So it's the middle of winter and soon to be approaching spring. The people around you are clearly uncomfortable, and so are you. As much as you'd love to adjust the temperature, you're stuck in an old building with an old thermal system. Changing the temperature would affect the whole building, and that would send energy costs through the roof. It might seem like you have no choice but to tough it out.
Actually, that's not the case at all! All you need is a thermal comfort system that uses your valuable energy in a more intelligent way. Everyone's better off when their thermal comfort level improves, and old and new buildings alike can accommodate them. Today, we break down what thermal comfort is, why it's important, and how you can achieve it.
What Is Thermal Comfort?
Thermal comfort is exactly what it sounds like: it's when someone with a normal amount of clothing is neither too cold nor hot. While this is a simple definition, turning your building into a thermal comfort zone can seem like a daunting challenge. After all, everyone has different thermal preferences, clothing levels, and metabolic rates. Furthermore, your building will probably reach a range of temperatures throughout the year, requiring you to frequently adapt.
However, by deploying a thermal comfort solution, this task becomes much easier. Such a system allows you to keep track of the things that affect thermal comfort: air flow, energy consumption, humidity, outdoor temperature, and more. Thermal comfort systems allow you to detect and correct glaring issues so that your work force is comfortable, productive, and, most importantly, healthy!
Benefits of Improving Thermal Comfort in Indoor Environments
Impacts Productivity and Performance of Occupants
Happy people are productive people. Everyone gets more done when they're in the right frame of mind, and being in a space with reasonable thermal conditions helps achieve this. This doesn't just apply to air temperature, however; air movement is also important. After all, nobody likes breathing, let alone working, in stuffy air.
Efficient thermal comfort systems also increase productivity by being easy to set up and requiring less hands-on effort to run. When people constantly have to get up to check and adjust their outdated thermal setup, that's time that's not being used more efficiently.
Improves Energy Consumption and Saves Money
The U.S. is consuming more energy than it ever has before. This is due in part to its rising population and higher standard of living. As one might imagine, higher energy consumption leads to higher energy costs, and the greater activity level is a bigger strain on our aging power grid. This is why blackouts, which bring productivity to a halt, are becoming more common.
Using a thermal comfort system greatly increases the efficiency of your energy use. You bring down your own costs and reduce the strain on the power grid. The cost of doing so is little more than compared to how much you, and the world, will save.
Reduces Sick Building Symptoms
Do your tenants experience dry skin, nausea, headaches, and fatigue while in your building? It's possible that your property has sick building syndrome (SBS). This is when people have health issues and/or thermal discomfort that can't be diagnosed and only occur when spending time in a particular building. Chemical, biological, and ventilation issues can all lead to SBS.
One of the best ways to prevent SBS is by investing in thermal comfort air tracking. By tracking the quality of your air in real time, you can quickly correct and avoid issues that lead to widespread health problems down the line, increasing both productivity and morale.
How To Develop a Thermal Performance Plan
We've mentioned how you can save energy by using a thermal comfort system. A big part of this is because of thermal zones. These are individual areas in your building that have their own temperature set points. New buildings are often built with thermal zoning in mind, but there are ways to add zones retroactively.
By adjusting the thermal conditions of each zone, you can set and monitor them on an individual basis. This means that the whole building doesn't have to adjust when one room decides it's too hot. Setting each thermal zone to a comfortable temperature reduces wasted energy, saves money, and keeps everyone happy.
Individual Thermal Control
A good thermal comfort system is quick to adapt, and what better way to be adaptable than to give individuals control of their thermal environment? Whether your building has lots of closed offices or consists of open areas, giving individuals control helps everyone.
Individual thermal control is effective not only because of everyone's unique preferences, but also due to differences in temperature between floors or rooms. The basement, for example, can be a cold environment, while hot environments might comprise the higher floors. Adaptability is what drives thermal comfort solutions, and there's no system more adaptable than one that lets each person set their own temperature at will.
Displaying Thermal Characteristics
Many people don't know about the problems in air quality or humidity that may be affecting their thermal comfort zone. Furthermore, people wearing several layers of clothing might have a different perception of the temperature than one dressed lightly. For these reasons, it's important to inform people of the conditions of their environment.
Good thermal systems display everything that might have an impact on your comfort level. This includes temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels. Even if some individuals won't be able to fix problems that arise, making the information available ensures quick correction. Knowledge is power, so keep your tenants powerful!
Improve Comfort in Buildings Today
All of these elements might seem challenging to work out, but it doesn't have to be so! If you want to turn your property into a thermal comfort building, you need an adaptive comfort model from Attune. Our custom-made internet of things (IoT) hardware collects and delivers the data you need so that you can use it to maximize everyone's comfort.
If it's thermal comfort you seek, it's never too soon to get started. Schedule a demo with Attune today and let us be productive for you!