Dehumidifiers vs. Air Conditioners (AC) – 2020 Comparison Review

HVAC Training 101 is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Are you someone who is a bit confused when it comes to the differences and similarities between dehumidifiers and air conditioners? Can AC's work as dehumidifiers?

Well, we have the answers to such questions and more!

Not only that, we will share with you our well-researched Dehumidifier and Air Conditioner Review lists so you can make an informed Dehumidifier or AC purchasing decision.

Let’s begin!

Comparison of our Favorite Dehumidifiers and AC Units

  • Best Dehumidifier Overall
  • It offers 4,500 square feet of area coverage.
  • This is an impressively Energy Efficient dehumidifier.
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Offers portability and durability.
  • Runner-up: Frigidaire 30-Pint Dehumidifier
  • It is effortless to use with a digital control panel.
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Features an Auto Shut-Off ability when the tank is full.
  • Best for the Money: Afloia Portable Electronic Dehumidifier.
  • This is a Compressor free unit with no moving parts or chemicals.
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • It features an auto-evaporation system.
  • Best Air Conditioner Overall: Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner
  • It has a 3-speed fan for cooling, ventilation, and dehumidification.
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • This is a highly portable Air Conditioner.
  • It features a Washable Dual Filtration System for cleaner air.
  • Runner-up Honeywell MO08CESWK Portable Air Conditioner
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • It features an antibacterial filter.
  • This our Best for the Money Selection.
  • Maintains preset room temperature for comfort.
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

What is a Dehumidifier?

As the name states, a dehumidifier is just that, a device which is able to dehumidify the air. Such a unit absorbs moisture from the air and reduces the overall humidity in a surrounding. Some of you might not know this, but humidity can cause a lot of damage. The moisture in the air can damage woodwork, carpets, mats, and more. Humidity also gives rise to an environment that mold spores prefer to grow in.

Danby Energy Star 70-Pint Dehumidifier

Furthermore, humid air as particulates which can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. So, by using a reliable dehumidifier, you can reduce the moisture as well as fungus. It will help provide your household with clean air to breathe.

What is an Air Conditioner (AC)?

An air conditioner or an AC is a device which helps remove hot air while releasing cold bursts of air in a space. An AC is a great way to help keep your home ventilated. It is great to have around during the hot summer months. Having cool air circulating around the house will help keep certain allergies and irritants at bay. An AC provides you with a comfortable indoor environment which has a positive impact on your physical and mental wellbeing.

Some AC units have filters which remove pet hair, dust, and dander from the air to make an area cleaner for you to breathe in.

Dehumidifiers vs. Air Conditioners - Similarities and Differences

Wondering about the similarities and differences between Dehumidifiers and Air Conditioners is valid. We are going to offer out help with all of this. Below we have broken down the differences as well as the similarities between such electronic equipment. We hope the information we have shared offers you the answers you are looking for.


Let’s begin with the differences between a Dehumidifier and an AC.

Mode of Operation

The way Dehumidifiers and AC's work is different. In a dehumidifier, the air travels across a series of cooling coils (they can also be evaporators), and then immediately over a set of heating coils (or the condenser). After such a journey, the air is then released into the outside area as drier air (with reduced moisture).

A diagram of how dehumidifier works. (Source)

As for an air conditioner, the air travels over just the cooling coils and then released into the room. Furthermore, the heated Freon passes through a tube (which is outside the house) and into the heating coils. The outside air passes over it before release.

Dealing with Moisture

Dehumidifiers and AC’s handle moisture a bit differently. Of course, both condense moisture on the cooling coils present in them. However, an AC pools the condensate in a space (pan, tank, etc.) which drains outside, normally through a drainage tube.

Dehumidifiers, on the other hand, after pulling the water or moisture from the air, store it in a water reservoir. A hose attachment is ordinarily present for drainage. Such units also tend to have auto-off features to prevent spillage.

Changing Temperature

Temperature control is another difference between an air conditioner and a dehumidifier. AC’s are used for controlling the overall temperature of a space. AC’s have been created to expel hot air out of a space while throwing cool air in a space.

Dehumidifiers aren't used for temperature control. They are more concerned with the humidity levels of a certain space and will help extract moisture from an area.


Of course, there are certain similarities between a dehumidifier and an air conditioner. We are going to cover some of these similarities to help you understand more about these devices.

Cleaner Air

Both, the dehumidifier and an air conditioner can be used to ensure the flow of cleaner air indoors. These devices have filters in them which are able to trap certain particulates in the air. The filters can trap pet dander, hair, and dust. This allows for the space to have cleaner air for everyone to breathe.

HEPA Filter (Source)


Another similarity between an AC and a dehumidifier has to do with ventilation. Both devices are able to offer comfortable ventilation in an indoor space. You can easily operate them in bedrooms, living rooms or even the basement for ventilation purposes.

Health Issues

AC's and Dehumidifiers are also similar when it comes to ensuring prevention from specific health-related issues. Due to both devices offering you a certain amount of control over humidity and temperature, the cleaner air they produce can help keep specific allergic reactions at bay. Both devices, due to the use of filters, can also get rid of certain air particulates which may cause skin irritation.


Depending on the model you go for, dehumidifiers and air conditioners also offer a certain extent of portability (with wheels, smaller size, etc.). This level of portability makes it easier for you to move these units from room to room depending on what is required in terms of humidity or temperature control.

Water Storage

Both units extract moisture from the air. This means both devices need to store as well as expel water. That is why these electronics have a drainage system.

Review of our Favorite Dehumidifiers 

Now that you have gained a much better sense of what is meant by a Dehumidifier as well as an AC and what they offer you let's go over favorite Dehumidifiers. These are well-researched reviews to help you find the type of dehumidifier which is going to be perfect for you (depending on the level of dehumidification you need).

Best Dehumidifier Overall:
Danby Energy Star 70-Pint Dehumidifier

Danby Energy Star 70-Pint Dehumidifier


  • It is easy to use.
  • This dehumidifier doesn’t make a lot of noise.
  • You won’t have to worry about costly energy bills.
  • It can remove as much as 70 pints of moisture in a 24-hour cycle.


  • It doesn't have an auto shut-off feature when the reservoir becomes full.

Our Review

We are going to begin our Favorite Dehumidifiers list with the Danby Energy Star 70-pint unit. One of the most important things an interested purchaser should know about this device is how impressively energy efficient it is. So, you can easily use this unit to dehumidify large areas such as a workshop, garage, and even basements (due to the 4,500 square-feet coverage) without worrying about an increased energy bill.

This device can remove 70 pints of moisture from surrounding air in 24-hours. Dehumidifying air is an excellent way to protect your house being damaged by excess moisture. Too much moisture can harm furniture, carpets, bedding, etc. It can also lead to mold growth.

Being a 2-fan dehumidifier, it can operate at 50 decibels. For those who might not know, 50 decibels are more or less similar to the noise produced by a standard refrigerator. Such a low operation noise makes this unit capable of being used in the bedroom, too.

It can handle temperatures which are as low as 41 degrees Fahrenheit. There are auto defrost coils featured in this unit. Such a feature makes this dehumidifier perfect for use in basements and garages (areas with low temperatures). It doesn’t have an automatic shut-off feature though. So, you will have to monitor the reservoir’s water level yourself and drain it, manually or by using a hose, when required.

Bottom Line

The Danby Energy Star 70-Pint Dehumidifier is our Best Overall selection because of all the features it brings to the table. Yes, it doesn’t have an automatic shut-off feature when the reservoir is full. But this unit is highly energy efficient, easy to use, and able to get rid of 70 pints of moisture. The large area of coverage makes it perfect for homes.


  • Has an automatic defrost mode.
  • It will display overall humidity readings.
  • Doesn’t make a lot of noise during operation.
  • This dehumidifier works great for small to medium-sized areas.


  • Doesn’t have a built-in pump.

Our Review

The runner-up on our list is the Frigidaire 30-Pint Dehumidifier unit. This is another choice you should know about. As the name states, this device can easily absorb 30-pints of moisture from the atmosphere. While the dehumidifying capacity isn’t huge, this device is efficient enough to cover small to medium-sized spaces.

It is also very energy-friendly and will help you save on electricity bills down the line, making for a great investment. This device happens to be one of the quietest dehumidifiers you will find in the market. On a low fan speed, the sound it produces is less than 46 decibels.

Using this unit is easy. You will be able to set this dehumidifier the way you want in a few seconds. The control panel gives you humidity reading through an LED display. You get three fan speeds to choose from. The settings are High, Medium, and Low. Of course, the highest fan speed will produce more noise, but it isn't anything too annoying.

Take note that this dehumidifier doesn't feature a built-in pump. So, it is recommended you use a hose to drain the collected water. The automatic defrost mode will prevent the coils from freezing up and decreasing overall efficiency. Also, don't let the small size of this exceptional device fool you. This is a durable machine and will continue to serve you for a long time. It is portable dehumidifier and can be placed in any space you want.

Bottom Line

If you are interested in a smaller yet efficient dehumidifier, the Frigidaire 30-Pint Dehumidifier is for you. Even though it doesn't have a built-in pump, the rest of the features more than covers for it. This unit is perfect for use in small to medium-sized spaces. It will give you healthier air to breathe.

Afloia Portable Electric Dehumidifier for Home 2000ML Water Tank, Home Dehumidifier for Bathroom Dehumidifier for Basement Space Bedroom Kitchen Caravan Office Basement Bedroom Bathroom


  • It is very easy to use.
  • This is a very portable dehumidifier.
  • Has an Auto-off feature when the tank is full.
  • Is perfect for bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms.
  • This dehumidifier gives you a lot of value for the price tag.
  • Doesn’t make a lot of noise due to the Ultra-Quiet Peltier Technology.


  • Is not great for medium to large spaces.

Our Review

The third entry on our Best Dehumidifiers list is the Afloia Portable Electronic Dehumidifier. It is also our ‘Best for the Money' selection on this review list. Afloia has been designing as well as manufacturing high-quality home appliances. So, you know it is a brand name you can trust.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly dehumidifier to help prevent moisture damage to your house, you should keep this unit in mind. Not only does this device prevent moisture damage in your home, but it also helps produce cleaner air for your household to breathe.

There are numerous features this device can offer you. Trying to check on the tank can get annoying. However, this dehumidifier has an Auto-Off feature when the water tank full. You won't have to continue worrying about any annoying leakages with this device. The simple one-button control adds to the overall convenience.

Due to it being compact, you can easily place it anywhere you want. This device will do its job in kitchens, closet, living rooms and bedrooms. Yes, it can even be placed in bedrooms because of the Ultra-Quiet Peltier Technology this device boasts. This dehumidifier can work at the 10-50℃ range. It is recommended you don't operate this device in an environment which is less than 10℃.

Bottom Line

The Afloia Portable Electronic Dehumidifier is one of the best selections out there with regards to what value they offer for the price tag. This dehumidifier is highly portable. It is so quiet you can operate it in bedrooms during sleep. It has a 2-liter tank capacity and will automatically shut-off when the tank is full.

Review of our Favorite Air Conditioners

Let’s begin with our well-researched Favorite Air Conditioners Review list. We have talked about Air Conditioners in this article. Now, it is time for us to help you know about particular AC's if you are interested in buying one for a better lifestyle for everyone in your household. We hope you can select one which is the best for you!

Best Air Conditioner Overall:
Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner


  • It is highly portable.
  • This unit has a 3-speed fan.
  • Comes with a remote for easy control.
  • It has a Washable Dual Filtration System.
  • It is energy efficient and will help save on bills.


  • Doesn’t offer a lot of area coverage.

Our Review

We are going to begin our Favorite Air Conditioners review list with a fantastic offering from Honeywell. Many of you might be quite familiar with this well-known brand. Honeywell has been creating impressive products for years.

The Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner is another such device which is going to prove to be an excellent buying decision. This unit combines 3-in-1 technology while presenting everything in a highly sleek design. This unit can easily cool as well as dehumidify areas which are in the 350-450 square-feet range.

This AC has an auto-evaporation system which helps this device effectively dehumidify spaces. The 3-speed fan allows you to use this electronic equipment for dehumidification, cooling, and fresh ventilation. The accompanying remote enables you to control this AC from across the room.

Another best thing about this unit is the portability. You don't have to install it to a wall permanently. You can easily move this AC from room to room. The sleep mode enables this unit to be used during nighttime. It will provide you with a controlled environment so you can sleep peacefully.

The Washable Dual Filtration System in this AC will filter dust, hair, and pet dander. Filtering such components means your household will have cleaner and fresher air to breathe. The Digital Thermostat system will keep the space at the temperature you prefer.

Bottom Line

Honeywell did it again with the Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner. This is a highly portable unit which you can use all around the house to get the temperature and clean air you need. No wonder it is our selection for Best Air Conditioner Overall on this list.

Honeywell MO08CESWB Compact 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner w/ Remote Control, Up to 350 Sq. Ft., White/Blue


  • It has an appealing design.
  • It doesn’t take up a lot of space.
  • It doesn’t consume a lot of energy.
  • You can easily move this AC around the house.
  • It has a Digital Thermostat to monitor the temperature.
  • The Washable Dual Filtration System makes it a reliable unit.


  • The 350 square-feet area coverage doesn’t make this unit great for larger spaces.

Our Review

Coming to our Runner-up on the list, we have the Honeywell MO08CESWK Portable Air Conditioner. This is another portable AC option from Honeywell you should know about if you want something reliable. This unit is built to last.

The Dual Filtration System ensures that not only is your household getting cleaner air to breathe, but pet hair, dander, and other components don’t ruin the effectiveness of this device. There is also thermal overload protection to make sure the motor and compressor remain safe.

The Dual Filtration System is washable. So, you can easily wash the trapped hair, dust, and pet dander from the filter to have it be as good as new. Simply rinse it under a faucet and you are done. There is also a Filter Clean Alert which will let you know when the filter needs to be cleaned. With lesser impurities in the air, you and your household won't have to worry about asthma attacks and other allergies.

The portability offered by this AC is another reason it is one of the favorites that we wish to share with you. It has smooth-gliding wheels. You can easily move this unit around the house to make sure the spaces you prefer are getting cool and cleaner air. It also doesn’t consume a lot of electricity. The overall convince is increased due to the remote it comes with. The Digital Thermostat will ensure the indoor environment is as you wish it to be.

Bottom Line

The Honeywell MO08CESWK Portable Air Conditioner is another reliable product from a well-known brand. Even though the area of coverage isn't the best, the overall features more than cover for it. With this unit, you can dehumidify an area and enjoy cold air.

Frigidaire FFRA1011R1 10,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner with Mechanical Controls


  • It is easy to install in windows.
  • It has a Quick Cool & Quick Warm feature.
  • Will resume as before in case of a power outage.
  • This AC reduces bacteria and gets rid of room odor.


  • The 470 square-feet coverage might not be enough for some users.

Our Review

As for the final entry on our list, we have the Frigidaire FFRA1011R1 AC. It is also our Best for the Money selection when it comes to the type of AC's currently available in the market. One of the features in this unit, you should take note of, is the Quick Cool & Quick Warm capability. This device can be used to cool a space quickly or to warm it all up faster. The fan has three different speeds, so you and your household can enjoy the temperature preferred.

This AC can maintain the preset room temperature. This means you can use this unit to ensure you feel comfortable throughout the day. Furthermore, the antibacterial filter helps reduce bacteria and even room odor. The filter captures the harmful air particulates. This allows the unit to ensure the space you are in has cleaner air for everyone to breathe.

Fitting this AC in your window is made more accessible because of the SpaceWise Adjustable Side Panels. These panels extend to ensure the best fit. Another great thing about this AC is how to handles power outages. In case of a power outage, this AC will automatically resume its operation at the previous settings when the power returns. So, even if you aren’t home, you will know the unit will continue to work the way you want it to.

Bottom Line

The Frigidaire FFRA1011R1 Air Conditioner has a lot to offer considering its valid price point. Not only does this AC give you cool air, but it will also reduce bacteria from the air. Furthermore, it gets rid of room odor. Even during power issues, it will automatically resume working on previous settings when power returns.

Top Pick Between Dehumidifiers and Air Conditioners

Now that we are almost nearing the end of this article, we can't let you go without sharing our thoughts regarding the top pick between dehumidifiers and air conditioners.

As mentioned in our review lists, all of the selections have something to offer. Certain models are the best for the money, giving you excellent features against a reasonable price tag. Other models are our top picks, and that is what we are going to talk about.

If we were to choose, we would go for the Danby Energy Star 70-Pint Dehumidifier and the Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner. We say this because these units are some of the most reliable offerings currently in the market. The Danby Energy Star dehumidifier is perfect for quickly reducing humidity from a space.

The Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner allows you to set it up in any room without hassle. Of course, both devices play a crucial role in providing your household with cleaner air. Pairing an air conditioner with a dehumidifier will increase overall effectiveness.


We hope we were able to offer you valuable information about dehumidifiers and air conditioners. As you can tell, both devices have similarities as well as differences. The good news is you can use these units to control the humidity and temperature of your house for comfortable living.

So, if you are interested in purchasing a dehumidifier or an air conditioner, make sure to go through our review lists for an informed buying decision that will make your life more comfortable in the long run.