A Dehumidifier CAN Cool a Room But NOT Like an AC

Josh Mitchell

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Josh Mitchell

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A few summers ago, there was a big heatwave in my area. I have an AC installed, but I started wondering if I could use a dehumidifier to manage the temperature too.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take me long to realize that dehumidifiers are not designed to cool a room!

That’s what air conditioners are for, and dehumidifiers are no replacement. However, what I did find is that they made me feel cooler.

In this guide, I’ll explain why dehumidifiers can’t actually cool a room but how they can make you feel cooler.

I’ll also share some top tips about how you can maximize this cooling effect.

Key Takeaways

  • Dehumidifiers do not cool a room; they are NOT a replacement for Air conditioners.
  • Dehumidifiers are designed to remove excess moisture from the air.
  • Low ambient humidity can, however, make you FEEL cooler.

Will A Dehumidifier Cool Down Your Room?

No, a dehumidifier will not cool down a room.

does a dehumidifier cool a room
Dehumidifiers are designed to remove humidity and leave you with dry air.

They can improve your indoor air quality, but they don’t operate like air conditioning units and won’t reduce the room’s temperature.

In fact, a dehumidifier can even make your room warmer, and when I run my dehumidifier in my basement, it raises the temperature by a few degrees hotter.

This is because every single electrical device in your home gives off some heat and will contribute to the overall temperature in a room or area. [1]

Usually, you have ventilation of some kind to counteract this, but dehumidifiers work best in rooms with no ventilation.

This means that dehumidifiers add heat to a room while removing humidity.

TL;DR: Dehumidifiers do not cool a room. They may actually add heat to your room.

Well, What Does A Dehumidifier Do Then?

Dehumidifiers are used to remove humidity, and they do this by extracting moisture from the air.

The following is the basic working principle of a typical dehumidifier:

  • They draw air in, removing the water vapor, and then releasing it back into a room.
  • The moisture gathers in a tank so it can be emptied afterward, and I usually empty mine once a day.
Dehumidifiers are most useful in high-humidity areas of your home, and I use mine in my basement and cellar, where the moisture levels are highest.

They are usually most effective in the summer months when there’s more moisture in the air, but if you live in a hot climate, they’re useful year-round.

Dehumidifiers are a great tool to help you control your environment, and by removing moisture, they can protect your home and belongings.

TL;DR: Dehumidifiers improve air quality by removing moisture. This can help protect your health and belongings.

Air conditioner vs Dehumidifier

Does A Dehumidifier Make Your Room FEEL Colder?

A dehumidifier won’t actually change the temperature in your home, but it can make a room, or people within a room, feel colder.

When I use my dehumidifier in my living room, it does provide a cooling effect which helps to make me and my family more comfortable on hot days.

This is all to do with the humid air and excess moisture in the room and how our bodies react to it.

When we’re really hot, we produce sweat, and that sweat evaporates from our bodies to get rid of the heat.

If you are in an area with high relative humidity, then this sweat can’t evaporate because of the excess moisture in the humid air.

As the dehumidifier works and the humid air is removed, our bodies can cool down more effectively.

ACLAB Note:

The temperature in a room may rise by 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit while the moisture goes down by 40%.

So can a dehumidifier cool a room?

No, but even though dehumidifiers don’t generate cold air like an air conditioning unit, they can still make you feel cooler.

TL;DR: Low ambient humidity can make you FEEL cooler due to the way human anatomy works.

How To Use A Dehumidifier To Cool Down A Room

A dehumidifier won’t reduce the temperature, but here’s how you can use a dehumidifier to make a room feel cooler:

Centrally Place The Dehumidifier

My recommendation is to place your dehumidifier right in the center of the room. I keep mine at least 2 feet from furniture, curtains, or other items that might block the vents.

This allows it to remove the moisture from the hot air most effectively and give the best cooling effect.

Program The Dehumidifier Settings

Always set the dehumidifier based on the humidity in your home. Where the air feels warmer, you’ll need the dehumidifier to work harder.

I would recommend buying a model with a humidity gauge built-in, but you can also use a hygrometer to measure the humidity.

The manufacturer’s guide will give instructions on how to set the device but aim to reduce humidity to between 40-60% levels.

ACLAB Note:

Make sure the humidity levels do not fall below 40-30% as dry air is also harmful for your health and belongings.

when to use a dehumidifier

Insulate And Seal The Room

Dehumidifiers cool and reduce humidity best in a sealed space without too much hot air or cool air flowing.

Closing the windows and doors, as well as using high-quality window insulation, will help increase how much heat it removes.

Empty The Water Tank Regularly

Monitor your dehumidifier and empty the tank regularly.

I usually have to empty the dehumidifier once or twice a day, but if the dehumidifier draws less humid air, you won’t have to do it as often.

In very high humidity, you may need to do this every few hours.

Your dehumidifier will switch off if the tank is full, which will make the room’s air feel hotter – so I would recommend checking the tank at least once a day.

Reduce Physical Exertion

The key to lowering your core body temp is staying in the room, slowing down, and drinking fluids.

Be sure to sit, drink something, then relax for 30-60 minutes and take in that less-moist air.

TL;DR: Follow the best practices when using a dehumidifier to get the best of its cooling effect on your body.

How To Make Your Dehumidifier More Effective At Cooling

Here’s how to get the most from your dehumidifier:

Choose The Right Size

A dehumidifier can only work effectively to reduce the relative humidity if it’s the right size.

If your dehumidifier is too small, then it’s not going to cool a room, and if it’s too large, it can leave you with very dry air.

The dehumidifiers I use in my basement are much larger than the dehumidifiers I use in my bedroom.

This is because they’re designed for different areas and moisture levels and have different size ratings.

what size dehumidifier do you need

Dehumidifiers are rated in terms of how much moisture they can remove from a room and how this relates to the square footage.

The larger the space, the larger the dehumidifier you’ll need to deal with the relative humidity.

I would recommend measuring the square feet of your room accurately and then searching for an appropriate model.

Check The Temperature Requirements

Most dehumidifiers work best at 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, but I would recommend checking the manufacturer’s specifications.

Some dehumidifiers can’t work in freezing conditions because the cold coil will freeze, and others can overheat if it gets too hot.

Make sure you keep the dehumidifier cool so it can work effectively and cool a room more.

TL;DR: Dehumidifiers do not cool a room. They may actually add heat to your room.

Should You Keep Your Dehumidifier Running All Summer Long?

Dehumidifiers don’t need to be kept on 24/7 in summer.

They should generally be left on for at least 12 hours to work effectively, but you should only leave them on for longer if the humidity levels are still high.
how long does it take for a dehumidifier to work

Summer is when humidity levels peak, and it can be tempting to leave your dehumidifier running.

I often do this in July and August when I have a lot of moisture in the air, but for the other months of the year, I don’t need it because the humidity level isn’t that high.

I would always recommend investing in a programmable dehumidifier during summer.

These will turn on and off when the humidity levels reach a certain level, helping to manage the moisture levels and stop the air from becoming too dry.

I use bedroom dehumidifiers, and I do sometimes run them overnight, but it’s usually best for your health (particularly your skin) if you switch your dehumidifier off before bed to help you get a good night’s sleep.

If you’re leaving it on, make sure it’s programmed to switch off before it becomes full.

If you live in a humid area or city in the US [2], then I would definitely recommend finding an energy-efficient dehumidifier.

I use efficient models, and these save me hundreds of dollars in running costs each year.

Taking a bit of time to find the right energy-efficient model can save you a fortune too.

TL;DR: You do not need to keep your dehumidifier running all day long.

FAQs

Can I Use A Dehumidifier Instead Of An Air Conditioner?

No, dehumidifiers don’t work the same way as air conditioners, and you can’t use one instead of the other.

Air conditioners are used to remove the moisture and heat from the air in your home, whereas dehumidifiers are only designed to remove moisture.

Should You Run A Dehumidifier And Air Conditioner At The Same Time?

No, dehumidifiers and air conditioners don’t need to be used at the same time because they do different things to the air.

An AC will reduce the temperature, whereas a dehumidifier will reduce the humidity. You can run them both together, but it will lead to a spike in your energy bills.

Is It Cheaper To Run A Dehumidifier Or An Air Conditioner?

Yes, dehumidifiers are cheaper to run than air conditioners on a per-hour basis. However, you normally use a dehumidifier for 10-15 hours at a time, so it can cost you more than an AC unit you use infrequently.

So, Can You Get Cool From Dehumidification?

Unfortunately not.

Dehumidifiers don’t release cold air, so they can’t lower the temperature, but I have found that they can have a cooling effect on me and my family by removing the excess humidity.

I use a dehumidifier and air conditioner in my home, and while it is tempting to replace one with the other, I know they do very different jobs.

Hopefully, this article has shown you what dehumidifiers can do and how to get the most out of them.

References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Heat-Emission-Due-to-Appliances-11-Adapted-by-Authors_tbl1_273460402
  2. https://www.yahoo.com/video/america-most-humid-cities-090000494.html
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Josh Mitchell

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Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

My Favorite Home Appliance?

Midea U Shaped Window Air Conditioner

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