Have you ever wondered why the humidity level stays high in summer but low in winter?
It might seem a little confusing, but if you think a little, you will notice that the temperature remains high in summer while low in winter.
But how does humidity affect the temperature?
The heat index, which measures how it actually feels, depends on humidity to determine the temperature.
When the humidity level is high, the warm moisture tends to stay on our skin longer. On the other hand, when the humidity is low, the moisture evaporates quickly.
But is that all that you need to know regarding the effect of humidity on the temperature? Not really!
There is so much more to the topic that you can learn by continuing to read.
Some Key Terms of Humidity
Before you talk about the relationship between humidity and temperature, you should have a fair idea of the key terms of humidity.
Basically, there are two terms that you need to know. They are –
In short, absolute humidity states the quality of the water vapor that is present in the air.
To get this, you need to take the mass of the water vapor and divide it by the mass of the air in a volume temperature.
However, temperature plays a crucial factor in the results. The hotter the air is, the more water the air can contain.
So, the reading can change depending on the overall temperature of the air.
In simple words, relative humidity is basically a ratio.
It is expressed in percentage, which states the amount of moisture in the air relative to the amount that would be present in the air if it was saturated.
In other words, it is a relative number. And usually, for humidity measurements, relative humidity is used.
Although it might not seem like it, relative humidity also relies on the temperature.
For example, consider a reference water vapor content and temperature of the air.
With the water vapor content remaining the same, the relative humidity will increase when the temperature drops below the reference point.
On the other hand, the relative humidity level will decrease when the temperature gets higher than the reference point, even when the water vapor content is the same.
In short, temperature and relative humidity are inversely proportional.
Our Understanding Regarding Temperature
It is normal for us not to have the actual perception regarding temperature. Instead, we have a natural bias regarding it.
But what exactly is our natural bias towards temperature?
At its core, the temperature-humidity effect plays a crucial role in this regard.
The skin of our bodies evaporates water to keep the internal temperature stable. That is why we start to sweat when it gets too hot.
Wondering how does sweating help? The sweat adds a certain amount of water to the skin, which can be evaporated by the environment.
The scientific term for this perspiration method is the “Endothermic” process. And the primary role of this process is to keep us cool.
Nonetheless, this endothermic process dictates how we understand the temperature level.
Let’s explain this a little bit more by talking about two scenarios –
When the Humidity Level Is High
The perspiration process impedes when the air has a high level of humidity.
It basically becomes hard for the water to evaporate from our skin as the air is already near the point of becoming fully saturated.
That makes it hard for our body to maintain a stable temperature, which makes us feel hotter than it actually is.
When the Humidity Level is Low
The perspiration process speeds up when the air has a relatively low humidity level.
There is less amount of moisture in the air. In other words, the surrounding air is more ready to accept water.
That is when our skin can easily keep us cool. So, we feel cooler than it actually is.
How Does Humidity Affect Temperature in a House?
The relationship between humidity and temperature is much broader than you think it is. When the air is humid, it can effectively hold more heat.
For that reason, during the summer, when the air has a high humidity level, we feel hotter than it actually is.
The air is basically relatively holding more heat in such cases.
On the other hand, during the winter, the air does not have a high humidity level.
That makes the surrounding air less capable of holding heat.
For that reason, we need to stay around a heat source.
Can Humidifiers Cool the Air in a Room?
Humidifiers do not have what it takes to cool the air in a room. Although a cool-mist humidifier might make the air seem cooler, it is not actually cooling down the room.
You basically need to consider one thing. As long as the temperature changes, you will feel warmer when the room’s humidity is high.
So, instead of cooling down the temperature of the room, humidifiers can make the room heat up.
However, you also need to understand that humidifiers are not meant to cool down the air in the first place.
The main task of these devices is to add humidity to the air. And by doing so, these can convert dry air into humid air.
So, humidifiers make the most sense during the winter. In that season, the air usually has a lower overall humidity level.
And during the winter, there is no need to decrease the temperature of the air. Instead, you would require heating, which the humidifiers can do.
Temperature and Humidity Chart
Temperature reading and “feels like temp” are not the same. However, there are some points where the temperature will feel exactly like the thermometer’s reading. They are:
- 70 degrees Fahrenheit when the humidity is 60 percent
- 75 degrees Fahrenheit when the humidity is 50 percent
- 80 degrees Fahrenheit when the humidity is 45 percent
- 85 degrees Fahrenheit when the humidity is 35 percent
- 90 degrees Fahrenheit when the humidity is 30 percent
- 95 degrees Fahrenheit when the humidity is 27 percent
- 100 degrees Fahrenheit when the humidity is 22 percent
- 105 degrees Fahrenheit when the humidity is 20 percent
- 110 degrees Fahrenheit when the humidity is 18 percent
- 115 degrees Fahrenheit when the humidity is 15 percent
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does humidity increase temperature?
Humidity does not directly increase the temperature. Instead, it makes the air more capable of holding heat. That eventually increases the overall temperature of the room.
2. What happens when humidity is high?
High humidity can have some adverse effects on the human body. When the humidity of the air is high, it can make you feel like you are out of energy. You will also feel lethargic.
3. Does a humidifier cool a room?
Humidifiers can not cool the room. In fact, by adding humidity to the air, the devices make the air more capable of holding heat. So, instead of dropping the heat, humidifiers can increase the room’s temperature.
So, how does humidity affect the temperature again?
Although it does not have a direct connection to the temperature, it can affect the heat-holding capacity of the air.
Humid air can hold heat more efficiently than dry air. So, when your room has high humidity, you will naturally feel hot.
Last Updated on November 11, 2023