If you’re a homeowner, you are well aware of the difference a rainy spring in the summer season can make compared to a dry spring and summer.
And there are a lot of advantages that come with the extra rain. For one you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg watering the grass.
Plus the vehicles get a lot of good washing without going through the car wash or pulling out the hoses and brushes at home too.
But there are definitely disadvantages to having an extra rainy season.
And one of the primary ones is the amount of humidity in the home and how to deal with it.
Dehumidifiers are machines that are designed with excessively humid seasons in mind. But they come with a lot of questions.
Should you run a dehumidifier and air conditioner at the same time?
You shouldn’t have to run a dehumidifier at the same time as an air conditioner in an average rainy season.
The air conditioner dehumidifies as it cools and as long as you’re talking about typical on and off rain, the air conditioner should keep up just fine.
But as you know, there are always exceptions to the rules.
And sometimes a rainy season means that the rain does not let up for days and sometimes for weeks.
And if you’re in Seattle or Florida, the climate may be excessively humid, just because.
The rain and humidity in Northern Texas last year was so high that it looked like the air conditioners were busted and had major leaks going on because of the amount of condensation that was pouring out of them.
The window air conditioners were creating so much condensation that the ground beneath them was basically just saturated mud.
So yes there are times when the humidity can be so high that the air conditioner is going to have a hard time keeping up.
In that case, you can place a dehumidifier or two in your house to help reduce the indoor humidity and take some strain off of the HVAC. (Central heat and air)
And you could possibly be avoiding an expensive service call for your HVAC down the line by helping it out now with a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers expel heat from the rear. So placing them in a room that you are using is not the ideal situation.
But as a means of reducing humidity to take the strain off of the air conditioner running continuously, you don’t necessarily have to have the dehumidifier in the same room that you live in.
Placing the dehumidifier or dehumidifiers in bedrooms or guest rooms that are not being used can still reduce the humidity enough to help the AC.
If you do not have extra rooms, place a dehumidifier, you can minimize the heat by making sure that the filter and the coils are kept clean.
And you do not have to have the heat coming off of the dehumidifier pointed at you.
Just make sure that the unit is not against the wall or draperies, etc.
Can you use a window air conditioner as a dehumidifier?
Most modern window air conditioners have a dehumidifier setting that allows you to run the unit as a dehumidifier (dry mode) without any cold air blowing.
The effectiveness of a window air conditioner to reduce humidity won’t be on the same par as a dehumidifier because the heat that a window air conditioner creates is expelled outside.
And the heat from a dehumidifier is expelled inside and used to create a circle of humidity to extract the humidity out of a room further.
But a window air conditioner does not have to be in dry mode (dehumidifier mode) to dehumidify.
And as a means of reducing the strain on the main air conditioning, you can run the window air conditioner as a supplemental air conditioner.
That way it will be helping with the cooling and the dehumidifying.
Plus there are many times where certain spots in the house are not as well cooled by the HVAC as others because of the amount of vents or distance of the vents from the main air conditioning plenum.
So putting a window air conditioner in or near those areas can actually be a good solution to expanding your central heat and air during the summer.
More and more, you are starting to see window air conditioners that have a heat setting on them too. So provided you have the right window air conditioning, it could be a solution for the low heat in those areas during the winter too.
But remember, the more air conditioners or dehumidifiers you have running, the more amount of energy it’s going to take. And dehumidifiers and window air conditioners are both considered energy hogs.
But neither are considered as much of an energy hog as the main HVAC. And when it is running overtime to keep up with the amount of humidity,
Finally. What if you’re using evaporative air cooling?
Can you run a dehumidifier at the same time as an evaporative cooler?
Evaporative cooling basically amounts to a fan blowing over water to cool off the air as it enters into your room.
In dry areas, they work very well.
In humid areas, not so much.
And one of the main questions that people have about air coolers is how they can reduce the humidity in the house that comes along with using an air cooler.
A dehumidifier will help reduce the humidity caused by running an air cooler.
The purpose of a dehumidifier is to extract humidity from a room. Rooms that are being cooled with evaporative cooling are humid.
But you have to remember that dehumidifiers do expel heat and that the cool air that you get from a water evaporator is not on the same par as running a refrigerated air conditioning system.
So you may find that the heat from the dehumidifier might conflict with the cool air from the air cooler more so.
And the amount of humidity might outpace the dehumidifier.
Evaporative air conditioning even with a dehumidifier is not really going to be ideal if you’re having an excessively humid season.
Can you run a dehumidifier at the same time as an air conditioner?
There are times when running a dehumidifier with an air conditioner can actually help take the strain off of the main air conditioning and cool down the house better.
If you’re having an excessively humid season, the air conditioning can run 24/7 trying to keep up with reducing the humidity.
Dehumidifiers can offset the amount of work the air conditioner is having to do.
Window air conditioners used as dehumidifiers
Window air conditioners typically have a dehumidifier setting called dry mode that allows you to run the unit as a dehumidifier only.
But window air conditioners can also supplement the main air conditioning because they dehumidify and add cold air to the room at the same time.
This can be a good solution especially if you have hot spots around the house where the main air conditioning is not doing the full job.
And window air conditioners can be purchased with a heat setting to offset the cool air from those same spots that are not getting adequate air from the HVAC.
For people using evaporative cooling, dehumidifiers can offset the amount of humidity being introduced into the room by the air cooler.
But air coolers are not necessarily made for regions that can experience high humidity.
And you may find that running dehumidifiers may reduce the humidity in the air enough to make the room comfortable without having to run the air cooler at all.
And since window air conditioners and dehumidifiers, depending on which one you purchase, can be a comparable price, you might decide that the better money is spent on a window air conditioner.