Refrigeration air conditioning equipment usually reduces the humidity of the air processed by the system. The relatively cold (below the dewpoint) evaporator coil condenses water vapor from the processed air, (much like an ice cold drink will condense water on the outside of a glass), sending the water to a drain and removing water vapor from the cooled space and lowering the relative humidity. Since humans perspire to provide natural cooling by the evaporation of perspiration from the skin, drier air (up to a point) improves the comfort provided. The comfort air conditioner is designed to create a 40% to 60% relative humidity in the occupied space. In food retailing establishments large open chiller cabinets act as highly effective air dehumidifying units.
Some air conditioning units dry the air without cooling it, and are better classified as dehumidifiers. They work like a normal air conditioner, except that a heat exchanger is placed between the intake and exhaust. In combination with convection fans they achieve a similar level of comfort as an air cooler in humid tropical climates, but only consume about a third of the electricity. They are also preferred by those who find the draft created by air coolers discomforting.