Air conditioner dry mode vs dehumidifier

 A constant debate that is on when it comes to the cooling effect in a house, is the similarities in function of Dehumidifier Vs Air Conditioner.

Both, dehumidifiers and air conditioners are brilliant systems that have their own method of cooling any room they are in. Although they both work efficiently to exhibit some amount of moisture control and can bring out cooling in a room, they are systems with their own difference.

A room with good air quality is of importance. The primary function of both these devices is to assure that the room they are installed in has a comfortable air.

Air Conditioner or Dehumidifier. Which removes humidity?

ac vs dehumidifier

Air conditioning units are not specially designed to extract excess moisture from the air as efficiently as a dehumidifier, nor can they control the humidity levels like a dehumidifier. However, air conditioner costs are much more feasible, as an option to provide cooling alone.

On the other hand, dehumidifiers pull excess humidity and moisture from the air and send dehumidified air back into the room. A dehumidifier can even have a unit large enough to remove excess moisture and maintain relative humidity levels across the entire house.

The manner in which dehumidifiers work can guarantee you with reduced humidity level, that can increase air quality, make the room air light and free from moisture and breathable, and at the same time send back cleaner air into the room. Dehumidifiers prevent the growth of allergens, mold, and mildew in the house by having control over high humidity in the house.

Hence to answer the question of dehumidifier vs air conditioner, which among the two remove humidity; the answer is both, but the difference in the extent to which they carry out the process matters. With an AC unit, you will get significant cooling, little relief from humid air. With dehumidifiers, you will get bigger relief from moist air and humid air across the entire house, with some amount of cooling effect.

How Dry Mode works in an Air Conditioner?

A lady with ac remote

The dry mode option in air conditioners is similar to how large-scale dehumidifiers work. When the AC dry mode or aircon dry mode is on, and the unit is running; although the fan and other inner components of the device are working, you will not have any cool air coming out of the device. This could be just what one expects from an air conditioning unit under humid conditions. But, here is what happens in an AC dry mode. The air in the room passes through the aircon, and now the water vapor will condense in the evaporator coils. By this process, moisture is removed from the air. Now, the dry air (which was previously moist air), exits the unit and flows back into the room.

The AC dry mode is a more energy-efficient option. The regular cool mode in air conditioners is not recommended for use all year round. Using the cool mode across all weather conditions, both when it is too hot and too cool, is going to cost a lot of energy. Make proper use of the dry mode, to suit the temperature appropriately (like during the rainy season), which will help you to conserve energy and is also a good choice for the environment.

How does dehumidifier work?

serene main

Dehumidifiers work with units that are manufactured specially to bring about excess moisture removal from the air. They are devices that have the ability to control high humidity levels in the atmosphere. Excess humidity is harmful to health and property. Mold, mildew, bacteria, fungi, dust mites, and other allergens are the problems that arise to health from increased humidity. Dampness, moist floors, ceilings, drywalls, etc; are some of the problems that one encounters with the property. Dehumidifiers can help prevent all of these issues that humidity brings into your house. Having a portable unit is especially helpful to carry out dehumidification in any room that you like.

Dehumidifiers work by passing warm air or humid air over cool coils inside them. The refrigerated coil or evaporator coils will bring about condensation of the moisture from the air. As the coil traps the moisture, the water vapor condenses and gets collected in the water tank that the machine has. Unlike an air conditioner, where the water collected is discarded through the outdoor unit; dehumidifiers follow the tray mechanism. Here the water reservoir can be manually emptied, or diverted into a condensate pump. There are many features that assist in the removal of collected water.

Apart from regulation over high humidity, you also get clean air by using a dehumidifier. Improved air quality is indeed a necessity in any room. Although it may seem like dehumidifier power consumption is high, you will be surprised to know that they help other appliances draw lesser energy after they remove humidity.

Most dehumidifiers come with many advanced features that make them user-friendly and convenient to use; including an auto-defrost cycle to prevent the old coils from freezing. Maintenance services of the device can be easily arranged for with a professional from the brand you make the purchase from.

When should you use a dehumidifier?

When high humidity suffocates your room or house, it is the best time to run a dehumidifier. On a daily basis, they can be used in any room in the house that generates more heat or humidity like the bathrooms, laundry room, basements, crawl spaces, kitchen, etc. Apart from terming them as hot and uncomfortable, these places have a lot of moisture in them, paving way for harmful mold growth.
You can also use dehumidifiers to handle water damage and other areas that have stagnant water and need removal. If your house is prone to power fluctuations and is consistently having big energy bills, you should use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity.

If the people in your house need a dose of fresh air that is free from allergens and asthma; yet again the answer is dehumidifiers to improving air quality. You can also bank on dehumidifiers to remove some amount of heat from the environment to give you a space that has cooling and comfort.

Portable air conditioner or dehumidifier for moisture removal?

When it comes down to dehumidifier vs air conditioner for moisture removal and to regulate humidity levels, the vote falls on dehumidifiers. A portable air conditioning unit will make a difference to the hot climate but giving you cold air. It can only alter the humidity and moisture level to an extent and mask the hot air, but it cannot do it as efficiently as a dehumidifier. Hence, if you were to choose between a dehumidifier and air conditioner for the specific reason of moisture removal, experts recommend dehumidifiers.

FAQ Section

1. What is indoor air quality?

The air quality that exists within and around a building or structure is referred to as Indoor Air Quality or IAF. This is an important aspect to maintain healthy respiratory function and even mental health.

2. Is dry mode more economical?

Yes! Since the energy consumption is minimal, it is indeed an economical option when compared to other choices air conditioners have.

3. Can AC be used as a dehumidifier?

An air conditioner can make the room that it is installed in, filled with cool air, and free from the heat; but it cannot offer you moisture removal and humidity regulation like a dehumidifier. This is why an air conditioner is not a replacement for dehumidifiers.

4. How to make dehumidifier work efficiently?

Just like any electronic appliance, being regular with maintenance services as and when necessary will ensure that your dehumidifier works efficiently. Making use of all the features on the dehumidifier, cleaning its filter and coils, making replacements to the internal dehumidifier parts (when required), etc., are some smaller details that will prolong the lifespan of your dehumidifier.

5. Do dehumidifiers have freon?

Yes, dehumidifiers have Freon, otherwise known as chlorofluorocarbon gas. This is present in order to cool the air inside the units. Since dehumidifiers contain Freon, they have to be disposed of appropriately.

Wrapping Up

Hope you found the post helpful in understanding the dry mode feature in and air conditioners Vs dehumidifiers. Let us know if you are aware of this feature, how often do your air conditioners employ them, and what model of dehumidifiers work best for your house.

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About The Author

Olivia — a self-confessed air quality addict — is a home climate enthusiast, fresh air advocate, and someone with deep personal experience and knowledge about mold extermination. Her work was mentioned in countless notable humidity publications. Previously she was an editor at Mold Remediation.