Do Air Conditioners Dehumidify? (AC Vs Dehumidifiers)

In order to keep our health in tip-top shape, it’s important that our home is also in the ideal humidity range. We already know that dehumidifiers work, but do air conditioners dehumidify?

Well, if you’re looking for that answer and more, you’re in the right place because our guide is about to fill you in! Let’s get started!

Understanding Dehumidification: Why It’s Important

A home with too-high humidity levels can be a problem for multiple reasons. During the winter season, home heating can actually lower the amount of humidity, though, in the hotter months, homes can quickly become muggy.

High humidity levels can leave us feeling very uncomfortable and cause hazardous mold and mildew growth and even structural damage if you aren’t careful. It can damage hardwood flooring and even grow in your carpets, which is not only gross but unhealthy.

Keeping indoor humidity levels between 40-60% is ideal for keeping your home in good shape, inhabitants comfortable, and keeping viruses at bay.

wifi air conditioner

Do Air Conditioners Dehumidify the Air?

We obviously know that AC units do a great job of cooling, but did you know that they also work well in removing moisture from the air? Do air conditioners dehumidify the house? Yes, they do!

Do ductless & mini split air conditioners dehumidify?

Both do! Ductless AC units can help keep the air clean, ensuring mold and mildew spores never take up residency in your home. They can make it easier for people to breathe, and many even offer a “dry mode,” which is completely separate from cooling. Mini-splits also absorb humidity by means of its refrigerant coolant. They also offer “dry mode.”

Do portable air conditioners dehumidify?

Yes, they do! They may not be capable of absorbing as much moisture as fixated units, though they’re perfect for dehumidifying in smaller spaces such as under sinks, in closets, etcetera. When filled up with moisture, simply plug it in, and the machine will release excess as steam!

Read more about portable AC units with our complete guide.

Do window AC units dehumidify?

Definitely! These also usually feature a “dry mode,” working to dehumidify to increase comfort and make it easier to breathe indoors. Window air conditioners come in all sizes and styles so check them out here.

Air Conditioner vs. Dehumidifier: Some Key Differences

Air conditioners are definitely able to reduce humidity in a room by cooling it. Just like with a dehumidifier, the air it takes in passes over an evaporator coil and then a condenser coil. As air passes over the condenser, warmth is moved out of the room, which offers a cooler and less humid environment. AC units help prevent fungus formation and most turn off once full of condensed water.

Dehumidifiers do not have this in many cases, though they consume around a tenth the amount of energy an AC unit would to cool the same size of space which makes it easier on the wallet. So if you’re looking for the cost of a dehumidifier vs. air conditioner, just running an AC would be more expensive.

All in all, the question basically boils down to whether you simply need dehumidifying or dehumidifying and cooling? If the former is true, then a dehumidifier is just fine.

Dehumidy Room

Alternative Ways to Reduce Humidity at Home

You don’t have to let the machines do all the work! There are also some small yet effective steps we can take in order to reduce humidity inside our homes!

  • Use an externally venting exhaust fan when you cook, shower, or dry your clothes
  • Keep your plants outside
  • Turn on ceiling fans
  • Don’t set your thermostat to the “fan on” position
  • Fix any leaking pipes
  • Dry laundry outside (if that’s feasible for you)
  • Take colder showers
  • Keep gutters clean

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Can you use a dehumidifier and air conditioner in the same room?

You definitely can, though you probably won’t need to run them simultaneously all throughout the year. You can stage them to run a dehumidifier first to reduce humidity a bit before you start up the air conditioner. This is particularly great during those soggy summer months!

Do air conditioners dry out air?

They sure do, though it’s all in moderation if you keep an eye on your AC unit. AC units do remove heat from the air along with moisture, and if you keep it running for too long, it can make the air too dry.

Will a dehumidifier and a fan cool a room?

As dehumidifiers take in humid air to remove moisture, it can help cool a room on its own. When paired with a fan, though, the two can cool a space very well.

Do dehumidifiers clean the air?

Unfortunately, they do not, and that is perhaps the biggest (or only) downfall of a dehumidifier. If you have allergies, then you’ll probably want to go with an air conditioning unit instead. They can still help in reducing dangerous mold in the homes but we recommend buying models that are best suited to this need.


Now that you’ve read all about dehumidifiers and AC units and the differences/similarities between them, have you decided which one is ideal for you and your home? They’re both excellent and useful machines to have if you live in a humid environment.

However, there are some significant differences that are important to pay attention to. We hope our guide has been able to help you decide between them.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with DIY and improving my family home. HVAC topics can be tricky for homeowners so I decided to share my knowledge on the subject. When I am not working on DIY projects, you can find me at the beach or my local coffee shop.