Many Florida homes are equipped with humidistats which is a control device that works in concert with a home’s HVAC system to automatically adjust the amount of moisture in the air to maintain a specific humidity level throughout the home. Humidistats are rarely accurate to the exact setting on the dial and can be off as much as 10-20 percent.  If you ask ten HVAC technicians how to set a humidistat you will likely get 10 different opinions.

One of our seasonal homeowners was recently told by their HVAC technician to set their thermostat temperature to 80 F and the humidistat to 60% upon departure.  Since these devices are “old technology” and rarely accurate to the exact setting you can see how that setting could cause the homeowner some serious problems.  High humidity and moisture levels above 60% in a home can wreak havoc. According to when relative humidity is above 60% there is a risk of mold growth and that risk is even greater with higher levels of humidity.  When humid air is in contact with a cold surface, it can create moisture or condensation.  In order for mold to grow it must have moisture.  Eliminate the moisture and you significantly reduce the risk of mold.

Ideally, your humidity levels should be maintained to 45-55% in a Florida home to retain comfort and a healthy living environment.  This is the range when bacteria and viruses don’t live long and it minimizes mildew and microbial growth.  It is also the range recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). 

The air conditioner in your home is the best way to mitigate microbial growth and mildew.  You should make sure your HVAC system is serviced on a regular basis, change the air filters every 90-180 days depending on environmental conditions, clean your condensate pans and drip lines, ensure your have clean cooling coils and have all safety shut off switches checked annually. Carefree Home Watch suggests that our clients deactivate the old dehumidification controls and permit our Certified Home Watch Reporters to manage the temperature and humidity levels while on site

The best way to ensure a clean and healthy home, according to the International Home Watch Alliance (IHWA) is to maintain your thermostat setting between 75-77 F and to maintain humidity levels at 45-55 %.  This is the recommendation that Carefree Home Watch offers every seasonal homeowner under our care.

Carefree Home Watch is a professional Home Watch service provider serving the greater Fort Myers, Fl area and has been in business since 2018.  All staff members are Certified by the IHWA, fully insured, bonded and background checked prior to earning this designation.  We provide exceptional care when you’re not there™. Please visit our website at or telephone us at 239-234-1847 or email us at