The summer heat and humidity in many parts of the world are somewhat unbearable. When temperatures rise to about 80 degrees outside, you’re bound to feel the heat inside your home.
The situation becomes worse if you live in a swampy area or have some water bodies around. To fight this, most people use an air conditioner to cool the air and reduce the humidity.
In many other parts of the world, especially in very humid regions where the weather isn’t so hot, a dehumidifier is very handy.
But, are there times when you can run both appliances? Should you run them simultaneously? Are there some benefits or disadvantages of running them together? We’ll provide all the answers you need in this post.
Should you run an air conditioner and dehumidifier at the same time?
You may wonder if it is sensible to run a dehumidifier when your air conditioner is turned on. The truth is, you can. But whether you should is a different matter altogether.
Air conditioners and dehumidifiers are strong allies in the fight against humidity, but to answer this question, you need to consider several factors- including knowing how both of them work and what distinguishes one from another. It is also important to pay attention to the unique situation in your home.
How does a dehumidifier work?
A dehumidifier is a much cheaper appliance compared to an air conditioner. It is also quite portable and is kept inside the house.
The job of the dehumidifier is to reduce the humidity in a place by collecting moist air by means of its fan and passing it over an evaporator coil as well as a condenser coil.
This process contracts the warm air, allowing for the release of drier air. A dehumidifier is more suited for damp areas that may not be so hot. In fact, cool areas with high humidity levels are great spots for the deployment of dehumidifiers.
When the air goes through the condenser, it is slightly warmed up, but dried as well. This is why a dehumidifier is unlikely to provide the cooling effect that an air conditioner does, but is a great tool to make your home more comfortable.
How does an air conditioner work?
The air conditioner has a similar operational philosophy, except that the unit is kept outside the house, or partly inside, while the blower component or vent is installed inside.
The air conditioner is great when the weather is actually really hot and affects the internal climate of your home as well. They reduce humidity in the room and provide the cooling effect in the process.
The warm, moist air is collected by the unit, often through the vent, and is passed over an evaporator coil as well as a condenser coil. The warmth is then released outside, keeping the internal temperature cooler.
It is this cooling effect that makes air conditioners different from dehumidifiers and it stems from the fact that the warm air collected in the room by the unit is not released back into the room the same way. Rather it is released outside the room where the unit is kept.
When should you run both appliances at the same time?
There are instances where a dehumidifier can be run at the same time the air conditioner is running. You can run a dehumidifier and an air conditioner when the humidity level is extremely high and the weather is terrible hot as well.
The dehumidifier will provide the backup the air conditioner needs to reduce the moisture in the room. At such times, you’ll find mold, mildew and fungus building up in parts of the room, like the walls and so on. Basements are a good example of places that may require this combination.
Furthermore, a dehumidifier can help preserve the lifespan and reduce the pressure on the air conditioner by taking care of the humidity while the AC takes care of cooling the air.
It takes longer to cool humid air than it is to cool dry air. This means with both appliances on, your room will become drier and cooler faster.
Sometimes, you may wish to set your AC at as much as 80 degrees Fahrenheit and leave your dehumidifier working as well, especially in very humid regions.
Do you really need a dehumidifier if you have an air conditioner?
The answer is Yes. Running an air conditioner 24 hours of the day, everyday of the week can put a strain on your finances. Energy bills will pile up significantly.
Switching to a dehumidifier can cut down on energy costs because it consumes only about 1/10 of the energy that an AC consumes. However, you must try to maintain a balance.
Having a humidity level below 30% can lead to dire consequences like cold and irritations on your skin and respiratory tract. Above 50% will lead to the growth of molds and bacteria.
If combining both appliances will help you achieve that balance, then you should use them at the same time. Just be sure you keep the humidity level in check at all times.
Having a dehumidifier as support for your air conditioner will not only help during excess humidity, but will also be useful in preserving the lifespan of your AC as well as conserving energy when necessary.
Will a dehumidifier help my air conditioner work better?
A dehumidifier has a way of making us feel comfortable because it can make our homes feel cooler just by taking away the humidity and releasing drier air back in.
With this, you may not need to run your air conditioner all the time. Even when you do, you may not need to set the thermostat on a low temperature.
This can help preserve your air conditioner and ensure it works more efficiently. By reducing the burden on your AC, it will perform more effectively when you do call upon it.
Furthermore, and like we mentioned earlier, the strain on your AC reduces if you run it along with a dehumidifier. This is because humidity is reduced more quickly and cooling can be done faster.
Benefits of using a dehumidifier and air conditioner at the same time
1. Increases Air Conditioner Efficiency
This is more or less the biggest advantage of combining an air conditioner with a dehumidifier. You will find that your room starts cooling in very little time if you already had a dehumidifier on. You’re also able to ‘rest’ your AC whenever you choose to for prolonged lifespan.
2. Comfort and Convenience
By running the two appliances at the same time, you’re better able to reduce excess humidity in your home which can make your stay more comfortable.
3. Reduces the likelihood of diseases
Excess humidity can support the growth of fungus and bacteria. Also, molds grow easily in humid environments along with irritants that can affect your skin and respiratory organs.
Using an AC and a dehumidifier together can help reduce excess humidity and bring it to considerable levels.
Drawbacks of using a dehumidifier and air conditioner at the same time
1. Increased Energy Cost
If you’re using them simultaneously, you’re certainly going to incur extra energy cost, except you have some energy-efficient plan in your home.
This is another problem associated with using a dehumidifier and air conditioner at the same time. You’ll have to deal with increased noise from both appliances.
Nobody wants to deal with noise from two appliances when they sleep, so you must know how to make it work.
3. Extreme Dryness
It is important to reduce humidity in your room by using appliances like an air conditioner or a dehumidifier. Most times, using any one of these appliances will work perfectly.
So, combining both might just be too much and could result in dry air. This is also dangerous as it can breed dust and other allergies which may affect your skin, nose and respiratory tract.
Combining a dehumidifier and air conditioner in your home or office can be a blessing. But if you do not know how to use them to your advantage, it can also be a curse.
On their own, they can work as effective units each doing its own thing in its own way, but when combined together, you must know how to use them properly, depending on the situation.
With this post, we hope you can make the right decisions going forward and achieve just the right amount of humidity for comfort and good health.