Dry Mode Not Working – Why And What To Do?

An AC with a dry mode helps a lot in controlling humidity. But what to do when the dry mode in the AC is not working? Will this have an impact on temperature? How important is the dry mode? Take all your worries away! We've researched the answers to your questions.

An AC's dry mode balances the humidity level in a room. If the AC's dry mode doesn't function well, you can consider trying the following ways to troubleshoot the issue:

  1. Check the thermostat.
  2. Inspect the compressor.
  3. Look for a refrigerant leak.
  4. Clean the evaporator coil.
  5. Let the AC rest.

By the end of this article, you'll realize why the dry mode doesn't work. You'll learn ways to resolve it and what purpose it serves. We'll share with you more relevant information to know about. So, join us, and let's read up.

Air conditioner cooling fresh system saving energy on white wall, Dry Mode Not Working - Why And What To Do?

Why Dry Mode Doesn't Work and What to Do About It?

Dry mode is an AC feature that helps dehumidify the air when too much moisture is present in an area. It's ideal to use dry mode on a wet weather like rain. Also, dry mode sets the temperature between 64 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the AC model.

There should be a button on the AC unit that lets you activate the dry mode. A screen will then display an icon, usually a leaf, to indicate the dry mode. The remote will have a dry mode option to signify that the AC unit has this feature. However, there could be a problem causing dry mode to not work.

Woman hands using on a remote control to activating air conditioning system

See some possible issues below and how to solve them.

Check the Thermostat

Make sure the thermostat is working properly. The thermostat connects to the AC either through a hardwire or a sensor. It's important that the thermostat reads the room temperature accurately so that it can automatically change the mode. You may need to change the thermostat's battery or repair any damage.

Try relocating the thermostat to a more appropriate place. It should be away from direct sunlight and heat. Relocate the thermostat to a cool and dry place, like on a wall.

Inspect the Compressor

Upon switching on the dry mode, the AC's fan and compressor will change speed to balance the temperature. One way to inspect the compressor is that the fan works without blowing cool air, as dry mode modifies some motor functions to allow dehumidification.

Look for A Refrigerant Leak

A leaking refrigerant affects not only the dry mode but also the overall performance of the AC. A refrigerant is a substance that changes from liquid to gas during the cooling process. Some common signs of leaking refrigerant include a hissing sound, freezing coils, and an inability to cool down the temperature.

Seek help from a technician to fix the refrigerant leak. It's important to know if some motors need replacement to let the AC work normally again. Also, your AC might need a refrigerant refill depending on what refrigerant is advisable to use.

Clean the Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is responsible for absorbing the heat and exchanging it into cool air. A dirty evaporator coil can interfere with the AC's cooling capacity. For maximum efficiency, clean the evaporator coil at least every three months.

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the AC. Remove the access panel to reveal the coils, which are typically made of copper or aluminum steel.
  2. Prepare the appropriate cleaning solution recommended for your AC, then spray it on the coils.
  3. Use a soft brush to clean the coils. Spray some water alternatively with the solution until the hard dirt comes off.
  4. Wipe the coils dry with a soft cloth.
  5. When the coils are completely dry, put back the panel cover and turn on the AC again.

Let the AC Rest

Another reason the dry mode does not work is an exhausted AC unit itself. You should allow the AC to rest for a few hours daily. This way, the AC can respond properly to the settings. Otherwise, you can call a technician to figure out why dry mode doesn't function.

When to Turn On Dry Mode?

You should turn on the AC's dry mode when the moisture in a room gets too high. This is to maintain a proper humidity level ranging from 30 and 40% and keep the air comfortable. However, set the temperature at around 75 degrees Fahrenheit when in dry mode.

How to Detect a High Humidity Level?

Condensation and frost on a window

It's important to know when the humidity in a room is high. It's quite difficult to calculate the humidity just by how you feel the air. Your body may have a different reaction to moisture or heat than other people in the house.

Some thermostats can detect the humidity level in a room. You can simply read it if your thermostat has this feature. However, see below for some other techniques you can try.

Use a Hygrometer

A hygrometer is a device that can sense the humidity level. It can show you how much excess moisture is present in an area. Simply place it in a living room, kitchen, or bedroom. Just avoid areas with high moisture levels, like a bathroom. Also, don't place the hygrometer near the fire source and an open window. This is to allow proper reading of the humidity level.

See this hygrometer on Amazon.

Do the Ice Test

An ice test is a cheap way to tell how humid the room is. You can do this at home by following the steps below.

Prepare a few cubes of ice in a glass of water. Leave the glass inside the room away from direct heat. Go back after a few minutes to check the glass of water. See how the ice melted? If there are water droplets outside the glass, then it's most likely that the humidity is high. On the other hand, humidity is low if there are no droplets of water outside the glass.

When to Buy a Separate Dehumidifier?

Portable dehumidifier colect water from air

It's quite practical not to fully depend on AC's dry mode. You might need a separate unit of dehumidifier if the humidity level reaches 60% or higher. This is to ease the high level of humidity, instead of overusing the AC's dry mode.

You may also check for mold, rotten wood, and water stains. Those are some signs that the amount of moisture, or humidity, is high. It's good to place a humidifier in such an area so that you can preserve the quality and value of your home. Take note that humidity can shorten your house's lifespan by slowly destroying its structure.

The average price of a dehumidifier may vary on size and location. from a portable model that starts at around $40 and goes up to commercial units that cost around $6,500. The residential units can go from $150-$1,200. However, the price may change if there's an installation charge starting at around $100.

See this dehumidifier on Amazon.

Can You Sleep While Dry Mode Is On?

White split air conditioner on wall at night why dry mode is off

Yes, there's no problem with sleeping while dry mode is on. This is perfect for the rainy season. Dry mode gives you comfortable sleep, resulting in a better feeling when you wake up.

As part of safety measures, you should check the AC before going to sleep. Make sure you let the AC rest prior to using it overnight. Also, it's good to refer to the user's guide for the recommended length of time for using the dry mode. You don't want the AC motors to malfunction due to overusing them.

Does Dry Mode Consume More Energy?

Contrary to what most homeowners think, the dry mode consumes less energy when you switch it on. It's because the compressor runs slower, resulting in lower electricity consumption. However, an AC in dry mode should run for only 1-2 hours. Remember that its purpose is to dehumidify, not act as a heater.


Air conditioner cooling fresh system saving energy on white wall

This article taught us the reasons why the dry mode in AC doesn't work. We shared with you some ways to deal with it, like checking the thermostat and cleaning the evaporator coil.

You learned when to use the dry mode and how to detect the high humidity level. Also, we discussed when you would need an actual dehumidifier instead of using the dry mode.

Of course, we realized that it's alright to sleep while the dry mode is giving you comfort efficiently. Just know when to use dry mode or switch to a dehumidifier.

Are you looking to learn more about We know you'll love to read these:

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