Keeping cool in the summertime is a number one priority. Dehumidifiers pull moisture from the air and help alleviate some of the discomfort caused by sticky, humid heat. Whether or not dehumidifiers have the power to cool rooms, using them in tandem with air conditioners and fans can make you feel more comfortable.
How a Dehumidifier Works
Dehumidifiers remove moisture and humidity from the air. A small, automatic fan on one side of the machine sucks moist air in and then blows the air over two coils filled with refrigerants -- one hot, one cold. The cool and warm air meet, condensing water from the air. Depending on the type of dehumidifier you have, the water either drips down out of the machine into a bucket or is forced up and out through a drainage hose. The dry air is then pushed out of the machine into the room.
Why the Room Feels Cooler
The appliances don't cool rooms; instead dehumidifiers add heat with the energy generated to dehumidify the space. But since dry air feels cooler than moist air, even if the dry air is slightly warmer, a dehumidified room feels cooler than a room filled with humid air. The comparison is similar to the difference between the Midwestern and western states in the U.S. The humid summer temperatures of Midwestern states are hot and sticky, although temperatures rarely reach three digits. In western states like Nevada and Arizona, for example, temperatures may soar well into the hundreds, but the effect is a "dry heat" that feels more comfortable to move around in than humid heat.
Use your air conditioner, dehumidifier and ceiling fans together to achieve an optimal cooling effect. Use the dehumidifier first to transform the moist air in the room to dry air. Don't turn on the air conditioner until the dehumidifier is finished; running them at the same time will make the air conditioner work harder because the dehumidifier is an appliance that generates heat. Once you do turn on the air conditioner, it won't need to run on its highest setting since dry air is easier to cool than moist air. Use your ceiling fan to evenly distribute the cooler air.
If you're still feeling hot with the dehumidifier, air conditioner and fans running, there are additional things you can do. Spray yourself with water so that air from the air conditioner instantly cools your skin. Also keep the shades drawn and the blinds closed during the day to keep the sun out.
Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.