Reduce Winter Indoor Air Discomfort by Adding Humidity

Dry air feels colder than humidified air at the same temperature—which means you can lower the thermostat a degree or two
By: Press Contact
Dec. 6, 2010 - PRLog -- Dry air feels colder than humidified air at the same temperature—which means you can lower the thermostat a degree or two

Instead of adjusting the temperature on your thermostat to raise and lower heat in your home, you can improve your comfort level by increasing moisture levels in the air. When indoor air is very dry, maintaining an optimum 50% humidity level helps prevent feelings of chilliness. Dry air feels colder, even when the temperature is raised.

When optimum humidity is maintained, room temperature can be lowered without sacrificing comfort. Studies show that a 20 percent increase in relative humidity can allow a decrease of one degree Fahrenheit in room temperature. According to some heating experts, the cost of energy to increase humidity is directly offset by energy savings made possible from lowering room temperature. Why? Because air feels more comfortable when it’s optimally humidified.

Most homes and offices maintain a room temperature between 71°-77°F. When the relative humidity level is only 35%-40% or less, this environment is comfortable for only short periods of time. Everyday exposure to air below a 40% level of relative humidity has varying negative effects on the human body, from dried out throat and nasal passages to dehydrated skin.

A lower temperature combined with a low humidity level seems cooler and can result in a chilly feeling. For example, a room temperature of 70°F combined with a relative humidity of only 10% can feel like only 64°F (instead of 70°F), depending on air movement and how the person is dressed.

By increasing relative humidity to 45%-50% within that same 71°-77°F temperature range, studies show that about 80% of people dressed in average clothing appropriate to the setting would feel comfortable.

Conclusion: If the humidity level in your home or office is below 40%, add a humidifier and lower the thermostat a degree or two.

To check humidity in your workplace or home, purchase an inexpensive hygrometer (humidity measuring device) at your local hardware store or online. Recommendation:

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Tags:Dry Air, Humidity, Winter, Illness, Dry Skin, Cold
Industry:Health, Home, Family
Location:United States
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