Does a Mini Split Dehumidify?
Humidity is a careful balancing act. If there’s too little, your skin and nasal passages dry out. Yet when your home or commercial office has too much humidity, the hot environment creates the perfect breeding ground for mold or mildew.
You’re trying to better regulate the surrounding humidity, using a dehumidifier here and there. If you run your ductless mini split system, do the indoor air-handling units also act as a dehumidifier or do they add more humidity to the air?
Ductless mini split systems can dehumidify to a degree, especially if your ductless mini split has a dry mode. However, mini splits do the most dehumidifying in the summer and the least in the winter. If you wanted to reduce your home’s relative humidity in the cooler months, you’d need a separate dehumidifying unit.
Understanding Relative Humidity
What is relative humidity anyway? Well, to explain that, we have to look at absolute humidity first. And before that, we have to mention one small caveat: temperature and humidity are not the same. The temperature is how hot or cold the air is while the humidity is how much moisture is in the air.
Okay, so with that out of the way, onto a definition of absolute humidity. This is the measurement of humidity outdoors as represented by grams of moisture per cubic meter of air or g/m3. In the winter, when temperatures are around 32 degrees Fahrenheit, absolute humidity should be 5 g/m3. In temperatures up to 86 degrees, the absolute humidity increases to 39 g/m3.
Relative humidity is more dependent on the outdoor temperature. In other words, it’s how much humidity is in the air that’s relative to the air temperature. Unlike how absolute humidity is expressed, relative humidity is a percentage.
Depending on which part of the country you live in, the average relative humidity is different, but the general average is 30 to 60 percent.
How Much Does a Mini Split Dehumidify?
Okay, so we know that ductless mini splits can dehumidify your home or commercial building by reducing the relative humidity. How much drier will the air be? Your relative humidity will be well under 60 percent, that’s for certain. If running your mini split in dry mode for hours, you could possibly bring the relative humidity down to around 30 or 40 percent.
Remember though, this isn’t necessarily a good thing. You may be more likely to get a cold if the humidity in your home or office is too low. Your breathing can be impacted, as can your sinus and lung functioning. You might complain of an itchy, scratchy throat even if you’re not necessarily sick.
That’s not all! Your lips and skin will be dried out with no amount of moisturizer or lotion able to help. When you go to put on clothes, it seems like everything is coated in static electricity. This too is caused by too little humidity.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to bring down the amount of humidity in your home or commercial office, but once you’re under 50 or 60 percent relative humidity, you’re going to be uncomfortable.