Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/519

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Choosing Your Suit of Air

A problem in scientific ventilation and how it is being solved by some interesting experiments

By George T. Palmer

Chief of Investigating Staff, New York State Commission On Ventilation

���Arrangements for measuring and distributing the flow of air in a schoolroom. The room seems to be free from air-consumers, but it is not. Under the conical hoods are lighted candles which give off heat and use up oxygen at about the same rate as an equal number of pupils

��A PROPER "suit of air" is just as important as a serviceable suit of clothes.

A suit of air" is not imaginary. It is a fact. Our bodies are entirely surrounded by air. Out of doors we can make the air fit us pretty well by taking off or putting on more clothes, or by moving about if neces- sary to keep warm. Indoors, however, we have not so many privileges.

This finding of the proper suit of air does not sound so difficult; for we are familiar with electric desk fans in summer and large ventilating blower fans in winter which blow large volumes of air through an entire building. But if the problem were simple our workshops and places of amusement would not have air that makes us feel bad.

The New York State Commission on Ventilation is engaged in studying this

��problem of ill-fitting air-suits. The funds to support the work are given by the New York Association for Improving the Condi- tion of the Poor. This Commission believes that the way to improve on the ventilation of our buildings is to find out first what good ventilation is, to find out what the human body in its different activ- ities needs. With these facts known, it is then necessary to learn how to produce the good conditions and avoid the bed.

What Is Good Ventilation?

The first step in finding out what is good ventilation, is to measure the effect of different kinds of air on people.

The body is likened to a steam engine or an automobile. THe appropriate fuel is supplied and the combustion of this fuel with oxygen produces energy, some of


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