Does a Dehumidifier Cool a Room?

Are you having issues with humidity in your home? What about heat?

Most people will opt for a dehumidifier to remove humidity from their homes.

While dehumidifiers are good at removing humidity, they don’t remove heat.

A dehumidifier does not cool down a room. All dehumidifiers will add some heat to the room.

Dehumidifiers will always produce heat as a byproduct of the dehumidification process. The heat gets added back to the room’s air.

Where does the heat come from?

The heat that a dehumidifier produces comes from the compressor. As the dehumidifier runs, the compressor produces small amounts of extra heat. This heat is rejected from the unit through the condenser.

In this article, I’ll go over how a dehumidifier works, and how it actually adds heat to a room.

I’ll also talk about the dehumidifier cooling effect and how a dehumidifier can make a room feel cooler.

Lastly, I’ll discuss some alternatives to dehumidifiers if you’re looking to cool AND dehumidify your home.

Why does a dehumidifier add heat to a room?

Dehumidifiers add heat to a room as a byproduct of the dehumidification process. As a dehumidifier runs, it consumes energy. Some of that energy is converted to heat that goes into your room.

Dehumidifiers add heat to a room because they use the refrigeration cycle to remove moisture from the air.

The refrigeration cycle that dehumidifiers use is the exact same as the one that air conditioners use. The difference is that instead of blowing hot air outside of your home, dehumidifiers blow hot dry air back into your room.

Dehumidifier diagram
Diagram of a dehumidifier

What is the dehumidifier cooling effect?

Dehumidifiers produce a “cooling effect” by removing humidity from the air. The dry air is able to cool an area via evaporative cooling. 

The dehumidifier cooling effect makes a room feel cooler without actually cooling the room. How does it work?

The dehumidifier cooling effect works because of evaporative cooling.

Simply put—dry air feels cooler than humid air. Why is that?

As water evaporates, it carries heat away with it.

This is why sweating will make you feel cooler. As the sweat evaporates from the surface of your skin, it carries heat away from your skin and makes you feel cooler.

Dry air can evaporate much more water than humid air. So the dry air from a dehumidifier produces a powerful cooling effect as it evaporates moisture from the surface of your skin.

How much heat does a dehumidifier produce?

In normal conditions, a dehumidifier will blow out air that’s around 3-5°F warmer than the air in your room.

If your dehumidifier is blowing excessively hot air, then it is not working properly. It could be due to something simple such as a dirty filter. Or it could be something more complicated like a mechanical failure.

If your dehumidifier is having issues with blowing hot air, then check out my article below for more information:

Is there a dehumidifier that blows cold air?

Dehumidifiers do not blow cold air. If your dehumidifier is blowing cold air, then it is not working correctly.

If you need to cool down your room, then I recommend using an air conditioner instead. An air conditioner will remove moisture from the air and cool down the room.

Here’s the difference between an air conditioner and a dehumidifier:

  • In an air conditioner, a fan blows the heat from the condenser outside the room.
  • In a dehumidifier, a fan blows the heat from the condenser back into the room.

If you’re running your air conditioner in “cool” mode, then its priority is to cool your room, not to remove moisture. So your AC will remove moisture, but not optimally. That’s where dry mode comes in.

How does the air conditioner dry mode work?

Most air conditioners have a “dry” mode that is specifically for removing humidity from a room.

The dry mode works by running the air conditioner at a lower fan speed to subcool the room’s air. By subcooling the air to a temperature below its dew point, humidity will be removed from the air.

Dry mode cools the air down more than normal to remove as much humidity as possible. However, the fan runs at low speed, so the room won’t cool down as much.

Air conditioner dry mode will still cool down your room, but not as much as cool mode.

Dry mode is designed to be used when the humidity is high but you don’t need any cooling.

For example, if there is a rainstorm during the spring season then that would be a good time to use dry mode.

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