Friday, November 21, 2014

Winter Heating: Humidity and Apparent Temperature

Having problems getting and staying warm this winter? Finding yourself pushing the thermostat up past your usual comfort range?

The problem might be related to low relative humidity. The colder the outdoor temperature, the more heat must be added indoors for body comfort. However, the heat that is added will cause a drying effect and lower the indoor relative humidity, unless an indoor moisture source is present.

As an example, a comfort level of 70°F at 50% RH feels more like 65°F at 20% RH, a very typical humidity for a home without humidification.

Apparent Temperature for Values of Room Temperature and Relative Humidity
Many central heating systems incorporate automatic humidity controls; however there are often non-functioning or in need of service. Alternately, you can purchase a warm-mist or cool-mist humidifier.

Finally, there are solid (and cost-effective / green) tips to be found here: 6 Ways to Humidify Your House (Without a Humidifier)

See also: 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Standard Time and Resetting the Clocks

Daylight Savings Time ended this morning at 2:00 am. and like most of us, I've spent the morning checking, and resetting as needed, the household clocks and devices with timers.

Some things auto-reset:
  • Windows based PC and laptop
  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • Roku video player
Some "clocks" had to be manually reset:
  • Bedroom alarm clock (digital)
  • Yoga room clock (digital)
  • Car stereo clock
  • Television clock 
  • Analog living room clock
  • Kitchen clock (one of those Sieko "catch the GPS wave" clocks that never seems to be right)
I rarely if ever wear a watch, so if there are a few hanging out, it's a coin toss whether it's set to standard time or daylight savings time, depending upon when I last wore it. 

Clocks associated with energy savings and monitoring:
  • Digital thermostats (four devices) 
  • Mechanical timer for the basement dehumidifier
  • Front porch timer
  • Efergy power / demand monitor 
Clocks arbitrarily integrated into appliances:
  • Microwave oven
I've gotten lucky on that one, most modern kitchens have a host of clocks - stove/oven, coffee maker, refrigerator, crock pot - but I've got older / lower cost appliances. That being said, I am sure I will come upon some clock in the next few days that has escaped notice.

Most have been pretty easy / intuitive to change, although the front porch timer (integrated into a standard wall switch) is tiny.  Occasionally I'll come across a clock that seems inscrutably resistant to adjustment, but not this time.

Someday, all of these devices will be connected to the internet, and all this stuff will happen automatically. But not today....