Your air conditioning system does more than just cool your home. While cooling is the primary function of all air conditioning systems, they offer another benefit that’s often overlooked: dehumidification. When running, it will remove moisture vapor from the air inside of your home. As your air conditioning system removes this moisture vapor, your home’s relative humidity level will decrease.
The Basics of Air Conditioning Dehumidification
Dehumidification is a side effect that occurs when your air conditioning system cools your home. How does is work exactly? Your air conditioning system contains an indoor heat exchange device known as an evaporator coil. As coolant flows through the evaporator coil, it will absorb heat from the surrounding air. Moisture vapor in the air will then collect and condense on the exterior of the evaporator coil.
Your air conditioning system’s dehumidification process will occur at the evaporator coil. The evaporator coil will collect moisture vapor from the air inside of your home. As the moisture vapor condenses on the evaporator coil, it will drip into a pan below where it’s drained to your home’s exterior.
Air Conditioning Systems vs Whole-House Dehumidifiers
While your air conditioning system is capable of dehumidifying your home, there are also whole-house dehumidifiers that perform the same task. A whole-house dehumidifier is a device that, as the name suggests, is designed to dehumidify your entire home. Not all homes have them. Even if your home has an air conditioning system, it may not have a whole-house dehumidifier.
Nonetheless, a whole-house dehumidifier is an optional device that’s found in some homes. Its dehumidification mechanics are similar to those of an air conditioning system. A whole-house dehumidifier uses refrigerant to absorb heat and, thus, create condensation.
The main difference is that a whole-house dehumidifier is a separate device that works alongside your air conditioning system. Whole-house dehumidifiers are usually installed in the ductwork. Air traveling through the ductwork will enter the whole-house dehumidifier where it’s dehumidified.
Do You Need a Whole-House Dehumidifier?
You might be wondering or not you need a whole-house dehumidifier. In most cases, an air conditioning system will provide a sufficient amount of dehumidification. Assuming your air conditioning system is the right size for your home, it should dehumidify your home without causing indoor moisture problems. If your air conditioning system is either too small or too big for your home, though, you may want to get a whole-house dehumidifier installed.