How Can a Portable AC be Used as a Dehumidifier – 3 Best Steps

It’s unpleasant to live in a humid environment, and it can make you unproductive. High humidity makes your environment unsafe too because it promotes decay, which allows harmful bacteria to grow.

That’s why it’s best to have a humidifier to help control the temperature and keep you comfortable in the house. But what do you do when you’ve no humidifier but have a portable air conditioner? Can a Portable AC be Used as a Dehumidifier? Read on and find more about this.  

Can A Portable AC Be Used as A Dehumidifier?

Yes. It’s possible. However, portable air conditioners can only dehumidify your room when cooling it too. But it won’t do it effectively as the humidifier would. 

This is because the air conditioner’s main function is not to extract water moisture from the atmosphere. Note that there are certain portable AC models that best suits the dehumidification of your room. 

What Type of Portable AC Can Humidify Your Room?

Before using your portable air conditioner to humidify the house, it’s best to understand its functions and features. The primary duty of portable AC is to cool the room. 

However, a portable AC with ‘dry mode’ or ‘dehumidifying mode’ will be the best dehumidifier. So, it’s advisable to check if your portable AC can be used as a dehumidifier by ensuring it has this vital feature. 

How Does Dry Mode Humidifiers Operate?

Even though there are some portable AC with ‘cool mode,’ you should buy those with ‘dry mode.’ The two modes use a similar principle to remove humidity from your environment.

 However, dry mode portable AC works better. This is because its fan operates at a lower speed while its compressor adjusts the time depending on the sensor’s humidity level. 

When the fan runs at a slower speed, it keeps the coils cold over a long time, helping them humidify the room. Having your AC coil on a higher temperature than the recommended limit makes it ineffective as it will not allow the air to reach saturation temperature. 

Note that your portable AC can dehumidify the room depending on the temperature below the dew point. For this reason, you should buy a portable AC after considering the size of your room. 

Read Also: Is It Safe to Run a Dehumidifier Constantly All the Time- All You Need to Know

Can A Portable AC Without Dry Mode Work?

You might be wondering what to do if you have a portable AC without a dry mode. But don’t worry since these devices can naturally dehumidify the room. 

This is because they have a vapor compression cycle which helps in the dehumidification process. During this process, your portable AC also enables you to regulate the temperature in the house.  

How Does Portable AC Dehumidify the Air?

Your portable AC works at room temperature to cool the air after it passes through the evaporator coils. This is after the air is drawn into the portable AC by the fan.

After that, the air goes through several pipes with circulating refrigerants that help cool the air. Then the hot air from the compressor is taken out to the reservoir. 

In the reservoir, the portable AC collects the condensed moisture before some get out through the exhaust. The portable AC has a perfect design that helps it release most of the water back to the atmosphere. However, you will have to empty the reservoir, but it won’t be as frequent as with a humidifier. 

How To Make Your Portable AC Remove More Humidity

  • Ensure your AC coil is clean

To maximize the performance of your portable ensure it stays clean all the time. This is because dirt and dust reduce their efficacy, making them unable to get rid of the humidity and heat indoors. Sometimes your portable AC may be clean to cool your room but too dirty to remove moisture. So be careful to avoid inconveniences, especially when you’ve no humidifier. 

To keep your AC clean, you can buy or clean the air filter. Having a good filter will ensure your coil remains clean. But when the filter is dirty, the blower fan will attract dirt to the filter then to your portable AC. When this goes on for long, your coil will have more dirt, requiring you to spend some cash cleaning it.

  • Set your fan on the right speed limit

Don’t set the fan faster if you want to use your portable AC to humidify the air. Set the fan on a lower CFM per ton, enabling it to remove heat from your room while maintaining the right thermostat settings. A lower CFM range allows the coil to get colder, which allows the AC to remove more moisture.

  • Regularly Monitor the Refrigerant Charge

If your portable AC has a low refrigerant charge, it will have problems removing humidity in the house, making you suffer. When you don’t solve the problem on time, the coil will freeze or cause issues on the compressor, which can be expensive to repair. Monitoring the refrigerant charge regularly will help solve the problem before it results in bigger complications.

Between Portable AC And Humidifier Which One Gives Good Results?

Both the humidifier and portable AC use the cooling below dew point principle to cool the water vapors. However, the two work differently to achieve this. Here’s the difference;

The portable AC cools the air after it passes through the evaporator coils. After that, the heat is exhausted through the vent hose bypassing the air on the condenser coils. Then the cool air is dispersed to the house. 

But when using a humidifier, there’s no use of the vent since air cools after coming from the evaporator coils. During the cooling process, moisture is extracted. Then cooled air goes to the hot coils, where it gets to retain its initial temperature. This means the humidifier doesn’t help change your room temperature.

Read Also: How Long Should I Run a Dehumidifier After a Flood – The Most Effective Guide

Portable AC Vs Dehumidifier: What to Choose?

Since both machines use the same principle to dehumidify the room, you can look at other features to decide on the best one to go with. Consider the power consumption, cost, or effectiveness of the two. When comparing a humidifier and portable AC, the humidifier requires less energy to operate than the AC. Also, humidifiers cost less than portable AC. 

In terms of functionality, a humidifier might not be the right choice also to regulate the room temperature. Also, the size of the portable AC is something to note as they’re different from the other AC. However, if you compare the cost and the humidification efficiency, a humidifier wins. 

A humidifier costs less than a portable AC, and it covers more square feet. On the other hand, A portable AC has a cooling capacity that determines the room’s size it can work on effectively.  Your portable AC can have a higher listed value but have a lower rating because of DOE standards. This enables it to work effectively in a smaller room. 

Bottom Line

Even though humidifiers are the perfect choice for humidifying your room, portable ACs can be used as dehumidifiers. The portable AC will help you keep your house cool while also doing dehumidification. This makes it the best choice for those in hot and humid areas. However, you need to keep the coil clean and monitor the refrigerant charge. If you want a cost-effective machine that consumes less power for humidification, only buy a humidifier.

Relevant Resources:

  1. Best 5 Space Heater That Won’t Trip Breaker – Reviews in 2021
  2. Can You Use a Window Air Conditioner Without a Window – What You Should Know
  3. How to Seal a Window Air Conditioner for the Winter – 6 Easy Steps
  4. Why Is My Apartment So Hot – Top Reasons and How to Cool It
  5. Air Conditioner Starts Then Stops After Only a Few Seconds – 8 Effective Solutions