Dehumidifier vs. AC Unit: What’s the Difference and What to Pick?

Summer months can cause extreme discomfort for many. Whether it’s during the day or during night time, one simply has a hard time escaping uncomfortable weather during summer. Global warming has brought extremely hot temperatures in recent years that many now look for ways to make summers more bearable . Heat, however, is just one factor. One other factor to deal with is humidity.

A coping mechanism of the human body to heat is the release of sweat. However, when humidity levels are increased, they can add to your discomfort since the sweat produced by your body cannot evaporate easily.

This results in the sticky feeling that you feel on a hot summer day. During extremely hot days, decreasing humidity in the atmosphere will definitely help in relieving you from extreme discomfort. By decreasing moisture in the air, sweat is allowed to evaporate faster and your body cools down during this whole process.

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There are two ways in which one can find relief during extremely hot temperatures. These are through the use of dehumidifiers or air-conditioners. These two appliances are slowly gaining popularity because of slowly changing weather conditions. Although one is often mistaken for the other, these two machines have different functions. In terms of practicality, they also differ in price as well as in energy consumption. Which one then is right for you?

What is the difference between an air-conditioner and a dehumidifier?

Many people usually get confused abt dehumidifiers and air-conditioners. Although they may seem the same, one is actually slightly different than the other.

Dehumidifiers, as their name implies, decrease the levels of humidity in the atmosphere within a given space. Dehumidifiers will have much use in areas where levels of humidity can be quite high. The function of dehumidifiers, however, is limited. They can only decrease the amount of humidity in the air but they do not necessarily have the ability to circulate cool air. The cooling effect brought by humidifiers is an effect of decreased moisture which allows for faster evaporation of sweat.

Air-conditioners, on the other hand, are appliances that control the temperature in a given space by adding cool air and recirculating it within that said space. They also have the ability to decrease humidity levels, but not to the same extent as dehumidifiers.

Nowadays, there are portable models of air-conditioners that feature separate dehumidifiers too These basically have the same components as ordinary air-conditioners and dehumidifiers. Hence, they can actually function as ordinary air-conditioners while simultaneously acting as dehumidifiers. Since the dehumidifier and air-conditioning feature come separately in one unit, the advantage of this kind of appliance is that the dehumidifier portion can still be of use during colder temperatures without having to switch on the air-conditioning part.

Energy Efficiency – Which Is Better?
One major concern in many households when it comes to appliances is energy efficiency. Dispute the need to be in comfortable surroundings, there is still the need to make sure that electrical bills don’t blow the roof of your house at the end of every month.

It is best, then, for you to have an idea of just how much energy is consumed by both these appliances in order for you to compare the two when it comes to practicality.

Without question, air-conditioning units will always consume energy much more than dehumidifiers. The cooling efficiency of air-conditioners, however, is definitely much better since dehumidifiers are not really meant o cool air. They are simply meant to decrease humidity. The “cooling effect” of dehumidifiers comes from the decrease in moisture in the air thus lessening that sticky feeling associated with high humidity levels.

In terms of energy efficiency, there are air-conditioning units that come with inverters now that can help greatly in reducing energy consumption by at least 70%. There are also there with solar panels that can help in lessening your energy consumption. Although they may initially seem as huge investments, the amount of savings on your electrical bills ultimately make up for the price of these appliances.

Related Post: Air Purifier vs. Humidifier vs. Dehumidifier

Which is the better option for you?
There isn’t really any one fixed answer to this question. It really all depends on the situation that you have.

One main thing to consider is the environment where you live. If your only problem during summer is the high level of humidity minus incredibly high temperatures, then a dehumidifier would definitely be enough to provide you with some comfort. Otherwise, an air-conditioner would be a better option if your main problem during summer is temperature that can be unbearable.

Another situation to consider would be the length of your summer season. There are some countries where summers last for only a few weeks to a month. It would be wise to consider, in this case, if investing in an air-conditioning unit would really be worth the price.

Air-conditioning units are meant to provide comfort. The same can be said about dehumidifiers. Undeniably, the change in weather patterns and hotter summers are getting more difficult to deal with. This is probably the best reason why air-conditioners and dehumidifiers are slowly becoming necessities in many households.

If increased temperatures does not pose much of a problem, a dehumidifier would be a better choice since it would be cheaper than an air-conditioner. Electrical consumption won’t be much of a problem as well.

If you do decide though to purchase an air-conditioner, keep in mind that electrical consumption should be part of your consideration. Air-conditioning units are not known for being appliances with high energy efficiency after all. There are times when you might even experience some shock when you see your electricity bill jump to astronomical levels.

While those with inverters or solar panel may initially seem to be quite costly, remember that in the long run, the savings that you get from a decrease in electrical consumption might be worth the price that you initially shelled out. It will be therefore good for you to compute for long-term saving so you won’t have any regrets in the end.


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