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Room temperature is a colloquial expression for the typical or preferred indoor (climate-controlled) temperature to which people are generally accustomed. It represents the small range of temperatures at which the air feels neither hot nor cold, often approximated at 21°C or 70°F. In more rigorous scientific contexts it may denote the range between 20 and 23.5 °C (68.0 and 74.3 °F) with an average of 21 °C (70 °F).
According to the West Midlands Public Health Observatory (UK), an adequate level of warmth for older people (aged 58 and above) is 21 °C (70 °F) in the living room, and 18 °C (64 °F) in other occupied rooms. 24 °C (75 °F) is stated as the maximum comfortable room temperature.
Owing to variations in humidity and likely clothing, recommendations for summer and winter may vary; one for summer is 23 °C (73 °F) to 24 °C (75 °F), with that for winter being 20 °C (68 °F) to 23 °C (73 °F). Although by other considerations the maximum should be below 24 °C (75 °F) – for sick building syndrome avoidance, below 22 °C (72 °F).
For scientific work, room temperature is taken to be about 20 to 25 degrees Celsius with an average of 23 °C (about 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit (°F), 293 to 298 kelvins (K), or 528 to 537 degrees Rankine (°R)). For numerical convenience, either 20 °C (68 °F) or 300 K (80 °F) is often used, without being specified as "room temperature". However, room temperature is not a defined scientific term, unlike Standard Temperature and Pressure (STP); admittedly, STP has several slightly different definitions.
Ambient versus room temperature
Room temperature implies a temperature inside a temperature-controlled building. Ambient temperature simply means "the temperature of the surroundings" and will be the same as room temperature indoors. In many languages, such as Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, there is an expression for ambient temperature, but no distinct translation for room temperature.
- This article incorporates information from
- Hartley, Anne (1 March 2006). "Fuel Poverty". West Midlands Public Health Observatory. Birmingham, UK: West Midlands Public Health Observatory. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- Roberts, Michelle (27 October 2006). "Why more people die in the winter". BBC News. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- Burroughs, H. E.; Hansen, Shirley (2011). Managing Indoor Air Quality. Fairmont Press. pp. 149–151. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
- The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.).
- "ambiente". WordReference.com Spanish-English Dictionary. WordReference.com. Retrieved 20 September 2011.