The effect of personalized ventilation (PV) on people's health, comfort, and performance in a warm and humid environment (26 and 28°C at 70% relative humidity) was studied and compared with their responses in a comfortable environment (23°C and 40% relative humidity). Thirty subjects participated in five 4-h experiments in a climate chamber. Under the conditions with PV, the subjects were able to control the rate and direction of the supplied personalized flow of clean air. Subjective responses were collected through questionnaires. During all exposures, the subjects were occupied with tasks used to assess their performance. Objective measures of tear film stability, concentration of stress biomarkers in saliva, and eye blinking rate were taken. Using PV significantly improved the perceived air quality (PAQ) and thermal sensation and decreased the intensity of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptoms to those prevailing in a comfortable room environment without PV. Self-estimated and objectively measured performance was improved. Increasing the temperature and relative humidity, but not the use of PV, significantly decreased tear film quality and the concentration of salivary alpha-amylase, indicating lower mental arousal and alertness. The use of PV improved tear film stability as compared to that in a warm environment without PV.
Indoor Air, 2013, Vol 23, Issue 3, p. 250-263
Hot and humid environment; Personalized ventilation; Individual control; health; Comfort; Performance