Dutch researchers have shown that office air conditioning systems are often set to a 1960s formula based on men’s thermal comfort rather than women’s, according to a report on TheConversation.com.
The research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that if the office thermostat is set for men, it will be too low for women, forcing them to put on woollies in the height of summer.
This is because women are smaller and generate less metabolic heat than men which means they will not feel comfortable in office temperatures set for the opposite sex.
By the same logic, if the thermostat is set for Europeans it will be too low for Asians, who weigh, on average, 30% less, the paper states.
Maastricht University researchers Boris Kingma and Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt say that energy consumption in homes and offices accounts for some 30% of carbon dioxide emissions.
However, a more realistic approach to the temperature needs of a building’s occupants will lead to more efficiency in energy consumption and cut emissions, the researchers say.
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