Does A Dehumidifier Cool A Room? Myths Busted!

Liz Yang

When I search online, I often come across people who claim that dehumidifiers are just like other types of air conditioners. Really? Does a dehumidifier cool a room in the same way that an air conditioner does?

No. A dehumidifier can’t cool a room. However, it can make the room feel cooler since it can foster the evaporation process of our skin.

This answer seems to be contradictory, but it is the truth. In this post, I will explain why this is the case and how to “cool” a room with a dehumidifier. Many interesting facts await, and let’s get started!

Can a dehumidifier cool a room? & Why?

As I mentioned in the beginning, a dehumidifier cannot cool a room. To answer this question, you should first understand how a dehumidifier works.

A dehumidifier is powered by electricity. Therefore, like other electronics, it will release some heat in some ways.

If there is no heat exchange between indoor and outdoor, the heat will remain in the room, which will increase the room temperature gradually. Unlike an air conditioning unit, a dehumidifier is just a device that doesn’t expel heat to other places.

In fact, the output air is often warmer than the ambient air, even though it is not significant. In addition, some desiccant models can be used to dry clothes these days. They tend to warm the room rather than cool it. But most American households use compressor models.

You see, a dehumidifier will not cool a room.

Why does a dehumidifier make the room feel colder?

a dehumidifier makes the room feel cooler

If you have a hygrometer installed, you can run your dehumidifier for a few hours to see if there is any temperature change. Many of my friends said they did see some increment in the temperature, but they felt the room was colder than before. 

The rise in the temperature proves that a dehumidifier can’t cool a room, but our feeling doesn’t make a mistake at the same time. 

As human beings, we often believe that we can tell the temperature change accurately. For example, everyone knows the climate difference when they walk out of an airport in another city.

However, we often overlook the fact that the relative humidity level also plays an important role in our feelings. That is to say, we will feel hotter or cooler at different humidity levels even if the environment temperature is unchanged. 

The dehumidifier can decrease the humidity level by removing excess moisture in the air. Even though it is not able to cool a room, it can change your feelings by adjusting the moisture level. 

Why do we feel colder in a dry environment?

Many people don’t really understand why our feel is affected by humidity. Thus, I want to explain it shortly here. 

Humans have a cooling system that can regulate our body temperature through evaporation and perspiration. We will sweat to expel the heat in our bodies. 

We tend to feel hotter in humid climates. This is because the sweat can’t evaporate quickly in a room with excessive moisture. The air is so saturated that it can’t hold more water moisture that is evaporated from our skin. 

Then our body will continue to sweat since our body temperature doesn’t drop as expected, which can worsen the situation, and the air feels even more clammy and uncomfortable. 

We will feel much better in a dry environment as the evaporation process will not be impeded. When our bodies gradually cool down, we feel the atmosphere to be cooler.

How to use a dehumidifier to cool a room?

Honestly, this question is hard to answer as a dehumidifier will not make the room colder. However, it can make you feel like that, and below is what you need to do.

1. Pick a suitable machine. To get the best performance, choose a dehumidifier that fits your room and climate. For example, if you intend to use it in a damp basement, a 30-pint dehumidifier may not be sufficient. Furthermore, the type of dehumidifier matters because compressor models cannot withstand low temperatures.

2. Find a good placement for your dehumidifier. Put it near the humid source and away from the walls and corners to ensure airflow. 

3. Keep the windows and doors closed. Don’t run a dehumidifier with windows open, as the air outdoors can offset the effect of your dehumidifier and even result in overwork of it. 

4. Set your dehumidifier and run it. Set your target humidity level between 30% to 50%, and allow the machine to run for a few hours per day until it reaches the humidity level you want. 

5. Dump the water every day. If you choose to drain your dehumidifier manually, you should dump the water in the reservoir daily to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

6. Commit to routine cleaning. Maintainance is crucial for your machine’s performance. To ensure it can make the room feel cool as usual, you can regularly clean the air filter, coils, and fan to prevent it from freezing up.

Verdict

Will a dehumidifier cool a room? The answer is “No!” It can make you feel the room is colder by lowering the humidity level and promoting the evaporation of sweat. However, it can’t reduce the room temperature. On the contrary, it will raise the indoor temperature slightly.

While it cannot cool the room, it can provide a comfortable environment for you and prevent the growth of many microorganisms. You should use an air conditioner to cool the room.

Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested a lot of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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