Dehumidifiers: A Suitable Alternative to Air Conditioning?

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Dehumidifiers: A Suitable Alternative to Air Conditioning?

Dehumidifiers: A Suitable Alternative to Air Conditioning?

As days grow longer, the warm, muggy and humid weather also makes a comeback and people are often left wondering what is best option to remove moisture from their homes.

Apart from just feeling uncomfortable, excess humidity can encourage the growth of mould, attract pests into the home, and even damage paintwork and windows and furniture coverings. Dehumidifiers (DH’s) and air conditioners both work by using refrigeration processes, however their results do differ. We explain the differences to help you decide when they are best used, and which is right for you.

 How they work: The difference between DH and ACs

Dehumidifiers and air conditioners essentially are very similar in how they operate. They extract air from the room and cool it by condensing the air over cold coils which then turn to liquid form. This liquid is reheated and results in warm air which has had humidity removed. An air conditioner will remove this air from the building, where a dehumidifier will expel the dry air back into the room.

Because of the heat transfer in the process, this can increase the temperature in the room by a couple of degrees, depending on how long the dehumidifier is operating and the size of the room. The main thing to remember is that air conditioners remove moisture from the air inside a home AND heat/cool a room to provide comfort. Dehumidifiers on the other hand only extract the moisture from the air to increase comfort.

Which is a better option?


Because dehumidifiers remove humidity but can add warmth to the room, they are best used when the ambient temperature is not already too hot and can be a cost effective alternative to using the air conditioner.  If the weather is very hot however only an air conditioner will provide the cooling relief needed, and the heating effect of the warm dry dehumidified air back into the home will likely be unwelcome.

In damp weather dehumidifiers can be a great solution to remove dampness from a house and can be useful after periods of rain, and in cooler months. They are also effective in homes that have limited natural ventilation. It’s also much more cost effective to cool your home by removing humidity than to counteract it by heating or cooling the air, however their effectiveness in keeping you cool is dependent on how hot it is.

Since humidity is not limited to summer months, dehumidifiers can be a worthwhile option to prevent moisture and mould and keep indoors dry during different times of the year, and they can be used in conjunction with an AC system to remove humid air from the home more effectively.

Generally for our customers in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, we recommend investing in a reverse cycle air conditioner for a comprehensive solution to dry the air and keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. For more advice about how to beat the heat this summer, contact H&H Air Conditioning for a HVAC solution that will keep you comfortable.