Sometimes I am too hot then too cold, why do I sweat? These are examples of questions a friend of mine was asked by his wife over a period of three months, resulting in an answer that he truly regrets: “How would I know?”
While I do not advise people to take this approach with their significant others, I am sympathetic with his situation, the situation of not knowing what the problem is or if there is a problem.
He asked me to look at there home and after an assessment it was apparent what was going on.
Temperature and humidity levels in indoor environments must be monitored, as they can lead to comfort problems in home and office environments. High ambient temperatures and relative humidity can cause occupant discomfort and can provide the appropriate conditions for the growth of mold. Low humidity conditions can cause eye irritation and sinus problems.
My friend’s situation was a result of his air conditioning not working effectively and not removing enough humidity, thus the too hot, too cold scenario. The air conditioning unit in his home was not supplying enough cool air to the home (was not operating as it should) when they set the thermostat to their preferred temperature (74ºF).
As a result of activities in the home and the air conditioning’s inability to supply cool drier air, the humidity levels in the home increased, resulting in conditions feeling much warmer than 74ºF. To counteract this problem they set their thermostat at 62ºF, and this resulted in them feeling to cold when sitting close to an air vent. This also resulted in a much higher electricity bill.
Factors affecting temperature and humidity levels in indoor environments include air conditioning problems, dirty filters, defective insulation, inadequate air supply and air infiltration from the outside.
For homeowners it is very important to have their air conditioning checked annually as well as having homes evaluated for moisture intrusion and air infiltration. Preventative maintenance is the cheapest and most effective way to prevent bigger problems that will cost a lot in the future.