Thermal Comfort | Columbia Heating & Cooling Portland, OR
Written by Columbia HVAC

Thermal Comfort: It’s More Than a Temperature Setting

If you’re always cold you’ve likely tried space heaters, extra clothing layers, blankets or simply cranking up the heat. If you’re always warm you may constantly need to run fans or might’ve resorted to a window-mounted air conditioner. These are all things we do to adjust for our own individual thermal comfort. And these habits could be costing us as homeowners.

What is thermal comfort? Thermal comfort, also known as ‘human comfort’ is the state in which your mind is satisfied with the surrounding thermal conditions. This satisfaction comes from a variety of factors including: air temperature, humidity, metabolic rates, layers of clothing, and other factors. Being thermally comfortable means you don’t have to adjust yourself or your surroundings in order to achieve optimal physical comfort.

Thermal comfort is subjective and difficult to measure because it uniquely depends on individuals and their surrounding environment. However, there are six factors used in measuring and assessing human comfort:

Air temperature: The temperature of the surrounding air

Radiant temperature: The weighted average of all temperatures from surrounding surfaces. For example, if you’re near appliances that emit heat (computer, stove, space heater) the radiant temperature will increase.

Metabolic rate: The energy generated by your physical body

Clothing insulation: The amount of clothing or insulation you’re wearing on your body

Air velocity: The rate of air movement.

Relative humidity: The percentage of water vapor (humidity) in the air

If you find yourself constantly adjusting your surrounding environment to be thermally comfortable, there could be a larger underlying problem with your HVAC system. An efficient, well-designed HVAC system should be able to keep you and your family thermally comfortable with minimal adjustments. Maybe it’s time for an upgrade?

At Columbia Heating & Cooling, we specialize in designing HVAC systems that reflect your family’s thermal comfort needs. We can help you determine what HVAC system or products will not only keep your indoor environment at any old temperature – but the perfect temperature for you and your family! Our goal is to provide you with complete control over the comfort of your home.

Give us a call today! Optimal thermal comfort awaits you.