Your thermostat tells you the air temperature, but it can’t tell you exactly what temperature your body feels. The “feels like” temperature, or apparent temperature, is affected by the humidity and airflow, in addition to air temperature. These are all factors to consider if you want a comfortable home.
In Yuma’s dry climate, low humidity is a more common problem than high humidity. When the temperatures fall in winter, low humidity in your home can make you feel uncomfortably chilly. Dry air saps moisture from your skin, which leads to an evaporative cooling effect. You may also notice dry skin, cracked lips, and itchy eyes.
If dry air is a problem in your home, a whole-house humidifier can help. Installed inside your heating and cooling system, this device adds moisture to the air flowing through the system.
High humidity, on the other hand, can make you feel hotter than the thermostat would suggest. While this is rarely an issue in our climate, it can occur if your home is poorly ventilated or you have leaky pipes and faucets. In these cases, improving your ventilation or repairing your plumbing should solve the problem.
Drafts also influence your home’s “feels like” temperature. Air blowing over your skin causes moisture to evaporate more quickly, making you feel chilly. Most cold drafts are caused by air leaks, small gaps and cracks around windows, doors, baseboards, and other areas. These leaks also let in air contaminants, so it’s well worth sealing them with caulk or weatherstripping as appropriate. To pinpoint all the leaks in your home, contact a heating and cooling technician for a home energy audit.
If you notice drafts coming from your air registers, the problem is most likely your heating and cooling system. Old systems have single-stage motors that use only an “off” and a “high” setting. Upgrading to a modern, high-efficiency system with a two-stage or variable-speed motor can solve this problem.
For help improving home’s “feels like” temperature, contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company in the Yuma area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about the “feels like” temperature and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.
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