You might rely on your air-con to keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round, but did you know that your air-con system can also help maintain a healthy humidity level inside?
In this article, we explore what dry mode in AC is, when to use it and how it compares with the other modes in creating that perfect indoor environment.
What is the dry mode in your AC system?
The dry mode function in an air conditioner is designed to reduce humidity levels in your room. It's best used when there's a lot of moisture in the air and the room temperature is not too hot or too cold.
To check whether your AC has the dry function, look at your remote control. You might see a button with the word "dry" on it or you might see a water droplet symbol. Cool mode is usually signified with a snowflake symbol.
How does dry mode work?
The dry function works like a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air and lower the humidity level.
Air from the room is sucked into the air conditioning unit and then excess moisture is removed when it condenses in the evaporator. The dry air is released back into the room to help lower the overall moisture level.
What's the difference between dry mode and cool mode?
The main purpose of dry mode in your AC is to remove moisture from the air whereas the main purpose of cool mode is to remove heat from the air and deliver cool air to the room.
On high humidity days, running your air conditioner on dry mode may not feel much different from running it on cool mode. Even though dry mode does not actively cool the air, it can have a cooling effect by removing excess moisture.
Similarly, the process of cooling your air using the cool mode will also remove some moisture from the air. This happens because the radiator inside your AC is cool, causing condensation or water drops to form which drip into a tray and are drained away.
Is dry mode more economical?
Dry mode is more cost effective than cool mode and can be a good way to keep your energy costs down during humid days. It's generally recommended to set the temperature at 24 degrees celsius when using the air conditioner dry mode.
Keep in mind that dry mode isn't as effective at regulating indoor air temperatures on very hot days. For these days, cool mode is the most effective. Adjusting your thermostat a couple of degrees higher on cool mode could translate to significant power savings on your electricity bills.
For more tips about running your split system air conditioning in Mandurah more efficiently, check out our previous blog.
High humidity can lead to negative health effects as many types of harmful bacterias and viruses thrive in humid environments. Lowering the humidity to a healthy level can lead to better health outcomes, especially for children, elderly people and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma.
On the flip side, when the air is too dry it can contribute to respiratory problems, dry eyes, sore throat and more. Experts recommend keeping the humidity level inside your home between 35 and 60 percent for maximum comfort and safety.
Dry mode will not remove 100% of the moisture in the air. Instead, it will help lower the humidity to a healthy level. However, it's recommended not to run your AC on dry mode for more than 1-2 hours at a time to avoid drying the air too much.
When to use dry mode
The best time to use dry mode is:
When your home is humid or sticky but not very warm
On rainy days or before a storm
When you don't want the temperature to be too cold
You should use cool mode when:
It is a hot and dry day
It is a hot day and the humidity is very high
You want consistent cold air in the room
Can I use dry mode in winter?
You can use dry mode throughout the year when the relative humidity is high. However, if the temperature is uncomfortably high or low it's best to use cool mode or heat mode accordingly.
For days where you just want more air circulation, try using fan mode instead.
What other modes does your AC have?
In addition to cool mode and dry mode, you may notice a number of other modes on your AC's remote control.
Heat mode is best for days when you want to heat the cool air in your home or maintain a comfortable temperature.
Fan only mode runs the fan only and is best when you want to increase air circulation but not change the temperature. You can run fan mode with the windows open.
Auto mode sets the temperature and fan speed automatically based on what temperature the sensor detects. Auto mode tends to be less energy efficient than the other modes.
Got questions about your AC?
Whether you need advice about the most effective air conditioner to buy for your home or how to keep your air conditioner well maintained – it's best to speak with an expert.