It is important to know how air conditioners work in order to understand the extent to which they may drive out the moisture inside the home and encourage a dry atmosphere.
Humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air, which happens because air has the ability to saturate (hold water). When it’s humid, you have a greater tendency to sweat as the moisture in the room precipitates out of the air and onto your skin.
Air conditioners function by extracting air from a space, passing that volume of air into the vents you see and running this volume over the refrigerant inside the unit.
The refrigerant is very good at pulling the heat from a substance, and passing this heat to the outside world – which explains, of course, why the backside of your air conditioner must be outside your home.
As a result, then, it is safe to say that your air conditioner works as a dehumidifier – but that doesn’t mean it necessarily dries out your home.
Too much humidity; as often happens in some regions when the summer hear brings more into your home, is known to bring in allergens and create a fertile region for the growth of mold.
Air conditioners help, in this regard – but it’s important to understand that this dehumidification is a by-product, and not its primary function.
Basically, air conditioners are not great dehumidifiers and adequately dehumidify your home, reducing the number of deleterious allergens and dust.
Although removal of moisture from the air is a by-product of your air conditioner, there are some situations in which your AC unit can dry out your home.
For example, the air inside your house is already cool or cold, and you have the air conditioner running for some reason, then it can extract what little moisture is in the air and leave you with a relatively dry feeling. Generally speaking, ceiling fans are advisable to air conditioners if you like it colder; even if it’s already rather cold to most people.
Ceiling fans can reduce the temperature by up to ten degrees in many cases – without extracting any moisture from the air.
An air conditioner that’s too large for your room or home is another way to dry out the moisture in the air. This is why it’s important to pay attention to the sizing requirements before settling on an air conditioner; if you get one that’s uses too many BTUs of energy, it will do too good a job of reducing the moisture in the conditioned air – and leave the room cold and clammy, without much humidity.
In hot air, a lot of humidity can be almost unbearable, which is why people in temperate climates that are significantly humid – such as Florida and New Jersey – often have dehumidifiers, air conditioners and ventilation systems in their homes.
On the other hand, when the temperature is cold and the air lacks moisture, you will experience trouble breathing, and your skin may become irritable. Some moisture is a virtual necessity for humans, so be mindful of the situations in which an air conditioner can dry out the air.
Ask your local air conditioner installation and repair person about sizing requirements to be certain – they know these things inside-out.
Air Professionals offers first-class air conditioner repair in New Jersey. If you’re air conditioner is broken or simply won’t cool, give us a call. Our cooling specialists can fix any air conditioner issue, including air conditioners that dry out your home.