Metabolic Heat Gain from Persons

Human metabolic heat gain in air conditioned rooms

The table below indicates sensible and latent (vapor) heat from persons. The values can be used to estimate heat loads that must be handled by air conditioning systems.

Note that the values are based on older ISO and ASHRAE standards. Later ISO and ASHRAE standards should be checked for updated values.

Degree of ActivityTypical ApplicationAverage Metabolic Rate - male adult
(W)
Room Dry Bulb Temperature (oC)
28 27 26 24 22 20
Heat (W)
Sens.Lat.Sens.Lat.Sens.Lat.Sens.Lat.Sens.Lat.Sens.Lat.
Seated at rest Cinema, theater, school 100 50 50 55 45 60 40 67 33 72 28 79 21
Seated, very light work Computer working 120 50 70 55 65 60 60 70 50 78 42 84 36
Office work Hotel reception, cashier 130 50 80 56 74 60 70 70 60 78 52 86 44
Standing, walking slowly Laboratory work 130 50 80 56 74 60 70 70 60 78 52 86 44
Walking, seated 150 53 97 58 92 64 86 76 74 84 66 90 60
Moderate work Servant, hair dresser 160 55 105 60 100 68 92 80 80 90 70 98 62
Light bench work Mechanical production 220 55 165 52 158 70 150 85 135 100 120 115 105
Moderate Dancing Party 250 62 188 70 180 78 172 94 156 110 140 125 125
Fast walking Mountain walking 300 80 220 88 212 96 204 110 190 130 170 145 155
Heavy work Athletics 430 132 298 138 292 144 286 154 276 170 260 188 242
  • 1 W = 3.41 Btu/hr

Heat Generated from Human Body

The diagram below is for moderate activity- seated, very light work - computer working person.

Human body heat - metabolism

  • sensible heat = convection and radiation
  • latent heat = evaporation

Related Topics

  • Physiology - Human physiology, air quality and comfort temperatures, activity and metabolic rates, health effects of carbon monoxide and more
  • Air Conditioning - Air Conditioning systems - heating, cooling and dehumidification of indoor air for thermal comfort
  • Air Psychrometrics - The study of moist and humid air - psychrometric charts, Mollier diagrams, air-condition temperatures and absolute and relative humidity and moisture content

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