We’re now 3 weeks into our Kickstarter campaign, and many of you have be asking how Ambi Climate really manages to manage your indoor thermal comfort. While our most recent Kickstarter update goes into this topic, we wanted to go a bit more in-depth on our blog.

In this post, we’ll share with you the 6 factors that contribute to your thermal comfort and how Ambi Climate can help set the perfect temperature for you, while saving you energy, money, and time.

Several factors actually contribute to our thermal comfort, and these factors are constantly shifting and changing throughout the day. When your mind is thinking it’s “too hot,” “too cold” or “just right,” you’re thinking about your thermal comfort. Take a look at all the factors that play into your thermal comfort below:

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As autumn begins, cooler days start to scatter themselves throughout the week. While outdoor temperatures affect our indoor climate, we rarely remember to adjust our AC accordingly. Gabrielle Ho of Green Sense, said to the WSJ that people just don’t think about it, “they just turn [their ACs] on—like turning on the lights.”

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Another factor is radiant heat, which can come from sunlight, electronics, and even other people. It’s the heat that “radiates from a warm object” [1].  This is why a room will feel warmer when you’re having a party or cooler on a cloudy day. Sunlight levels can fluctuate constantly, affecting the amount of heat radiated indoors. In a past post, we talk about how you can place plants in front of sunny windows to normalize the amount of heat coming into your home.

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Humidity also has a big impact on thermal comfort. The body sweats to release heat, but when the air is too humid, sweat has a harder time evaporating, and our bodies can’t naturally cool themselves as well.

Did you know that our ACs inherently remove humidity from the air? This is great for summer when humidity is typically highest; but when ACs remain at the same low temperatures into autumn when there’s less humidity around, you may find your indoor climate feeling too dry, so it’s important to adjust your ACs accordingly.

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When the air moving around the body is cooler than body temperature, it can help cool the body [1]. Air flow can also help sweat evaporate from the body. This is why sometimes using a fan along with your AC can help you save on your energy costs.

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Have you ever noticed feeling colder in the mornings than when you went to bed? This is because our metabolic rate also influences our thermal comfort. The more physical activity we engage in, the more heat we produce, and the more our bodies try to lose this heat so that we don’t overheat [1]. Since most of us move relatively little while we’re asleep, we actually need less AC in the night than during the day.

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Clothing acts as an insulator for our body heat and is a major contributor to our indoor thermal comfort. In a past post, we talked about how wearing too much when you sleep can actually spike your energy bill.

Why does thermal comfort matter?

Good thermal comfort keeps our body healthy and even helps our productivity. Andrea Ayres-Deets wrote on Medium that our bodies “fight to maintain 36.7 degrees Celsius (or about 98.06 degrees Fahrenheit) [because] it is the optimal temperature at which your body is able to keep fungal infection away.” Max Nisen at BusinessInsider found that “the further you get from the general human comfort zone (about 64 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit) the more productivity falls.”

Despite the fact that thermal comfort is so important, it’s an issue that hasn’t been dealt with adequately. A Fast Company article found that as much as “60% of workers complained of thermal stress” – of being “too hot or too cold in their workplace.” With all of these factors in mind, shouldn’t there be a device that takes all of this into account?

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While there are many things you can do as an AC user for better thermal comfort and energy savings, it can be time consuming to manually make these changes, and sometimes even impossible for you and your AC to take all of these factors into account to produce your ideal indoor comfort without irresponsibly using energy. Ambi Climate measures the majority of external thermal comfort factors, including temperature, radiant heat, and humidity, and provides other thermal comfort tips to improve your A/C habits, which is why we believe Ambi Climate is an especially poignant device. Check out some of the specific reasons we think Ambi Climate is the perfect solution to your thermal comfort below:

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Every Ambi Climate device is equipped with a temperature sensor. Since each Ambi Climate is a standalone device, rather than a wall or AC mount, you can place your Ambi Climate in the middle of the room or wherever you’re sitting so that the device senses the temperature that’s most relevant to you, rather than how hot or cold it is at the edge of the room.

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Because humidity is actually better at predicting thermal comfort than temperature alone, the Ambi Climate app can use humidex to interact with our users. Humidex or “humidity index” is one way to measure humidity and temperature. It is the “feels like” temperature that takes humidity into account. For example, when there’s 40% humidity in the air, 30C (86F) will really feel like 34C (93F).

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Ambi Climate pulls data from local weather stations in conjunction with its own temperature sensor to calibrate your AC settings for that day. If there is a series of alternating cold and hot days (a common pattern in summer-fall swing seasons), Ambi Climate can automatically adjust your AC with that in mind. Ambi Climate also has a luminosity sensor so it can sense whether or not your specific room gets a lot of sun throughout the day – a contributor to the radiant heat in your room affecting indoor climate. For micro-location, with the smartphone app, Ambi Climate will sense when you’re coming home or when you’re not in the room and adjust accordingly.

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We wouldn’t want to forget about the personal preferences of individuals and groups.

Imagine it’s a Friday night and you’re hosting a party. Our algorithms and sensors will notice that you have guests over (noticing a lot of activity is in the room), but that on that day, there was a lot of sunlight coming into the room (via our luminosity sensor). Ambi Climate also notices that humidity was high because it rained (local weather readings and our humidity sensor), and that the room temperature is especially high now because you’re also baking cookies for your party (our temperature sensor). Ambi Mode will take all of these factors into account, and adjust accordingly. Your guests will think you’re the best host ever because they never had to ask you to turn the AC up or down.

Ambi Climate is simple when life’s chaotic.

If you liked this post, comment below and let us know how Ambi Climate would help with your thermal comfort. We’d love to hear what you have to say.

Sources: [1] www.hse.gov.uk

 

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