Document Type



Temperature Regulation, Skin Heat Loss


Today institutional rooms of many types have single large glass window panes measuring as large as 3.0 meters by 2.5 meters; animal colonies are maintained near these windows in winter, office workers sit by them and thinly clad patients on littercarts are placed beside them. Even though both local air and wall temperature may be 22°C, human subjects beside the windows in winter feel cold because body heat is radiated to the glass which acts as a heat sink. An experiment was conducted during two Iowa winters with measurements of temperatures of outside air, room, wall, undraped glass window, drape-covered window and skin to determine radiated heat loss and to assess the effects of a radiation shield (drape). The glass could be as low as 2°C. Results showed greater protection to the skin by the drape as the weather became colder, although the glass temperature did not change with the weather as much as was expected. Using a standardized room for calculations, we showed that if a person moved from a back wall to a position beside the glass window, he would increase his total heat loss by 32 percent.

Publication Date

June 1974

Journal Title

Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





First Page


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© Copyright 1974 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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