In the winter, you want to keep your home warm, but during the summer you need to bring down the ambient temperature. Is there something that you can use that will be able to do both? There are different ways to stay warm and cool during the winter and summer months respectively.
Indoor temperature control is especially important in towns, cities, and other regions that are very far from the coast, i.e., areas with a continental climate. London’s winter and summer temperatures are less extreme than those in Munich or Budapest. London is next to the sea while the two other cities are far inland.
Making use of natural light coming into your home
Natural light, i.e., sunlight, or lack of it can help regulate the temperature of a room. During the winter months, you should let as much light into the house as possible. The more you let in, the warmer it will be.
In the summer, on the other hand, you should do the opposite, i.e., let less light get in. Lack of sunlight during the daylight hours helps keep your home cool.
Whether you have curtains, blinds, or both, you can control how bright your rooms are by opening and closing them.
During summer consider cooking outdoors
If you can, consider cooking outdoors in the late afternoon when the temperature has cooled down. Using the oven and stove in the kitchen can warm up your whole house. In an especially hot and humid day, you may find that few family members are that hungry if your cooking turned your home into a sauna.
Cooking outside means the heat dissipates into the atmosphere rather than building up indoors. Make sure you apply sunblock, especially if you have fair skin or many freckles.
Purchase the right ceiling fans
Although ceiling fans do not lower the temperature of a room, they circulate the air, which helps make you feel cooler, especially if you are sweating. When water evaporate from your skin, your body loses heat. Evaporation occurs more rapidly if the air is moving.
Make sure you get good quality fans that can create a pleasant indoor breeze without making too much noise.
Using whole-house humidifiers
Humidifiers and dehumidifiers are great for regulating air humidity levels. In very hot summer days, it can feel unbearable if humidity levels are high. A dehumidifier can help dry out the air a bit, which makes your indoor environment more tolerable.
If your central heating dries out the indoor air in the winter, a humidifier can help bring humidity levels back to normal. If there are household members with respiratory problems, such as asthma, preventing the ambient air from getting too dry is crucial. More particles of dust and other substances float in the air when it is extremely dry.
According to HouseWeather.org, which has a whole house humidifier buying guide:
“Investing in the best whole house humidifier provides coverage for the entire house and reduces maintenance and operational costs because it shares resources with the existing HVAC system and does not require refilling since it is connected to a water supply.”
What works best?
Some people prefer ceiling fans, while others do not like an indoor breeze. If the air circulates too fast, there is a risk of dry eyes for some household members.
If your home has very large windows, regulating how much sunlight gets in is probably the best way to keep it cool or warm.
Obviously, if you have a modern climate control system, whether you have ceiling fans and good blinds or curtains matters less. However, air conditioning, central heating, and other fuel/electricity consuming systems can significantly raise your utility bills.
Ideal indoor temperature
People’s ideal indoor temperature varies considerably. Seniors and individuals with chronic illnesses prefer higher temperatures than their younger or healthier counterparts.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 18°C (64°F) is ideal in winter for healthy people who are appropriately dressed. For individuals who are very old or unwell, it recommends a minimum of 20°C (68°F).
A study carried out by researchers at the University of Oxford found that the ideal living room temperature is between 18°C and 21°C (64°F and 69.8°F). The researchers also reported that ambient temperatures higher than 24°C (75.2°F) and lower than 16°C (60.8°F) make humans feel uncomfortable.
In most cases, people who live in a cold region tend to prefer a lower ambient temperature than their counterparts who live in warmer parts of the world.
Interesting article: “Clothing material that cools the body and reduces air conditioning need.”