Does running the fan on my air conditioner reduce humidity?

Setting your air conditioner fan to the “On” setting instead of the “Auto” setting will not reduce the humidity levels in your space.

Air conditioners have dual functionality. They do not only cool your space down, but they can also make your space less humid simultaneously.

However, setting your fan to “On” instead of “Auto” will not reduce the humidity in your room, and can actually increase it, which is risky. However, you can increase your dehumidifying capacity and purchase other dehumidifiers if necessary.

What is the function of an air conditioner?

Installing an air conditioner in your space is a practical way to make it more comfortable by cooling down the average temperature in the space. However, air conditioners have a dual function once they are installed – to cool down the air and to dehumidify your home.

An air conditioner physically extracts heat from the air in your room, but it also removes some of the moisture in the air, which will contribute to the overall comfort of your space.

Does running the fan on my air conditioner reduce humidity?

In fact, the cooling and humidifying functions of an air conditioner can make your space so comfortable that you may feel like you never want to switch it off.

However, running only the fan setting on your air conditioner will not reduce the humidity in your space, and can actually increase the humidity levels over long periods of time.

To understand why this is true, it is important that you understand how the various fan settings work. Air conditioner fans have two main settings that determine how and when the fan works, as described below:

Fan setting How it works
Auto The “Auto” setting means that the fan only works while your air conditioner is blowing cold air. Between cycles the fan will be off.
On The “On” setting means that your fan works non-stop. This includes when your air conditioner is not even blowing cool air.

As a result, turning your air conditioner fan setting to “On” instead of “Auto” means that the moisture extracted by your air conditioner as well as the warm air will not have enough time to collect on the coils inside the machine and drain like it is supposed to between cycles.

As a result, this moisture is then just blown back into the room by the fan, instead of being drained.

If your air conditioner is not dehumidifying your space properly even when the fan is not on, there are some ways you can improve the dehumidifying function so that mould will not grow in your space, or you could also use other types of dehumidifiers to reduce how much moisture is in your space.

How to improve the dehumidifying function of your air conditioner

If you feel that your air conditioner is not removing enough moisture from your space even with the fan set to “Auto”, this could be an indication of a problem with one of the unit’s components.

You can try to remedy this yourself by:

  • Lowering the fan speed to allow your air conditioner to extract more moisture from the air
  • Changing and cleaning your air filters and coils
  • Ensuring that you have enough refrigerant in your air conditioner

You can use a hygrometer, like this ThermoPro TP49 2 Pieces Digital Hygrometer to check whether these changes have made a notable difference in the humidity of your space.

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The risks of high humidity spaces

High humidity levels can make your space feel uncomfortable, but there are also some other risks involved if your space becomes too humid. When humidity levels in your space start exceeding 70 percent, this can damage your furniture, wallpaper, and paint over time.

These are also the perfect conditions for mould and mildew to grow, which could lead to breathing problems and irritation and will likely make your space quite unpleasant and uncomfortable.

Other ways to dehumidify your room

Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid the damage and discomfort associated with high humidity levels.

The best way to go about reducing the humidity in your space, if you want an all-in-one solution, is to buy an air conditioner, which has a built-in humidifier, like the Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner.

This way you can simply switch between the dehumidifier, air conditioner, and fan modes to suit your needs.

Purchasing a dehumidifier, like this bestselling HomeLabs one, can help remove up to 1.6 gallons of moisture in spaces that are up to 45000 square feet in size, with flexible draining options and a built-in humidity sensor.

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