First of all, what is ambient temperature? It is the temperature measurement of the air within a room. Ambient temperature comfortable to human beings is on average 70 degrees Fahrenheit (or 21 degrees Celsius). Ambient temperature is a very important factor in many situations, such as in scientific experiments, medical research and maintaining high-tech equipment. For instance, a computer would work at maximum efficiency if the room's ambient temperature were at the range of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (or 15.5 to 25 degrees Celsius). High room temperatures (above 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 27.7 degrees Celsius) pose the risk of damaging computer systems. That's why it is important to keep ambient temperature at a constant safe measurement to ensure your equipment's efficiency.
Here are the common devices you can use to test ambient temperature to make sure it's still within a safe range for your equipment:
- Humidity sensors. A humidity sensor is used to monitor the amount of humidity in the air. Modern humidity sensors are small chips or parts that can be integrated into larger systems. They provide digital results and can operate in harsh environments (such as very high to very low temperatures). In choosing a good humidity sensor, several factors are considered: accuracy, sensitivity to external disturbances, long-term stability, ability to withstand condensation and resistance to physical and chemical pollutants, among others.
- Temperature controllers. Temperature controllers, simply put, work by constantly monitoring the room's ambient temperature, they then compare it with the pre-determined control temperature and then regulate it when needed; they may work as a switch to signal specialized devices to adjust the current ambient temperature. Different types of temperature controllers are available in the market today: these are the proportional controller, on-off controller (simplest) and PID (or Proportional with Integral and Derivative control, which has more specific control over temperature). The difference between these temperature controllers is mainly in how they regulate the temperature once the ambient temperature goes over the maximum/minimum temperature required. How to choose between different temperature controllers depends on such factors as how crucial it is to maintain a specific ambient temperature (such as in the case of very sensitive instruments and equipment), the amount of available energy, and how frequent temperature changes occur within a location.
- Infrared temperature sensors. Infrared temperature refers to the radiation (heat) objects give off. Infrared temperature sensors are able to convert the heat into an electrical signal, which is then converted to temperature value. Some sensors are further able to convert this value to a digital output that can then be recorded and analyzed on computers. Infrared temperature sensors usually take the form of hand-held or wall-mounted, non-contact devices.
- Humidity and temperature chart recorders. A very user-friendly ambient temperature device is the humidity and temperature chart recorder, which is a small and convenient tool that is no hardship to set up and operate. It may be mounted on an office wall or propped up on an office desk. It provides real-time temperature readings through chart display, records results, and gives warnings when ambient temperature is off of required limits.
Other devices are also available to measure a room's ambient density (the mass available in a given space).