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What is thermal comfort?

Generally, when we talk about indoor air quality and the ventages of living in a Passivhaus dwelling, we refer to the great thermal comfort. But what is the thermal comfort?

Thermal comfort is when the people using a building do not experience any cold or hot feelings, that is, when humidity, temperature and air movement conditions are nice and adequate to the activity conducted there.

The complexity of assessing the thermal comfort (we associate feelings with subjective values) means studying variables such as the air, walls, grounds, and roofs temperature, the air humidity and the air speed.

Average air temperature: According to Passivhaus, the minimum comfort value in winter is 20ºC while in maximum comfort value in summer is 20ºC.  

Humidity: A humidity level of around 40-70% can make us feel comfortable. The connection between humidity and temperature can change our wellbeing. If we maintain a humidity level not extremely high, with temperatures even higher than 25ºC, we can experience positive comfort feelings.

Ventilation: Knowing that one of the features of a passive house is its airtightness, dwellings constructed according Passivhaus standard have their ventilation made in a controlled and continuous way. Ventilation flows per person lower than 0.3 air renovation/hour with a speed air lower than 1m/s are considered in order to prevent air drafts.

Based on passive dwelling constructive principles, we will find a different way of living, with rooms at a steady temperature in the whole house, no matter where the rooms face to, without unwanted air infiltrations and a secured thermal comfort.

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