The summer heat and humidity in many parts of the United States can be unbearable. When outside temperatures rise to 80 degrees or more, it will directly impact the comfort of your home. The situation will worsen if you live in an area prone to high levels of relative humidity. Usually, locations in the Deep South near swampy areas or bodies of water will experience extreme levels of humidity. To fight this, many people turn to their home air conditioning systems to control indoor temperatures and reduce humidity.
In many areas, people rely on dehumidifiers to help lower temperatures and improve indoor comfort. A dehumidifier draws excess moisture from the air while circulating drier air around the room. A typical dehumidifier can reduce the relative humidity to a more comfortable level. Dehumidifiers work by taking in warm air through a fan and cooling it down. The warm air shrinks, and tiny water droplets fall out. The cooler, drier air is circulated, and the removed moisture is stored in the condensation tank within the machine. When the air is drier, it feels cooler.
Many people wonder if dehumidifiers and AC units can work together in places where the summer mercury rises. So, can you run a dehumidifier and air conditioner at the same time? The truth is, you can run both units at the same time. There are some considerations for operating them at the same time, however. Let’s take a look at running a dehumidifier and AC system simultaneously.
What does your air conditioner do?
As discussed, a dehumidifier pulls moisture from the air and circulates cooler, drier air. Your air conditioning system works on the same principle. Air conditioners reduce the humidity inside your home and provide a cooling effect in the process. When your AC is functioning correctly, warm, moist air is drawn into the unit from your house and passed over the evaporator coil and condenser coil. The system absorbs the heat and humidity from the air and releases it outside. The cooler, drier air is then forced through the vents into your home. Your AC unit differs from a dehumidifier in that it also cools the air once the humidity has been removed.
When can you run both pieces of equipment?
Dehumidification reduces the moisture in the air and makes the air feel more comfortable. While your air conditioner does a good job of this, extremely high humidity during the summer months could put a strain on your equipment. In this instance, your indoor air quality would benefit from running a dehumidifier and the air conditioner at the same time. Running both when there are high humidity levels could reduce the overall wear and tear on your air conditioner and provide supplemental support to your unit.
Additionally, you may also find that it is beneficial to run both pieces of equipment in areas susceptible to high moisture content. Basements and bathrooms are areas where humidity can collect and create mold, mildew, and fungus problems. A dehumidifier in conjunction with your AC could help reduce many of these issues.
When should you rely on a dehumidifier?
When temperatures aren’t as high outside, the Department of Energy recommends setting your AC to 78 degrees and relying on fans and dehumidifiers. The dehumidifier will lower the humidity in the air and make the room feel cooler. Since a dehumidifier requires less energy to operate, this will help lower your utility bills while helping your home feel cooler. Even if your home temperature is a little higher, the relative humidity level will be lower, and you will be comfortable.
A dehumidifier helps to remove excess moisture in the air. Similarly, your AC equipment does the same things while cooling the air. While you can run both pieces of equipment simultaneously, if you want to improve your indoor air quality, lower your energy bills, and preserve your AC unit, you can rely on a quality dehumidifier.