An Air Conditioner and a Dehumidifier: Does Your Home Need Both?

air conditioner and dehumidifier, Long Island, New YorkHot and humid weather describes a good deal of the climatic conditions in Long Island, making an air conditioner and dehumidifier important components for many homes. While an air conditioner does remove humidity, it’s more a side effect of the conditioning process.

If any of these conditions exist in your home, you may benefit from having both of these appliances:

  • Humidity levels over 60 percent
  • Areas where it feels clammy
  • Musty smell in some or all of the rooms
  • Wooden windows, doors or drawers that swell periodically
  • Mold and mildew
  • Family members with airborne allergies or asthma

Humidity promotes the growth of mold and mildew, which thrive in an environment where the humidity is over 60 percent. Mold is inherently dangerous, and the most common airborne allergen is dust mite waste. If you’re not sure if the humidity levels exceed 60 percent, you can measure them with an inexpensive hygrometer that you can move from space to space to see if your levels are high.

If the humidity stays over 60 percent after cooling your home to a comfortable temperature, the combination of an air conditioner and dehumidifier could increase your comfort, health and your home environment.

Depending on the severity of the humidity in your home, you can use portable dehumidifiers, notably in the basement. But if the problem is widespread, a central dehumidification system could serve you well. These systems pull the air through the ductwork and blow it over a chilled coil, removing the water vapor and returning drier air through the ducts.

It could be more energy efficient for you to use a central system if you find yourself turning down the thermostat for the air conditioner to reduce indoor humidity levels. You can also use the dehumidifier in lieu of the air conditioner when cooling isn’t needed, but humidity removal is, like in the spring and fall.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of an air conditioner and dehumidifier, contact T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating. We’ve been providing HVAC services for Long Island homeowners since 1934.

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