Understanding Temperature and Comfort

Understanding Temperature and Comfort

Have you ever walked into a building and noticed that one area of the space is significantly warmer than another?  Sometimes that indicates a problem with the air handling system.  Other times, it suggests that the people working or residing in different areas of the building define ‘comfortable’ in different ways.

In order to ensure individual offices and departments can be kept within a comfortable temperature range, it is important to know the conditions of the supply air coming into the system. 

Remember, human beings transfer heat in three different ways.  Convection indicates that our bodies are constantly transferring heat with the air around us.  Radiation is the passing of heat between two surfaces, such as when our hand touches a cold metal surface.  And, of course we pass heat through evaporation when we sweat or get wet otherwise.

Because of these factors, the type of work that a person does, the relatively humidity of the space, and even the movement of air can dictate how cold or hot he or she feels.  Today, air handling systems can do much more than simply blow hot or cold air at a person to regulate temperature.  Keeping the humidity levels at a baseline can make it much easier to maintain a comfortable temperature in a space.

Humidity, air flow, and temperature can all be addressed with these systems.  However, it will be impossible to meet the needs of the people within the space, if the supply air is not being properly gauged.  The system cannot possibly function properly if it does not have direction as to whether that air needs to be heated or cooled, if more or less humidity is needed.

Duct mounted sensors allow that temperature to be regularly monitored, and can help to ensure that the system heats or cools as needed to ensure the comfort in all areas of the building.