Do Air Conditioners Really Dehumidify The Air?

Air conditioners are a common appliance found in many homes across the United States. While most people use them to cool the air, there is a common misconception that air conditioners also dehumidify the air.

In this article, we will explore the claim that air conditioners dehumidify the air and discuss whether or not this is actually true. 

The Science Behind Air Conditioning and Humidity

In the summer, many people use air conditioners to keep their homes cool. Air conditioners work by removing heat from the air and cooling it while dehumidification is the process of removing moisture from the air.

In fact, air conditioners actually remove a certain amount of moisture from the air, but do not remove enough to dehumidify it.

Air conditioners remove moisture from the air by cooling the air down and condensing water vapor into droplets. This process is called evaporation. As a result, many people believe that air conditioners are effective at removing humidity from the air. However, this is not really true.

do air conditioners dehumidify

Do Air Conditioners Dehumidify?

Do air conditioners really dehumidify the air? The answer is yes and no.

It is a misconception that air conditioners dehumidify. Air conditioners do remove moisture from the air, but they also cool the air. The cooling process causes the air to become more saturated, which can result in a decrease in the humidity level.

However, some of the moisture is also removed as part of the cooling process, so the net effect on humidity levels may be negligible. A dehumidifier, on the other hand, removes moisture from air without cooling it.

A dehumidifier may be used in conjunction with an air conditioner.

How Much Humidity Do Air Conditioners Remove?

The amount of moisture that air conditioners remove is quite small, typically less than 17% of the total humidity in a room. The amount of moisture removed depends on the specific air conditioner, but it is usually in the range of 0.5 to 1.0 liters (l) per 100 cubic feet (cu ft) of air that is being conditioned.

Do Air Conditioners Dehumidify When Heating?

Yes, air conditioning units do dehumidify when heating. This is because the heating of air is an exothermic process that produces heat, which then causes the water in the air to evaporate (i.e., turn into vapor).

It is important to keep in mind that the amount of water lost by heating air is small, typically less than 0.5 liters per 100 cu ft.

Do Air Conditioner Dehumidify When the Outside Humidity is Lower than Inside?

The answer to this question is yes, air conditioners do dehumidify when the outside humidity is lower than inside. Many people use their air conditioners in the winter to take the moisture out of the air.

This happens because the AC unit pulls in the hot, humid air and cools it down. As the air is cooled, the water vapor in the air condenses and forms droplets that are collected in the AC's drainage system and drained away.

If you use your air conditioner in this way, it is important to make sure the air conditioner is sized correctly for the space. However, that’s not always the case. Air conditioners can only remove a small amount of humidity from the air, and if the outside humidity is low, it may not be worth running the AC just to dehumidify.

Dehumidifiers vs. Air Conditioners

Air conditioners are designed to cool down or heat up the indoor air. Air conditioners can remove a small amount of moisture when running. Dehumidifiers, on the other hand, are designed to remove moisture.

The two devices work in different ways to accomplish this task. Air conditioners remove humidity through evaporation while dehumidifiers remove humidity through condensation. Dehumidifiers tend to be more efficient at removing humidity because they are designed to remove moisture in a more professional way.

Some air conditioners also feature a dehumidification mode. However, it is not efficient as a dehumidifier when it comes to dehumidifying a specific area in your house.

Plus, air conditioners are also more expensive than dehumidifiers. So if you need a device to remove excess moisture, it's definitely worth investing in a dehumidifier.

Final Words

On hot and humid summer days, there are many benefits of having an air conditioner over a dehumidifier. But if you're looking for a device that can keep your house cool and dry all summer long to keep mold, mildew and your allergy problem at bay, then the best option is to opt for a dehumidifier.

It's not the most glamorous investment, but it's definitely worth it in the long run. Your home will be much more comfortable and healthier to live in all year round.

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My name is Justin Williams. I am the founder and blogger at (read more about us). I was an allergy sufferer and that is also the reason why I began my trek to finding the best dehumidifier for my own personal health issues. All of the dehumidifier top picks on the site were put through their paces by Lance Perez - our dehumidifier researcher. He put each one through a series of tests to see how well they performed. Then, our editorial team compiled the insights into articles and published them.

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