Your dehumidistat can keep your winter home more comfortable while you are actually living there, but it can also be just as functional and useful when you are leaving your winter home and returning to your spring and summer property.
When you are going back north from our beautiful South Florida area, take a minute to set your dehumidistat to keep your winter home dry and clean during the warmer, usually wetter weather to come.
During the winter, a dehumidistat can be a great tool for preventing your home from becoming too damp. In this season, many people employ a humidifier to counteract the hot, dry air that our heaters pump into our homes. Often, however, this humidifier can make your home too humid, especially when you are doing another activity that creates humidity, like showering, bathing, or doing laundry.
Too much humidity can be just as bad for your home and for your air quality as not enough humidity can. So, many people also us a dehumidistat to make sure that the space does not become too humid.
Keeping your home at the proper humidity is a balancing act, as your heater will continue to introduce hot, dry air into your rooms and showering or doing laundry will pump wet air into those rooms as well. If you are seeing condensation on your windows, this is a good sign that there is too much humidity in your air and that you need to set your dehumidistat. But what about when you are not actually in the home to notice whether or not there is condensation on your windows? This is why you need to set your dehumidistat before you leave your winter home. Here’s how to set it:
1. Determine the right level of humidity for your home.
There are two ways to do this: the very precise way and the more approximate way. The precise way is to use the chart that is likely on your humidifier or that you can purchase from a store that sells humidifiers, and look at the outdoor temperature and then what the chart tells you your humidity setting should be. Indoor humidity should usually be at its lowest point during the winter, which is why it is not a good idea to leave your winter home without setting your dehumidistat for the coming months.
The less precise way is to simply feel the air in your home and check any windows for condensation. If the air feels cool and wet or if there is condensation on your windows, this means your air is too humid, but does not necessarily mean that your air will be too humid for the warmer months.
2. Find your controls.
If your humidstat is like most units, you can probably find it attached to your furnace, with a control panel on its surface. Some units have manual controls, like a dial, that you can use to increase or decrease your humidity setting, while other units have a button press system.
3. Adjust your setting.
Choose a setting that is going to be better for the warmer months that are oncoming. Again, use your chart to determine what the right humidity level should be. If you do not have a chart, you should set it to be a little bit higher than what it is set at during the winter. It is also important, however, to not set your dehumidistat too high. You do not want the air in your home to be too dry, especially while you are not there, as very dry air will cause the wooden components of your home (like your flooring and building materials) to separate.
You will want your home to remain in between 35% and 45% humidity. This is widely considered to be the best setting to protect your furniture and floors from the dangers of both too much and not enough humidity. This is also considered to be the most comfortable setting for the people in your home. If you have a functional system that has been properly maintained, it should have no trouble keeping your winter home at a safe humidity level.
Because you will not be in the home adding any humidity to the environment by bathing or doing laundry in the space, you can assume that the humidity will be properly and safely regulated by your system.
Before you close up your home for the season, make sure that there is no condensation on the windows and that the air feels cool, but not wet, even in the rooms of your home that are more likely to be humid. This will ensure that you have achieved the right humidity setting and that your system will maintain it in the months to come.
Snowbirding can be a great way to get away from colder weather, but you will want to take the right precautions to ensure that your home is looked after, even when you are not there. Setting your dehumidistat when you go back north is one of those steps.