Room temperature is defined as the thermometer reading of a room. Ideally, it is the temperature at which people feel comfortable wearing ordinary clothing. For most people, it’s either the usual temperature of their house or the temperature they set the thermostat. In science, room temperature is often defined. Here is a look at the different values of room temperature.
Room Temperature of a Typical Home
According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, room temperature is 20–22 °C (68–72 °F). The Oxford English Dictionary states room temperature is around 20 °C (72 °F). Merriam-Webster defines a temperature range of 15 to 25 °C (59 to 77 °F) as suitable for long term human occupancy and laboratory experimentation.
However, room temperature tends to be cooler in winter and warmer in summer. People adjust their thermostat to save on energy bills and accommodate seasonal clothing. Also, studies indicate women often prefer warmer temperatures than men. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum room temperature of 20 °C (68 °F) for infants, children, the elderly, and people who are ill. Similarly, persons in those groups don’t tolerate excessive heat.
Room Temperature in Science and Industry
Some agencies define normal temperatures. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) defines standard ambient temperature as 25 °C (77 °F, 298.15 K). In the pharmaceutical industry, controlled room temperature is 20 to 25 °C (68 to 77 °F). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines normal temperature as 25 °C (77 °F). For science experiments, report and record room temperature because it may differ from ideal or standard values.
Room Temperature vs Ambient Temperature
While people use the terms “room temperature” and “ambient temperature” interchangeably, they don’t mean the same thing. Ambient temperature is the actual recorded temperature of the surroundings. Sometimes it differs from room temperature and may not even be an indoor temperature.
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