You are on page 1of 2

THERMAL COMFORT FOR OFFICE WORK

(copied from: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety)

WHAT IS MEANT BY THERMAL COMFORT?
To have "thermal comfort" means that a person wearing a normal amount of clothing feels
neither too cold nor too warm. Thermal comfort is important both for one's well-being and
for productivity. It can be achieved only when the air temperature, humidity and air
movement are within the specified range often referred to as the "comfort zone".
Where air movement is virtually absent and when relative humidity can be kept at about
50%, the ambient temperature becomes the most critical factor for maintaining thermal
comfort indoors. However, temperature preferences vary greatly among individuals and
there is no one temperature that can satisfy everyone. Nevertheless, an office which is too
warm makes its occupants feel tired; on the other hand, one that is too cold causes the
occupants' attention to drift, making them restless and easily distracted.
Maintaining constant thermal conditions in the offices is important. Even minor deviation
from comfort may be stressful and affect performance and safety. Workers already under
stress are less tolerant of uncomfortable conditions.

WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD AN OFFICE BE?
A general recommendation is that the temperature be held constant in the range of 21-23°C
(69-73°F). In summertime when outdoor temperatures are higher it is advisable to keep airconditioned offices slightly warmer to minimize the temperature discrepancy between
indoors and outdoors.

WHAT HUMIDITY LEVEL AND AIR VELOCITY SHOULD AN OFFICE BE?
Relative humidity levels below 20% can cause discomfort through drying of the mucous
membranes and skin. Low relative humidity levels may also cause static electricity build-up
and negatively effect the operations of some office equipment such as printers and
computers. Relative humidity levels above 70% may lead to the development of
condensation on surfaces and within the interior of equipment and building structures. Left
alone, these areas may develop mould and fungi.
Air velocities below 0.25 metres/second (or about 50 feet/minute) does not create any
significant distraction even in tasks requiring sustained attention.

5! 74!0!78! If!30%.html Visited on October 2.ccohs.!then! 24."Office Ergonomics" gives acceptable ranges of temperature and relative humidity for offices in Canada.!then! 20!0!24! 68!0!75! Source: Adapted from ASHRAE 55-2010. Site: http://www. Additional measures may be required. The recommended temperature ranges have been found to meet the needs of at least 80% of individuals.!then! 20. These values are the same as recommended by the American Society of Heating.5!0!28! 76!0!82! If!60%. Some people may feel uncomfortable even if these values are met. TEMPERATURE(/(HUMIDITY(RANGES(FOR(COMFORT( Conditions! Summer(light-clothing)Winter(warm-clothing)- RelativeHumidity- Acceptable-OperatingTemperatures- °C! °F! If!30%.5!0!25. 2015.2010 "Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy".ARE THERE ANY STANDARDS ON OFFICE TEMPERATURES? The CSA Standard CAN/CSA Z412-00 (R2011) .ca/oshanswers/phys_agents/thermal_comfort. Refrigerating. . and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 55 . 2013 Bibliography Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.!then! 23!0!25. Document last updated on April 5.5! 69!0!78! If!60%.