If you’re familiar with dehumidifiers, you probably know that they make rooms feel cooler. they do this by removing excess moisture from the air. But how does that affect your air conditioner?

How a Dehumidifier Helps the A/C Work Less

A home dehumidifier sitting on a wooden floor in front of a white cinder block wall. The vent is pointing towards the camera and the control panel is visible on top of the unit.
A home dehumidifier could be just the thing if you’re suffering as a result of muggy conditions in your home.

High home humidity can make it difficult for your air conditioner to do its job. While removing humidity is part of the cooling process, sometimes the AC is unable to keep up. 

The ideal range for indoor humidity is 40-60%. If your AC can’t keep the air below that level, it is going to need some help.

That’s where a dehumidifier comes in.

A Dehumidifier Improves Your A/C’s Efficiency

High humidity makes it hard for the A/C system to remove moisture from the surrounding air. Working alone, AC is going to have a difficult time.

Humid air has a higher heat retention capacity than dry air, so your AC is going to run constantly trying to control the indoor temperature and it could even overheat the compressor.

This means your home will take longer to cool, you’ll have higher utility bills and your air conditioner’s lifespan will be shortened. These systems were not designed to work this hard on a continuous basis.  

Installing a dehumidifier will reduce the workload of the air conditioner. If the excess humidity is removed by the dehumidifier, the air conditioner can focus on temperature control. 

Dehumidifiers don’t have to be expensive either. While whole-home dehumidifiers work more efficiently, you can get portable units at most home and hardware stores. 

These smaller, portable systems are meant to dehumidify smaller spaces but they will still help your AC in humid environments.

A Dehumidifier Reduces the Need to Run an A/C

An outdoor central air air conditioner unit to the left and a dehumidifier in a home to the right
A dehumidifier running in combination with an air conditioning unit can improve the A/C’s efficiency by removing moisture from the air and lessening the load on the A/C unit.

High humidity levels make indoor environments feel hotter than they actually are because our bodies get rid of excess heat less efficiently when it’s humid.

Using a dehumidifier can make the air “feel” cooler to us and you may not even need to use the AC in milder temperatures.

This means you can set your thermostat a little bit higher, and still feel comfortable in your home. When you do use your AC, it won’t have to work quite as hard and can cool your home much faster.

Benefits of Supplementing Your A/C With a Dehumidifier

1. It Helps Control Moisture

A window pane covered with condensation.
If your windows are dripping with condensation, a home dehumidifier could help to prevent this by removing excess moisture from the air in your home.

High home humidity (above 60%) can have adverse effects on your health and your home.

High humidity creates condensation on windows that seeps into wooden trim, causing wood rot. This is the perfect condition for mold growth.

You can also see damage wooden furniture, floors, and peeling paint. Those who keep wooden instruments in their homes should be extra vigilant of humidity levels, as damage can occur quickly.

With home humidity above 60%, respiratory irritation and distress is common. Symptoms can be especially troublesome for allergy sufferers and those with asthma and other respiratory conditions.

2. It Reduces the Overall Energy Bill

Air conditioners, while often necessary for home comfort, can be costly to run.

If you have high humidity, one of the best things you can do is to install a dehumidifier. Since your AC doesn’t have to work against the humidity, it will cool your home with less energy consumption. 

Dehumidifiers use less energy to remove moisture than an air conditioner does, so you’ll spend less to get the same result.

A woman with brown hair, dressed in a white blouse sneezing into a tissue.
If you are suffering from allergies and sneezing all the time, reducing the humidity in your home with a dehumidifier could help.

3. Increases the Air Conditioner’s Lifespan

We already discussed how hard the AC has to work in humid environments. The harder the AC works, the faster the internal parts are going to wear out. 

A central AC system typically lasts around 15 years if it is well taken care of. If you overwork the system, the compressor is likely the first to go. This part is the last thing to receive cooling during the air conditioner’s process. If overworked, this component will overheat. If it overheats too many times, it will become weak and fail.

The compressor is the heart of the system. When the compressor fails, the unit will likely need to be replaced. A compressor can indeed be replaced, but it is very expensive and generally advised to replace the whole unit instead.

Adding a dehumidifier to your home eases the burden on your AC, reducing wear and tear and subsequently extending its lifespan.

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