We frequently receive calls from potential customers, and they ask us whether they need an air conditioner or a dehumidifier.
We typically receive most of these calls during the hot months of summer when homes tend to get warm and clammy from interiors that are high in humidity. Those who live near coastal areas certainly know what “humidity” means, but it’s not just in those areas where humidity can be a problem. That stick, clammy, damp feeling seems to fill the air. With high temperatures and high humidity, people often complain of a hot, heavy feeling that is very uncomfortable. In these situations, reducing the humidity can also help reduce the heat in your home.
At HVAC FL, we don’t like to subject our customers to a lot of jargon, so to keep with normal terms most people can understand; there is water vapor in the air, the amount depending on the temperature. The most important takeaway from this information is that with higher humidity levels, the greater discomfort you and your family will feel. When homes suffer from high levels of humidity, it’s also not unusual for them to develop a musty odor.
So, then what is needed?
First of all, it’s important to understand the differences between choosing a dehumidifier and air conditioning in Florida. Your specific objective will determine which you’ll need. A dehumidifier is designed to remove excess humidity, but not to drop the indoor temperature. An air conditioner can reduce humidity, but it is also designed to significantly lower indoor temperatures. This means that dehumidifiers are a great choice when moisture or humidity is the problem, but significant cooling isn’t needed. In situations where cooling is a primary goal, an air conditioner will be the best option, even though it can also act as a dehumidifier.
Nowadays, there are many portable air conditioners that are good and can even separate the dehumidifying function from the cooling function. This is an excellent option because it allows you to use the air conditioning function as an effective dehumidifier during the winter months (without making indoor temperatures even cooler), and during the summer months, you can switch it over and use the air conditioning function to cool your home.
Tech Alert Information!
A dehumidifier uses cold and hot coils. The dehumidifier sucks in air from the room; this air passes over the unit’s cold coils which results in condensation. Then the air passes over hot coils as it exits the dehumidifier, restoring the air to room temperature.
On the other hand, an air conditioner has only cold coils. So, like the humidifier, the vapor condenses, but the air that gets released back into a room is significantly colder.
It’s never actually necessary to operate a dehumidifier and an air conditioner simultaneously.
A dehumidifier will generally cost less than an air conditioner, and it uses less energy. However, regardless of how strong your dehumidifier is, it’s not going to be able to make a hot room significantly cooler. It will, however, reduce the level of humidity and help protect your home from condensation, dampness, and mold throughout the entire year. It is also less noisy and smaller than a typical air conditioner.
When you purchase an air conditioning unit, it will usually cost more, and you’ll spend more to run it, but its main job is to cool your home during the hot summer months which it certainly does much better than a dehumidifier will do. Additionally, if you want to, you can also use your air conditioning unit during the winter and run it as a dehumidifier. So, if your goal is to cover both cooling and dehumidifying, then a portable air conditioning unit or an easy to install wall mounted unit can make a great choice.