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Does Air Conditioning Reduce Humidity? A Texas HVAC Pro Explains

August 07, 2019

The short answer?

Yes, an AC system (that’s working correctly) should reduce humidity while it’s running.

However, if your home still feels really humid while the AC is running, it could mean your air conditioner has an issue.

In this blog, we’ll explain:

  • How an AC should remove humidity
  • What to do if your air conditioner is not removing humidity correctly

Think something’s wrong with your air conditioning unit? Contact a San Marcos professional for an AC repair!

How an AC should remove humidity

As your air conditioner cools your home, it simultaneously removes humidity from the air.

Here’s how the process works:

The dehumidification and cooling process of a central AC

The dehumidification and cooling process of a central AC

What to do if your air conditioner is not removing humidity

If your air conditioner is not dehumidifying your home’s air, you may have one of these 4 problems:

  1. Your thermostat is set to ON
  2. Your evaporator coils are dirty
  3. You have a refrigerant leak
  4. Your AC system is too big

Let’s look at each of these issues in more detail.

Issue #1: Your thermostat is set to ON

When your thermostat is set to ON, the blower will run non-stop—even when your AC isn’t actually cooling (or dehumidifying) your home’s air.

Essentially, if your thermostat is set to ON, it will continue to blow humid air into your home.

Before you call a professional, make sure your thermostat is set to AUTO and let it run for a few hours. If your home still feels very humid after a few hours, you may have one of the issues below. (If you do, you’ll need to contact a professional for help.)

Issue #2: Your evaporator coils are dirty

Dirt and debris can often find their way into your AC and settle on the evaporator coil. Over time, if enough dirt builds up on the coils, it can prevent your AC from cooling and dehumidifying your home’s air.

Signs you have a dirty evaporator coil include:

  • Higher-than-normal electric bills
  • A moldy smell near your indoor unit
  • Longer cooling cycles/lack of cooling
  • Water leaking from your indoor unit

If you think this is your issue, you’ll need to contact an HVAC professional to clean the coils.

Issue #3: You have a refrigerant leak

Refrigerant circulates throughout your AC system in a closed loop. However, if a leak develops in one of the refrigerant lines, you’ll have less refrigerant circulating in your system which means your AC won’t be able to cool/dehumidify your home’s air as efficiently.

If you have a refrigerant leak, you’ll also notice signs like:

  • Higher-than-normal electric bills
  • Water leaking from your indoor unit
  • Hissing sounds coming from indoor unit
  • Loss of cooling

Think you have a refrigerant leak? Contact a pro to check your AC’s refrigerant levels and repair any leaks. Since refrigerant is a potentially harmful substance, it should only be handled by a professional.

Issue #4: Your AC is too big for your home

If your AC is too big for your home, it will cool your home very quickly and then shut off.

While this may not sound like a bad thing, it can actually make your home feel more humid.

You see, your air conditioner needs sufficient time to move air over the evaporator coil to properly dehumidify your home’s air. If your air conditioner shuts off after only a short time, then it limits how much air is blowing over the coils, which means the air being pushed back into your home will be more humid than it should be.

A professional can check to make sure your air conditioner is correctly sized for your home.

Live in the San Marcos area? Need an AC repair?

We can make sure your AC is dehumidifying your home properly and fix any issues that may be preventing it from doing so.

Visit our air conditioner repair page for more information about what to expect when you hire us.

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