When to Use Dehumidifier with Air Conditioner? – Understanding Humidity

You might have heard about the benefits of the old air conditioner and dehumidifier combo. Using a dehumidifier with an air condition can reduce electricity bills and keep your rooms cooler for longer even when the humidifier is off. But, in certain scenarios running them together can actually have the opposite effect. So, when to use dehumidifier with air conditioner

You should use a dehumidifier and AC together only when the humidity levels are too high. The humidifier can reduce the humidity in the air allowing the AC to easily cool the room. At the same time, low humidity is usually more comfortable as you will feel less sweaty. 

In this article, I will talk about using a dehumidifier with an air conditioner and how it can benefit you. I will also touch on when using them together might actually be a bad idea. Before that, let us learn how a dehumidifier works. 

How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

The rise of humidity is a well-known problem during the summer. But it can be a problem all year round. The atmosphere in your house becomes warm and stuffy. You may feel the air is not passing in your home, and your skin becomes clammy. 

Moreover, molds grow on the furniture. Next, the entire house gets filled with a musty odor. As a result, dust mites inhabit the house.  

So, what can you do in this kind of situation? You should buy a dehumidifier for your house. A dehumidifier removes the extra moisture along with the dust and dirt. Thus, dust mites or other insects cannot survive. 

The machine takes away the extra moisture from the surfaces like the walls, windows, and furniture. Therefore, molds cannot grow on them. 

A typical dehumidifier has four parts. These are a fan, a heater, compressor coil, and a water reservoir. The machine decreases the humidity level by removing moisture from the air. First, the air is sucked by the dehumidifier. It goes through a filter panel. The filter removes the dust and any kind of dirt. 

After that, the moisture is condensed, and the air becomes cool. The condensed water is moved to the reservoir or water tank. Then, the dried air is reheated and released back into the house. Therefore, the air in your house becomes drier. 

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Can You Use A Dehumidifier With an Air Conditioner? 

Yes, you can use a whole-home dehumidifier and the air conditioner at the same time. You can also use a dehumidifier before and after using an air conditioner. 

If you are worried the dehumidifier can cause trouble for your air conditioner, then you do not have to worry. In fact, a dehumidifier will enhance the performance of your air conditioner. The lower moisture in the air will make cooling it much easier for your air conditioning unit. 

The only drawback is the extra electricity bill. But the machines may not take too much electricity if you manage them properly. Using a dehumidifier can even reduce the cost of using an air conditioner as it eases the pressure of cooling on the AC. 

When Should You Use a Dehumidifier With an Air Conditioner?

During particularly hot and moist climates, running the air conditioner and the dehumidifier together can actually cool your room faster and for longer while reducing electricity bills. 

It is true that you get a cool environment in the house by using a dehumidifier. But it is not always enough to survive the extreme heat in the summer days. You will definitely need an air conditioner to cool down the temperature in the room. 

However, sometimes an air conditioner cannot control the humidity level of the house. So, you need a dehumidifier. 

Similar to dehumidifiers, air conditioners lower the moisture in a room. The air goes through the air conditioner; it returns cool air with low humidity. Hence, an air conditioner is enough to keep your house cool. 

But dehumidifiers are still useful. When the temperature and humidity get too high, you will have to keep the air conditioner on for a long time. You may turn off the AC when you feel the room has become cooler. But soon, the room will become hot again, and you will start feeling clammy because of the high humidity. Consequently, you will turn on the air conditioner again.  

If this happens, you should run a dehumidifier with the air conditioner. The dehumidifier will dry the moist air, which will pass through the air conditioner. Since the air is already low in moisture, the AC does not have to work too much to produce cool air.

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When the temperature of the room becomes comfortable, just turn off the air conditioner and keep the dehumidifier on instead. This way, you can save hundreds of dollars on air conditioning bills. In addition, the air conditioner will work much longer since the pressure gets reduced because of the dehumidifier. 

Benefits of Using A Dehumidifier

Humidity causes problems not just in the summer but also at different times of the year. So, to maintain proper humidity inside your house all year round, you should get a dehumidifier. Here are some ways how a dehumidifier can make your life more comfortable:

Increase Comfort 

When the air has too much humidity, you will feel congested because the air feels heavy. The body tries to decrease the heat by sweating. Unfortunately, too much moisture in the air does not let the sweat evaporate quickly. So, you will feel clammy, and sweaty.

Turning on just the air conditioner may give you relief for a while, but you can feel worse after turning it off. A dehumidifier can dramatically take out the moisture of the air around your house. Then, you will not feel so uncomfortable even when the AC is off.  

Keeps the Household Healthy

Health problems like asthma and allergy problems become serious if there is a humidity imbalance inside the house. Mold thrives in high humidity. It not only attracts insects but also traps dust and dirt. These are the reasons for many diseases. 

The residents of the house may have itchy skin, stuffy nose, breathing problems, cold, and weak immune system for molds and dust mites. A dehumidifier will lower the humidity level so that the molds cannot survive in your home. 

Clean Environment

As I have mentioned before, dehumidifiers stop the growth of molds in the house. Thus, the walls, windows, furniture, and other things of the house do not catch molds or extra dust on them.

Dehumidifiers draw in air inside the machine. Air from the corners of the house also enters the dehumidifier. Therefore, there is less chance of molds growing in the corners of the house. It will take less time to clean stuff since you do not have to clean the molds and insects regularly. 

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Reduces Energy Use 

Running an air conditioner 24/7 requires a lot of electric energy which means more bills for you. You can easily save some energy by using a dehumidifier. The machine will already get rid of most of the moisture in the air. So, the air conditioner does not have to work as hard. 

Dry air gets cool faster and also retains heat for a longer amount of time. And dry air, even if it’s warm, is much more comfortable than moist air. 

So, often you only have to control the humidity, and the temperature of the room becomes tolerable. There is no need for the constant use of the air conditioner. As a dehumidifier takes less energy to run compared to an air conditioner, you will save a lot on your electricity bill.

When To Not Use A Dehumidifier With AC? 

You should not use dehumidifiers along with your AC if the humidity in the air is already low. Doing that will reduce the humidity to uncomfortable levels.

Too much humidity is bad. But too little is actually worse. You’ll feel thirsty more often and your body will lose water faster causing dehydration. Sometimes too little humidity can cause our eyes to dry up making it hard to keep them open.

So, it is not advised to turn on the humidifier when the AC adequately reduces the humidity level in the house. If you see that your AC is not struggling to cool the room and the air is relatively dry (40% humidity or less) then turning on the dehumidifier can actually make you uncomfortable or even harm you. You are actually advised to turn on a humidifier with the AC in this situation. 

By now, you have surely learned when to use dehumidifier with air conditioner. During moist summer times and rainy seasons, using a dehumidifier with your air conditioner can greatly enhance its efficiency and also help you reduce electricity bills. But do make sure you actually need a dehumidifier first. 

If the air outside is already a bit chilly or just plain dry, using the dehumidifier is not recommended.