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Mercury-in-glass thermometer for measurement of room temperature

Colloquially, room temperature is the range of temperatures that people prefer for indoor settings, at which the air feels neither hot nor cold when wearing typical indoor clothing. The range is typically between 20 °C (68 °F) and 27 °C (81 °F)[1] and various methods of climate control are often employed to maintain this thermal comfort level. In certain fields, like science and engineering, and within a particular context, "room temperature" may have an agreed upon value for temperature.


Comfort levelsEdit

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language identifies room temperature as around 24 to 25 °C (75 to 77 °F).[2]

Owing to variations in humidity and likely clothing, recommendations for summer and winter may vary; a suggested typical range for summer is 23 °C (73 °F) to 25.5 °C (78 °F), with that for winter being 20 °C (68 °F) to 23.5 °C (74 °F).,[3] although by other considerations the maximum should be below 24 °C (75 °F) – and for sick building syndrome avoidance, below 22 °C (72 °F).[3]

According to the West Midlands Public Health Observatory (UK),[4] an adequate level of wintertime warmth is 21 °C (70 °F) for a living room, and a minimum of 18 °C (64 °F) for other occupied rooms, giving 24 °C (75 °F) as a maximum comfortable room temperature for sedentary adults.[5]

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).[6]

See alsoEdit


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