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Thermal comfort What is it? “Thermal comfort” refers to whether a person feels comfortable - not too hot nor too cold. Achieving thermal comfort is challenging because you need to account for the six factors (air temperature, radiant heat, relative humidity, moving air, physical exertion, and clothing). Human variability -Variability between people - different metabolic rates, levels of physical fitness, medical conditions (including medication), acclimatization, level of hydration, age, smoking, etc. makes achieving thermal comfort a challenge. These factors all affect how people perceive their comfort levels, even if they are doing the same work in the same environment. The Humidex meteorologists created the humidex index in 1965. Humidex combines temperature and humidity readings into one number as a way of indicating how your body “perceives” the combination of temperature and moisture in the air. It can be a better measure of how stifling or stuffy the air “feels” versus temperature alone. It is expressed as a value, not as an actual temperature or “degrees” because it is an interpretation of how people might feel. Humidex becomes a significant factor when the index value is more than 30. The Weather Office of Environment Canada reports humidex when the value is more than 25. Wind Chill Wind chill is based on a mathematical calculation and represents how on a windy day the temperature would feel on your skin if the wind were reduced to a walking pace of 4.8 km/h (3 mph). Like humidex, wind chill is expressed in temperature-like units but it is not actual temperature.
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