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Air conditioning is a saving grace for many Australians when it comes to beating the scorching heat. It provides a relaxed and comfortable environment in homes, offices, and public spaces.

However, there is a persistent belief that air conditioning can reduce humidity levels. This blog post will delve into the truth behind this common misconception and explore the relationship between air conditioning and humidity in Australia.

Understanding Humidity

Before we discuss the impact of air conditioning on humidity, let's first understand what humidity is. Humidity refers to the amount of moisture present in the air. It is often measured as a percentage and significantly affects our comfort levels. High humidity can make us feel sticky and uncomfortable, while low humidity can lead to dry skin and respiratory issues.

How Does Air Conditioning Work?

To comprehend the impact of air conditioning on humidity, it's crucial to understand how these systems operate. Air conditioners circulate cool air while removing heat from the indoor environment. They achieve this through a process called refrigeration, which involves compressing and expanding refrigerants to extract heat and provide a cooling effect.

The Connection Between AC and Humidity

Contrary to popular belief, air conditioning does have an indirect impact on humidity levels, but it may not necessarily reduce overall humidity. While cooling the air, air conditioners also remove some moisture from the air through condensation.

The warm air passes over cold evaporator coils, causing water vapour to condense into liquid form, which is then drained away. However, air conditioners are primarily designed to regulate temperature rather than humidity.

They focus on cooling the air to a desired temperature, which can create a comfortable indoor environment. As a result, the humidity level may remain relatively unchanged, especially in areas with high humidity, like many parts of Australia.

Factors Influencing Humidity Levels

Humidity levels can vary depending on several factors, including geographical location, climate, and weather patterns. In Australia, coastal areas and regions with tropical climates tend to experience higher humidity levels compared to drier inland areas. It's crucial to consider these factors when assessing the effectiveness of air conditioning in reducing humidity.

The Effects of High Humidity

Living in a region with high humidity can affect our daily lives. Large amounts of moisture in the air can lead to an excess amount of mildew and mould, which can cause respiratory issues and property damage. It can also make it harder for our bodies to regulate temperature, leading to discomfort and fatigue. Understanding the impact of high humidity highlights the importance of effective humidity control measures.

The Role of Dehumidifiers

If humidity control is a priority, dehumidifiers are the most effective solution when it comes to reducing humidity in a space. Unlike air conditioners, dehumidifiers are specifically designed to reduce moisture levels in the air.

These devices draw in humid air, pass it over cool coils, and collect the condensed moisture in a reservoir. Dehumidifiers can significantly lower humidity, making them ideal for areas with persistent moisture problems.

Air Conditioning and Humidity in the AUS Climate

In a country like Australia, where humidity can be high in many regions, air conditioning alone may not be sufficient to tackle humidity-related issues. While air conditioning systems do remove some moisture, their primary purpose is temperature regulation. Therefore, it is essential to consider additional measures to combat high humidity effectively.

Tips to Manage Humidity with Air Conditioning

Proper sizing

Ensure your air conditioning system is appropriately sized for the space you need to cool. An undersized unit may need help to remove excess moisture effectively.


Utilise ventilation strategies, such as exhaust fans, to remove humid air from kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry areas. This can prevent excess moisture from circulating throughout the house.

Regular maintenance

Schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioning system to keep it running optimally. Clean filters and coils can improve efficiency and aid in moisture removal.

Consider a dehumidifier

If high humidity is a persistent issue in your area, consider investing in a dehumidifier. This device can work alongside your air conditioning system to improve humidity control.

Improve air circulation

Use fans strategically to improve air circulation in your home. Ceiling or portable fans can help distribute cool air more effectively and aid in evaporation, enhancing dehumidification. Consider running fans in conjunction with your air conditioning system for improved comfort and humidity control.


Take steps to weatherproof your home to minimise the entry of humid outdoor air. Seal any cracks or gaps around walls, windows, and doors to prevent excess moisture from infiltrating your house. Proper insulation can also help maintain a more consistent indoor environment and reduce the potential for humidity issues.

Monitor and adjust

Keep an eye on humidity levels in your home using a hygrometer, which measures relative humidity. If you consistently experience high humidity, adjust your air conditioning settings or consider additional dehumidification measures.

Split Systems for Effective Humidity Control

One popular type of air conditioning system is the split system. Split systems consist of both indoor and outdoor units. The indoor unit is responsible for cooling the air, while the outdoor unit dissipates heat.

Split systems offer efficient humidity control by reducing moisture content in the air. By removing excess humidity, split systems help maintain optimal humidity levels, typically between 40% and 60%, for a comfortable living environment.

Why it's Vital to Maintain the Right Humidity Levels

Maintaining the correct humidity levels in your indoor environment is crucial for several reasons. Here are some key reasons why it is essential to pay attention to humidity control:

Comfort and well-being

High humidity can make us feel sticky, sweaty, and uncomfortable. On the other hand, low humidity can lead to dry skin, irritated eyes, and respiratory issues. By maintaining optimal humidity levels, typically between 40% and 60%, you can create a comfortable and pleasant living or working environment that promotes overall well-being.

Health and indoor air quality

Excessive humidity can create an environment for mould growth, mildew, and dust mites. These allergens can trigger respiratory problems, allergies, and asthma. By controlling humidity levels, you can help reduce the risk of these allergens thriving and improve indoor air quality, promoting a healthier living space for you and your family.

Property protection

High humidity levels can be detrimental to your property. Excessive condensation in the air can lead to condensation on windows, walls, and ceilings, leading to mould growth, paint damage, and even structural issues. Wooden furniture and flooring can warp or rot in humid conditions. You can ensure your property is effectively protected from potential damage and prolong its lifespan by maintaining optimal humidity levels.

Energy efficiency

Proper humidity control can also contribute to energy efficiency. When the air is excessively humid, it feels warmer than it actually is, leading to the temptation to lower the thermostat and overwork the air conditioning system. By maintaining optimal humidity levels, you can feel comfortable at higher temperatures, reducing the load on your air conditioner and ultimately lowering energy consumption and utility bills.

Electronics and appliances

High humidity can adversely affect electronic devices, causing corrosion, condensation, and malfunctions. Moisture can also damage household appliances and affect their performance. By controlling humidity levels, you can protect your valuable electronics and appliances, extending their lifespan and minimising the need for repairs or replacements.

Productivity and concentration

High humidity levels can make focusing difficult, reducing productivity and concentration. Maintaining a comfortable humidity level can create an environment conducive to productivity, learning, and improved cognitive performance.

Relative Humidity and Comfort

While air conditioning may not significantly reduce overall humidity levels, it can still provide comfort by controlling the relative humidity indoors. Relative humidity refers to the percentage of condensation in the air compared to the maximum amount of moisture the air can hold at a given temperature.

Air conditioning helps maintain a comfortable relative humidity level, typically between 40% and 60%, alleviating the sticky feeling associated with high humidity.

So, Do Aircons Reduce Humidity?

In managing humidity levels, various appliances and systems can play a role. For instance, a water heater can introduce moisture into the air as it heats water for daily use. Ensuring proper ventilation or using an exhaust fan when using the water heater is essential to minimise the impact on humidity levels.

Similarly, an air purifier can help remove humidity from the air by filtering out airborne particles and excess moisture. While air purifiers are primarily designed to improve indoor air quality, specific models incorporate dehumidifying features that can reduce humidity levels. Of course, the air conditioner is one of the most commonly used systems for controlling indoor humidity.

Air conditioners provide cool air by removing heat and moisture through condensation. The condensation process helps reduce humidity levels, creating a more comfortable indoor environment. This is especially true for air conditioning systems, including split systems, which consist of both indoor and outdoor units.

You can effectively manage and control humidity levels in your indoor space by understanding these factors and utilising appliances such as air purifiers and air conditioners. Whether it's reducing humidity with an air conditioner or using a dehumidifying feature on an air purifier, these tools can help create a comfortable and balanced environment that suits your needs.

Use Experts to Balance Your Indoor Humidity Levels

As mentioned above, maintaining the right indoor humidity makes your home comfortable and reduces the risk of other structural problems. The best way to ensure this is done is to work with a highly qualified air conditioning expert.

The professionals help you to choose the right air conditioning system based on your home's cooling, heating, and dehumidifying needs. They offer services customised to your home comfort and ensure you install an energy-efficient design. They can also advise you on the best ways to use the system to maintain its efficiency.

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