Getting the “Feels Like” Temperature Under Control

Getting the "Feels Like" Temperature Under ControlThe “feels like” temperature is what people living in your home talk about. The actual temperature is what’s displayed on your thermostat or an indoor thermometer. If the “feels like” temperature feels too hot or cold, you’ll hear about it — even though the actual temperature may fall well within normal limits. The difference between the two figures is generally caused by the humidity level. Here’s how Indiana’s seasonal humidity changes affect perception of comfort and discomfort:

Summer Heat

Water vapor in the air holds heat energy effectively. Even when the thermometer indicates a comfortable temperature, a humid house often feels uncomfortably warm. Here’s what you can do to bring the “feels like” temperature closer to the actual temperature in summer.

  • Maintain your air conditioner. Your A/C cools the house in part by extracting excess humidity from the air. To make sure it does the job, change the air filter monthly. Schedule annual preventive maintenance with an HVAC contractor to check system parameters like the condition of the coils and the refrigerant level. Both directly impact cooling and humidity extraction functions. If the A/C is oversized — too much cooling capacity for the size of the house — it may cycle on and off too rapidly to control humidity. Consider upgrading to a properly-sized unit.
  • Install a dehumidifier. A whole-house dehumidifier mounted inside your HVAC ductwork extracts humidity from the entire volume of air in the house as it circulates through the ducts. Desired indoor humidity settings can be maintained 24/7, despite outdoor conditions.

Winter Cold

Dry winter air doesn’t hold much heat energy. In cold months, the indoor environment may feel chilly even when the thermometer reading seems cozy. Forced-air gas furnaces dry the air also, making a comfortable “feels like” temperature even more elusive. Adding moisture to the air with indoor humidifiers makes the home easier to heat in winter and can even reduce heating costs as you can lower the furnace thermostat several degrees without decreasing comfort.

If your “feels like” temperature feels like something other than comfortable, contact Paitson Bros. We’ve served the Wabash Valley homeowners since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about your “feels like” temperature and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Oakozhan/Shutterstock”

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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