Thermal sensation and thermal comfort in changing environments

K. B. Velt, H. A M Daanen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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It is the purpose of this study to investigate thermal sensation (TS) and thermal comfort (TC) in changing environments. Therefore, 10 subjects stayed in a 30 °C, 50% relative humidity for 30 min in summer clothes and then moved to a 20 °C room where they remained seated for 30 min (Hot to Reference - HR). Similarly, 11 subjects moved from a 10 °C, 50% relative humidity to a 20 °C environment (Cold to Reference – CR) dressed in winter garments. TS (9 point scale from −4 (very cold) to +4 (very hot)) decreased from 1.5±0.4 (mean±SD) to −0.8±0.8 for HR and increased from −1.7±1.4 to 0.8±0.9 for CR. TC (5 point scale from 0 (comfortable) to +4 (extremely uncomfortable)) dropped from 1.5±0.5 to 1.2±0.4 for HR and from 1.9±0.7 to 1.3±0.4 for CR. The difference in TS between HR and CR at the end of period in 20 °C illustrates the considerable dependence of thermal sensation on exposure history. It is therefore recommended to increase room temperature when it is hot outside and decrease room temperature when it is cold outside in order to maintain a neutral thermal sensation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-46
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Early online date10 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Thermal comfort
  • Thermal perception
  • Thermal sensation
  • Thermal transients


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