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Why Women Find Air Conditioning Colder Than Men

men vs women air conditioning debate

AC Debate

It is a reality that women feel the cold more than men and there is nothing like the freezing weather conditions to highlight this. During the winter months, blood circulation to the extremities of our body are slowed right down, for example to the feet and hands. This is a method of conserving the heat in order to ensure that the vital organs, like lungs and the heart continue functioning well.

Although we have feelings of being hot or cold throughout a typical day, the core temperature of our body is always at approximately 37C. It is vital for our survival to maintain this temperature. Hypothermia can be caused by a drop of 2C, and death will be the result in case the temperature drops 12C.

As women have fat layers distributed more evenly in their body, the seasonal differences for them are more marked. The fat layer works like the internal insulation. It draws the blood and heat inwards, leaving the noses, toes and fingers cold. This is why the development of Raynaud’s disease is more likely in women. Raynaud’s disease is a condition that is caused when the blood circulation to extremities is insufficient.

Another reason is that the muscle mass which generates heat is present more in men. The muscles are well supplied with the blood vessels, which increases the warmth and the blood flow.

In addition, the action of blood-thickening of the female hormone oestrogen might prevent a good amount of blood flow to the thinnest capillary blood vessels in the feet, hands and even the ears. Although the chances of women suffering from cold feet and hands are up to 9 times more than that for men, there are many measures that women can take in order to feel warm.

How air conditioning affects us in the office:

According to a new study, managers of office buildings who set the air conditioning to very cold temperatures are making their employees feel cold and they are wasting energy and money as well.

The heating and air conditioning standards in the office environments were originally based on resting metabolic rates for the males – it is a measure of the amount of energy used by the person at rest –according to the researchers. The fact is that standards got developed in the 1960s in order to accommodate a resting metabolic rate of a man of 40 years having a weight of 70 kilograms (154 lbs.), they said. As such, this makes the temperatures uncomfortable for the people having different body types, especially the female workers.

By adjusting the thermostats, the building managers can help their employees be more comfortable at work and at the same time, save money from the lower cooling and heating costs, said Boris Kingma, the lead researcher of the study and a biophysicist at the Maastricht University in Netherlands.

Boris, along with his colleagues, examined the physiology of sixteen women who were lightly clothed. The women performed some office work inside a climate chamber. The metabolic rates of the women were calculated by measuring the oxygen they were consuming and the carbon-dioxide they were producing. The skin temperature of the women, the humidity and air temperature of the chamber were also measured by the researchers.

It was found by the researchers, that the metabolic rates of the women were significantly lower than the standard one that is based on a 40 year old man. Kingma said that one reason for this is that generally women are smaller compared to men and the percentage of fat cells in women is higher than the males. Less heat is produced by fat cells, as compared to the muscle cells. This partially explains the reason why women have lower metabolic rates than men.

Kingma said that new findings support the previous research from the other studies, showing that the women prefer higher temperatures (3 degree Celsius) than men.

It was written by the researchers in the study that current standards of metabolic rates should be adjusted after including metabolic values for the females, in order to reduce the gender discrimination bias in the predictions of thermal comfort.

Optimum temperatures for women dressed in regular, light clothes, doing some office work was found to be 24.5C (75F) as compared to men who were recorded at 22C (71F). Hence the Maastricht study concluded that the gender discriminating bias in the thermal comfort must be reduced by buildings.

In many buildings, the consumption of energy is much higher, due to the fact that the standard is set for the heat production of men’s body, said Kingma, the lead author of the study in the Netherlands.

If one has a more accurate view of thermal demand of people inside a building, then they can design a building in such a way that lot less energy is wasted and this means that the emissions of carbon dioxide will be less too. If the temperatures are set higher, it would positively contribute towards battling the global warming issue too.

Female users of social media applauded the science behind one of most common dilemmas they face at work.

New cooling and heating standards must take into account the average age, workers body size and their sex, although there is a need for more research in order to come up with the best formula.

According to Kingma, the climate-control settings in the buildings are there to help people in maintaining a core body heat that is about 37 degree Celsius. If someone enters into a room that is too cold or too hot, energy will be used by their body, like sweating or shivering, in order to maintain the right body temperature.

Moreover, generally there will be extra mistakes made by the office workers when they are stationed in a chilly office environment compared to when they are stationed in warm environments. This was found in a study done in 2004. It was shown by this month-long study that when the temperature of the office increased from 38C to 43C, the typing errors reduced by 44% and the typing productivity increased by 150%.

However, using little energy during day time can be good for our body. Many office workers spend the majority of their time sitting at their desks. Therefore, it may be beneficial for them if their body burns fewer calories in order to keep them warm or to keep them cool. However, the temperatures in shared spaces (like an office) should not be too hot or too cold so that people feel uncomfortable.

Architects, engineers and building managers are encouraged by the researchers to be aware of and to implement an improved cooling and heating standard once it is available.

 

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Energy efficiency air conditioning units

Climapac Air Conditioner

Energy efficiency air conditioning units

Energy efficiency air conditioning units

Today we hear a lot about energy efficiency and air conditioners and ecological “low power” devices, but what does this really mean when it comes to our air conditioning?
Energy efficient air conditioners use a smaller amount of energy than less efficient ones, whilst maintaining the same levels of performance. This means that efficient air conditioners are cheaper to run, saving you money each time you switch them on.

• Why should we be energy efficient?

We are constantly reminded to be Eco-Friendly. Buying an energy efficient product is a great way to do our bit and be as Eco Friendly as we can. Energy efficient appliances such as air conditioners help save energy, money and the environment too. They save money because they use less electricity than more wasteful appliances. This means that the savings really can be significant over time.
Energy efficient air conditioners are responsible for a reduced amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) are altering our planet’s climate, making temperatures increase and sea levels to rise. If every air conditioner owner in the UK switched to an A-rated air conditioner, the energy protected would save over 35 million buses worth of CO2 emissions. This highlights how a relatively simple course of action repeated by a large number of people can make a huge difference.

• How do you know if an air conditioner is energy efficient?

Energy efficient air conditioners are simple to recognise; all you have to do is look out for the Energy Efficiency label. If it’s A-rated, then this means that it’s energy efficient.

• What’s the EU Energy Rating?

The EU Energy Rating measures energy efficiency on a seven point scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). This rating covers a huge range of household appliances, such as fridges, freezers, washing machines, tumble driers, electric ovens, as well as air conditioners. A product with an A rating will have passed a demanding, impartial testing procedure, so you can be certain of its high energy efficiency.

By adopting appropriate behaviours, you can significantly reduce your consumption and save up to 30% energy. For this, you’ll need to follow just a few simple actions:

Set the temperature set at 24 ° C minimum. Just 1 ° C less than this will use 7% more energy.
Close doors and windows in the room when the air conditioner is running. Any air intake brings warmth and moisture that will increase the need for air conditioning.
Turn off the air conditioning when you are away.
Set your air conditioner to use only at certain times, which will in turn optimise its operation.

• 8 benefits of energy efficient air conditioners

1. While the acquisition cost is a bit higher than other models, the expense is paid only once. Also, since your air conditioner now has maximum efficiency, this translates into instant energy savings.
2. Those that have ecological air conditioning get savings of up to 70% thanks to two aspects: on the one hand it directly reduces electricity consumption, and the other, renewable energy is used. Thus CO2 emissions are reduced, contributing to the reduction of the environmental impact of human activity.
3. Split Air Conditioners deliver cold air and warm air, which means that you can use them for summer and winter use. This isn’t the case with others that work only seasonally.
4. Air conditioners are controlled via a remote control, providing comfort and safety too. This is because there are fewer possibilities for accidents such as burns, gas leaks, etc. that accompany regular heating through radiators or electric heaters.
5. Air conditioners have an air distribution system through the deflector fins. This means that unpleasant and annoying air currents are avoided.
6. The air conditioners have dehumidification systems, reducing the moisture level for optimum comfort and help keep mould growth at bay.
7. Ecological air conditioning is also responsible for removing bacteria from the environment and eliminates airborne dust, which help in avoiding allergies. This makes it a healthy and safe option for the whole family.
8. The life span of ecological air conditioning can often exceed five years. This is dependent on performing maintenance from time to time, so that it can continue to perform in perfect condition.

• The rise of air conditioning

With technology improving at such a rate, air conditioners are becoming more and more efficient, as well as practical. No longer are they large, unreliable and noisy metal boxes. Air conditioning manufacturers have driven for sleeker designs, ease of use and lots of features to make the product as versatile as possible.
This makes air conditioning an immensely attractive option for both domestic and commercial users. Reverse air conditioning technology has only cemented this viewpoint. Having the capability to not only cool a room down, but to heat it too is hugely important for companies and homes to manage throughout the year.
Some of the world’s largest creators of air conditioning such as Toshiba, Climapac, Fujitsu and Premiair have both fixed and portable products that are pushing the boundaries of energy efficient air conditioning.

One of our suppliers are Airedale

• Steps to buying an energy efficient air conditioner

Step 1 – Prevention and leak repair
Fix places around your home that are poorly insulated or that allow air to flow in and out so that your new air conditioner will operate at its best.
Step 2 – Determine the size
Find out what size unit you need to cool by measuring the relevant space, or request a central air specialist to inspect your home.
Step 3 – Understand SEER
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the measure of how much a unit cools per unit of power – the higher the SEER, the greater the efficiency.
Looking for a model with the EnergyStar logo is also a good way of finding out if it is an effective device.
Step 4 – Extras
Look for additional features that will help conserve energy, such as a thermal expansion valve with an automatic fan switch delay and filter change indicator.
Look at the second ranking, called EEF, with a value of 11.6 or higher. A higher values means it will work more efficiently in hot temperatures.
Step 5 – Compare
Compare the output, productivity and SEER ratings of various models in similar price ranges.
Step 6 – Make a purchase
Buy the most fuel efficient model you can afford.

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