If you have ever checked your thermostat and wondered why your home feels less comfortable than the setting would indicate, it doesn’t necessarily mean the thermostat is malfunctioning. Other things factor into the “feels like” temperature, and this can vary several degrees from the actual temperature. Here is more about situations that influence how your indoor climate feels.
A Cool Breeze
Just as you feel better on a hot day when there is a breeze, you will feel cooler indoors when air is circulating. Sweat evaporates and pulls heat away from your body in the process, and it does so more efficiently when there is air flowing. In summer, using fans helps keep you cooler than using the A/C alone.
In winter, ceiling fans blades can be reversed to push warm air downward from the ceiling. However, because of the wind chill effect, keep the fans on the lowest setting to minimize the breeze you feel.
Sticky in Summer and Dry in Winter
Humidity also plays a big role in the “feels like” temperature and again this is because of how the human body reacts to moisture in the air. High humidity impedes evaporation and so body heat remains trapped.
In winter, low humidity causes problems. Although it might not be as apparent, people sweat in winter, and dry air often makes the sweat evaporate quickly. One result is you will feel colder.
Reduce humidity issues by installing a whole-house humidifier and dehumidifier. Other ways to control humidity include repairing plumbing problems, reducing the number of houseplants, and using exhaust fans.
In winter, add humidity using your whole-house humidifier or portable humidifiers. Incidentally, doing this will also help reduce dry skin and static electricity.
If humidity continues to be a problem, make sure to have your A/C checked to see if it is the correct size for your home. Wrongly sized air conditioners can cause higher humidity in the home.
For more advice about improving the “feels like” temperature in your home, please contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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