Why is it that a 72-degree house deserve to feel cool in summer and also warm in winter? Is it all in her head?

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Everything is relative.” but is that true when it concerns temperature?

That’s other Marion, Mass. Resides Gertraude Heineken has wondered about for years. On warm summer days, after spending time outside, she’ll head earlier indoors.

You are watching: What does 70 degrees feel like

"And i come right into the air-conditioned house and it is freezing. Siberia inside," explained Heineken.

A glance at she thermostat reveals an indoor temperature the 75 degrees. And also yet, in winter...

"Would we ever before consider setup the thermostat in ~ 75? i don’t think so. Ns think it would certainly really it is in hot," she said. "So those going top top there? those the discrepancy?"

For starters, there space all species of methods to cool and heat a house, but no matter how you execute it, "the house is like a sponge," described Lenny Mastropieri, owner of L.M. Heating and also Air.

To gain — and keep — a sponge-like residence at 75 degrees on a hot day, Mastropieri says you should continuously present air that is cooler 보다 75 degrees. Depending upon everything native the size and efficiency the the home to the temperature and humidity outside, the air can sometimes be significantly cooler.

"In the winter time, the kinda prefer the opposite," said Mastropieri. So, that same 75 levels is being maintained by a stable stream the air that is warmer.

But over there is one more factor at play here: an additional thermostat — so come speak — in the truncus encephali, better known together the mind stem.

"How the human body regulates temperature and our awareness of temperature space linked however are a little bit different in exactly how we procedure it," claimed Dr. Aaron Young, that teaches physiology and biophysics of at the Boston University school of Medicine.

We humans are homeotherms, which means our human body core stays at a precise, consistent temperature — 98.6 degrees. Together such, we’ve developed all kinds of ways to keep that temperature, no issue the conditions outside. Once it’s hot, our body cools our core, and when the cold, our body heats the up.

So, how do we execute it? In a word: thermoreceptors.

"We have actually ones that are out on our skin surface, and also we contact those peripheral thermoreceptors," said Young. "And then we have ones the are situated in our mind stem, and also we speak to those central thermoreceptors."

The ones everywhere our skin surface are solitary duty. Some receptors sense only hot, and others just cold.

Incidentally, these same thermoreceptors additionally react to particular chemicals. They are what you feel tingling on her lips once you eat spicy food, because that example.

"Or you usage mouthwash or friend chew minty gum and also it feeling cool," said Young. "Same thing."

The thermoreceptors on her skin surface ar send signals to the persons in your mind stem, i m sorry regulate how aggressively to either warm or cool the body. As soon as it’s cold out, this is why we shiver — to assist heat increase our body"s core temperature.

Conversely, when it’s hot, us push warm out by moving our blood flow — and also with it warm — closer to the skin surface. This is why we could look flushed on a summer day, or when we exercise. Us radiate few of this warm out v our skin pores. Convection helps, too: liquid or wait flowing end our hot skin.

"That’s why we feel cooler once you have a pan blowing top top you," stated Young. "The wait is flowing over more quickly and taking heat away."

And then, the course, we sweat.

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"And by sweat we placed liquid ~ above the skin surface, which is warm to our human body temperature," claimed Young. "And climate it evaporates. So we’re losing warmth by evaporation."

All this to say that once Gertraude enters she 75-degree home on a hot summer day, she body is in a element heat-losing state. And, crucially, while her peripheral thermoreceptors feel the cooler waiting immediately, that takes time for the remainder of her mechanism to readjust to the brand-new conditions.

"It’s not favor a irradiate switch, you flip it and it instantly comes on," said Young. "There’s a little of a lag, a little of a delay."

Chances room if Gertraude waits around 20 minutes for her system to catch up, the residence will feel far less choose “Siberia” and much an ext like a feather day. But in the end, it appears she is correct: 75 levels isn’t constantly 75 degrees. That discrepancy is not just a figment of her imagination, but it is — at least in component — in she head.