We are often asked questions such as; “What constitutes indoor comfort?”, “What effects indoor comfort?”, “Why is it not comfortable in my home or office?”.
There is so much more to “indoor comfort” than just the temperature that the thermostat is set to maintain. Actually, the temperature is the least important factor in addressing total indoor comfort. Total indoor comfort is achieved when humidity, air quality, and temperature are properly addressed.
During the summer, the central air conditioning system is utilized to control humidity as well as cool the air in our homes and offices. Here in Central Indiana, we are seeking approximately 50% indoor relative humidity. If the rate is higher than this, the space will feel “warm” or “muggy”. To attempt to compensate for this, the temperature setting is forced lower. This adjustment causes the cooling system to run more and consume more energy. A higher temperature setting is comfortable when the humidity levels are at, or below, our desired levels.
Winter comfort is affected by humidity as well. During our heating months, our desired humidity level is 35% or greater. As indoor humidity levels drop, we find the area to feel “cool” or “drafty”. The thermostat is then set to higher temperatures to attempt to “warm” the area. This adjustment forces the furnace to run longer and consume more energy. A lower temperature setting is comfortable when the humidity levels are at, or above, our desired levels.
“Air quality” factors humidity into the equation, but for this discussion we will focus on the “cleanliness” of the air. Air borne particles such as pollen, pet dander, mold, mildew, smoke, odors, dust, bacteria, viruses, and even skin cells are being constantly circulated through our homes and offices. These particles are only controlled by a high-quality air cleaner such as the Trane “Clean Effects” air cleaning system. Regardless of marketing claims, a disposable filter can not provide the proper level of filtration to properly clean the air in your environment. When these particles are properly addressed, the results are less dust, reduced allergy symptoms, and fresh smelling air that is easy to breathe.
This brief discussion may have raised more questions. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your particular environment at (317) 831-5279.