Design for Healthy Temperature and Humidity

A healthy room temperature is between 19 and 20 degrees about 68 degrees Fahrenheit (YAWN!).

The bedroom should be about 2 degrees lower for a good night’s sleep because your body temperature naturally lowers during sleep (DOUBLE YAWN (irony intentional)).

Much more interesting is what is will be the temperature on the Starship Enterprise using the science of 2226? Well it may surprise you to know that it’s not a perfectly even and constant 20 degrees maintained by a thermostat. #healthlyhousedesign

There are some very good reasons for this. One is that humans find perfectly even constant things boring……. at least some of them do. Some of them like the changes in temperature and light that accompany the cycle of night and day and the annual cycle of the seasons.

Furthermore, it turns out, that if you stress a system gently it gets stronger. I expect you can see where I am going with this. Temperature changes are healthy and now there is science to prove it. The message is design for variable temperatures and from time to time a little bit cold.

Studies have shown (2017 science) that mildly variant temperatures have positive health benefits. The authors of the report say

“that mild cold and variable temperatures may have a positive effect on our health and at the same time are acceptable or even may create pleasure,,,,,,,,,living conditions in modern buildings, such as homes and offices, should be dynamic and incorporate drifting temperatures in order to support healthy human environments. Such measures should go hand in hand with the classical lifestyle factors such diet and physical exercise.” These findings they say “should be reflected in modern building practices” the authors suggest with “drifting temperatures” and “intermittent cold”.

Here’s a link to the article

Temperature and humidity affect your comfort as well as your health. High humidity and heat means more water in the air. The human body relies on evaporation of sweat to cool itself. If the air is both hot and humid, the body cannot evaporate the sweat as effectively. This is uncomfortable and unhealthy.

Recent studies have shown the connections between humidity, temperature and health. Temperature and humidity directly influence virus transmission and your susceptibility to infection. Cardiac risks also result from changes in temperature and humidity.

Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. There is a limit to how much moisture the air can hold but this limit varies with the temperature.

Relative humidity is a ratio of actual amount of water vapour in the air compared to the maximum water vapour the air is able to hold at that temperature. It is expressed as a percentage. Relative humidity does not tell how much water vapour is actually in the air but, it tells how close the air is to being saturated. So, air is said to be saturated or full if relative humidity is 100%.

So if you want to feel cooler you can either lower the temperature or you can dry the air, or both.
Conversely if you want to feel warmer you can either increase the temperature or increase the moisture the relative humidity or both.

Drying the air will make you feel cooler independently of the temperature and moisturising the air will make you feel warmer independently of the temperature.

Air conditioning systems dry the air as well as cool it.

You can introduce humidifiers and dehumidifiers.

Ventilations is key to reducing humidity: It particular ventilate the bathroom, kitchen and laundry areas.

Humidity and Temperature in Southern Spain

In the summer humidity may exceed comfort levels in some parts of the coast in Spain. There may be a few weeks of humid still air. In Andalusia more humid to the west and drier to the east

Generally inland it is hot and dry in the summer.

The summer heat can be fearsome especially inland. In can be over 40 degrees in Madrid at night. It has reached 50 degrees in Seville. Traditionally Spanish homes have been designed to reduce heat in summer rather than retain heat in winter with big thick walls and lots of cave like spaces. Your architect should be alive to this. Orientation, window placement, and shading are key to avoiding overheating in the summer.

How do we perceive temperature and humidity?
This is what it’s all about really. It’s not a number its perception and you only have to watch a magic show to know how important that is. This sounds like a bold statement but its so true: “Our Mind Interprets What Our Body Feels” Without further ado I will direct you towards the website where I found it (because I am trying to keep this related at least loosely to design)

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