No matter where you are in the world, changing seasons is bound to mean fluctuations to your environment both indoors and outdoors. But how do you stay comfortable throughout these changes – especially when air conditioning accounts for nearly half of your home’s energy use? Firstly, maintaining and possibly upgrading your AC’s efficiency could save you heaps. Overall, when it comes to staying comfortable and managing your energy bills, you have more control than you think! Here’s how.
While many countries have always experienced extreme climates due to their geographical locations, there is also the looming reality of climate change and rising greenhouse gas emissions affecting all parts of the world. The resulting extreme hot or extreme cold and wet weather occurrences, apart from creating drastic changes in the natural world, can also take a toll on comfort levels indoors and consequently, personal health.
In summer, the body’s natural way of losing heat is to sweat because the process of evaporation from the skin removes heat from the body. Generally, the human body can maintain comfort until 25.5ºC. In higher temperatures, people usually start to feel uncomfortable. Our bodies can also lose heat by exposure to cooler air or through cool surfaces that cause the body to radiate heat.
During winter, the body needs to make up for lost heat. Its natural defense is to shiver, which increases the internal heat produced. Moving or exercising will also achieve this result. Extra clothes help to insulate the body against losing heat to the cold air, as does moving away from cold, wide-open spaces. These things can help the body maintain comfort at temperatures of around 15ºC.
Most of us understand the impact of air temperature and relative humidity on comfort. But, as it turns out, these are only two parts of the human comfort equation. According to ASHRAE, there are 6 factors which affect your thermal comfort, including outdoor weather, sunlight, time of day, indoor humidity & temperature, and your clothing. Your air conditioning only takes temperature into account! Despite this, we tend to respond to comfort problems by continually adjusting the AC settings. This in turn leads to overheating and overcooling and impacts energy bills and greenhouse gases.
While you may not be able to do anything about the cost of electricity or your geographical location, local weather conditions, or the number of occupants in your home, there are a variety of simple ways to curb your energy use – starting with your indoor environment.
As odd as it seems, people spend more time researching cosmetics, pet food, beds and linens, or sports and audio equipment than they do their own indoor environment. With a little extra time invested in your indoor climate you could end up being much more comfortable, healthier and happier! To ensure your home stays comfy through the changing seasons, smart AC automation is a multi-factor approach. Here’s how it can save you when the weather pulls a number on you!