Smart Home

Is your home too humid? Nest thermostat can help

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

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 breath 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.  

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 dryer. 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 in the upper right of the screen.
  • Choose your thermostat if you have multiple Nest products.
  • Tap on Cool to Dry from the settings list.
  • Toggle the switch so that it turns blue.

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

  • 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 that it usually would. If you hate humidity, though, it may be worth it.