room temperature
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Colloquially, "room temperature" is a range of
air temperature Atmospheric temperature is a measure of temperature at different levels of the Earth's atmosphere. It is governed by many factors, including insolation, incoming solar radiation, humidity and altitude. When discussing surface air temperature, the ...
s that most people prefer for indoor settings. It feels comfortable to a person when they are wearing typical indoor clothing. Human comfort can extend beyond this range depending on
humidity Humidity is the concentration of water vapor present in the air. Water vapor, the gaseous state of water, is generally invisible to the human eye. Humidity indicates the likelihood for precipitation (meteorology), precipitation, dew, or fog t ...
, air circulation and other factors. Food or beverages may be served at ''room temperature'', meaning neither heated nor cooled. In certain fields, like
science and engineering Engineering is the use of scientific method, scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad rang ...
, and within a particular context, ''room temperature'' can mean different agreed-upon ranges. In contrast, ''ambient temperature'' is the actual temperature, as measured by a
thermometer A thermometer is a device that temperature measurement, measures temperature or a temperature gradient (the degree of hotness or coldness of an object). A thermometer has two important elements: (1) a temperature sensor (e.g. the bulb of a merc ...
, of the air (or other medium and surroundings) in any particular place. The ambient temperature (e.g. an unheated room in winter) may be very different from an ideal ''room temperature''.


Comfort temperatures

''
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language ''The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language'' (''AHD'') is an American dictionary of English published by Boston publisher Houghton Mifflin, the first edition of which appeared in 1969. Its creation was spurred by the controversy ...
'' identifies room temperature as around , while the ''
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the first and foundational historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a com ...
'' states that it is "conventionally taken as about ". The ideal room temperature may vary by place and culture; studies from
Nigeria Nigeria ( ), , ig, Naìjíríyà, yo, Nàìjíríà, pcm, Naijá , ff, Naajeeriya, kcg, Naijeriya officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It is situated between the Sahel to the north and the Gulf of G ...
show a comfortable temperature range of , comfortably cool and comfortably warm . Owing to variations in humidity and (likely) clothing, recommendations for summer and winter may vary; a suggested typical range for summer is , with that for winter being . Some studies have suggested that thermal comfort preferences of men and women may differ significantly, with women on average preferring higher ambient temperatures. In the recent past it was common for house temperatures to be kept below the comfort level; a 1978 UK study found average indoor home temperatures to be while Japan in 1980 had median home temperatures of to .


Health effects

The
World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. The WHO Constitution states its main objective as "the attainme ...
in 1987 found that comfortable indoor temperatures between were not associated with health risks for healthy adults with appropriate clothing, humidity, and other factors. For infants, elderly, and those with significant health problems, a minimum was recommended. Temperatures lower than with humidity above 65% were associated with respiratory hazards including allergies. The WHO's 2018 guidelines give a strong recommendation that a minimum of is a "safe and well-balanced indoor temperature to protect the health of general populations during cold seasons", while a higher minimum may be necessary for vulnerable groups including children, the elderly, and people with cardiorespiratory disease and other chronic illnesses. The recommendation regarding risk of exposure to high indoor temperatures is only "conditional". Minimal-risk high temperatures range from about depending on the region, with maximum acceptable temperatures between .


Definitions in science and industry

Temperature ranges are defined as ''room temperature'' for certain products and processes in industry, science, and consumer goods. For instance, for the shipping and storage of
pharmaceuticals A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug used to medical diagnosis, diagnose, cure, treat, or preventive medicine, prevent disease. Drug therapy (pharmacotherapy) is an imp ...
, the
United States Pharmacopeia The ''United States Pharmacopeia'' (''USP'') is a pharmacopeia (compendium of drug information) for the United States published annually by the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (usually also called the USP), a nonprofit organization that ...
-National Formulary (USP-NF) defines ''controlled room temperature'' as between , with excursions between allowed, provided the
mean kinetic temperature Mean kinetic temperature (MKT) is a simplified way of expressing the overall effect of temperature fluctuations during storage or transit of perishable goods. The MKT is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. The mean kinetic temperature can b ...
does not exceed . The
European Pharmacopoeia The ''European Pharmacopoeia'' (''Pharmacopoeia Europaea'', ''Ph. Eur.'') is a major regional pharmacopoeia which provides common quality standards throughout the pharmaceutical industry in Europe to control the quality of Pharmaceutical drug, ...
defines it as being simply , and the
Japanese Pharmacopeia The is the official pharmacopoeia of Japan. It is published by the . The first edition was published on 25 June 1886, with revisions being issued from time to time. The current revision is number 18, issued electronically on 7 June 2021. An offi ...
defines "ordinary temperature" as , with room temperature being .
Merriam-Webster Merriam-Webster, Inc. is an American company that publishes reference work, reference books and is especially known for its dictionary, dictionaries. It is the oldest dictionary publisher in the United States. In 1831, George Merriam, George a ...
gives as a medical definition a range of as being suitable for human occupancy, and at which laboratory experiments are usually performed.


See also

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Standard conditions for temperature and pressure Standard temperature and pressure (STP) are Technical standard, standard sets of conditions for experimental measurements to be established to allow comparisons to be made between different sets of data. The most used standards are those of the I ...
* *
Indoor air quality Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the air quality within and around buildings and Nonbuilding structure, structures. IAQ is known to affect the health, comfort, and well-being of building occupants. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to Sick Buil ...


References

{{Authority control Environmental engineering Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning Science experiments Atmospheric temperature