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Do you think your thermostat is lying? Science explains why.

If your windows or doors are not properly insulated, cold air will seep into your home on cold days and meet the warmer indoor air. This collision, Lather explains, “creates air movement,” which leads to a changing climate in your home, just as the meeting of large masses of warm and cold air in the great outdoors causes extreme weather patterns. In your house, the collision creates a draft that can make you feel colder, even though your thermostat isn’t necessarily reflecting all of this drama. (Windows also play a role on hot days because that’s where the sun’s rays enter your home, making you feel warmer.)

The materials used to build your home can also affect how hot or cold you feel, as different materials retain heat differently. Wood, for example, heats up faster than cement, but retains the heat for less time. Whether your thermostat can keep up with those changes depends on how quickly temperatures fluctuate throughout the day and how much sunlight enters your home.

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