Chillaire sales and design engineers are aware of recent research and have been speaking to our clients and advising them of the most suitable solution for them.

There’s been a recent new study which suggested that women may feel temperature differently in workplaces from men. Is there an explanation for why men and women might feel comfortable at different room temperatures?

A study by two Dutch scientists has offered an answer to the longstanding question many office workers ask come summer – why when some men in the office are reaching for the air conditioning, are some women slipping on cardigans?

According to the paper, women feel the cold more readily – one small sample test the researchers carried out suggests that women are comfortable at a temperature 2.5C warmer than men – between 24-25C.

According to a Professor at the Warwick Medical School, variation in average metabolic rate and body heat production between men and women “may explain why there is a difference in environmental temperature required for comfort between males and females”.

The body’s metabolism is responsible for growth and the production of energy, including heat. Resting metabolic rate is the minimal rate of energy expenditure per unit of time while we are at rest, calculated through a standard set of equations. On average women have a lower metabolic rate than men.

A great determinant of resting metabolic rates is the fat free body mass in people’s bodies, accounting for around 60% of the individual difference in men and women’s resting metabolic rates. Because men have more fat free body mass – all the components of the body like skin, bones and muscle, but excluding fat – than women, they have a higher resting metabolic rate.

Major body organs, including the liver, brain, skeletal muscle, kidneys and heart are where most energy is consumed.

Non-movement production of heat – where energy is expended outside of active exercise – occurs in the body in “brown fat”, according to a Professor at Warwick Medical School. Humans have two types of fat – white fat, a store of excess calories, and brown fat, which generates heat.

Brown fat produces heat involuntarily through a process called thermogenesis. It is regulated by the thyroid hormone and the nervous system, and may account for further variation of resting metabolic rate, particularly in men.

This higher proportion of body mass which is able to produce heat involuntarily means that on average men don’t feel the cold as easily as women – and, in sultry summer months, means they have a lower tolerance for hot weather because their bodies produce more heat at a resting metabolic rate, getting warmer quicker.

But, the Professor at Warwick Medical School was quick to point out, not every person is the same. Some men have lower metabolic rates than some women, and so in some cases it may be Dave on reception reaching for a jumper more readily than Ellie in the boardroom.

When designing air conditioning systems, our design at Chillaire will try and put forward proposals which will benefit both male and female staff in a large open plan office with both male and female occupancy.

We at the Chillaire Group often find most of our competitors will design systems to meet the required heat gain or heat loss, and not take into account the air flow delivery. The correct amount of cooling or heating is important, but how this effect is delivered into a space is even more important. The right fan coil selection with the right level of airflow is essential. We would put forward a ceiling cassette fan coil unit over a wall unit for better air flow deliver, and a ducted fan coil unit with multiple grilles in a ceiling rather than a ceiling cassette fan coil unit, where there is multiple occupancy, and especially where there us multiple mixed (male & female) occupancy.

All fan coil units come with the manufacturers fixed selection of air flow settings, usually low, medium or high. The ducted fan coil unit with ducting design, silencers, filtration allows you to smooth the air flow delivery even further. At design stage the ducting you can control the velocity of the air flow.

Chillaire design engineers select the right fan coil unit for heat pump cooling or heating and the right air handling unit for gas fired or LPHW heating and chilled water or ducted DX cooling systems. The right level of cooling or heating delivered at the right level of air flow at all times.

For all your Heat Pump Heating or Air Conditioning Design, Sales or Installation needs call us at Chillaire Limited to arrange a site visit for our one of sales / design engineers to come out and see you.

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Air Conditioning - Heating - Ventilation