Why Do I Feel Hotter in High Humidity?

Why Do I Feel Hotter in High Humidity?

Lisa Crosley, President, Lifestyle Comfort Solutions, addresses the misery of the dog days of Summer.

Summer humidity is more than just a nuisance.  Step outside.  Clothes stick to your body.  Hair has a mind of its own.  Crowded places smell like your junior high locker room.  Why does high humidity make us feel so much more miserable than just high temperature alone?

Your Body is Actually a Complex Air-conditioner!

The human body is actually a highly complex air-conditioner.  When the body heats, pores on the skin open, releasing water and salts.

The water on the skin evaporates, leaving you feeling cooler.  Your air-conditioner works the same way through a component called an evaporator coil.

Humidity is the amount of water in the air in a gaseous state. The more water in the air, the slower natural evaporation occurs and the hotter your feel. When humidity reaches a high enough level, the body’s natural cooling system simply can’t work.

In extreme cases people suffer from heat cramps or heat stroke as the body begins to cook itself.

Moreover, when humidity soars, air becomes a breeding ground for microscopic organism such as mold, mildew, and dust mites. Asthma triggers explode.

Perfect Humidity

According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the optimum humidity to regulate the body ‘s natural cooling system is between 35%-60%.  Humans begin to feel uncomfortable at about 55%-60%.  At 70% humidity, sweat no longer evaporates.

Just as the Wind Chill factor in Winter warns of extreme cold, the heat index provides warnings of dangerous heat and humidity, The higher the humidity, the more dangerous the heat.

Even working or playing in the shade during periods of high humidity can be dangerous.

What to Wear to Stay Cool

Cotton was once the fabric of choice for hot summer days.  However, cotton holds moisture and may leave you feeling soggy and hot.

Wicking fabric is growing in popularity, engineered to keep the skin drier and transferring heat to the air more easily.

Interestingly, wicking fabric leaves you feeling cooler in Summer, and warmer in Winter.

Your Lifestyle Comfort Solutions’ experts offer creative solutions to summer’s cooling and health challenges.

To learn more, call us at 937.202.4520 or visit www.lifestylecomfortsolutions.com.