How much humidity does an air conditioner remove?

Humidity can become quite unbearable, but fortunately, air conditioners can extract a certain amount of humidity from a space depending on its dehumidification rate, for efficient cooling.


The main reason why people get air conditioners in their homes is to have a cooling system that reduces the temperature of the indoors when the weather is at its hottest and there is warm humidity in the air. Air conditioners decrease humidity and produce cooler air.

When you switch on an air conditioner, depending on how long it takes to start up, you will soon feel that the air around the room starts getting cooler and becomes less hot and humid; this is an indication of reduced humidity.

So, let us discuss how much humidity is actually extracted by an air conditioner.

Humidity removal by air conditioners

Air conditioning systems cool down the temperatures in your home. When the season is hot, the weather produces high humidity levels that can be uncomfortable.

Air conditioners do not simply produce cool air, part of them being able to disperse cooler air involves the removal of humidity from the room or space.

Humidity needs to be removed from a space for cool air to be felt and for temperatures to reduce, but how much humidity do AC units remove?

How much humidity does an air conditioner remove?

The process through which an air conditioner removes humidity from a room or space is called dehumidification. The majority of air conditioners come with built-in dehumidifiers that remove humidity from rooms to allow for effective cooling.

Extracting humidity, however, is not an air conditioner’s primary function, but it still removes as much humidity as it can so that cooler air can be felt. The amount of humidity removed by an AC unit will be determined by the specifications of the unit.

Air conditioners have a dehumidification rate specification. The amount of humidity (water or moisture) that an air conditioner can extract from indoor air is represented in “pints per hour” (Pt/h) on its specifications sheet.

Different units have varied dehumidification rates depending on their specifications, meaning they will extract a certain amount of water.

Understanding what humidity is

Humidity is the volume of water vapour trapped in the air. The warmer the air, the more water vapour it carries because higher temperatures cause water molecules to travel faster, which then prevents condensation.

This is why when the air is humid, you feel a dampness around you that can be uncomfortable.

The levels of dampness you feel are an indication of how much humidity is in the air and this is why air conditioners remove humidity to cool spaces more effectively.

How much humidity should you have in your home?

Humidity indoors should typically range from 30 percent to 50 percent relative humidity. If humidity levels are higher than this, it could cause problems for your home and your air conditioner.

Your air conditioner may struggle to keep the humidity levels at an appropriate level, forcing it to overwork, which could, in turn, lead to issues with the unit. In your home, various problems could arise such as the development of mould and mildew.

People in a high-humidity environment can start experiencing health-related issues like respiratory issues and allergic reactions.

How does an air conditioner remove humidity?

The action mechanism of all air conditioners is the refrigerant cycle. This involves the use of refrigerant that cycles between the indoors and outdoors to transfer cool air. Moisture will usually condense on the indoor coils, which are very cold.

The moisture of indoor air condensates on the cold coils, and the condensed water is then ejected outward via a drainage hose, evaporation through the air exhaust hose, or the condensation tank (which must be emptied manually).

Through this process, the air conditioner has effectively removed humidity from the inside of your space, causing humidity levels to drop.

Final thoughts

Air conditioners cool down spaces, but in order for them to do so, humidity levels of the indoor air need to be decreased and regulated so that cooler air can be felt. Air conditioners, therefore, dehumidify the air, dropping the humidity levels for cooling purposes.

The amount of humidity an air conditioner removes from a space is determined by its dehumidification rate, which tells you how many pints of water the unit can remove per hour.

Different units have unique specifications, meaning the amount of humidity your unit can remove is determined by its specific dehumidification rate.

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