Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Proper Laboratory Temperature

The temperature in the lab should be maintained at 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity between 35 and 55%. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have guidelines covering these ranges. As laboratories add more automated equipment, the room temperature goes up due to the amount of heat generated. Old labs are often a composite of several small rooms that lack the proper circulation and ventilation. If it is too hot, the equipment doesn’t work properly and the lab results are erroneous. ASHRAE also states that air exchange is important. Twelve exchanges per hour removes 99% of airborne particulates in 23 minutes. Armed with this information, laboratory management should work with the facility’s engineering department to assure employee comfort.

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