Air conditioning units significantly dehumidify buildings even though they are not specifically designed to do this. The air conditioning cooling process naturally removes a lot of water from the air indoors. You should add dehumidifiers to your home or certain rooms if you want to dehumidify more. Some people should also add a dehumidifier to their home to reduce strain on the air conditioner. AC units that consistently run in very humid houses can wear out early. You are also likely to need more regular AC maintenance and pan draining if the house is very humid.
Here are some things you should know about air conditioners and dehumidifying your house.
1. Air Conditioners Use Condensate Drain Pans
As your air conditioner runs through cycles, the hot air is pumped out of the house. The air conditioner uses coils that contain refrigerant to cool the hot air. The replacement of the hot air with cool air creates condensation. The air conditioning unit then removes the condensation by dumping it into a drain pan. Some AC units have more than one drain pan. This is a shallow plastic pan that your maintenance technician drains during your tune-up.
Your unit can end up with a lot of condensation, which may be due to a very humid house or climate. It can also happen if your ductwork needs insulation. Heavy condensation means more maintenance and frequent pan draining. You may also notice extra condensation if your refrigerant is running low. This can cause coil malfunction and a ton of moisture.
2. Your AC Unit Can Benefit From an Extra Dehumidifier
AC units can run much more efficiently with an added dehumidifier. Your unit will last quite a bit longer and will run through each cycle much better. The dehumidifier can be attached to the AC ductwork. Some people attach it to the AC system cycle so that it runs between cooling cycles. Others leave the dehumidifier settings independent.
3. Air Conditioners and Dehumidifiers Share Some of the Same Functions
Dehumidifiers and air conditioners will both help you achieve a drier, cooler interior. Dehumidifiers cool the air and remove condensation in a similar way to air conditioners. Some dehumidifiers also have pans that you drain during maintenance.
Removing humidity from the air will help cool it down as well as improve your indoor air quality. People sometimes wonder if their dehumidifier is an air conditioner when they notice the temperature difference. Dehumidifiers are built to remove a lot more water than air conditioners. Your dehumidifier won’t experience strain as it removes humidity day in and day out. It will cool your rooms off noticeably, but don’t expect it to cool a 95-degree interior to 72 degrees! Dehumidifiers can regularly remove a liter of water every three or four days per room.
Your AC unit cools hot air over coils much like a dehumidifier does. The refrigerant chemicals are not always the same. However, both units use fans and compressors to do their jobs.
4. Maintenance Is Essential for Your AC When Fighting Humidity
An AC will always dehumidify noticeably when it is running properly. It should not collect moisture inside the ductwork or on the coils. Certain problems will prevent the removal of condensation and reduce the effectiveness of your AC unit.
An Oversized AC Unit Won’t Dehumidify Properly
Many people don’t know that there are issues with overly large AC units. One problem is that an oversized AC unit will leave your rooms too damp. The system runs through the cooling cycle too quickly. The reduced cooling time prevents the water from draining off the coils properly. Be sure to ask your technician about the size of your AC unit if you have a damp house.
Undersized AC Units Won’t Dehumidify Properly
Small units have a similar problem. They won’t shut off too quickly, but they can’t handle the job efficiently. They may have long run times or they may be unable to process enough air altogether.
Dirty Components and Ducts Collect Condensation
Dirty ducts are highly likely to collect condensation. Once they collect a little bit of grime or moisture, it’s increasingly harder for them to dry out. Dirty coils, fans, and filters are also major reasons for condensation.
5. You Can Reduce Overall Humidity With Adjustments to Your AC Unit
There are a few things you can do to help your AC unit efficiently process condensation. These fixes may do the job by themselves so you don’t need to add a dehumidifier. They’ll also improve efficiency for both appliances if you do end up needing a dehumidifier.
Clean the Indoor Evaporator Coil Frequently
A regular tune-up schedule will keep your AC working well. You should add extra cleanings for the evaporator coil before it gets really dirty to tackle humidity. It’s very likely that the coil won’t be dirty enough to mess up the cooling power. A very small amount of grime can still alter the dehumidifying capability of your AC unit. Have your technician do this regularly if you have a very humid house. Coils get a lot of their dirt from dirty air filters. You can also get a stronger filter and or change it more frequently to fight humidity.
Change the Fan Speed
You should ask your technician about changing the fan speed to a slightly lower setting to fight humidity. Setting the speed to about 85% of the regular speed will significantly reduce the humidity. This should still ensure a strong cooling cycle and optimal mechanical efficiency. You can also ask your technician about a variable-speed air conditioner. This type of unit dehumidifies at a much higher rate than other kinds.
Ask About a Thermal Expansion Valve
Thermal expansion valves help your AC unit remove a lot of humidity. They help your unit use more of the evaporator coil as needed. These valves utilize a bulb next to the coil that helps the unit access more refrigerant during certain cycles.
Carefully Manage Refrigerant
Refrigerant can run low at times. It will also require charging from time to time. Either scenario will impact your AC unit’s ability to dehumidify. Be sure to ask your technician about the refrigerant if you notice condensation or increasing humidity.
Local Experts Keep Your System Running
Air 24/7 Air Conditioning & Heating provides AC installation, maintenance, and repair services in Tampa, FL and the surrounding Bay area. We offer emergency service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our experts also offer a full range of heating installation, maintenance, and repair services. We offer indoor air quality services, solar system installation, and inspection services as well. Our business has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. All our technicians are certified through NATE. We are known for our friendly service and upfront pricing as well as efficient work. We have experience with units from top manufacturers like Lennox, Mitsubishi, Goodman, Daikin, and American Standard.
Contact Air 24/7 Air Conditioning & Heating today for more information!