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Old 10-20-2019, 10:07 PM
dontbesojumpy is offline
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Why can I tolerate hotter showers when the weather outside is cooler, if indoor temps are constant?


There's probably an "oh, duh" answer to this, but I'm still curious:

Lately the weather has been cooling down here. Average temps are down ~10 degrees from the summer, with much cooler nights, but also with days still hot enough to require AC in the car and in the house.

I keep the house 69 degrees usually, year round. Right now it'll get a little warmer since I like saving energy when it's temperate outside. I have two thermometers to monitor this: An Accurite indoor outdoor model in the living room, and the Nest thermostat more in the core/center of the home. I keep a pretty close eye on both, and temps rarely fluctuate much.

What I don't understand: I have a thermostatic shower setting where I know what temperature the water is set to.

All summer long, I've only been able to tolerate the dial around 1/2 of the "preferred" hot setting. Otherwise I get out all sweaty and gross.

But now, suddenly, I'm able to tolerate full heat again. But it doesn't make sense to me--today was very warm, into the 80s which isn't down much from the summer temps. Even had to crank on the AC, but again, indoor temp was slightly warmer than usual.

What's changed? How does the exterior temperature--which again, today was rather warm--affect my shower heat tolerance when I spend 90% of my time indoors? My core temp should be relatively constant, year round.

Is it just psychological? Because I know it's "generally" cooler out than it has been, even if in that moment it's not?

Or is there some simple answer I've failed to consider?

Last edited by dontbesojumpy; 10-20-2019 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:28 PM
SamuelA is offline
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How does your "themostatic" show actually work? Might be changing input water temperature.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:37 PM
dontbesojumpy is offline
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What thermostatic knobs are and how they work.

Basically there's a knob that you set and leave the temp set to, with just an on/off lever. So you don't have to dial in a temp, you can leave it set to a certain temp and just shut it off and on.


As a reference point, I had this conversation with my GF and she confirmed that she typically sets the shower to same water temp year round, no fluctuations like me. So going by that, I presume the water temperature is fairly reliable on the temp-settings.

Last edited by dontbesojumpy; 10-20-2019 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:50 PM
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Even with the thermostat set at the same temperature, you will feel cooler in the winter vs. the summer. I believe it is due to radiation. In the winter the outside walls of your house will be colder, resulting in more heat loss from your body due to radiation.

Last edited by Crafter_Man; 10-20-2019 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:55 PM
dontbesojumpy is offline
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Could it (as well) have something to do with groundwater temperatures?

Could it be the cold water is generally cooler than in the summer?

ETA: It still wouldn't explain how my GF leaves it on the same temp setting year round, but seems like it could factor in.

Last edited by dontbesojumpy; 10-20-2019 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:58 PM
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Could be. Also, the relative humidity in your house has likely decreased now that summer's over; that will have a noticeable effect on your subjective experience, at least once you're out of the bathroom.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
Even with the thermostat set at the same temperature, you will feel cooler in the winter vs. the summer. I believe it is due to radiation. In the winter the outside walls of your house will be colder, resulting in more heat loss from your body due to radiation.
Thatís a good point. If the bathroom is along an exterior wall, or even just exterior relative to where the thermostat is for air temperature, then it could be that the bath room air temperature is colder than the air around the thermostat, so that even if the water in the shower leaves the nozzle at the same temperature year round, when it hits the air and disperses itís temperature drops more rapidly on colder days.
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjmlabs View Post
Could be. Also, the relative humidity in your house has likely decreased now that summer's over; that will have a noticeable effect on your subjective experience, at least once you're out of the bathroom.
My vote will be for humidity too. Less humidity means faster evaporation from your skin.
  #9  
Old 10-21-2019, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASL v2.0 View Post
Thatís a good point. If the bathroom is along an exterior wall, or even just exterior relative to where the thermostat is for air temperature, then it could be that the bath room air temperature is colder than the air around the thermostat, so that even if the water in the shower leaves the nozzle at the same temperature year round, when it hits the air and disperses itís temperature drops more rapidly on colder days.
This is what I'd say, at least for my house.

My shower is extremely cold. It's on an external wall and I keep the shower curtain open so the tub is basically blocked from getting any of the forced air heat that I might feel if I was anywhere else in the house. And there's no window in the bathroom so it's not getting any of the sunshine like the front room gets pounded with during the day.

At my house, at least, there's no way the shower is the same temp that's shown on my thermostat in the hallway. If it's colder outside, the shower itself is definitely going to be colder. Take off your clothes and step in there...brrrr!
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:28 PM
dontbesojumpy is offline
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So I can take measurements of surface temps (laser) in various rooms, as well as the water temps at various settings, as well as indoor ambient temps for each room and indoor humidity.

Would any of that work? I'm still curious about this because it's still pretty warm here during the day--not what I would call chilly by any means (it was warm enough to wear shorts and a t shirt and still need the ac on in the car) but when I got home from work I took a shower @105 degrees.

Would taking temps of rooms, surfaces and water help?
  #11  
Old 10-22-2019, 10:01 PM
dontbesojumpy is offline
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So I guess the thing that still throws me off is it's still too warm for my taste outside during the day. I get hot and sweaty and have to run the AC in my car or house. Around shower time, it might cool down 5 or 10 degrees outside but will typically be a few degrees warmer indoors than I am usually willing to tolerate.

I also checked the ambient and surface temps in the bathroom--ambient temp is 2-3 degrees lower than the main part of the house, with surface temps either the same, slightly warmer, or a half degree cooler.

But I'm running the water a full 10 degrees hotter than I usually do (104.3 degrees for the duration but I have lately been ramping it up to 106.6 for a few minutes before I exit just to "warm up."

Humidity is roughly 60% around the whole house.

I guess I don't understand how it can be hot enough outside to still need the AC yet I'm wanting a shower 10 degrees hotter than normal.
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