This Chart is to help folks be comfortable and save energy. It was written for a work setting but it applies at home too.
The list might be better if “Humidity” was listed first, because it is the key to selecting the best temperature. High humidity makes high summer temperature uncomfortable. Likewise, dry air feels colder in the winter.
You should target a humidity level of about 40% in your home and at work. When the humidity is higher than 40%, molds and other unhealthy things grow faster. When the humidity is lower than 20% folks complain of dried out breathing passages.
What can You Do
In the summer, use your air conditioner to reduce the humidity in your home or office. Keep windows and doors closed when the outdoor humidity is high. You should block the entry of humidity, even if the outdoor temperature is cooler than the indoor temperature.
Let outdoor air in only when it is both dryer and cooler than indoor air.
80 degrees with 30% relative humidity feels better than 78 degrees with 60% relative humidity. Keep the humidity down and set the temperature about 76 to 78 degrees for comfort and energy savings.
At work, even in factories, it is best to keep the moisture outside as much as possible. On humid days, and when it is raining, keep windows and doors closed.
In the winter, our homes tend to dry out when the heat is on. The relative humidity is likely to go down to 15% if you let it.
A functioning humidifier on your furnace is an energy saving device because it allows you to be comfortable at a lower thermostat setting. Humidifiers are a high maintenance item. They must be kept clean in order for them to work and be healthy.
Other ways to keep moisture in the house are:
Have houseplants that are watered frequently. Have an aquarium for your pet fish. When you take a shower, do not use the vent fan. Let bathtub water cool for an hour before draining it. Boil foods while preparing meals. Make soup, chili, stew, oatmeal, goulash, casseroles, and spaghetti Use a vaporizer. Minimize the use of your kitchen vent fan. Let your electric clothes dryer vent into the house. DO NOT DO THIS WITH A GAS DRYER. Hang laundry inside the house to dry. Get some toy water pistols and have a squirt gun battle.
If you can get the relative humidity up to near 40%, you will feel very comfortable at 68 degrees. If the house is dry, you might need to heat it up to 70 to feel as comfortable. Save money by keeping the humidity up so you can set the thermostat lower.
Wind speed helps cool us in hot conditions. Set ceiling fans and other fans to blow air at people to take advantage of the wind chill effect.
Turn the fans off when no one is there to feel the breeze.
Using fans helps to cool people by keeping the air moving.
In cold weather, avoid air movement to feel warmer.
The only exception is to run ceiling fans at their slowest speed.
If your ceiling fan is reversible, it should lift the air up and push it out and slowly down the walls of the room to keep a uniform temperature through out the room. If you ceiling fan is not reversible just run it at the lowest possible speed. Ideally, it should run slow enough that folks do not feel the air movement.
Rooms with high ceilings should have a ceiling fan to save on the heating bill.
For maximum savings, shut the ceiling fan off only when the thermostat is turned down. In the morning, or when you return home, turn the thermostat up and switch the ceiling fan on at its slowest speed.
At work, the building ventilation equipment should bring warm ceiling air down to floor level. Ceiling fans can save big money in high ceiling commercial and factory buildings.
The more active you are the warmer you will feel. Get moving and you feel warmer.
Clothing is the item that each of us has the most control over. In the winter, it is best to dress with layers of clothing. That way you can adjust to changes in the weather and your level of activity.
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