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Tackling overheating in homes: Perceived heat and humidity

  • 28 Jul 2015

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Michelle Sharp, Group Communications Manager at Zehnder Group UK

There are three major factors that are causing an increase in overheating in homes: Zero Carbon energy efficiency agendas, Climate Change and Increased Urbanisation.

The Urban Heat Island effect

Keeping residential dwellings ‘comfortable’ for occupants is a fine balancing act; in cities, keeping them cooler is more of an issue than keeping them warm.

In cities, unique micro-climates can be created due to excessive heat build-up from solar gain and mechanical services and community heating pipework within apartment blocks, as well as many other cumulative factors.

Perceived heat

Environmental Design, Guide A1 advises that bedrooms should be 23oC or lower at night to have no effect on quality of sleep.

Research carried out by CIBSE and Arup2 states that 3oC is enough to turn residents from comfortably ‘warm’ at 25oC to uncomfortably ‘hot’ at 28oC.

Reducing humidity

Humidity plays a key role in comfort levels, as well as temperature.

Zero Carbon energy efficiency agendas, climate change and increased urbanisation are all causing an increase in household overheating

In order to achieve comfort in homes, attention must be paid to the effect of humidity on perceived versus actual temperature – the additional 3oC may be perceived heat due to humidity levels.

Reaching to specify air conditioning systems will have unnecessary energy impacts.

In airtight and well insulated dwellings, overheating must be tackled in the most efficient and cost effective way.

Reducing the humidity levels in homes can also reduce the perceived air temperature and add to the comfort of occupants – without the increased energy usage associated with other cooling methods.

Comfort cooling technology integrated with its homes ventilation strategy means that the comfort level can be maintained throughout the year.

Zehnder Group UK Ltd
Unit 4, Watchmoor Point
Camberley
Surrey
GU15 3AD
UK

01276 605800

Visit Zehnder Group's website

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