier, your air conditioner also helps remove moisture from the air in your home. This can help keep mold and mildew from growing, as well as reduce humidity levels in the room. It also improves comfort.
Can Also Work as a Fan
Yes, most air conditioners come with a fan setting. This is great if you want to circulate the cool air in your room without having to pay for a separate fan.
Cons of Air Conditioners
Can Be Expensive to Run
However, air conditioners can be expensive to run. They require a lot of energy to operate and if you’re not careful, your utility bills could skyrocket during the summer months.
High Initial Cost
The initial cost of an air conditioner can be expensive. If you’re on a tight budget, it may not be feasible to purchase one.
Installation And Maintenance Cost
In addition to the cost of the unit, there is also a cost associated with installation and maintenance. Depending on the size of your air conditioner, you may need to pay for professional installation or repair services.
Pros of Dehumidifiers
Cuts Down Humidity
The main benefit of a dehumidifier is its ability to reduce humidity. High levels of humidity can cause mold and mildew, as well as make it difficult to keep your home cool in the summer.
Dehumidifiers are more affordable than air conditioners and they use less energy. Although they won’t cool a room like an air conditioner, they will still help reduce the humidity in your home.
Can be Placed Anywhere in Your Home
Dehumidifiers come as portable units that can be placed in any room of your home or any part of your room. This is great if you want to focus on dehumidifying a certain area without having to buy an air conditioner.
Reduces Fungi And Mold Growth
Dehumidifiers also help reduce the growth of fungi and mold in your home. This can be beneficial if you have allergies or asthma, as it can make breathing easier.
Cons of Dehumidifiers
Will Not Cool Your Home
Unlike an air conditioner, a dehumidifier will not cool your home. It can only reduce the amount of moisture in the air.
Can be Noisy
Dehumidifiers can be noisy, so it’s important to check the noise level before making a purchase. Some models may also produce a slight vibration that could disrupt sleep or study.
Extra Energy Spending
While dehumidifiers use less energy than air conditioners, they still require extra energy. The amount of electricity used will depend on the size and model you choose, so it’s best to talk to your HVAC contractor or research the options before making a purchase.
Air conditioners are an effective way to cool and dehumidify your home during the summer months. They can also help with allergies by filtering out dust and other particles from the air. However, they can be expensive to operate and have a high initial cost.
When To Choose a Dehumidifier vs. an Air Conditioner
Having trouble deciding which appliance is right for you? Air conditioners do dehumidify and provide superior cooling. A dehumidifier is better for getting moisture out of the air but does not provide cool air. Use the three factors below to help determine which appliance is a good fit for your needs.
It’s your living or working space. So you have to ask yourself how you would like the room or environment to feel. Even if you prefer a room at a set temperature, perhaps an air conditioner is for you. If you’d rather have a room with less humidity at a comfortable temperature, then a dehumidifier is what you will want.
The cost difference between an AC unit and a dehumidifier is almost incomparable. An air conditioner will typically cost more and comes with installation costs as well. On the other hand, dehumidifiers are generally affordable, portable, and require no additional installation. The drawback is that an air conditioner can do more to cool and control temperatures, with some dehumidifying effects.
Do you live near a large body of water? If so, you’ve probably noticed the astronomical levels of humidity. Well, an AC unit won’t be able to sufficiently remove all that moisture from the air. You’ll likely need a dehumidifier to feel comfortable in your home.