When the air conditioner is running during the summer, it may not necessarily be functioning in a way that optimizes your home’s humidity level. With the Nest Thermostat, you can tell your air conditioner to cool your house based on the humidity level, so your house doesn’t feel like a Florida swamp.
Most thermostats don’t come with a humidity sensor. If yours does, it likely just serves the purpose of telling you what the humidity is inside your house, and nothing more. The Nest Thermostat, tells you what the indoor humidity is, but it can also cool your house and give focus to the humidity rather than just the temperature that you have it set to.
For example, if your air conditioner cools your house to 73 degrees, but the indoor humidity is still really high, your Nest can tell your air conditioner to keep cooling your house until the humidity level goes down to a comfortable level. The only downside is that it might be a bit colder in your house and you’ll spend more money on your utility bill using this method, but if it’s something that you really want, the Nest Thermostat can do it.
Start by opening up the Nest app on your phone and select your Nest Thermostat on the main screen.
On the next page, you’ll see what the humidity is inside of your house. You want to keep it in between 40-60%. Any higher and you could invite the growth of mold, and any lower can dry out your skin and ruin wood furniture.
If the humidity is a bit high in your house, your Nest has a feature to deal with this, and you can access it from the settings gear icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
On the next page, tap on “Nest Sense”.
Next, select “Cool to Dry”.
That section will expand and explain what the feature is. Simply tap on the toggle switch next to the green leaf to turn it on.
Of course, if your air conditioning unit already has a dehumidifying feature, you likely don’t need Cool to Dry on, but if not, the Nest Thermostat can serve as a decent substitute. The feature will turn on the air conditioning if humidity levels rise above 70% inside your home, no matter what you have it set at. However, there are limits. It will only cool to 75°F, or 5°F below your set temperature–whichever is higher.
The neat thing about this feature is that if your Nest Thermostat senses that the humidity isn’t dropping, despite Cool to Dry being on and active, it’ll automatically return to your regular temperature setting to avoid wasting any more energy.
At that point, you could just buy a dehumidifier for your house, but most consumer models are only meant for one room in your home, and a whole-house unit can be pretty costly. So be sure to weigh your options and shop around.