When to Use a Dehumidifier With an Air Conditioner?

While air conditioners can help circulate cool air, should you use a dehumidifier with an air conditioner?

If you find that your indoor humidity levels are above 50% with air conditioning, you should use a dehumidifier with your air conditioning. If you’re in humid areas like Florida or Alabama, then it may be necessary to enjoy lower humidity levels.

Below you’ll find out about dry mode vs dehumidification and even if heating the air will dehumidify the air.

Let’s get started.

Is a Dehumidifier Needed with Air Conditioning?

A dehumidifier is only needed with an air conditioner if you live in an extremely humid climate (think summer months in Florida).

If you live in a moderate climate and your humidity levels stay around the 30-50% range with your air conditioning running, you don’t need to add a dehumidifier.

A dehumidifier can aid your air conditioner by making the temperature feel cooler inside your home.

You may find that combining an air conditioner with a dehumidifier is a great combo, allowing you to set the AC at a higher temperature resulting in lower bills.

How to Tell if My AC Has A Dehumidifier?

Some air conditioners have built-in dehumidifiers like this portable air conditioner.

Some window units also are a dehumidifier and air conditioner combo.

If you have a standard air conditioner, then it does dehumidify the air but it will not work as well as a standalone dehumidifier.

Air conditioners work similarly to dehumidifiers as they both pull in warm air that passes through evaporator coils.

This air then shifts into a gas form, pulling in nearby warm air and condensation, thus resulting in dehumidifier air.

The hot air is released outside and the humid air turns into water which is then drained out.

While air conditioners do remove humidity when turning warm air into cool air, they aren’t as efficient as dehumidifiers when it comes to taking care of high humidity.

If you’re finding that the indoor air is still humid with your air conditioner running, then it may be worth looking into a dehumidifier.

Do Air Conditioners Dehumidify When Heating?

When using an air conditioner as a heater, it will heat the air and lowers the relative humidity level.

It does not change the absolute humidity level, so air conditioners do not dehumidify when heating.

Air Conditioner Dry Mode VS Dehumidifier

Dry mode is a setting for specific air conditioning units that will dehumidify the air by cooling at low speeds.

A dehumidifier will actively work to remove excess moisture by passing air through evaporator coils to remove moisture.

While the dry mode of an air conditioner can be helpful in a pinch, it will not be a suitable replacement for a standalone dehumidifier.

Will a Dehumidifier Help My Air Conditioner Work Better?

Lower humidity levels can make higher temperatures more bearable.

When using an air conditioner with a dehumidifier in a very humid area, it can help to dry the air making your environment more comfortable.

Your air conditioning unit won’t have to work as hard to pump out cold air, thus making this combo higher energy efficiency.

It can also aid to remove dust mites, and any pests, and reducing allergens in the air.

When Not Use a Dehumidifier with Your Air Conditioner

You should not use a dehumidifier with your air conditioner if the humidity levels in your home are already at the optimal 30-50%.

If you feel uncomfortable, then it may make sense to use your dehumidifier in tandem with your air conditioning system, but overly dry air can be problematic for your health.

Final Thoughts

An air conditioning unit may be all you need to take care of moist air.

If you live in high humidity environments, then it may be necessary to add a standalone dehumidifier to your home.

If you have an apartment, you can check our guide for best apartment dehumidifiers.

We also review whole home dehumidifiers as well as quiet dehumidifiers that will help you get to sleep.

About Roy Cohen

Roy Cohen has a burning passion for heating, cooling, and ventilation. He aims to help you save money on expensive repairs and bring you the best HVAC products. He has years of experience behind him in HVAC repair and garage maintenance.

You can find Roy at his LinkedIn or his email: [email protected]

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