Choose a Dehumidifier to Complement Your Air Conditioner

Choose a Dehumidifier to Complement Your Air Conditioner

A dehumidifier is a good investment, one that can complement your current air conditioner unit. Adding a dehumidifier to your current system carries several benefits, including reducing the strain on your air conditioner and decreasing the likelihood of mold and mildew growth in your home. Plus, on those humid days, a dehumidifier simply makes you more comfortable.

So, if you want to add a dehumidifier to your current air conditioning system, consider the following guidelines for choosing one.

Research the Scope of Your Home's Humidity Issue

If your main reason for buying a dehumidifier is to reduce the likelihood of mold or mildew growth, then you should first research the scope of the humidity level in your home. You could start by buying a humidity gauge. The gauge will tell you if the humidity in a room is at a dry, normal, or damp level. Rooms at the higher end of the spectrum could be at risk for mold and mildew.

Naturally, rooms such as the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room are prime candidates for excess humidity. If you discover the excess humidity is relegated to those rooms alone, you might look into a portable dehumidifier. However, if you live in an area known for its humidity, you probably need a whole-house dehumidifier.

Size Your Dehumidifier

As with your air conditioner, your whole-house dehumidifier must be sized correctly. If you choose one that’s too small, it will fail to remove enough of the humidity and may even overwork itself. If the dehumidifier is too big, you waste electricity running it.

To size your dehumidifier, you’ll need to measure your home’s square footage. As with the air conditioner, HVAC experts can provide this service for you and make recommendations based on their measurements.

You should also size your dehumidifier if you plan to relegate it to target areas. You will look at the unit’s capacity as measured in pints or liters of water it can remove from the air in a 24-hour span. For example, a unit that’s labeled as 10 US pt or 4.7 L is appropriate for 500 square feet.

Choose Between Desiccant and Refrigerant Operation

Dehumidifiers come in two operation styles: desiccant and refrigerant. Desiccant dehumidifiers use chemical attraction instead of condensation for humidity removal. The desiccant chemical adsorbs the water, meaning it holds the water at the surface level. These dehumidifiers are quieter and energy-efficient, but they’re not as high capacity as refrigerant models.

Refrigerant dehumidifiers use a compressor to remove the moisture in the air by cooling it. The dehumidifier pulls the humid air inside and cools it so that the moisture condenses on its cold evaporator coils. Refrigerant dehumidifiers are noisier than desiccant models, but they’re also much higher in capacity. Likewise, they’re more efficient in hot, humid conditions.

Pick Other Features

Depending on your analysis of your home’s air quality situation, you may want to look at dehumidifiers that offer other features.

For example, most whole-house dehumidifiers allow you to choose an actual humidity level to maintain. This feature is important because whole-house dehumidifiers are powerful, so you only want yours running when necessary. This feature also allows you to get rid of an external humidistat to gauge your home’s humidity levels.

Another feature of some whole-house dehumidifiers is a sensor that detects if you’re running your air conditioner. The dehumidifier is programmed to function with the unit through the ducts. You can also use these models for targeted dehumidification.

Some other features you’ll want to consider for either a whole-house or portable model include quiet operation and energy efficiency. You want a dehumidifier that’s relatively quiet so it doesn’t contribute to noise pollution in our home. You also want one that won’t be a drain on your budget when you run it.

Research the moisture levels in your home and the dehumidifier that can help you solve your humidity problem. If you need the air quality evaluation and dehumidifier installation, contact Baton Rouge Air Conditioning and Heating.

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