Evolution of the perfect aircon temperature

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

Our indoor air-conditioning settings most closely resemble the climate of west central Kenya, and reflects the temperature comfort zone of other primates, according to US research. The small study of 37 houses across the US looked at whether the average temperatures of our home aircon matches the climates in the regions in which our ancestors evolved. They found that the indoor climates of our homes largely matched the temperature range at which humans and other primates can control their body temperature without using up too much energy. The authors say the simplest explanation for this is that we attempt to recreate the conditions from which we evolved, and that future work should test this idea.

Journal/conference: Royal Society Open Science

Organisation/s: North Carolina State University, USA

Funder: This work was supported by a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (No. 953390) to R.R.D.

Media Release

From: The Royal Society

Human indoor climate preferences approximate specific geographies

Royal Society Open Science

We actively control the climate in our homes. Once we did it only through passive approaches. Now we actively manipulate climate using air conditioning and heating. Here we consider why we might prefer the indoor climates that we do. We begin to answer this question in a novel way by identifying those outdoor climates most similar to the climates we find in USA homes to see if they are like the climates in the regions in which our ancestors evolved.


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