2 thoughts on “Ideal Temperature

  1. Hi, Ian.
    The subject of ideal temperature is interesting to me and relevant to my job. However, the government agency I work for filters out most video files. Is the content available in text form?

    1. Pete,

      Here is a transcription of the video….

      “Temperature is a key component to a comfortable indoor environment. But what exactly is the ideal temperature? Studies show there is a wide range acceptability, much of it being cultural. Inuit cultures in the arctic climate probably have a different idea of comfortable than you.

      Even within cultures, you will find a wide range of acceptable values. I know my wife and I can never agree on the exact setting of the thermostat. In a home, you can operate the temperature however you want. But in a commercial building, what is the ideal temperature range?

      To answer this question, we’ll look to a standard by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE for short. Their Standard 55 is titled, “Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy.”

      One method of meeting the standard provides a range with a goal for 80% occupant acceptability. Why not go for 100% acceptability? It’s near impossible to make everyone happy. The standard’s range of acceptable temperatures isn’t as straightforward as you think. The acceptable range depends on:
      -the clothing people are wearing
      -the activity of occupants
      -the humidity levels
      -the air speed
      -the presence of excessive radiant heat

      So to see if the temperature of a room meets ASHRAE Standard 55, is more complex than you originally thought. Is there an easier way?

      Survey the occupants and shoot for 80% acceptability. This is a direct measurement of acceptability which has advantages and disadvantages. As ASHRAE Standard 55 points out, psychosocial conditions can impose a strong influence on the a survey.

      OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, recommends controlling temperatures in the range of 68-76° F.

      So I think you’ll agree with me that the ideal temperature is…… It depends!

      To learn more about assessing buildings for temperature, the IAQA has online classes in the IAQA University. Visit the IAQA website for more information.”

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