A ductless mini-split also dehumidifies the air when you’re running it in air conditioner mode. Removing moisture from the air is an integral part of the dehumidification process for any AC. And, a ductless system does it a little better than conventional central air.
Most homeowners don’t immediately think about dehumidification when it comes to home comfort. But, it’s one of the top factors that determines your indoor air quality.
Maybe you have central air and need to replace your system. Or, you’re in the market for an upgrade from window or portable units. Either way, better dehumidification is another reason to consider going ductless.
In this article, we’ll touch on:
- Humidity And Indoor Air Quality
- Air Conditioning And Dehumidification
- How Mini-Splits Dehumidify
- Advantages Of Ductless Dehumidification
- Ductless Mini-Split Installations In And Around York, PA
Meanwhile, if you have any questions about the cooling or indoor air quality in your South Central Pennsylvania home, call or email us at Air Comfort Technologies!
Humidity And Indoor Air Quality
Everyone knows how humidity affects comfort in the summer. Too much of it and you’re hot, sticky, and uncomfortable. But, it also affects how well you breathe.
Tiny particles, in particular dust and pollen, can attach to tiny water droplets in the air. When this happens, they don’t fall right to the ground. Instead, they’ll suspend in the air where you can breathe them in. People who have allergies or asthma especially know that leads to coughing, sneezing, and trouble breathing.
Meanwhile, moisture plays a big part in mold and mildew growing in your home. These contaminants need warm, moist, and dark places to thrive. In the summer, plenty of places around the house meet the first two requirements. Humidity adds moisture.
We should mention there’s one advantage to humidity: It stops the spread of viruses. In the winter, we catch colds (and, these days, that’s putting it lightly) easily because those tiny particles travel further in cold air.
When it’s humid, the water droplets weigh them down. So, when we breathe out contaminants, they stay near us. However, even with that in mind, you’re better off keeping the humidity in your home between 40 and 60 percent.
In that range, you’ll still control the spread. The benefits far outweigh any effect that excess moisture can have on viruses.
Air Conditioning And Dehumidification
As we mentioned, dehumidification has always been a part of the air conditioning process. We’ll use central air for our example.
Warm air from your home passes over the evaporator coil. That piece absorbs the heat from the air and sends it to the outdoor condenser unit. Maybe you’ve noticed the air near the unit is warmer than the air around it when it’s running. That’s the heat getting dumped outside.
Back inside, the water vapor in that hot air condenses back into liquid form when the system cools it. There’s your humidity. It’s why we put a condenser pan and hose on the system. It catches all the liquid. It drains it either outside or into a sink or drain.
Now, the air is both cool and dry when it recirculates through your house.
How Mini-Splits Dehumidify
Mini-splits use the same basic process to dehumidify while it’s cooling. But, you may not notice it because it’s harder to picture what’s happening, exactly, with these units. After all, most times, all you see is an air handler mounted on the wall. It doesn’t seem to be attached to anything.
(That’s part of the beauty of these systems: They do a fantastic job while taking up very little room. But that’s another topic.)
But, it’s all happening behind the scenes — or, more accurately, behind the walls. We run a line connecting to the ductless heat pump outside. It runs coolant in a closed loop between the two components.
This way, the indoor unit draws in the air from the room, cools it, and recirculates it. The air doesn’t travel through the house. Only the heat does: It rides with the coolant back outside. And, the dehumidification occurs inside the air handler.
What you also may not see is a condensate line running from the air handler outside. As the water vapor turns back into liquid, it exits the house through that line.
So, what makes the mini-split better?
Advantages Of Mini-Splits for Dehumidification
The advantage of a mini-split for dehumidification is more consistent treatment. A central air conditioner cycles on and off a few times every hour. That’s how traditional one-speed HVAC systems work: They turn on when the temperature drifts, and then run for maybe 10 or 15 minutes.
When the thermostat shows the correct setting, it turns back off. Then, the cycle keeps repeating. But, you’re only getting the dehumidification while the AC’s on.
That leaves a lot of time every hour for the moisture to build back up — especially if it’s sweltering outside. And, the AC won’t turn on until the temperature has already drifted. Then, it will have to work extra to dry out the air.
But, a mini-split heat pump has a variable-speed motor. Instead of turning on and off all the time, it runs almost constantly in a low-power mode. This way, it maintains a constant temperature while using much less electricity.
And, in terms of moisture, you get better treatment: Since it’s always running, it’s always dehumidifying. This way, you don’t start getting hot and sticky for a few minutes before the system turns back on.
Ductless Mini-Split Installations In And Around York, PA
Ductless mini-splits make a huge difference when it comes to your home comfort and your energy bills. You can use a single-zone system to treat that one problem room in the house.
Or, go for a multi-zone installation that makes your entire York, PA home more comfortable, whether it’s heating in the summer or cooling in the winter. Call or email us here at Air Comfort Technologies for a free consultation.