Setting AC to ‘Dry Mode’ Reduces Excess Indoor Humidity

The ultimate mantra of healthy home maintenance is: “Say Goodbye to Excess Moisture.” The more humid it is inside a house, the worse it gets for you to live in it. However, in India, if you are not living in a place such as Indore, Kota, or New Delhi where the annual average humidity1 levels are the lowest you are likely to find it challenging to keep the excess moisture in your home under control. It is more or less sultry throughout the year with the condition in some places getting even worse during monsoons. An appliance such as dehumidifier can bring you some relief in these scenarios.

Known for eliminating excess moisture from the indoor air, a dehumidifier can be a real Messiah in those unbearable, sweaty days but then, it is not that popular in India yet. Not everyone has a dehumidifier at home. If you are one of them, do not worry. Find out if your air conditioning system has a dry mode of operation. When it is too humid outside and you are sweating sitting under the fan, even on a rainy day, just turn the feature on and see what magical job it does!

What is the Dry mode in an AC?

Dry mode is a special function in the air conditioning system which when used, keeps the room atmosphere dry. The normal function of an AC is to cool the air in an enclosed area so that the temperature of that space is lower than the outside temperature. It does so via a refrigeration cycle in which warm air (containing moisture) is removed and replaced with cooled air. So, it does remove some amount of moisture as part of its normal functioning but during monsoon, when the humidity level is too high, the ‘dry’ mode categorically removes excess moisture from the indoor air making it all the more dry and fresh.

To ensure maximum dehumidification in dry mode, operate your AC at temperatures either lower or higher than the set one.

Do all ACs have dry mode?

No. The dry function is not a common feature of all air conditioners. Only a few brands have introduced it in their products. This mode allows the air conditioner to blow out cool air inside the room in a restrained manner as its main intent is to dry the air laden with moisture and not to lower the temperature of the room.

What is the right time to use dry mode?

In India, during the rainy season, when the average daily humidity in most parts of the country is above 70-80%, just removing the extra moisture from indoor air provides a lot of comforts. It is the ideal time for running the AC in dry mode. Besides, you can use the function in the following conditions:

  • During the most humid hours of the day
  • When the temperature is acceptable but the humidity level is too high
  • When you want to save electricity

How does dry mode in air conditioner work?

In dry mode, the air conditioning system sucks the moisture out of the indoor air, keeping the room temperature at a comfortable level. The hot and humid air is taken into the unit and dried on the evaporator. Then it is again released into the room as dry air. However, the dry mode does not eliminate all moisture from the room. It keeps the room atmosphere relatively comfortable with 60% of humidity.

Do dehumidifiers and dry mode in AC working the same way?

There is a belief that air conditioners on dry mode work just the same way as dehumidifies but make no mistake, the functionality of the two appliances are quite different. Both reduce indoor humidity but in different ways. Dehumidifiers are specialized appliances which are used in cold and damp regions where excess humidity is found to cause major structural damages. It is undoubtedly the best home appliance for moisture control and water damage restoration.

An air conditioner on dry mode, on the other hand, ensures lower levels of moisture in a room while keeping the room temperature at a comfortable level. As stated earlier, it does not eliminate all the moisture from the air. The fan inside the AC unit runs at a lower speed and the compressor is on only for short durations in large cycles just to remove excess humidity or marginal humidity. Thanks to the low fan speed and shorter duration of compressor operation, the AC dry mode also saves electricity2 significantly unlike a full-powered dehumidifier which completely dehumidifies a room but consumes a lot of power in return. Using air conditioners on dry mode, hence, can save you up to30-50% of energy.

Is it really important that you use either a dehumidifier or an AC with dry mode in your home?

Dehumidifier and dry mode in air conditioner3 are two different things. The first one is a machine while the second one is a particular function of a machine. They cannot replace each other completely. But air conditioner with dry mode can certainly be an alternative of dehumidifier within a limited scope. If your home suffers from excess moisture problem, monsoon or no monsoon, and there is no dehumidifier to remove it, you can surely put your air conditioner on dry mode to enjoy an almost similar level of comfort.

It is okay if you do not have a dehumidifier or dry mode option in your air conditioner as long as moisture intrusion is not a problem in your home. Mind you, dampness not only affects the structural integrity of a house and devalues it by destroying its aesthetics but also brings along several chronic health problems. A damp house becomes a thriving spot for dust mites and other allergens which causes diseases like bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, and skin rashes etc. Dampness welcomes water damage, decay, and many other household hazards which become recurring cost points for you and completely ruins ones mental peace.

Know it here why excess moisture is considered as a threat to your home.

Choose your Appliance wisely

India is experiencing significant climate change. You can feel the humidity rising across the country at an alarming rate and so is the average daily temperature. Indian houses are not built to withstand the effects of these changed weather conditions. To live comfortably in your house, you need to think of ways that are both pro-health as well as economical. Since dehumidifiers are yet to become popular in this part of the world and air conditioners are still our go-to appliance for controlling indoor heat and humidity, you must buy the latter with advanced functionality. Be wise appliance-wise because technology is a key driver in making healthy lifestyle choices.