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The "Feels Like" Temperature: What it Means for Your Home

May 19, 2016 | Blog

The "Feels Like" Temperature: What it Means for Your HomeThe “feels like” temperature refers to how hot or cold a house feels to occupants versus the actual temperature displayed on a thermometer. Often, these are two very different figures. In most cases, the disparity between the “feels like” temperature and the actual temperature is caused by the indoor humidity level. Here in Corpus Christi, where daily relative humidity averages above 70 percent, outdoor humidity is usually the main factor in excessive indoor humidity.

Humidity makes indoor living spaces feel warmer than they actually are. Your air conditioner’s indoor evaporator coil extracts humidity to make the cooling function more effective and efficient. Anything that diminishes humidity extraction at the coil can create a “feels like” temperature that’s less comfortable than the actual temperature. Typical causes include:

  • A dirty air filter that reduces airflow over the evaporator coil. Air filters should be changed monthly.
  • Low system refrigerant level, usually caused by a leak. A qualified HVAC technician can pinpoint and repair the leak, then restore refrigerant to the proper level.
  • An oversized air conditioner that cycles on and off too rapidly to effectively extract humidity from the air. Consider upgrading to a new unit that is properly sized for the house based on an accurate cooling load calculation.
  • Running your system fan in the “ON” position can greatly reduce the dehumidification capacity of your air conditioner. Always run the fan in the “AUTO” mode.

Here are some additional steps to take to get high indoor humidity under control:

  • Install a whole-house dehumidifier to augment your air conditioner’s humidity reduction function. Mounted to tie into the ductwork, these units continuously monitor and adjust indoor humidity to the desired setting.
  • Reduce humidity from indoor sources like cooking and bathing. Install ventilation fans in rooms where high humidity originates such as kitchen and bathrooms. Fans should vent all the way to the exterior of the home and be controlled by a timer switch to ensure adequate run time.
  • Vent the clothes dryer. Moisture from drying clothes becomes water vapor inside the house. Make sure the dryer vent hose is intact, terminates outdoors and is regularly cleaned.

For more advice on how to keep the “feels like” temperature in the comfort zone, in Corpus Christi contact the professionals at CCAC.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about the “feels like” temperature and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Oakozhan/Shutterstock”

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