Temperatures and thermal comfort

Temperatures and thermal comfort
28th November 2016 Alison Parker



Do retrospective reports about thermal discomfort vs. comfort map on experienced annual temperatures?


Do those people who report feeling it difficult to keep cold in their home in summer experience hotter ambient temperatures on average than those who do not report such a problem? Do those people who report feeling it hard to keep warm in the living room in winter experience lower temperatures than those who don’t? This research uses the EFUS survey to understand the relationship between self-reported thermal (dis-)comfort and measured ambient temperatures, and to characterize those who experience thermal discomfort.

Key Findings

  • Those who experience thermal discomfort in summer do not experience higher average or maximum temperatures.
  • Those who experience thermal discomfort in winter do not experience lower average or maximum temperatures.
  • Hence, direct mapping of retrospective comfort state on ambient temperatures is not meaningful; which might indicate that other factors are more important than ambient temperatures for thermal comfort experience.
  • There is modest evidence that those considered vulnerable are more likely to experience thermal discomfort.

Research Lead

Gesche Huebner


Huebner, G, M., Shipworth, D., Hamilton, I., & Oreszczyn, T. (2016) Too hot, too cold? An analysis of factors associated with thermal comfort in English homes. In: Brotas, L and Roaf, S and Nicol, F and Humphreys, M, (eds.) Proceedings of the 9th International Windsor Conference 2016: making comfort relevant. (pp. 143-155). Network for Comfort and Energy Use in Buildings.