I recently bought a dehumidifier for our basement since the humidity was getting too high (I was starting to see rust on my tools). I was running it just enough to keep the relative humidity below around 60%. The unit is very nice except for one annoying problem: the humidistat is terribly inaccurate, and even with compensating with the settings as much as possible the unit runs far too much. So in addition to compensating with the settings I now run it with an external timer.
But now that winter is approaching, I wonder if I need to run it regularly. I have read that the same relative humidity is actually less humid in the colder parts of the year because the cold air can hold less water. So if I want to run the dehumidifer as little as possible (I'm big on conservation), what should I do? I haven't run it in over a week and the relative humidity has stayed under 60% according to the non-electronic meter I have downstairs. I would of course run it if we had a flood, but besides that what should I be doing? Should I just try to keep the relative humidity below say 65 or 70%, or do I not even need to worry about it outside of flooding, etc.? I live near the southern tip of Lake Michigan.
Many thanks for any words of wisdom.