Does Running Your AC Remove Humidity?

Air conditioning (AC) is a common way to cool homes and buildings during hot weather. But did you know that ACs also help remove humidity from the air? Let’s explore how ACs work and answer some common questions about their role in dehumidifying.

How Much Humidity Does AC Remove?

When an air conditioner runs, it cools the air and removes moisture at the same time. The amount of humidity it removes can vary. Typically, an AC can remove about 30-40% of the moisture from the air in your home. This means if your home’s humidity is at 60%, running the AC can bring it down to around 30-40%. However, the exact amount depends on factors like the size of the unit, the temperature outside, and how humid it is to begin with.

Does Running an AC Fan Reduce Humidity?

Running just the AC fan, without cooling, does not reduce humidity. The fan simply moves the air around but does not remove moisture from it. In fact, running the fan alone can sometimes make it feel more humid because it can blow moist air from other areas of your home into the room you’re in. To effectively reduce humidity, you need to run the AC in cooling mode.

Why is My AC Cooling but Not Removing Humidity?

Sometimes, you might notice that your AC is cooling the air but not removing enough humidity. This can happen for several reasons:

  1. Oversized Unit: If your AC unit is too large for your space, it cools the air too quickly and doesn’t run long enough to remove humidity effectively.
  2. Thermostat Setting: If your thermostat is set too low, the AC might shut off before it has a chance to remove enough moisture.
  3. Dirty Coils or Filters: If the AC’s coils or filters are dirty, the unit may not work efficiently, leading to poor humidity control.
  4. Low Refrigerant: If the refrigerant level is low, the AC can’t cool and dehumidify the air properly.

How Long Does AC Need to Run to Dehumidify?

The time it takes for an AC to dehumidify a space depends on several factors, such as the size of the room, the humidity level, and the efficiency of the unit. Generally, it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours to significantly reduce humidity levels. For best results, the AC should run in cycles, with each cycle lasting at least 15-20 minutes. Short cycles may cool the air but won’t run long enough to remove much moisture.

Should I Turn on AC if Humidity is High?

Yes, turning on the AC when humidity is high is a good idea. High humidity can make the air feel warmer than it actually is, making you uncomfortable. Running the AC not only cools the air but also removes excess moisture, making the environment more comfortable. If your AC isn’t enough to handle very high humidity, you might also consider using a dehumidifier.

What is the Best Temperature to Lower Humidity?

Caucasian Men Setting Residential Modern Wall Thermostat to Lower Temperature To Save Energy During Winter Time Colder Days.

Setting your thermostat to a comfortable yet efficient temperature is key to lowering humidity. A good temperature range to aim for is between 72°F and 78°F (22°C to 26°C). This range helps the AC run efficiently and long enough to remove moisture from the air. Setting the temperature too low might cool the air quickly but won’t give the AC enough time to dehumidify properly.

Additional Tips for Reducing Humidity with Your AC

  1. Keep Doors and Windows Closed: Prevent humid air from entering by keeping doors and windows shut when the AC is running.
  2. Use Exhaust Fans: Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to remove moisture from these areas, reducing the overall humidity in your home.
  3. Seal Leaks: Check for and seal any leaks around windows and doors to keep humid air from entering your home.
  4. Regular Maintenance: Clean or replace your AC filters regularly and schedule annual maintenance checks to ensure your unit is working efficiently.


Air conditioners are not just for cooling; they are also effective at reducing humidity. By understanding how your AC works and following some simple tips, you can keep your home both cool and comfortable. Remember to set your thermostat to the right temperature, keep your AC well-maintained, and use additional tools like exhaust fans and dehumidifiers if needed. This way, you can beat the heat and the humidity!

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