Indoor Temperature Variations in Swedish Households: Implications for Thermal Comfort
Paper in proceedings, 2018
Everyday thermal environments affect people’s comfort and wellbeing, with extreme conditions affecting human health. A strong focus on avoiding the extremes along with the introduction of tight thermal comfort criteria over the years has led to design strategies and behaviors that promote thermally stable indoor environments. However, recent research has shown that indoor temperature variation has significant health benefits, e.g. it could help tackle diabetes and obesity. These findings suggest that it is important to investigate not just the average temperature levels in households but also their distribution and variation over different periods. In Sweden, indoor temperatures are considered to be on average high and constant due to a combination of the heating provision mechanism and the high building standards compared to other countries. This paper investigates the temperature distributions in Swedish households using detailed 15-minute indoor air temperature measurements from the 2008 BETSI-survey, provided by the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning (Boverket). Approximately two million measurements from 1306 households taken during two-week periods in winter 2007/08 are used in this investigation. Indoor temperature variation is investigated in two levels: (i) over the 2-week monitoring period and (ii) within-day. Results showed a considerable range in average dwelling temperatures of 9 K, highlighting a substantial variability between homes in heating temperature and most likely in thermal comfort preferences. Regardless the different temperature levels, the majority of dwellings maintain stable thermal conditions, as demonstrated from the very low temperature variations found. Differences in daily temperature patterns were also observed.
Indoor environment quality