Do Air Conditioners Dehumidify? A Detailed Answer and More

Humid air holds more heat compared to dry air. This is why during the summer months, when the climate is humid, the air is hotter.

Air conditioners remove excess heat in your home and push in cool air. How does an air conditioner remove excess heat? Does it dehumidify the air?


Do Air Conditioners Dehumidify?

Yes, air conditioners dehumidify the air to remove excess heat. To cool down a home, air conditioners suck in warm and humid air, dehumidify it and push it back to our homes via vents. However, this is done as a secondary benefit. The primary work of an AC is to bring down the temperature of the air in your home.


How do Air Conditioners work?

An air conditioning system has an indoor and outdoor unit.

The outdoor unit houses the compressor, condenser coils, and a fan, while the indoor unit only houses the evaporator coils and a fan. The two systems are connected by copper tubing, allowing refrigerant to flow from the indoor and outdoor units.

First, the air conditioner sucks warmer air using a fan to cool down the air in your home. The warm air is passed through cold evaporator coils. The coils have a refrigerant running inside. As the air passes through the evaporator coils, the refrigerant absorbs the heat and changes form to gas.

The warm gas is pumped into the outside unit and flows into the compressor, which removes the excess heat and turns the gas back into a cold refrigerant liquid. The refrigerant then flows back into the indoor unit, where the cycle begins again.

How Do Air Conditioners Dehumidify?

The process of dehumidification in an air conditioner happens in the indoor unit. As warm, humid air passes through the evaporator coils, the moisture condenses and drips into the condensate drip pan. This process is similar to what happens to a glass of ice water on a hot day. As warm air hits the cold glass, it condenses.

The condensate drip pan collects the excess water and directs it to a drainage tube. The condensate goes through the tube and is drained into a drain hole.

Air Conditioner Dry Mode/Dehumidifier Mode

An air conditioner dry mode or dehumidifier mode is a feature that can be found in some models of central air conditioning units. To check if your air conditioner has the dry mode, you will see a button with the word “dry” or a droplet symbol on your air conditioner’s remote.

Air Conditioner Dry Mode

The dry mode in an air conditioner works like a dehumidifier. It helps remove excess moisture and reduce the humidity in your home. It is best used in humid areas to remove excess moisture or during humid summer.

Dehumidifier vs. Air Conditioner

Dehumidifiers are built to remove excess moisture in your home. While air conditioners dehumidify the air, their primary purpose is to cool down your home. A dehumidifier will remove excess moisture but will not cool down your home.


If you are debating whether to choose a dehumidifier or air conditioner, several things will guide you.

Air conditioners are a better choice if you live in a hot and humid climate. This way, you will cool down your home and dehumidify it simultaneously. However, if your home suffers from excess moisture, a dehumidifier is more efficient in lowering the moisture.