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Does My AC Also Work as a Dehumidifier?

air-conditioner-evaporator-coil

Not really, no—unless it was specially designed for it. That’s the simple answer to the question in the title. But we want our customers to know more about dehumidification for their home, the role of the AC in it, and how installing a whole-house dehumidifier can help out immensely with comfort and energy savings.

So let’s get into the dehumidification and how we can improve your air conditioning in Indianapolis, IN.

The Standard AC Is Not a Dehumidifier, Although It Does Dehumidify

Yes, that sounds contradictory. We’ll explain.

The way an air conditioner cools down the air in a house is by evaporating cold refrigerant along the indoor coils. Warm air runs across the coils and loses heat to icy refrigerant, which is why the air feels cooler when it spreads out to the house. But as the refrigerant evaporates, it also causes moisture in the air to condense along the coil’s surface. This is the same effect as when you pour ice-cold water into a glass on a hot day: you’ll see water droplets on the glass surface as moisture in the air condenses along it.

So the air conditioner does remove humidity from the air as it runs; it dehumidifies the air. But this effect is not powerful enough to make a significant difference in humidity levels around the house, so the AC is not considered a dehumidifier. You could phrase it this way: an air conditioner has dehumidification capabilities, but is not a dehumidifier. The same way that your toaster generates heat, but you wouldn’t use the toaster to attempt to heat your house.

Bryant Evolution Air Conditioners Help Dehumidify

Not all air conditioners are built the same, and the Bryan Evolution line that we install is excellent at combating high humidity compared to standard air conditioners. These ACs can work at different speeds, so the air conditioner will continue to work at a slower speed if there is still too much humidity in the air. This removes the humidity without creating too much cooling—it’s an ideal balance and one of the reasons that having a variable speed air conditioner is helpful.

Whole-House Dehumidifiers Can Make a Big Difference

Another way to overcome extreme humidity in a house is to have a dedicated whole-house dehumidifier installed. Our technicians can integrate a whole-house dehumidifier into the HVAC system so that it works in partnership with the AC. The dehumidifier has its own refrigerant coil it uses to draw moisture from the air, but it then reheats the air so it won’t interfere with the air conditioner. You can control the humidity levels using a device called a humidistat, which is basically a thermostat for humidity levels.

With our help, you can have an HVAC system that cools your home and keeps humidity balanced. The ideal humidity level for comfort is 45% relative humidity. Going lower than this will make the house ­too dry, and that brings along a new set of problems.

Talk to our team today to learn more about the Bryant Evolution series and whole-house dehumidifiers.

At Vital Heating & Air, we know that “Your Comfort Is Vital!” Trust us to help you when it comes to your air conditioning services.  

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