Why Does the Room Temperature Always Feel Hotter or Colder Than It Actually Is?

When watching the weather forecast, the weatherman always speaks of air temperature and goes on to list the relative humidity.  This is a key indicator which should clue the average person in as to just how comfortable the weather will feel the next day, but unfortunately, few people understand exactly what this means.  Perhaps this is why few homes and flats actually take advantage of the benefits of air conditioning units and dehumidifiers.

What Is Relative Humidity?

Weather forecasters are likely to talk in terms of relative humidity but if asked what it is, they give a long and drawn out answer involving absolute humidity.  Without going into all the technical jargon and how absolute humidity impacts relative humidity, it is sufficient to say that relative humidity is the amount of moisture a person feels at ground level.  For example, it is an established fact that 100% humidity is necessary for rainfall.  However, it doesn’t necessarily need to rain if the relative humidity is 100%.  The thing which people should be aware of is how relative humidity affects them.

How Relative Humidity Affects the Body

Here again, there is a huge amount of scientific and medical terminology which correlates to understanding how relative humidity affects the body.  Suffice to say that the body needs to sweat in order to cool itself down.  If there is too much humidity in the air, the body cannot sufficiently allow for the evaporation of sweat, thus it feels hotter than it actually is.  This is easily understood in terms of sickness.  When a person running a fever breaks into a sweat, this is the body’s defence system kicking by trying to cool itself off.  Seen in this light, if the room is too humid during hot summer months, it is almost impossible to be comfortable – thus, the need for air conditioning units and dehumidifiers.

Many people ask if both types of units are actually required but there is no simple cut and dry answer.  It depends on the weather any given day in terms of temperature and relative humidity.  The general consensus amongst experts is that the body is most comfortable in relative humidity at or below 45%.  Whilst some air conditioning units act as dehumidifiers, it does help to have one on hand for those days when both the temperature and humidity are high.  In fact, reverse cycle air conditioning units can also be used to provide heat in the cold winter months which is why high end units are always advisable.