Take your mind back to the peak of summer, when you’d hear the voice on radio or watch the weather man on television give their predictions. Do you remember how they relay the temperature for that day?
They would often say “the weather today will be about 70 degrees, but when you step out, it may feel like 90 to 95 degrees as a result of the heat index”. True to their word, the heat index actually makes it hotter than it actually should be.
To be able to fully understand humidity, and why humid air can feel warmer, we must establish an uncommon fact: the air all around us consists of water molecules.
Although not enough to get you wet, but it exists in a gaseous form, known as “water vapor”. Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor present in the air around you.
Does humidity make it feel hotter or colder?
Generally, as a result of our sensitive skin, we can easily notice subtle changes in the weather, and that includes relative humidity.
This is as a result of the interaction of our skin with the air around us through the expulsion of waste as sweat.
When weather experts describe the weather, they often make references to relative humidity and absolute humidity.
High relative humidity means that the air is saturated with so much water vapor that our sweat won’t immediately evaporate into the atmosphere, leaving us feeling a lot warmer than we actually should feel.
Conversely, very low humidity can leave us feeling cooler than we actually should, depending on the temperature.
At times when the temperature outside is around 23.8 degrees Celsius with a humidity of 0%, we would feel significantly cooler like it’s less than 20 degrees Celsius.
On the other hand, the humidity of about 100% with a temperature of 23 or 24 degrees Celsius will make you feel a lot warmer like the temperature is in excess of 26 degrees Celsius.
This raises the question, what then is regarded as a comfortable or suitable humidity level?
Well, while there haven’t been so many official studies carried out on the matter, the general rule of thumb is that people generally seem to feel the most comfortable when humidity is around 45%.
As this may not be the case most of the time, people utilize special devices known as humidifiers, which add humidity to the atmosphere, or dehumidifiers which are used to remove humidity from the environment in order to maintain the humidity indoors at a very specific and comfortable level.
Why does humid air feel hotter?
As we’ve addressed, when we say the air is very humid, we mean to say that the water vapour in the atmosphere is at a saturated level, and as such causes the body to heat up.
When this occurs, it can actually rain. In fact, before it can rain, the relative humidity of the atmosphere must be 100%.
At this stage, clouds will begin to form for it to rain. When this happens, the relative humidity at ground level where the rain eventually falls may not be up to 100%.
Effective Ways to Cool Down Humid Heat
Dealing with humid heat can sometimes be so uncomfortable that it can deprive you of a good night’s sleep.
Instead of powering through the discomfort, why not improve it? You can employ the use of a few appliances for this exact purpose. One such appliance is a dehumidifier.
As the name suggests, this machine will help you remove excess water vapor from the atmosphere, thereby reducing heat and discomfort.
Since a high relative humidity can cause you to be extra sweaty, and make a hot day feel even hotter, a dehumidifier is a suitable option in reducing moisture content in the air.
To use your dehumidifier, you must set it in a central position in the room and close all the doors and windows for it to work effectively.
It is not advisable to remain in the room while the dehumidifier is running, because it acts as a drying agent, and can dry out your hair, skin and throat if you’re exposed to it over a long period of time.
You can also employ the use of an air conditioner to cool the temperature in your home.
It is important to note that while dehumidifiers might make you more comfortable by removing humidity from the air, it does not lower the temperature.
That’s where air conditioners come in. They are excellent in reducing high and uncomfortable temperatures, by cooling the air.
Our top recommendation is the HomeLabs Dehumidifier for Extra Large Rooms and Basements. It is an efficient system that offers you the drying capacity that you desire.
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Recommended Air Conditioner:
A great option for an air conditioner is the Haier Serenity Series Ultra Quiet, 6,200 BTU Window Air Conditioner. You may want to try it out to be convinced of its power and resilience.
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3 Effective Ways Control Humidity
Now we’ve looked at the importance of finding a sweet spot between high and low relative humidity.
How can we control the humidity in our home to maintain that sweet spot? The process of controlling the humidity in your home can be grouped in 3 stages.
1. Buy an efficient Hygrometer
You first need to be constantly informed of the humidity levels in your room before you can consider maintaining it. To do this, you should invest in a modern hygrometer like the Govee Indoor Hygrometer Thermometer.
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2. Invest in Dehumidifiers
As we previously said, this machine will ensure the humid levels in your home don’t get too high, and as such will help in maintaining a low humidity level.
3. Run a Humidifier
Humidifiers do exactly the opposite of dehumidifiers. When the humidity gets too low in your home, you can employ the use of a humidifier to hydrate the air.
Humidifiers generally release water droplets as mists into the air to moisturize them. The PurStream humidifier cool mist is a good option.
When utilizing dehumidifiers, air conditioners or humidifiers to ensure your home remains habitable, it is important to purchase the machine that is best suited for your home.
Purchase the right machine based on the amount of square footage of your home, your budget and the situation of your home. Also, take the weather of your region into account before purchasing any machine, as this could also influence your decision.