Can Air Conditioners Remove Humidity?

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Can Air Conditioners Remove Humidity?

Humidity is a fact of life during summer. As the heat rises, so does the moisture level in your home. You may be wondering if air conditioners can remove humidity. The answer is yes, but not a lot of it.

Dehumidification Isn't the A/C's Primary Job

An air conditioner's primary function is to cool the air in your home. The system draws air across its refrigerant-filled coils. The refrigerant then absorbs the heat in the air. As the air cools down, it expels moisture. This moisture drips off the refrigerant coils and down into the condensate drip pan below. The cooled air then leaves the air conditioner with less moisture in the air. However, the amount of moisture removed isn't nearly as much as with a dehumidifier. A whole-house dehumidifier's primary job is removing moisture from the air. It pulls the air in, cools it, and then heats it. This pulls humidity out of the air, which gets collected and drained away. The air is considerably drier as it leaves the dehumidifier.

Should You Invest in a Dehumidifier?

Hot and humid days are quite common during summer. However, that's usually only a few months of the year. The rest of the year is cooler and drier. For this reason, most households in our area don't need a whole-house dehumidifier. An air conditioner usually removes enough moisture to keep the house comfortable. If your home has excess moisture levels, you need to look for the cause. Also, see if you have air leaks around doors or windows. These leaks can let hot, humid outside air seep into your home.

Alternatives to Dehumidifiers

If your home's humidity levels are just higher than normal, there are alternatives to purchasing a whole-house dehumidifier. Use your ventilation fans as an alternative. Most homes have ventilation fans in the bathroom and over the stove. Make it a habit to use these fans after bathing or while cooking dinner. If the fans aren't that powerful, consider upgrading them. Install a dehumidifying heat pipe into the air conditioner. This pipe can remove up to 91% of the moisture coming into the system. It needs to be installed by an HVAC professional.

What's the Best Solution?

Your best option is to have an HVAC professional come out and assess the situation. Give us a call at Cahill Heating, Air Conditioning & Electric for air conditioning services. We're happy to help you live more comfortably this summer.

 
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