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People who live in a cold climate: thermal adaptation differences based on availability of heating


Y. Zhu

Department of Building Science Tsinghua University Beijing 100084 China

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Are there differences in thermal adaptation to cold indoor environments between people who are used to living in heating and non-heating regions in China? To answer this question, we measured thermal perceptions and physiological responses of young men from Beijing (where there are indoor space heating facilities in winter) and Shanghai (where there are not indoor space heating facilities in winter) during exposures to cold. Subjects were exposed to 12°C, 14°C, 16°C, 18°C, 20°C for 1 h. Subjects from Beijing complained of greater cold discomfort and demonstrated poorer physiological acclimatization to cold indoor environments than those from Shanghai. These findings indicate that people's chronic indoor thermal experience might be an important determinant of thermal adaptation.