If you find yourself prone to the winter blues, you’re not alone. According to Cleveland Clinic, approximately 5-20% of the population is affected by some form of seasonal depression (also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder) during the cold, dark days of winter. But are there other ways the changing seasons and weather patterns can affect how you feel?
Why is my mood affected by the weather?
Many Americans have likely felt the effects of the weather at some point or another. Maybe you’re feeling sleepy on a rainy day or stir-crazy if you’re stuck in the office on a bright, sunny day. Since our brains take in everything around us, it’s only natural that we’re affected by, well, everything around us. But how does that relate to the weather?
Weather is defined in the dictionary as “the state of the atmosphere at a place and time as regards heat, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc.”. The climate is the long-term condition of the weather in a certain area. There is some scientific data backing up the effects that climate change has on our mental health, but for now, let’s focus on the small picture.
Temperature and Happiness
In 2015, then-Ph.D. candidate Patrick Baylis took to Twitter to compare data from different weather conditions across the United States. He was specifically looking into whether people expressed more positive or negative emotive words during hot and cold weather.
After looking at 1 billion tweets, the data was in. The study found that peak happiness levels were reported in temperatures ranging from 55 - 72.5 degrees Fahrenheit. However, unlike what many may think, hotter weather wasn’t associated with more positive moods. In fact, the heat seemed to make people more short-tempered and irritable — higher dips in happiness were seen in temperatures ranging from 81 - 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Providing the Comfort You Deserve Indoors
Below are some solutions we recommend exploring to help with your indoor comfort:
1. Install a humidifier before winter
If your home is prone to feeling dry, this can lead to nosebleeds, dry skin, sore throats, and potentially the flu. Proper humidification throughout the dry season can help prevent sickness. Humidifiers can help improve your relative humidity indoors and help control your heating levels to combat the dryness in your home.
2. Get seasonal tune-ups to ensure equipment operates properly
Regular tune-ups prolong the lifespan of your HVAC system, but it also offers other benefits:
- Lower bills. Our maintenance approach revolves around keeping your system energy-efficient, so your utility bills remain stable until it’s time for a replacement.
- Fewer repairs. With regular system inspections and maintenance, our experienced techs can catch problems you may have never found in your system otherwise. This can save you a ton of time and money on costly repairs.
- Better performance. Scheduling periodic maintenance and tune-ups improves indoor air quality, encourages proper airflow, and helps balance temperatures throughout your home.
3. Set your thermostat for savings
The EPA’s recommended practice for energy efficiency is to set your thermostat within 10 degrees of the outside air. Keep your home thermostat set to between 68 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer and up to 68 degrees in the winter to save the most on your heating and cooling costs.
No matter what temperature you and your family feel most comfortable in, Standard Heating & Air Conditioning is here to help you stay comfortable all year long. Contact our team online or by phone for AC and furnace repair, maintenance, and replacements! (612) 324-1015