The condesner unit of a ductless mini-split next to an air conditioner outside a home

Ductless mini-splits are heat pumps that can maintain your home’s temperature comfortably throughout the year. They provide both heating and cooling, making them an excellent investment for anyone living in an area with hot summers and cold winters, like many parts of the U.S.

But does a mini split take humidity out of the air too?

Do Ductless Mini-Splits Dehumidify as Well as Cool?

Cool air holds less moisture than warm air, meaning that a mini-split, like all air conditioners, will dehumidify the air somewhat as it cools. So, while mini splits aren’t classified as dehumidifiers, they do remove humidity from your indoor air.

If the mini split is working properly and the air in your home is still too humid, then you will likely need a dehumidifier to combat the issue.

Some mini-split models have a “dry mode,” providing similar dehumidification performance.

Helpful Tip: Keep an eye on the summer weather. If you know it is going to be humid out, turn on your AC early. 

Adding humidity is easy, removing it is hard. This means, humidity will build up quickly in your home and it will take your AC a while to get rid of it. If you act preemptively and get the AC running before the humid weather peaks, your AC will have an easier time keeping you cool.

Is It Good to Dehumidify a Room?

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, humidity inside your home should be kept under 60%.

Too much humidity can cause a variety of problems in your home. 

For starters, high humidity levels can cause home damage. You might see condensation on your windows, along with warped and rotting woodwork. This excess moisture then creates the perfect environment for mold growth.

Water pooling up at the interior base of window with condensation formed on it

Mold releases spores into the air, which can cause allergic responses in some people. Common problems include sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes, but mold spores can cause difficulty breathing and tiredness with prolonged exposure. Those who suffer with asthma and other respiratory conditions can be severely affected.

As well as encouraging the growth of mold, high humidity can create the ideal home for unwanted pests such as silverfish, dust mites, and cockroaches.

Dust mites are a common cause of allergies around the home, but they hate cool, dry air. Dehumidifying your living space can help to get rid of these unwanted guests.

According to a paper published on the National Library of Medicine website, dust mites are composed of 75% water by weight and need a relative humidity of 65% to maintain their water balance.

Below 50% humidity, they cannot survive or reproduce as easily, which will help to control their numbers or eliminate them.

Does Every Home Need a Dehumidifier?

No. If you don’t have any of the problems associated with high humidity, there is no sense in buying a dehumidifier. Your air conditioner will likely be able to remove enough humidity to keep you comfortable.

If your AC system doesn’t seem to be cooling enough, don’t jump right to a dehumidifier though! Have an HVAC company out to take a look. You might be low on gas or have a weak compressor.

A homeowner opens a set of exterior-leading plastic windows

However, if you live in a humid climate and your AC system isn’t cutting it, a dehumidifier will solve your problems. 

If your budget is tight, you can find portable dehumidifiers at most home and hardware stores. They aren’t as effective as whole-home systems but they will remove humidity from localized spaces.

To learn more about reducing humidity in your home, read our article covering ways to remove humidity without buying a dehumidifier.

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