The presence of lots of us can greatly change room temperature, as anyone who has been crammed into a room or a car with more people than recommended can attest to. Estimates compare a human body to a 100w lightbulb or lamp and calculate that individuals radiate about 350,000 joules of energy per hour. While designing air conditioning units, engineers consider the maximum expected occupancy and in order to optimize units, they take into consideration when the room is expected to be full.
Imagine an assembly room of a nursing home that regularly holds group activities on Tuesday at noon. With a non-adaptive system, occupants fill the room all at once and then the air conditioning unit is forced to play catch-up, straining the system and forcing it to operate at a higher rate to fight ambient body heat and maintain a comfortable temperature. Using an Oak energy optimizer, air conditioning systems can be programmed to slightly lower the temperature before high expected occupancy and reduce system strain and costs associated with rapid cooling. On the other hand, nursing homes and similar service institutions can make patrons happier and more satisfied by tailoring heating and cooling schedule.
When studying the effects of indoor air quality in 2016, Science Direct researchers argued that thermal comfort is probably the most important parameter and the easiest to identify and define. Thermal comfort is defined as, “the state of mind that expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment in which it is located”. It is categorized by six factors; air temperature, mean radiant temperature, air relative humidity, air velocity, human metabolic rate, and clothing insulation. For instance, an uncomfortable temperature can lead to a loss of sleep and a change in mood or even walking into an undercooled or underheated room can cause discomfort. Besides, as a person ages, their metabolism decreases, making them more likely to face discomfort with temperature changes. With a programmable system, rooms can know when people are most likely to be inside and have the temperature at the ideal setting before they even step in. Small decisions can increase the engagements of the clients and so, for the patron’s sake, an Oak is necessary.
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