What Is Ambient Temperature

What Is Ambient Temperature?

The word ambient describes something that surrounds you. It usually refers to things that surround you in a casual manner. Ambient can be used for almost everything, such as the ambient orange glow during sunset or ambient music in the elevator. Similarly, there can be ambient temperature.

Moreover, ambient temperature is not something that is fixed. It varies from object to object. What’s more, it is also dependent on factors other than the material in question. This is also true in the case of IT. But what is ambient temperature? Let’s find out!

Can Temperature Be Ambient?

You already know what temperature means. It refers to how cold or hot something is. In the case of ambient temperature, it is the same. The word ambient means ‘related to intermediate surroundings.’ So, ambient temperature is the temperature of the surrounding areas.

But this temperature is a soothing one. In IT, it is where equipment is to be stored. Indoor and outdoor, both temperatures are factors for determining ambient temperature.

Ambient Temperature in IT

In IT, ambient temperature is a significant factor. It refers to the temperature in which high-performance equipment gives the most efficient output. At this temperature, IT equipment not only works efficiently but also is not damaged. It helps the computer and hardware to perform optimally.

Like living things need optimal conditions, IT equipment also needs such conditions. In the case of high-end IT equipment, ambient temperature is slightly cooler than what we humans require.

The general ambient temperature for computers is 15 to 24 degrees Celsius or 59 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, the cooler, the better.

How to Measure Ambient Temperature

As per the norm, thermometers or sensors can measure temperatures. This is not different in the case of measuring ambient temperatures. However, in this case, the temperature required to be measured is not room temperature. It is ambient temperature.

So, the temperature is to be measured when the object is in its most stable state. To get the correct reading, the measuring device must be appropriately handled. Also, the device needs to be adequately prepped.

The temperature is to be measured over at least 24 hours. This helps to pinpoint the max and min points of ambient temperature. One thing to note is that other factors might influence the measurement.

Factors Affecting Ambient Temperature

The ambient temperature is not fixed for the equipment in question. It can be affected by quite a few factors. The range measured using the measuring device might also be flawed. These factors generally refer to not the shown reading but to how the temperature feels. Such as;

Air Conditioning

While measuring the temperature, the device doesn’t measure the exact temperature of the equipment. It actually measures the temperature on the surface.

So, if the surface temperature is manipulated, then the registered temperature is also changed. Such an occurrence might occur if the surrounding is air-conditioned. That is why air conditioning can affect ambient temperature.

Wind Chill

Room temperature affects the device. Though the reading is not entirely changed, it inclines the measuring device to give wrong readings. The most common factor of such is wind chill.

If the room is airy, then the device picks up the air’s reading instead of the device. This causes the measuring device to register a cooler temperature than the actual device temperature.


Humidity is a significant factor in temperature measurement. It refers to the moisture content in the surrounding air.

You might be thinking about how it affects the readings. Well, the thing is, humidity manipulates the human senses into thinking that it is hotter than it actually is. This causes the human part of the measuring device to believe that the device is broken. Thus, real data is not measured.


The fault is not always in the measuring device. The hardware or IT equipment might also be responsible. If the outer part of the equipment is insulated, the device cannot measure the core temperature. That means the registered temperature is lower than the actual ambient temperature.

Why Is It Important?

We already said that any computer or hardware in IT would give its maximum output at ambient temperature. In other words, for the most efficiency, the equipment needs to be at its ambient temperature. But is that all there is to ambient temperature? No, there is more to it. Such as;

Maximizing the Life of Devices

In the case of electronic devices, temperature is a significant factor. A device operating in non-optimal temperatures at first glance may not seem like that much of a problem.

But the thing is, in the long term, the device will get damaged. This causes the device to go bad before the expected time. And this is why to maximize the lifetime, the equipment should be operated in ambient temperatures.

Preventing Malfunction

In high temperatures, electronic devices tend to not work the way they are supposed to. This is also true in the case of IT equipment. If the temperature is not within the ambient temperature range, the device tends to not work properly.

This causes computers and hardware to malfunction. Thus, to prevent malfunction, it is better to operate at ambient temperature.

Avoiding Damages

Overheating or colling something too much can damage the subject in question. It is not an uncommon fact. The same is applicable for IT equipment. To prevent damage, one has to operate within temperature limits.

And what better limit than ambient temperature? That is why you should try to work within the ambient temperature.


Temperature is an influential factor in IT. And that is why ambient temperature is equally as important, if not more. It is like the sweet spot of temperature in IT sectors. For regular computer and hardware usage, one should know about ambient temperature.

Hope the article helped you understand the what is ambient temperature and why you should always try to operate in it.

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