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Mercury-in-glass thermometer for measurement of room temperature

Colloquially, room temperature is the range of air temperatures that people prefer for indoor settings, which feel comfortable when wearing typical indoor clothing. As a medical definition, the range generally considered to be suitable for human occupancy is between 15 °C (59 °F) and 25 °C (77 °F),[1] though human comfort can extend somewhat beyond this range depending on factors such as humidity and air circulation.[2] In certain fields, like science and engineering, and within a particular context, "room temperature" can have varying agreed upon values for temperature.


Comfort levelsEdit

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language identifies room temperature as around 20 to 22 °C (68 to 72 °F).[3]

Owing to variations in humidity and likely clothing, recommendations for summer and winter may vary; a suggested typical range for summer is 23 to 25.5 °C (73 to 78 °F), with that for winter being 20 to 23.5 °C (68 to 74 °F),[4] although by other considerations the maximum should be below 24 °C (75 °F) – and for sick building syndrome avoidance, below 22 °C (72 °F).[4]

According to the West Midlands Public Health Observatory (UK), an adequate standard of warmth is 21 °C (70 °F) for a living room, and 18 °C (64 °F) for other occupied rooms. Levels below this may contribute to cardiovascular disease and other health problems, with an increased mortality rate below 20 °C (68 °F). 24 °C (75 °F) is given as the top range for comfort for sedentary adults.[5][6]

Ambient versus room temperatureEdit

Ambient temperature simply means "the temperature of the surrounding air"; in a room it is the temperature of the air in that room. Room temperature is not necessarily the same as the temperature of the air in a room. If a room is uncomfortably cool or warm, then the ambient temperature is significantly lower or higher than room temperature.

Serving temperature of red wineEdit

A common piece of advice is to serve red wine "at room temperature". This advice stems from a time from before central heating, when room temperature in wine-drinking countries was considerably lower than it is today, usually in the range between 15 °C (59 °F) and 18 °C (64 °F). The advice is therefore to serve the wine at, at most, about 18 °C (64 °F).[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Merriam Webster's Medical Dictionary. 2016. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Burroughs, H. E.; Hansen, Shirley (2011). Managing Indoor Air Quality. Fairmont Press. pp. 149–151. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Hartley, Anne (1 March 2006). "Fuel Poverty". West Midlands Public Health Observatory. Birmingham, UK: West Midlands Public Health Observatory. Archived from the original on March 15, 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  6. ^ Roberts, Michelle (27 October 2006). "Why more people die in the winter". BBC News. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  7. ^ Karen MacNeil (2015). The Wine Bible (revised second ed.). Workman Publishing. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-7611-8715-8.