Mini-split “Dry” mode vs Dehumidifier

All you need to know to compare the Dry mode on a mini-split system vs a dehumidifier is the difference in effectiveness, cost, and coverage.

Mini-split systems can be divided into multiple zones to give you greater temperature control and you do not need additional ductwork to be installed to get them.

Mini-split units can also function in “Dry” mode, which is similar to the function of a dehumidifier. In order to compare this Dry mode to a dehumidifier, you need to look at the effectiveness, cost, and size of your space.

What makes mini-split systems special?

Mini-split systems are special because they have an indoor air handling unit and outdoor condenser unit, just like a traditional central air system does, but unlike a central air system, they do not require the installation of ductwork.

Mini-split systems can also be converted into multi-split systems. In this kind of system, you will be able to cool multiple spaces, each one with their own indoor unit, but with the same outdoor unit. This gives you greater temperature control over each individual room.

Mini-split “Dry” mode vs Dehumidifier

Mini-split systems also have other functions aside from cooling or heating. Many mini-split systems also have a Dry mode, where the machine effectively functions as a dehumidifier instead of an air conditioner.

However, many homeowners may wonder whether it is better to use your mini-split system in Dry mode, versus just purchasing a dehumidifier if removing humidity from the air in your space is your top priority.

In order to establish which of these options is best for your needs, there are a few factors you should consider.

The most important consideration, in this case, is which machine will be the most effective at removing excess moisture from the air.

While a mini-split system can dehumidify the air in your room when it is operating in Dry mode, it will not be as effective or able to remove as much moisture from the air as a dehumidifier will.

This is why a dehumidifier is the better choice in places where the relative humidity is quite high.

However, effectiveness should not be your only concern when you are deciding between using your mini-split unit in Dry mode and purchasing a dedicated dehumidifier.

You should also consider which option is better for your budget and how big of an area you need to dehumidify, as this will really help you to decide which option is the best choice for you.

The effectiveness of “Dry” mode on a mini-split vs. a dehumidifier

While mini-split systems can remove about half a gallon of moisture from your air per day, a dehumidifier can remove between 6.25 and 9 gallons from the air in your space a day, as with these models:

Dehumidifier Price Capacity Where to buy
Frigidaire FFAD6022W1 $419.99 9 gallons per day Mini-split “Dry” mode vs Dehumidifier

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CLEVAST CL-D50 $209.99 6.25 gallons per day Mini-split “Dry” mode vs Dehumidifier

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Midea MAD50S1QWT $281 6.25 gallons per day Mini-split “Dry” mode vs Dehumidifier

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This is why it is better to get a dedicated dehumidifier if you live in an area where the relative humidity is above 50 percent.

You can also measure the relative humidity of your space using a hygrometer if you want to determine whether your mini-split unit is removing enough moisture from the air in your space or not.

2 green lights on Mitsubishi mini-split
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If it is not, you need to consider purchasing a dehumidifier that can do this more effectively.

Is a mini-split system or a dehumidifier more expensive?

When you are considering what the best option is between a mini-split in Dry mode or a dehumidifier, you should also take your budget into account.

While portable dehumidifiers are the inexpensive choice compared to the cost of installing an entire mini-split system in your home, the same is not true for whole-house dehumidifiers.

Choosing a whole-house dehumidifier also means that you need to install the ductwork throughout your home to go with it, and these installation costs will be much more than those of a mini-split system that does not require any ductwork.

In this case, the relative costs of each of these options can be summarised as follows:

Option Relative cost
Portable dehumidifier Least expensive
Mini-split system In the middle
Whole-house dehumidifier Most expensive

Considering the size of your space

When you are comparing a mini-split system’s Dry mode to a dehumidifier, you also need to consider the type and size of space that you want to dehumidify.

Since mini-split systems can be set up to cover multiple rooms in your home, this may be the better choice if you want to dehumidify several spaces at once or just one space at a time, but a dehumidifier is best for a single, open space of up to about 1200 square feet.

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