Do I Need a Dehumidifier with a Mini Split?

Humidity is all around us.

Most people assume that humidity is the oppressive heat you feel in the summertime. It’s mostly the high temperatures that make it hard to breathe, but humidity does play its role.

Humidity is technically a measure of how much moisture is in the air. Most homes and offices contain about 30 to 50 percent relative humidity, which isn’t enough to feel any noticeable difference most of the time.

If your humidity levels are higher than average because you live in a wet, swampy climate, you might have become interested in ductless mini split systems because you heard they could double as a dehumidifier.

Is that the case?

It is, but with some limits.

The average amount of moisture that people produce on an average day is roughly 25 pints. Ductless mini split systems can remove four of those pints of humidity each hour so your home feels drier and more comfortable.

That’s no small feat at all. However, if you wanted to remove all 25 pints of humidity and the mini split only reduced humidity by four pints at a time, it would take many hours of continuous use for your mini split to get the job done.

It’s not great for your mini split to run longer than it is to. It’s one thing if the mini split is in low power mode, but it’s something else entirely for the mini split to chug along at full blast for hours.

The latter is sure to reduce the unit’s lifespan.

Now, we’re not trying to put the onus on the ductless mini split system at all. The primary responsibility of these energy-efficient ductless units is to heat and cool. That they dehumidify your home at all is an added bonus.

If a mini split was built primarily to dehumidify, then you can draw fault with its abilities. Since this is an additional feature though, we think that removing four pints of moisture in the air per hour is quite extraordinary.

However, we also recognize that, for many homeowners, it might not be enough.

What we’d recommend in this situation is investing in an indoor dehumidifier or two.

You can use the dehumidifier in conjunction with your ductless mini split system. The presence of the dehumidifier won’t make the mini split less efficient. However most systems have a dehumidifying mode!

After all, you definitely don’t want a home that’s too humid. Here are some of the risks you could incur:

  • The air always feels heavier, which makes it hard to breathe (especially if you exert yourself such as during exercise).
  • The windows always look foggy like you just stepped out of the shower.
  • Your skin feels clammy even when you’re cold.
  • Mold and mildew are likelier to develop on interior surfaces.
  • Your home can rot, leading to damage to wallpaper, furniture, and electronics, and even structural instability of the home itself.