Temperature and Relative Humidity RH Control

Each animal room should have individual temperature control to allow for environmental temperature requirements for different species and differences in heat loads between rooms because of species differences and animal density. The standard design temperature range for animal rooms is between 18 to 29°C (65 to 85°F). This is not to be confused with temperature variations around a set point. The temperature control system should be capable of maintaining temperature ±1°C (±2°F) around any set point selected from the designed temperature range.4 Designing for a narrower temperature range may be acceptable for facilities intended for a single purpose, e.g., rodent production. Room temperatures as low as 18°C (65°F) are desirable for some commonly used species, e.g., rabbits, but occasions for room temperatures over 26.6°C (80°F) are rare, and usually involve the maintenance of relatively exotic species.

Relative humidity (RH) in animal rooms should be maintained between 30 and 70%4 with no specific set point generally required within this range. A well-designed HVAC system that supplies 12.8°C (55°F) air nearly saturated with water vapor can maintain this range of RH in multiple rooms without HR control in each animal room. Zonal control may be desirable in some situations, e.g., separating rooms where dry bedding systems from those where hose-down housing systems will be used. Steam free of boiler chemicals should be used for humidification in order to avoid the potentially confounding effects of chemical additives often used in boilers.

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