How Do Air Conditioners Remove Humidity?

Summers are awful because of scorching heat and humidity. The heat can be beaten with the help of a cooler, air conditioner, fans, and other of the ilk. How about the humidity? It is the humidity that increases your discomfort even more. The modern air conditioners perform all the functions of cooling the air, purifying it, and removing the humidity. Let’s see how an air conditioner removes humidity.

According to the law of physics, air is able to hold only a limited amount of the air. The ability of air to hold water droplets increases with its rising temperature. Warm air can hold more moisture than cool air. It is for this reason that you see droplets of water on outer surface of cold glass of juice. The outer surface of the glass becomes so cold that the air that comes into contact with it cools down and the amount of moisture it can hold drops. The same phenomenon happens in case of an air conditioner. If you are familiar with the parts of an air conditioner, then you will know about an evaporator coil. The evaporator coil has condensation pan just beneath it. The evaporator coil is cool because of the cool refrigerant that flows through it. As the ducts suck in the hot room air, it is sent to flow over the coils. The hot air comes in contact with the cool coil and the water vapor present in it condenses. The water collects in the condensate pan and is drained away. This happens with every air conditioning cycle.

In this context you should remember that an air conditioner will only remove the humidity from the room air effectively, if it is appropriately sized. If the air conditioner is too large then it will reach the set temperature too soon. It will not allow the compressor to run for a longer duration is order to dehumidify the entire building. This is also called short-cycling. As a result you will feel clammy. On the other hand is the air conditioner is undersized then it will work harder and longer without much result. It will not be able to pull in enough air to be flown over the coils. Therefore your cooling unit should be sized appropriately according to the dimensions of the room.

Benefit of reducing humidity

Why do we feel uncomfortable in a humid environment? Well the reason is that in summers we perspire. By giving out sweat, our bodies cool off. But if the climate is humid, the perspiration does not evaporate, thus making us feel sticky and uncomfortable. In lower temperatures, the air grows less humid and more receptive to the evaporation of our perspiration. The result is that you feel more comfortable.

The brochure of an air conditioner will comes with it heat ratio. The heat ratio is the fraction of the total cooling energy used for heat removal. If your air conditioner has a heat ratio of 0.7, it signifies that 70 percent of the energy used by the air conditioner goes towards lowering the air temperature. The remaining 30 percent goes toward moisture removal. However instead of heat ratios, most product literature has pints per hour or liters per hour. A modest-sized air conditioner can remove between 3 and 4 pints of water per hour. You should remember the fact that as the energy efficiency of an air conditioner goes up (higher EER or SEER), the moisture-removal capacity usually goes down.




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