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Does My AC Dehumidify My Home’s Air?

humidity-on-windowIn our local climate, humidity is as much an enemy to summer comfort as the temperature. We all know that humid days feel much hotter and less pleasant. This isn’t because humidity makes the air hotter. High humidity makes it harder for our bodies to release heat through perspiration. With more heat trapped in our bodies, the temperature of the air around us feels hotter. 

For example, on an 85°F day with a relative humidity of around 40%, the air will feel like it’s 85° or 86°F. But if the relative humidity is 75%—a common occurrence in Florida—that 85° will feel like it’s 95°. A huge difference!

But you have an air conditioner in your home, so that should take care of it, right? Well, not exactly. Your AC does dehumidify the air … but not enough that it could be considered a “dehumidifier.”

The AC and Humidity

An air conditioner naturally draws moisture from the air as it runs. That’s a side-effect of how it evaporates refrigerant to cool down the air. As the refrigerant in the indoor coil evaporates when it comes into contact with the warm air sent through the AC, the refrigerant absorbs heat and cools the air. This also causes moisture in the air to condense on the coil. The moisture drips down into a pan beneath the coil and is then drained from the AC and the house. This is why you occasionally hear water dripping in your air conditioning system.

However, this amount of dehumidification from an AC isn’t enough to make a significant change in indoor relative humidity. The volume of moisture the AC extracts won’t create a noticeable change in indoor comfort. So while an AC dehumidifies, it’s not a dehumidifier.

The Dedicated Dehumidifier

An AC will still provide cool air to a house no matter the humidity level. But it’s an uphill battle for comfort when humidity is high. If we go back to the 75% relative humidity example, you’d have to run your AC much longer to provide comfort because the humidity in the house will make people feel 10° warmer. That can add up to a lot more spent on air conditioning.

Here’s where dehumidifiers are great options. These devices can remove large volumes of moisture from the air but without cooling it so they don’t interfere with the operation of the AC. Most whole-house dehumidifiers can lower indoor relative humidity by 30-40%. This is enough to provide homes with balanced humidity around 40–45% on even the most humid days. 

We Can Help You Beat Indoor Humidity

We can install a dehumidifier in Clearwater, FL to help you deal with the extreme humidity of summer. Although you can purchase portable dehumidifiers, these devices have limited use and can also be fire hazards. Our technicians work with whole-house dehumidifiers, which are integrated into the HVAC system to work in conjunction with the air conditioner. You’ll enjoy balanced humidity around the house and can adjust the humidity to your liking through the thermostat. 

Experience the Balanced Air, Inc. difference! Ask us today about dehumidifier options or air conditioning service.

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