Is your home too humid? Nest thermostat can help

Nix humidity using your Nest thermostat and the flick of a finger.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
2 min read
Nest Learning Thermostat's Cool to Dry

Nest Learning Thermostat's Cool to Dry setting.

Alina Bradford/CNET

Nobody likes humidity. It makes hair frizzy. People with certain medical conditions find it harder to breathe when it's humid. It can encourage mold to grow. If you live in a humid area, you may have just learned to deal with it... or plan on moving. Before you give up, give your Nest  Learning Thermostat a shot at solving the problem.

The Cool to Dry setting uses your air conditioning unit or heat pump to remove humidity from your home.  When it senses hot, humid air over 70 percent humidity when you're at home, it will switch on your AC. When you're away, it will start to dehumidify if the humidity rises over 65 percent.  

This option is available on the Nest Thermostat E , first-gen Nest Learning Thermostat and the second- and third-gen Nest Learning Thermostats.

How does it work?

When the humid air passes over the refrigerated coils in your AC, the moisture is condensed into water. The air coming out of the AC is much drier. The Cool to Dry setting cools to 3 degrees F (-16.1 C) lower than your scheduled temperatures or 5 degrees F (-15 C) lower than your Eco temperature settings when high humidity is detected in your home. 

If the Nest detects that the humidity level isn't changing, it will shut off so that it doesn't waste any extra electricity.   

If your AC or heat pump has its own dehumidifier, it will use it to more efficiently remove humidity from the air.

How to turn on the Cool to Dry setting  

Here's how to turn it on using the app:

  • Open the app.
  • Tap on the Settings icon (it looks like a gear) in the upper right of the screen.
  • Choose Equipment < Dehumidifier.
  • Toggle the Dehumidifier switch to on.
  • Drag the sliding switch to your desired humidity levels.

Here's how to turn it on using the Nest thermostat on some versions:

  • Tap the screen.
  • Go to the Quick View menu.
  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap Equipment > Continue > Continue > Dehumidifier > Set Humidity.
  • Follow the onscreen directions.

If that doesn't work, you may have an older Nest. Use these steps:

  • Tap the screen.
  • Choose Settings.
  • Scroll to Nest Sense and select it.
  • Scroll to Cool to Dry and select it.
  • Select Yes.

Keep in mind that having this option turned on all the time will raise your electricity bill, since your AC unit will work more than it usually would. If you hate humidity, though, it may be worth it. 

Editor's note: This article was published on June 10, 2017, and has been updated.

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