Personal heating: effectiveness and energy use

Jacob Verhaart, Michal Vesely, Wim Zeiler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Buildings use approximately 40% of primary energy with most energy expended on the provision of a comfortable indoor climate. An extended range of indoor temperatures can significantly reduce the energy load. However, lower temperature set points for heating can cause thermal discomfort. Giving building occupants the option to warm themselves (e.g. a local source at their desk or workstation) can mitigate this discomfort by the provision of a personalized conditioning system. A model is presented to assess the performance of personalized heating and its impact on the whole building energy load. Researchers, designers and facility managers can use this model to compare performance and analyse energy savings. The total energy use of personalized heating is estimated by scaling its settings to the actual level of discomfort resulting from a lowered heating set point. This model is used to assess seven different personalized heating systems. Assessments reveal that personalized heating brings a remarkable energy-saving potential, while maintaining or even improving individually perceived thermal comfort. Assessments are based on an assumed linear relation between the power and level of increased thermal sensation. Future research in personalized conditioning systems should be directed towards the development of the full characteristics and specific settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-354
JournalBuilding Research & Information
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2015


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