During summers, the excruciating heat that causes us to extensively perspire invites humidity in several households. This humidity is because of the moisture in our houses, which originates from several sources.
Moisture causes a number of negative health effects, like allergic reactions to mildew and mold. Mildew and mold are often found in wet areas, especially the basement which is where you’ll probably notice them growing the most. So, do air conditioners remove humidity? That is exactly what we’re about to find out.
Do Air Conditioners Lower Humidity?
The answer to the question of “does air conditioning remove humidity” is a yes, to an extent, of course. In actuality, however, that is not the primary function of an air conditioner.
The true purpose of an air conditioner is to simply cool a space or a room. And how does it do that exactly? An air conditioning system’s evaporator coil is where the dehumidifying function actually happens. When warm air from a certain space or room is pulled right into the air conditioner, it will be turned into cool air and be blown out back into that particular area.
Since moisture traps heat and warm air collects moisture, the evaporator coil within an AC takes care of that moisture with the help of a condensation array. This condensation array drains the excess moisture completely, and in return, provides us with cool, refreshing air. Therefore, not only does our AC remove the heat and cool it, but it also dehumidifies it. This makes the AC system one of the most important and useful pieces of equipment for any household or building, especially during the summer.
There are other ways you can tweak your air conditioner to cool more effectively as well as get rid of humidity at the same time.
Wondering what should be considered in your AC tuneups?
You can do this by applying three of the following methods:
- Adjust the Speed of Your Fan
When it comes to humid, hot climates, your air conditioner needs to move air around at the pace of 350 CFM per ton. Most systems can move air faster than that rate. However, if you want to get rid of humidity, then a faster rate isn’t ideal.
Let’s assume that your AC unit runs at approximately 400 CFM per ton. Will the AC have enough power to remove all that heat from your space to accommodate your preferred thermostat setting? The answer to that is yes. But will it remove enough humidity to make your house feel comfortable?
At about 400 CFM per ton, an air conditioner is quickly moving air into your space at a relatively quick pace. But if the device moves air at 350 C FM per ton, the low airflow will cause the indoor coil to become cooler. This in turn, removes more moisture while also fulfilling your desired thermostat setting.
- Keep Your AC Unit’s Coil Clean
You must ensure that your evaporator coil is clean in order to remove all of the humidity and heat that it’s supposed to remove. This means that it shouldn’t be covered in dirt or dust. But at some point, even if you don’t think that the coil is dirty to the point that it keeps the unit from cooling, it can still have enough dirt to prevent the device from removing moisture.
So, what’s the solution? Clean or change the air filter according to the instructions of the manufacturer.
- Inspect the Refrigerant Charge
If the refrigerant charge is below the desired level, the AC unit won’t be able to remove enough humidity or heat from your room, space, or household to help you feel comfortable. and if nothing is done to correct this problem, it will result in two things: the coil being frozen, or the compressor failing.
If any of the two things above happened, you could be dealing with an expensive repair job, or you might even consider replacing the entire system altogether. And the labor costs from AC experts in high-demand cities like Phoenix, Arizona these days aren’t going to go easy on your wallet either.
Fortunately, you can get to the bottom of your refrigerant charge issues through preventive maintenance. But be sure to act quickly before the problems become even worse down the line.
But while all that’s great, the thing with air conditioners is that they’re only circulating air that is warm and giving back air that is cold throughout the entire house, office, or other types of structures. What’s more, is that air conditioners only remove some level of moisture from the air but not completely like a humidifier.
For a more effective dehumidifying result, try the following solutions:
More Effective Ways to Reduce or Eliminate Humidity
- Buy Yourself a Portable Dehumidifier
Portable dehumidifiers are very effective in removing excess humidity which may be more than what your air conditioning unit can handle. Some HVACs come with a setting to circulate the air around spaces, but not essentially cool it. This mode is simply known as “fan mode”.
While in this mode, moisture from the basement, the shower, or other places where moisture is produced rampantly, is circulated around other places of your house. so for those places, it would be best to place a dehumidifier to reduce or perhaps even get rid of the moisture that’s in the air, before it gets recirculated.
- Ventilation System
Ventilation is one such solution that is often left out by homeowners. If there is excess moisture produced in your bathroom, then be sure to install a proper ventilation fan. And be sure that the fan is kept running when it’s supposed to. A good ventilation system can pull out all the moisture from space or room before it can reach the air conditioning unit.
- Dehumidify Heat Pipes
One rather simple solution is to have a dehumidifying heat pipe installed onto your HVAC. The pipe behaves like a dehumidifier when your air conditioner begins to pull air right into it. As a matter of fact, the Department of Energy reports that it is capable of removing around 91% of moisture from the air.
More Tips About Air Conditioning & Humidity