Comfy End User FAQs

1. Where can I use Comfy? Only at my desk?

You can get a stream of air anywhere that you can see on the floor plan in your Comfy profile, as long as you can click on it. That usually means all desk areas, conference rooms and breakout areas, but probably not food service areas, bathrooms, or other areas where air conditioning is treated differently.

Of course, if you send a stream to someone else's area, they can see that clearly on the Comfy interface, so please send air only to the area you currently are in.

2. How does Comfy work exactly?

Your building has a computer-based system that controls the temperature in all of the different parts of the building. Temperature is controlled typically by heating or cooling air centrally (often in the basement), and then distributing the air through the building through ducts. Each area that is highlighted on the Comfy floor plan has the ability to have a unique temperature, because it has its own box that controls how much warm or cool air is put into that area. Comfy is software that plugs into this system, allowing you to interact with it directly.

When you click 'Warm my Space' or 'Cool my Space', Comfy logs your preference, in that area, and the time and day. Over time, Comfy sees patterns, and uses them to keep the space more comfortable. For example, if you sit in a spot where the sun hits you in the afternoon a lot, and you tell Comfy to 'Cool my Space' regularly because of it, Comfy will learn to keep your space cooler in the afternoon. Similarly, if you don’t work at your desk on Fridays, Comfy will learn not to condition your space on Fridays.

3. Why do I share temperature with other people? Why is my zone the size that it is?

In most buildings today, we keep people warm and cool via 'forced air'- air that is pumped through ducts into the building. All buildings with forced air have zones, including homes, and often these zones are bigger than one room, because it’s a lot cheaper and easier that way.

For office buildings, it's good practice for conference rooms to each have their own zone, private offices can be on their own zone or 2-3 offices per zone, and 4-8 desks in open office areas (with or without cubicles) will share one zone. With each additional zone, there is additional equipment your building management has to install. That's why most folks who work in office buildings end up sharing temperature with others, and Comfy was invented to help improve this situation, by providing more control to employees so they can keep their temperature the way they'd like it.

4. What is Buddy Mode?

Buddy Mode helps build consensus in a zone typically occupied by 8 or more users. When you make a request in a Buddy Mode zone, a second occupant in the zone must validate your request within 20 minutes' time in order for the stream of air to be activated in your zone.

If anyone in the zone makes a request different than the original request, the zone will go on hold for 20 minutes in which time no action will be taken. For more information, please visit our FAQ section.

If you feel your zone should no longer be in Buddy Mode, please email us at [email protected].

5. What is Learning Only Mode?

Sometimes certain zones are set to Learning Only Mode, where the immediate-response feature is not activated, but Comfy is still set to ‘learn’ by adapting the temperature setpoints over time based on users requests in that zone. In Learning Only Mode Comfy will not change the airflow or temperature conditions immediately on click.The Comfy learning algorithm tracks the time, location and temperature for each warm/cool request and choses a setpoint that best fits the user requests in each zone. More recent requests weigh more than older ones and requests from distinct users weigh more than repeated requests from a single user.Comfy is not changing the airflow, humidity, and timing of conditioning. It will just gradually adjust the temperature over the course of the day based on everyone's feedback.

6. I want to know the temperature in my space- why doesn't Comfy tell me?

Temperature is a funny thing! When we say temperature, we typically mean the temperature of the air around us. But that's only one factor of many that impact our comfort. Hot or cold surfaces next to us, including direct sun, can make a huge difference on how cool or warm we feel, as does humidity and air speed. Comfy is about making you comfortable, not providing a specific air temperature. What's more, thermostats can often give false readings- just like lots of electronics, over time they get 'out of tune'. For those reasons and more, we think it's best to not show temperatures, but instead focus on making everyone comfortable.

7. I'm feeling a little hot or cold, but my neighbors don't agree. What now?

Comfy can help you and your colleagues keep the temperature where you like it, but it's always good to be respectful of the slightly different temperature preferences people have. So if you find yourself feeling too warm or cool in a zone with others who feel fine, try one of these approaches, since Comfy isn't really the right answer during that moment:

  • If you're feeling warm, take off an extra layer, or drink a cold drink.
  • Close the blinds if the sun is hitting your skin directly, that can make a big impact, even inside.
  • We lose a lot of heat through our feet. Try keeping extra socks or ankle warmers at work, for times when you're wearing shoes that expose ankles and tops of your feet.
  • Walk around for a bit, if you're feeling cold. That gets the blood flowing, which is good for your brain too!

8. I'm generally pretty comfortable. Why would I use Comfy?

Using Comfy is totally optional. However, if you'd like to help Comfy reach its full potential, you can go in every once in a while and tell Comfy that you're comfortable. This helps Comfy keep an accurate model of everyone's preferences.

9. I want Comfy to learn my routine. How can I improve how well it learns?

If you have a set routine, try using Comfy around the same time each day, for a little over a week. For example, if you want Comfy to cool down a bit after your lunch break, just click 'Cool my Space' after lunch for a handful of days when you first start using Comfy. Comfy will learn to cool down your space after lunch, and will start doing it automatically. Once these adjustments have been made by Comfy, you won’t feel the stronger air stream that you feel when you push the 'Cool my Space' button, but the ambient temperature during that time of day should be more to your liking.

10. How does Comfy save energy?

Comfy saves energy in two main ways: by reducing cooling and heating where and when it isn't being used, and by reducing cooling and heating that's unwanted.

Comfy learns which rooms aren't used often, and when no one is in the office. It then starts to reduce conditioning during unoccupied times, which saves a lot of energy.

But also, have you ever noticed office buildings that are too cold in the summer? Imagine all of that wasted energy that we use to freeze ourselves during the middle of the hot summer! Not only is this a common problem, it is a bigger issue than office buildings being too hot in the summer! Comfy reduces that unneeded air conditioning, because we find that people actually like to be a little warmer in the summer, even indoors.

11. Who is behind Comfy? What's the big idea?

Read more about our team, our history, and our work at our website, or check out one of these articles about us and our work.

12. I have an idea for how Comfy could be better! You want to hear it?

Heck yes we do! Comfy is in constant growth and evolution, and we love ideas and feedback. Share your suggestion through Comfy Concierge (located at the bottom of the Comfy app homepage).