Is My Air Conditioner also a Dehumidifier?

During the summer, North Carolina often experiences high humidity… and that makes the mid-year heat much harder to deal with. High moisture levels in the air trap more heat in the human body, which makes the temperature in air feel hotter. Indoor moisture levels can also be responsible for water damage and the development of mold and mildew.

Is the air conditioner that cools down your home enough to combat this high humidity? The AC does provide relief from high temperatures, and it also provides some dehumidification. However, to answer the question in the header, no, the air conditioner is not an actual dehumidifier. You’ll need additional help to balance your indoor humidity.

Moisture and Your AC

From time to time, you’ll hear the sound of water dripping inside an air conditioner. This is the moisture that collects along the evaporator coil while the AC is running. The evaporator coil draws thermal energy from the air to cool it down, and a side-effect of this action is that moisture in the air condenses along the coil’s surface. The moisture drips down into a pan and a drain remove it. This lowers the humidity of the air, but the air conditioner isn’t designed to actually balance the indoor humidity, which is the role of an actual dehumidifier. For a humid summer in North Carolina, an AC is inadequate to the task of balancing the humidity levels.

The Whole-House Dehumidifier

A whole-house dehumidifier is integrated into an HVAC system and works in tandem with the air conditioner to lower relative humidity into the 30% to 50% range, which is ideal for comfort and to avoid water damage, without interfering with temperature control. You must turn to indoor air quality professionals to install the dehumidifier. Otherwise, it may not work correctly—and could even result in a house that’s too dry.

Comfort Central, Inc. installs whole-house dehumidifiers. Call us today for service in Asheville and throughout Western North Carolina.

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