Do I Need a Dehumidifier if I Have Air-Conditioning?

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Have you ever wondered if you need a dehumidifier during the hot summer months when the air conditioning system is turned on? You might be surprised by the answer.

The purpose of central air conditioners is to circulate cool air through the house using a system of ducts and registers. The AC pulls in the warm air and recirculates the cool air back into the house through the Freon cooling agent. This cooling cycle repeats itself until the desired temperature in the home is achieved.

natural water drop texture
natural water drop texture

Air Conditioners & Humidity

Air conditioners do help to dehumidify the incoming air “a bit”, but in extremely humid climates or if the air conditioner is larger than normal for the average-sized home, the house may not achieve a low humidity. Even if you run your air conditioner constantly, which is extremely costly and not practical, some moisture will always remain in the house. This humidity will be most noticeable if you happen to a humid basement. Whether the basement is finished or unfinished, it will get humid regardless of whether the AC is running. The air conditioning thermostat is activated by the control gauge for the upper part of the house and does not take into account the humidity level elsewhere in the home.

Your central air conditioner needs an ally to work more efficiently in maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home because of its relationship between heat and moisture. Running a dehumidifier in your air conditioned home will decrease your energy usage overall because the dehumidifier makes it easier to remove moisture, allowing your air conditioner to cool your home more quickly.

Dehumidifier Benefits

You can get a lot of benefits from adding a dehumidifier during the hot summer months because proper humidly levels not only keep you comfortable, but your home stays safer. Your furnishing remain protected without a musty odour on you upholstery and there is no paint peeling from the added moisture. You and your family stay healthier because your skin remains free from stickiness, allergies are reduced and your home does not become a habitat conducive to dust mites.

Mold is every homeowner’s nightmare with mold occurring with two conditions present, moisture and a surface to grow on. A dehumidifier is an important factor in the fight against mold invading parts of your home. Even a cold climate that is controlled by central air can still result in the right environment for mold to grow, so by reducing moisture with a dehumidifier, you significantly reduce the possibility of mold to take hold.

Energy Efficiency Contradiction

Although this might sound a bit contradictory, an energy efficient home in a hot, humid climate that features added insulation, energy-efficient appliances and energy-efficient windows lessens the time that your air conditioner runs. That’s a good thing right? However, there is a down side to all of this energy-efficiency. Since the house is so well insulated against the outside elements, you air conditioner may rarely run. This is actually a disadvantage since during the hours that your house is not actively cooling, there is also no active dehumidification occurring. Because of this phenomenon, the indoor relative humidity in your house is actually going to rise. Therefore, when you supplement your air conditioner with a dehumidifier, you home will achieve the best possible balance of cool and dry air.

The Perfect Balance

Relative humidity is the way that humidity is measured in your home as a gram-per-cubic-meter of the water vapor equally split by the gram-per-cubic-meter of moisture that the air can maximally hold at the current temperature.

The ideal ratio is to maintain a 45-50 percent split for the relative humidity level for most spaces. A higher level of over 50 percent can create a negative environment for mold spores to grow while a relative humidity level below 30 percent can be equally damaging. It can increase the likelihood of colds, irritated skin and respiratory passages. The extreme dryness can even make wood floors separate.

You can easily monitor or determine the current humidity level of your home by purchasing a handy device called a hygrometers that will easily and automatically measure the humidity level of your home.

So, the answer to the question Do I Need a Dehumidifier if I Have Air-Conditioning?” is a resounding yes because utilizing both appliances will create the perfect environment for you and your family.