At what night time temp do you use heat?

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by Orchid, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    That's a hell of come back to a conversation starter. [;)]
     
  2. ricko

    ricko Member

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    Isn't this getting to 'but it's a DRY heat!' type discussion...

    As for our furnace/heater... we use it whenever DW says too. I can go hard core in my Big Agnes bag with the scouts and have a perfectly good time in 15 degree weather.

    But when Mrs. Ricko says she is cold, it doesn't matter if it's 65 or 30 - the heat goes on. She comes from the world of 'if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!'.

    Seriously though - we spent a week at Yellowstone this past July - in the weeks working up to the trip we really only paid attention to the highs in the 70's and didn't really look at the lows. By the end of the week we had run through two full tanks of propane running the furnace in the 28 degree nights.

    I am very glad we have the furnace - in our last pup we used an electric, ceramic type heater and it just doesn't compare.

    Ricko
     
  3. mckeapc67

    mckeapc67 New Member

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    OK, I can't help myself and have to respond one last time. :) [:D] [8D]

    First, I would never say that 30 feels liek -30. What I will say is that To Me cold damp humid temps here in my region of the South chills me worse than cold dry temps in other areas that I've visited. The experience that I compare most recently (last year) is temps here in South Louisiana in the mid 20's to temps in Colorado in the low 10's.

    I'll leave this discussion with that the comment "feels like" is a personal opinion and even though scientific evidence can be observed to support both arguments, it will never sway personal preferences. My personal preference is if I have to be cold, I would rather be cold and dry than cold and damp.

    Again, since this is a camping forum, I'll put it into context to camping / outdoor recreation context and say that I would rather camp in a dry cold climate (around freezing +-20 F) where condensation isn't as big a factor than in a high humidity environment where condensation is a large factor. I feel much colder when I'm wet/damp.
     
  4. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    CD. I think a lot of your wet and damp feeling may actually come from being rained on. I will agree that if there is liquid precipitation in a cold environment, it will be more miserable than if it where not raining but dry or humid or even snowing.
     
  5. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    I'll admit, it was sort of a sore subject for me. Unless you have experienced -30 weather, you just don't have a clue as to what it is like.
     
  6. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    So if they had said it rained cats and dogs, you'd have no problem with that? [}:)]

    90% humidity this morning in Dallas, it'll way lower this afternoon!

    http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/online/ccd/avgrh.html
     
  7. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    I must admit that I didn't take the heat of the south any better than they would have taken the cold of the north. The difference is I acknowledged that the heat was terrible and didn't anecdotally dismiss it.
     
  8. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    Likewise, I would rather be cold and dry than cold and damp. But I would much prefer to have higher levels of humidity in winter conditions, say 40-45% as opposed to 25%-30% or lower as is common in a heated environment (house, pup). Not enough to make my skin damp (in cold weather, that would be incredibly high humidity that we just don't see in these parts), but enough to make me comfortable. That's why we run a humidifier in dry winter air conditions. It makes us feel more comfortable, and we don't need to set the thermostat so high.
     
  9. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    I posted a link to average humidity morning and afternoon for various towns in the USA.

    Very few places have what I'd consider low humidity (on average).
     
  10. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    Quite true. But your table lists outdoor humidity. When you heat air in a house or pup, you drive the humidity level down significantly, hence the use of humidifiers indoors in winter.
     
  11. mckeapc67

    mckeapc67 New Member

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    Thus is part of the miscommunication with this discussion. I don't have any issues with humidity indoors in the winter. The cold feeling that I'm discussing are outdoor temps and humidity in a non-heated environment (thus needing to run the PUP heater). I definitely agree that I do not like it too dry when the heat is running and surely understand the use of the humidifier.

    It's not so much rain as dampness. I don't care where you are if its raining and cold, you will be cold. Light snow I can handle too up until the point where you start getting wet from the melting. But mostly what I'm talking about is pure dampness and where everything you touch is wet from condensation so you can't help but be damp and cold. Of course, this is worst in the mornings before the sun comes out and dries the condensation out.

    But back to camping and outdoor recreation, it is hard to sleep and I hate waking up cold and damp from condensation (even with the tent ventalated). The PUP and heater definitely helps with that. And, if you are outdoors recreating ;) early in the morning (say daybreak) or late evening (dusk and beyond) such as hiking, hunting, relaxing, etc. then the dampness and condensation makes the cold seem to eat through me.

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dewpoint-RH.svg

    Note that per the chart in the above link, on a fall day in the 60F-70F temp with a relative humidity of 60-70% (typical for fall in SE Lousiana per the link bupkis supplied) the dew point would be in the mid 50F temp range (thus getting damp). This would be typical for our fall to early winter weather (say Oct - Dec).

    Thus to the OP's question, I want a heater, campfire, or some other heat source to combat the cold and dampness when the temps drop below the mid 50's which would be when things start getting damp on most fall days here.

    Once the heater, campfire, etc. is going, the humidity & dampness won't bother me. :) [:D] [8D]
     
  12. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    Yes, if you are cold, you are cold. But I feel colder in dry air than air with about 40-45% humidity. If humidity is so high it's condensing on your skin, well, then, yes, that would be too uncomfortable.
    Agreed. If the air is dry though, I will want the heat on at a somewhat higher temp, like around 60 or the low sixties to feel as comfortable.
     
  13. mckeapc67

    mckeapc67 New Member

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    To your point, I would never ever want to go somewhere where it was -30F no matter what the humidity. :) [:D] [8D]

    Anyone that says 30F feels like -30F is exagerating in an extreme sense. Even the worst wind chill and being doused with ice water won't do that. [;)]

    I have no desire to experience cold in the extremes (negative F) no matter what the humidity levels. If frost starts forming on my moustache (if I had one) or my spittle freezes before it hits the ground it's too cold for humans. :) [:D] [8D]
     
  14. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    Wind chill does not include RH for a reason. Heat index does for a reason.
     
  15. Wizfisher

    Wizfisher New Member

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    I worked at a hotel in South Florida for 5 years. Visitors from the north would constantly comment about how it felt colder at 40 degrees in South Florida compared to 40 degrees in Canada/New York, etc..
    They would also say that they didn't bother packing a jacket since the temps would only be in the 40's and that's shorts and t-shirt weather back home.

    We sold a lot of jackets to northerners. [:D]

    There is no way 30 degrees will feel like -30 degrees in any humidity, dewpoint, etc..... anywhere.

    For our honeymoon, we went to Alaska for 10 days. The temperatures were in the 40's and 50's during the day and 20's and 30's at night. We brought jackets with us and never used them. We were comfortable in jeans and long sleeve t-shirts.
    With those same temps in South Florida, we would have been chilled enough to require at least a thin jacket over the long sleeve shirt, and possibly a little thicker jacket.
     
  16. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    That's one of the reasons I left Minnesota 23 years ago. A place where you can drive on the lakes because they are frozen over several feet thick is just too cold for me. I did have a mustache for a few years and it would freeze when I was outside. Then it would thaw and drain down my chin when I came inside. There were lots of jokes about ice fishermen trying to relieve themselves and getting stuck to the ground because the stream froze.

    There were just too many winter mornings where I had to face -25F on my way to school or work. Cars really hate to start in such conditions. Add some wind and the windchill factor (how cold it feels on human skin) can drop to -80 very easily. Shoveling out a driveway under such conditions was pure hell. The coldest temperature I have ever experienced was -40 and I do not want to do that again.

    It did get down to 19 one winter here in the Puget Sound area but that is extremely rare. We usually only hit the high 30s as an overnight low in the worst part of the winter. An average winter day is 40 with a light drizzle. Every time I begin to get tired of that I remind myself of what it is like in the frozen tundra of the Upper Midwest and I feel a lot better.
     
  17. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    Our personal experiences are certainly different. As I said above, in the two years I lived on the Arkansas/Louisiana border, I never wore more than a windbreaker type jacket. It was plenty humid, it just wasn't cold.
     
  18. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Well, there is the real world of science (physics/thermodynamics, etc.) and then there is the equally real world of experiencial/phenomonological psychology. Different people experience the same things differently. Stating facts about temperature and humidity doesn't change the fact that some people feel more comfortable or uncomfortable in certain conditions than other people. What they feel is true for them. In the experiential world there is no one right answer for everyone.

    As I mentioned before, one of the reasons I left Minnesota was that I did not like the cold. It was uncomfortable for me. But I have friends who still live there and love it. Some of them prefer winter over summer. They are happiest when out on one of those frozen lakes. On the other side of the equation we have people who enjoy living in high heat and/or high humidity and who would be miserable in more temperate conditions. Some southern Californians come up here to Washington and wear parkas at 50 degrees -- the same parka I used to wear in Minnesota when it was zero. It's all a matter of how you experience the physical world.
     
  19. AZbubs

    AZbubs Member

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    I'm a native Arizonan. I lived in Orlando FL for 9 years in the late 90's, early 2000's. I know that I always felt colder there than here in AZ. I googled it and got this answer, from a meteorologist.

    Q: I know that humid air makes people feel hotter in the summer, how does humidity affect the "feels like" temperature in the winter?

    A: Some people claim that a "wet" cold feels colder than a "dry" cold. One possible reason for this is that we wear insulating clothing in the winter. The dead air spaces within the fill materials of a jacket or within the fibers of a sweater limit the loss of body heat, due to the low thermal conductivity of air. Thermal conductivity increases as relative humidity increases, so body heat is more quickly lost in more humid conditions, making one feel colder.

    All other conditions being equal, a cold day with rain and/or fog feels colder than a dry day. If moisture is on the skin, heat will be lost through conduction of heat from the body to the water as well as the evaporative cooling effects of the water.


    There's plenty more about how the body regulates temperature on this USA TODAY resource page.

    (Answered by meteorologist Bob Swanson, USA TODAY's assistant weather editor, December 13, 2006)
     
  20. 1madscot

    1madscot Member

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    If I have to chip my toothbrush out of the cup in the morning, I'll turn the heat on. I prefer to sleep in a somewhat cool room.

    UT, you mentioned driving on the frozen lakes. When I was a trainer for the sheriffs department up here, we used to cut holes in that ice and go diving under it. That is an experience everyone should try at least once in their lives. [:D]

    Something to remember, whether one feels cold or not depends on a lot more than just the ambient temperature, apparent temperature, relative humidity and so forth. Comfort has a huge psychological component as well, if you believe you're cold, you're cold, regardless of the actual conditions. People can be taught to endure all kinds of environmental extremes. I personally do not feel cold until the mercury drops to the mid 20's, that's when I'll start wearing a sweatshirt or light jacket, unless I'm working in the snow, but that has more to do with length of exposure and company policies. My DW is cold when it's 50.
     

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