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Air Conditioning Or Dehumidifier?

There is an age old debate about whether a functioning air conditioning unit or a dehumidifier is preferable when it comes to maintaining proper humidity levels within the home. What exactly is the difference between an AC unit and a dehumidifier? Is the dehumidifying unit really worth the extra money? And what do each contribute to the humidity problem within your home?

Fact is, there isn’t much difference between the two. Air conditioners in many cases can maintain decent humidity and moisture levels in your home, and may serve as effective aids when it comes to drying out water damage problems. Air conditioning pulls warm air over cold coil, much like a dehumidifier, but the difference is that air conditioning does not reheat the air before discharging it into your home. Instead, you get pleasant, colder air coming out of the unit’s vents. AC units also do not have humidstats, which means that the unit will shut down upon achieving a set temperature, even if humidity levels are still high.

In cases of water damage, it is possible for the air conditioning to cause additional harm. If your flooded home is 74 degrees and the relative humidity is 90 degrees, turning on the AC will mean a veritable shower of condensation in your home once the air coming out hits the dew point level of 70 degrees. In cases like this, a dehumidifier is preferable since its primary job is to remove humidity and moisture.

Air conditioning may provide assistance in drying as long as certain conditions are in play, but in most cases, it should be left up to a qualified and competent water damage restoration professional to decide if the AC should be run as a part of the water removal and drying process.  They can also recommend the type and number of dehumidifier units that should be working in order to rectify the moisture problem within your home.

So is there a difference between the two?  Not much, but it remains important to know exactly which type of unit should be brought to bear in a given situation.

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