Carpet drying question.
August 2, 2010 9:57 AM   Subscribe

What is the best way to dry recently "steam cleaned" carpets on a humid day? Should I leave the windows open or close them and put the a/c on?

Although Denver is known for being dry, due to monsoonal moisture coming up from the Baja peninsula, today is unusally humid (>40%). I just had most of the carpets in the house "steam cleaned" and I wonder the quickest way to dry them. Windows open (humid, temps in the 80's) or closing the windows and turning on the whole house a/c? Does the a/c take moisture out of the air?
posted by Rad_Boy to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
I have had good luck with fans blown directly on the carpet, also with a dehumidfier unit inside the house. Fans alone should be fine unless you need the carpets dry ASAP.

A/C will dehumidify the outside air and blow it inside. Not sure if it will make enough of a difference or is worth the electricity cost.
posted by wongcorgi at 10:05 AM on August 2, 2010

Windows open, fans blowing directly on carpet.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:08 AM on August 2, 2010

A/C will dehumidify the outside air and blow it inside.

Not so. A/C will dehumidify the air that's already in your house. It will not do it as effectively, however, as a dedicated dehumidifier will.

That said, 40% RH is still very dry by most standards, so opening the windows and using fans might work just as well.
posted by jon1270 at 10:10 AM on August 2, 2010

A/C will dehumidify the outside air and blow it inside.

No, an A/C works just like a dehumidifier. It removes moisture from air in the house.

That said, the current humidity level in Denver (48%) is not that high, relatively speaking. You could get the job done with fans blowing on the carpet. But, if you want to turn on the A/C for comfort, it should also help remove some of the moisture. I'd still run the fans, though, to keep the airflow up.
posted by cabingirl at 10:11 AM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

I completely agree with cabingirl.
posted by Daddy-O at 10:32 AM on August 2, 2010

A dehumidifier will work better, for the following reason:

The AC units primary responsibility is to remove heat. Humidity reduction is a side effect, for the purposes of this task. In this scenario, running the AC will probably increase the RH, since air conditioners are better at cooling than they are at dehumidification. It will get cold and cycle off before any appreciable dehumidification is done.

While a dehumidifier works the same way, its primary mode of action is dehumidification. Part of how it does this is that it returns the heat back into the room, so the air maintains its temperature and capacity to hold water.

It is the same reason a clothes dryer gets hot- you increase the temperature, you increase the air's ability to hold water.

But this isn't an either or scenario. Set the AC on 80, turn the dehumidifier to MAX and run all the fans you own until the problem is solved. And then for another day, to make sure all the moisture is really out of the pads and underlayment.
posted by gjc at 6:35 PM on August 2, 2010

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