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Can My Air Conditioner Be Used as a Dehumidifier?

Can My Air Conditioner Be Used as a Dehumidifier?

Dry heat or moist heat? Which do you prefer? If you’re like most people, you’re probably answering “neither” while you sip on a cool drink in your air-conditioned home. When it comes to a sweltering sun or muggy air and humid conditions, neither sounds very pleasant. Are you sweating yet?

Depending on which you experience, you’ve probably got an air conditioner running in your home or office, or maybe a dehumidifier to deal with the moist air. Or maybe, you’re actually running both at the same time!

Now some people might wonder why both of these units would be needed. They both increase air quality and make your home or office more comfortable, isn’t one of them enough? “Can my air conditioner be used as a dehumidifier?” is a question that is often asked. The answer is sort of. The reason it partially works is because of the way it cycles heat throughout its system. Let’s dive into why your air conditioner does technically work as a dehumidifier.

What’s the Difference Between an Air Conditioner & Dehumidifier?

Even though they are similar in many ways, the principle difference of what separates air conditioners and dehumidifiers is their primary purpose. While air conditioners are used to cool air in a designated area, dehumidifiers are responsible for pulling moisture out of the air.

The catch is, while an air conditioner is circulating warm air and pushing cold air throughout a home, office, or other structure, it does remove some moisture from the air it treats. However, since it’s not its primary function, an air conditioner won’t eliminate humidity nearly as efficiently as a dehumidifier.

Air Conditioners

Think of it like this: It’s often the case that homes with air conditioners will have nice temperate upper levels thanks to the AC unit. However, it’s also common for these properties to have dank, humid basements that could be subject to mold. Why is that?

It’s because that while an AC unit creates cold air to be spread throughout the area, it doesn’t actively remove humidity from areas that are susceptible to moist conditions, like a basement. Instead of utilizing warm air produced by its system to further dry out the cool air, it disposes of the warm air outside of the home, since its main function is to cool. While you may see some slight improvement in humid air conditions, an air conditioner is rarely enough to tackle these exceptionally humid areas


On the reverse side of things, since a dehumidifier’s primary purpose is to remove moisture from the air, it’s much more efficient at creating dry air, which can increase air quality and help prevent mold. It won’t however, cool the air around your home or office. In fact, it will probably do the opposite.

Dehumidifiers pull in moist air and cool it to a temperature which causes condensation. All the moisture is pulled from the air and drips into a bucket or tray mechanism which can be manually emptied. Unlike an air conditioner, a dehumidifier won’t expel the heat created by its condenser outside the building. The moisture-less air is then actually reheated to further dry it out and is then expelled right outside the system.

Although many dehumidifiers can only effectively remove moisture from the air in specific spots of a home, certain pieces of equipment like the Carrier Performance Whole-Home Dehumidifier offer a low maintenance way to dehumidify every room of your house!

McAllister is a proud Carrier Authorized Dealer. Contact us online or by phone! Dial 800-757-4122 to speak to our HVAC experts in Somers Point!

Air Conditioner & Dehumidifier Services in South Jersey

So, as stated before, these two pieces of HVAC equipment may overlap one another as far as the results they produce, but it’s not their true purpose. An air conditioner will remove some moisture from the indoor air as it cools it, but it can’t always be counted on to efficiently dehumidify the air.

If you find yourself with questions regarding your AC unit or dehumidifier, or you need quality HVAC service, look no further than McAllister…The Service Company! We’ve been providing Pennsauken, Somers Point, and surrounding areas with HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance services since 1876!

Contact McAllister online! Call 800-757-4122 to reach our Somers Point facility!

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McAllister...The Service Company

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30 Mays Landing Rd.
Somers Point, NJ 08244

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McAllister...The Service Company

McAllister...The Service Company
30 Mays Landing Rd.
Somers Point, NJ 08244

Call Us Today!

800-757-4122 NJ MASTER HVACR
NJ Lic: 13VH01483100