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Learning how to set your humidifier during different seasons can be quite tricky, especially if you are using a central humidifier or a whole-house humidifier since some seasons are characterized by high or low humidity levels.
You should turn off your humidifier in summer especially if the humidity levels in your home are above the recommended levels. Summer is usually characterized by high humidity levels, which when coupled with the humidity released by the humidifier can make the air excessively humid. Make sure to turn off the humidifier if your indoor humidity is above 40 and 50% relative humidity (RH).
Excessively high or low humidity levels can significantly impact your well-being. If you live in a humid area, you might not need to use your humidifier during summer.
On the other hand, if the humidity area within your region is low, regardless of the season, you can continue using your humidifier in summer.
Understanding your indoor relative humidity is key in guiding you on the proper ways of using your humidifier throughout the year.
In this post we will cover the following topics:
- What should a humidifier be set at in summer?
- Should I turn off my humidifier in summer?
- Do you turn on a humidifier during winter or summer?
- When should I stop running my humidifier?
- Why is my house so dry in summer?
- Should you use a humidifier when it’s humid?
What Should A Humidifier Be Set At In Summer?
During summer the humidity in the air will be higher when compared to other seasons. Generally, warm air traps more water vapor or humidity than cold air, which explains why summer is usually more humid than the other seasons.
The changes in outdoor humidity levels will significantly affect your indoor humidity since humidity moves from an area where it is highly concentrated to where its concentration is low.
As such, when you are using natural ventilators (e.g. windows and doors) during summer, you will notice an increase in your indoor humidity level as the outdoor humidity levels also increase.
If you live in a big home where some of the inner rooms in your home might not have proper access to natural ventilation, you might notice that the humidity levels in those rooms are not affected by changes in weather patterns.
Similarly, if you live in a poorly ventilated room, you might not notice any significant change in your indoor humidity levels.
Without getting into a lot of scientific explanations on diffusion and concentration gradients, let’s dive into approaches that we can use to determine the right humidity setting for different seasons.
During summer, you do not have to turn off your humidifier, unless the humidity levels are relatively high. The key to determining the right humidifier setting for your home is assessing your indoor relative humidity either with a humidistat or hygrometer.
Less than 40%: If the humidity levels are low than 40% you can set your humidifier to between 40 and 50%. This will ensure that you attain the recommended indoor humidity levels without worrying about dealing with excess humidity.
Between 40 to 50%: If the humidity levels are between 40 to 50% RH, you should also set the humidifier anywhere between 40 and 50%.
Additionally, you should ensure that you check the indoor humidity level daily to determine whether it is still within the recommended range.
If you notice a sudden spike in your indoor humidity level, turn off your humidifier for a few days and reassess the humidity levels before turning it back on.
This measure ensures that you do not leave your humidifier running for an excessively long time while at the same time ensuring that you enjoy the benefits of using your humidifier.
Over 50%: If your indoor humidity is anywhere over the 50% mark, you should not use your humidifier because of the risk of over-humidifying your room.
The ventilation in your home is already a source of humidity. Additionally, other activities such as taking hot showers, cooking, and doing laundry can also contribute to high indoor humidity levels.
If you are not interested in checking your humidistat every time to confirm the humidity levels in your home, you should invest in a humidifier that automatically adjusts to the level of humidity in your home.
The AprilAire 800 Whole House will effectively regulate the humidity levels in your home.
AprilAire 800 Whole Home Steam Humidifier
- Suitable for spaces of around 6200 square feet
- Reputable company
- 6 levels of humidity output
- Can add up to 11.5 to 34.6 gallons of water to the air in your home
- Dual sensors for monitoring both outdoor and indoor humidity
- Does not require purified water as it has electrode technology
- Minimal installation complications because it does not require purified water
- Can maintain indoor humidity with 40 to 60% RH
- Power source: AC
- Energy efficient
- Value for money
- A great option for large spaces
- Energy efficient
- Does not require purified water
- Monitors both indoor and outdoor humidity
- Slight increase in your electricity bills
- Requires professional installation by a plumber
Should I Turn Off My Humidifier In Summer?
In general, most houses will not need a humidifier during summer. If you notice a significant increase in humidity levels in your home during summer, you should turn off the humidifier.
Some of the instances that necessitate turning off your humidifier during summer include:
High Humidity within the Local Area
If you live in a very humid state like Florida, Iowa, Hawaii, and Indiana, you should turn off your humidifier during summer because it will make your indoor air excessively humid and increase the likelihood of mold growth.
Dry Indoor Air
If the air in your home is dry in summer, you should continue using your humidifier even in summer. On the other hand, if the air inside your home is humid, you should avoid using the humidifier.
Air Conditioner Drying Out Air
In some cases, you might notice that your air conditioner is drying out the air in your home. Dry indoor air is often associated with increased risks of coughs and other respiratory issues.
Additionally, you might notice that your skin and lips are dry in the morning because of the low indoor humidity levels in your home attributed to using your air conditioner to lower the room temperature.
If your air conditioner is drying out your indoor air, you should use your humidifier to re-humidify the air. This will ensure that you are able to maintain a cool temperature indoors while at the same time reducing the risks of over-drying your air.
Do You Turn on A Humidifier During Winter or Summer?
While you can use your humidifier at any time depending on your personal needs, you could turn on your humidifier during winter and turn it off during summer if you want to adjust the humidity levels.
For instance, most homes will have low humidity levels during the winter season and high humidity during summer, which would mean that the users will not necessarily need to use their humidifier during summer.
If you have alternative ways to increase your indoor humidity during winter, you will not need to use your humidifier unless the air is extremely dry.
Other common uses of a humidifier during winter include management of cold and flu symptoms, skin hydration especially among individuals diagnosed with eczema or similar conditions, and air hydration.
In general, your humidifier setting should align with your indoor humidity needs. If your indoor humidity is high, you should turn off your humidifier and consider opening your windows to allow the humidity-saturated air to move to the outdoor space.
When Should I Stop Running My Humidifier?
In general, you should stop running your humidifier when you feel like your indoor air is excessively humid or when your indoor humidity is above 50% or 55% relative humidity (RH).
When you continue running your humidifier even after the recommended indoor humidity has been reached, you will be exposing your home to the effects of excess humidity.
If you are using a timer or if you are running the humidifier when you are not at home, you should ensure that you set the humidifier anywhere between %40 and %50 relative humidity. This will ensure that you do not risk over-humidifying your air and will also reduce the risks of mold damage.
Use a hygrometer to monitor your indoor air quality. A recommended hygrometer that you could check out is the Ambient Weather hygrometer. You could also compare the product with other hygrometers on Amazon that offer different features.
Ambient Weather WS-3000-X5 Thermo-Hygrometer Wireless Monitor
- Sensor locations: indoors and outdoors
- Uses remote sensors
- Installed PC software for advanced humidity data analysis
- Comes with a console for data display
- Displays 8 graphs based on 8 wireless remote sensors
- AC adapter included in the package
- Accurate humidity assessment
- Monitors temperature, heat index, humidity, and dew point
- Dimensions or remote sensors: 4.75 x 1.5 x 0.6 inches
- Has high and low humidity and temperature alarms
- Each of the remote sensors uses 2 AA batteries so you will need to buy the batteries separately.
Why Is My House So Dry In Summer?
Summer is a relatively humid season and it is often expected that the indoor air during summer will be excessively humid. However, there are instances where the indoor air might be dry regardless of the excessively humid outdoor air.
Central Heating: The main cause of dry indoor air during summer is central heating. Heating your home using your central heating at night will dry your indoor air. While you might not notice the dry air while you are sleeping, you are likely to wake up with a dry throat and dry lips.
Dehumidifier: if you have a whole-house dehumidifier, running it for prolonged periods or changing the setting of the dehumidifier can affect the quality of your indoor air.
For instance, if your dehumidifier is set to remove moisture from the air until it attains a relative humidity of 30%, you might start noticing that the air in your home is excessively dry after a few hours or days.
If you are using a dehumidifier during summer, ensure that you assess your humidity levels occasionally to reduce the risks of over-drying your house.
Recommended Read: Dehumidifier settings for winter season
Should You Use a Humidifier When It’s Humid?
You should not use a humidifier when it is humid. Using a humidifier when it is humid will further increase the humidity in the air and make the air excessively humid.
Humid air can make it hard for you to breathe properly, increase mold growth in the room, and damage electronics and wooden furniture.
The only exceptions for using a humidifier when it is humid include:
For medicinal purposes
Humidifiers and diffusers can be used to dispense vaporized medicine commonly used to treat cold or other respiratory issues.
If you need to use your humidifier for this purpose, you should ensure that you run the humidifier for the exact amount of time necessary to dispense the medication and then switch off the humidifier.
To reduce the humidity level in the air before using your humidifier, you can run a dehumidifier to eliminate excess humidity in the air, turn off the dehumidifier, and then use your humidifier to dispense your medicine.
This approach will ensure that you do not risk over-humidifying your indoor air, especially if you need to run the humidifier for more than an hour to enjoy the benefits of the medicinal components.
Note: You should not run your humidifier and dehumidifier at the same time because most of the mist/moisture released by the humidifier will be absorbed by the dehumidifier. When this happens, you will not be able to inhale any of the medicinal components in your humidifier’s mist.
In general, you can use your humidifier in summer. One thing that you need to keep in mind is the importance of checking your indoor humidity levels using a hygrometer or a humidistat to reduce the risks of over-humidifying your home.
No one wants to deal with too much humidity during summer. To keep your home comfortable and the quality of your indoor humidity at its best, ensure that you invest in a hygrometer or a humidifier that has a humidistat.