The air in a crawl space can significantly impact your home’s structural integrity and indoor air quality. Flooring, walls, paint, and brickwork can suffer harm when the humidity levels are out of control. Worst of all, high humidity levels can cause or exacerbate many health issues.

For these reasons, controlling moisture levels in the crawl space is critical.

When it comes to controlling humidity levels in the crawl space, two options are available: either buy a dehumidifier or an air conditioner.

Both options seem viable, but which one will actually solve your moisture problem? To help you out, we’ll explore both options separately, explain their effectiveness in absorbing moisture, and outline their pros and cons. Let’s dive in!

What Is a Crawl Space Dehumidifier?

A crawl space dehumidifier is a vital tool in combating excess humidity inside your home’s lowest and hardest-to-reach spaces. This appliance takes moisture out of the air in the crawl space until the relative humidity level is reached.

If you want dry air in your crawl space, a dehumidifier is the better option. This device removes moisture from the air but does not cool it down.

In a dehumidifier, moist air is pulled in by the device and cooled down to a temperature where the moisture condenses and separates from the indoor air. The moisture collected drips into a bucket which is emptied from time to time.

So, how does it differ from an air conditioner?

The key difference lies in how they work. While a dehumidifier pulls out moisture from the air, an air conditioner throws cool air into the space.

If you want to remove humidity and cool the air in the room, an air conditioner is the better option. However, as we’ll see in the next section, an air conditioner has its fair share of drawbacks.

Pros of Using a Crawl Space Dehumidifier

  • Reduces moderate to high amounts of humidity
  • Can be placed anywhere in the room
  • Helps reduce mold and fungi growth
  • More affordable than an air conditioner

Cons of Using A Crawl Space Dehumidifier

  • Provides little to no cooling
  • Can be noisy
  • Will not cool your home

Air Conditioners for the Crawl Space

Do air conditioners dehumidify?

Not really. Indoor humidity control is a byproduct of air conditioning. When your air conditioner is running, the air is passed over its coils. The coils cool the air, separating the moisture from the air. As the cool air is piped into your house, the moisture collects in the AC and is drained out.

While your HVAC system can help dehumidify the crawl space, dehumidification is never the end goal. It’s usually a byproduct of the cooling process. For this reason, air conditioners dehumidify ineffectively and inefficiently.

For example, if the evaporator coils are dirty or the unit is too small for the average-sized home, an air conditioner won’t dehumidify much air in the room.

As mentioned, these units are not designed for absorbing moisture.

So, even if you run your unit constantly, which can be costly, there will always be some moisture left in the house. However, these units excel at cooling your home. They achieve this by removing hot air and pulling cool air into space.

Pros of Using an Air Conditioner

  • Helps reduce the amount of heat in a room
  • Reduces moderate amounts of humidity
  • Can also work as a fan

Pros of Using an Air Conditioner

  • High initial cost
  • High energy usage
  • Maintenance and installations costs

Crawl Space Moisture Management with Crawlspace Doctor

If you want to get rid of high humidity in the crawl space, a dehumidifier is undoubtedly the better option. But, if you need some cold air in the room and have no problem with humidity levels or indoor air quality, an air conditioner will do the trick.

If you’re looking to maintain perfect humidity levels in the crawl space and need some professional insight, Crawlspace Doctor can help.

We specialize in crawl space moisture management and repair, transforming damp, dirty, and moldy crawl spaces into clean, dry foundations with a reliable encapsulation system. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how our services can help transform your crawl space.