Does an Air Conditioner Dehumidify?

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In our area, the winters are killer, but the hot, humid summers can get just as bad. When the temperature is high, it’s often still bearable—until humidity levels start to go up. You feel warmer when there are higher levels of moisture in the air because it’s so much harder for your body to cool off when it’s humid outside. The moisture already in the air prevents moisture from evaporating off your skin, the way you cool down naturally. Luckily, when you turn on your air conditioner, you feel relief. So does an air conditioner dehumidify? Yes. But is it an efficient way to cool down a home? Not always.

How Your Air Conditioner Dehumidifies

The way an air conditioner works is through a process of heat exchange. During this process, as refrigerant absorbs heat from the air in your home, the coil inside of the air conditioner (the evaporator coil) gets very cold. As warm, humid air continues to move over the coil, some of the moisture in the air transfers to the coil as condensation. It’s just like how water droplets form outside of a glass of water on a hot day, and afterwards, the water should drain safely to the outside of the home.

Why It’s Not the Most Efficient Way

While your air conditioner can dehumidify, it’s not it’s sole purpose. If your home only needs dehumidification—and not cooling—you’d still have to set the thermostat to a low temperature to get it to cool your home. This uses unnecessary energy to make the home colder than is comfortable. Many people end up setting the thermostat lower than they need when it’s particularly humid. But a whole-home dehumidifier, which uses less energy than an air conditioner, works with your AC to give you balanced humidity levels at a lower cost. Call a local HVAC technician for more information. Air Mechanical, Inc. offers air conditioning and heating services in Blaine, MN. Call our team today!

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