Comfort starts with temperature, but it’s more than a matter of degree. When you stop to consider other factors like humidity and air quality, you might come to feel differently about comfort. And your home will feel even better for it.
When you talk about the weather, what’s the first factor you define? Temperature.“It’s hot out.” “It’s cool and cloudy.” “Warm and muggy.” But temperature isn’t inherently stable. A room with the perfect temperature is in a constant struggle with external factors. Sunlight coming through a window adds heat. A draft coming in under the door lets heat escape. Even your own body can affect the temperature in a room. (The average human generates as much heat as a 100-watt light bulb(*).) So a comfortable temperature isn’t just about getting there, it’s about maintaining. It’s by far the most influential to your comfort. And it’s the only factor that most conventional thermostats let you control.
It’s not the heat, it’s… yes, it’s the humidity, which can have a huge impact on how your room feels. Second only to temperature in its ability to affect comfort, humidity does more than most people realize. Humidity is made up of tiny water droplets in the air. And while these droplets are incredibly small, they can still prevent your body’s natural cooling response – sweating – from being nearly as effective. After all, moisture from your skin can’t evaporate (taking heat with it) if it has no place to go.
Humid air also feels heavier and stickier, both of which add to the discomfort you feel on a hot day. In fact, humidity can affect the “felt temperature” by as much as 8 degrees, even if the actual temperature doesn’t change at all.** So the drier the air, the cooler it will feel. Which means that if you’re in a cool room that isn’t properly dehumidified, you’ll actually feel less cool than if you were in a room with drier air that was a few degrees warmer. In summer, proper humidity levels will let you set your thermostat a few degrees warmer without sacrificing comfort. Which helps you use less energy.
A room with dirty air doesn’t feel as good. Airborne impurities can irritate eyes, noses and lungs, and create odors that make any space uncomfortable. There are three main offenders when it comes to air quality:
- Particles – made up of dust, dirt, pet dander and allergens, such as pollen
- Mold, Mildew and Germs – the tiny organisms floating in your air that thrive in damp environments and greatly exacerbate allergies and asthma
- Chemical Vapors and Odors – generated by cleaning products, paint, adhesives and other chemicals found in nearly every home Filtration can take care of some of these pollutants, however, a UV germicidal light can add an extra layer of protection for the cleanliness, and comfort, of your air.
For truly clean and fresh air, the Lennox PureAir™ Air Purification System uses three different types of air cleaning technology to fight every class of contaminant. It’s the only system of its kind on the market.
Obviously, if humidity, temperature and air quality can change the way your environment feels, the ability to control those three factors is pretty important. Having the right home heating and air-conditioning system, controlled by the proper thermostat, will let you create and preserve your perfect indoor space. Conventional thermostats let you control the temperature, and that’s a good start. But for a thermostat with humidity control, consider the ComfortSense 7500, and iComfort® Wi-Fi, each of which offer independent adjustment of moisture levels in the air.