Local cooling in a warm environment

H. Pallubinsky*, L. Schellen, T. A. Rieswijk, C. M. G. A. M. Breukel, B. R. M. Kingma, W. D. van Marken Lichtenbelt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Public and commercial buildings tend to overheat. Recent studies indicate individual comfort systems based on local climatization can improve occupant satisfaction and simultaneously decrease the energy load of buildings. This study evaluated the effect of local cooling in both women and men on indicators of occupant satisfaction: thermal sensation, thermal comfort and skin temperatures. All measurements were conducted in a climate chamber (Priva, the Netherlands) with an ambient temperature of 32.3 +/- 0.3 degrees C (mean +/- SD). In total, 16 healthy young men and women were exposed to different local cooling conditions for 45 min: face cooling, back cooling, underarm cooling, foot sole cooling and 30 min of combined face-underarm cooling. The cooling conditions were separated by 30 min of 'no cooling'. Thermal sensation and thermal comfort were evaluated with VAS-scales. Skin temperatures (26 sites) were measured using wireless temperature sensors. 'Face cooling' and combined 'face-underarm cooling' significantly improved thermal sensation and comfort compared with 'no cooling' for both women and men. Women had significantly higher skin temperatures compared with men. Local cooling of the face alone and face and underarms combined are effective ways to improve thermal sensation and thermal comfort in a warm thermal environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Local cooling
  • Individual climatization
  • Overheating
  • Thermal comfort
  • Thermal sensation
  • Occupant satisfaction

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