Leo's HVAC Tip: The Comfort Zone

June 17, 2005
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Comfortable surroundings are not only good for people - they are also good for business:

  • They keep people more alert.

  • They reduce colds and illnesses, resulting in less lost time.

  • They reduce stress.

  • They reduce complaints.

    In short, people are more productive when they are comfortable. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has established a "thermal comfort range."

    This guide is a range of temperature and humidity in which most building occupants are comfortable. There are two ranges, one for winter and one for summer. The midpoint for winter is about 71.5 degrees F and 45 percent relative humidity (rh). The midpoint for summer is about 76 degrees F and 45 percent rh.

    Use these temperatures as general guides only. Different people sense humidity and temperature differently. Other factors also affect comfort, such as:

  • Air motion in the conditioned space.

  • The way the occupants are dressed.

  • The activity of the occupants.

    Active workers (such as factory workers) prefer a cooler temperature. Sedentary workers (such as office workers) prefer a warmer temperature.

    Publication date: 06/20/2005

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