Since our most remote ancestors, we make our shelter to hide, protect us from external dangers and, mainly, from bad weather. Therefore, it is expected that the climate indoors will always be more pleasant than the outdoor environment. Thermal comfort is the basis of well-being.
Getting home is one of those simple pleasures in life.
Our personal items, our favorite place on the sofa, our way and our signature printed in every corner give us a feeling of coziness, relaxation and security. This feeling, however, comes from the primary and essential function of our home: to be a shelter.
Therefore, it is very important that our shelter is a comfortable and cozy space.
Thermal comfort – Body and environment in balance
Thermal comfort is a subject that has been widely explored and discussed by several theorists, and in some studies, it has been relativized by cultural, psychological and physiological factors (gender, age…). But, in short, it exists when our body needs to expend as little energy as possible to maintain its temperature. That is, when we feel neither too cold nor too hot because our body temperature is balanced with the external temperature.
Relative air humidity and the speed at which the wind moves are factors that directly affect environmental comfort, but, of all, the solar incidence is the most important. So much so that it even impacts the property’s value. Therefore, knowing the behavior of the sun and recognizing it in your property is essential.
Architecture based on thermal comfort
There are several devices used in architectural design to create a comfortable environment from a thermal point of view. Of all, the position of the building in relation to the sun is perhaps the most relevant. West-facing environments, where the sun sets, receive many hours of sun and are therefore warmer. Those oriented to the south receive very little sun in winter (here in the southern hemisphere) and, in addition to the cold, they can suffer from excessive humidity.
Another asset of the project is the cross ventilation. When room windows are positioned on opposite or adjacent walls, they allow a constant flow of air in and out. In addition to a cooler and more pleasant climate, cross ventilation increases the quality of the air, which is always renewing.
There are several other design elements that affect the internal temperature of buildings: specification of window glass, brises, seals, construction methods, ceilings, coatings, the height of the ceiling height and others. But decoration can also, and a lot, help to regulate the thermal comfort of environments.
Here are some tricks to heat (or cool) your home and make it a real shelter.
The good old curtain has a lot more to offer than the decorative factor. It can serve as a barrier to the entry of the sun and help keep the climate cool indoors.
But be careful, the chosen material counts for a lot. Light fabrics are the most suitable for refreshing, as they block the sun but allow the air to continue circulating. While tighter wefts and heavy fabrics retain heat and block the passage of air, they are useful for heating in very cold environments.
Carpets enhance thermal comfort
With synthetic, natural or terry fibers, rugs are always the right tools in the construction of warm and welcoming environments.
In hot places, sisal can be used, which performs its function without retaining heat. On the other hand, plush rugs, the thicker, the more heat they give to the room. In very cold places, carpet is often used to make indoor environments more pleasant.
When there is a solar incidence in the environment that is much higher than desirable, to the point of compromising environmental thermal comfort, it is time to think about physical barriers to the sun. In the absence of sunshades, which are architectural elements positioned close to the window to block the sun’s rays, awnings can be a good solution. Its biggest advantage is the possibility of installation even after the work is completed.
Today there are models for all tastes, from the most traditional to the most modern. And they can be opened and closed when needed.
As the name says, the tiled floor, as it is commonly called ceramic, porcelain, marble, and granite floors, in addition to making cleaning easier because of the smooth surface, ensures cooler indoor climates. On the other hand, the carpet, already mentioned, and the wood creates a warmer and more cozy atmosphere.
This care, however, goes beyond coatings. The furniture takes up most of the space, so naturally, their materials also impact the building’s atmosphere and desired climate.
The rule is simple and known to almost everyone: dark colors absorb and transmit heat. Therefore, it is not advisable to use it in very hot places. Dark tones should be reserved for building warmer environments to escape cold climates and contribute to thermal comfort.
Bringing a little nature into the home has many benefits. And besides being beautiful, the plants also have a thermal function. They retain moisture and make the air cooler, contributing to cooler temperatures.
Lights improve thermal comfort
Ambient lights are a fundamental part of any setting. Make use of this tool taking into account the temperature of the light.
The orange tones convey the sensation of warmth and coziness. They work for long-term environments such as living rooms and bedrooms.
White, slightly bluish lights convey a cooler feeling and should be reserved for short stay environments such as kitchens and service areas.
The temperature of light is measured on the Kelvin scale. The lower, the more orange.
Although it is a function of architecture, it is important to know how to use the decoration in terms of environmental thermal comfort and make our house the best shelter in the world.