|HOME ENVIRONMENT: COOLING SOURCES
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
In certain situations the home environment can feel too warm. This can occur from high heat and humidity outside influencing the home environment,
not having a central cooling system or just feeling too warm for the temperature the home is at. There are several ways to help cool the
One way to cool the home environment is to use fans. These can be ceiling fans, regular store bought fans or fans such as on an air
purification system. The movement of air on the skin makes it feel cooler than it really is. This is called a wind chill effect.
The movement of air does not lower the temperature in the home but what it does is more quickly remove body heat from a person. This
faster loss of heat results in the skin feeling cooler. The skin surface layer is warmer than the air in the room, thus increasing
the heat loss from the skin to the room will make a person feel cooler.
Evaporation is a cooling process and is especially effective when the air is on the dry side. Evaporation is a conversion of liquid water
to gaseous water vapor. It takes energy for a water molecule to escape the tighter bonding with neighbors of being a liquid molecule.
When it escapes it takes its higher energy with it. This is known as latent heat absorption. The effect is that evaporating moisture
will cool the skin. This is why getting out of the shower can feel cold. Thus, one way to feel cooler is to put water on the skin
and have it evaporate. A fan blowing on water will increase the evaporation rate. Thus air blowing on a person combined with moisture
on the skin will help it feel significantly cooler to the skin.
Drinking cold fluids is another way to help the body cool down. The cold fluids only need to be consumed slowly to have a positive
effect on cooling the body. Sipping on ice water or a cold drink will help a warm home feel cooler.