Most calibration laboratory equipment and processes are sensitive to ambient temperature and relative humidity. Laboratory temperature and humidity are two critical factors in creating ideal lab conditions. If the humidity is too high or low, it can affect the accuracy of sensitive tests. Temperature also plays a role in ensuring it does not contaminate samples.
Many organizations outline laboratory temperature and humidity requirements. The reason for these guidelines is to prevent sample contamination.
The World Health Organization has guidelines on standards. The International Standards Organization also requires temperature controls in primary standards laboratories.
Temperature and Humidity in Calibration Laboratory
As the ISO 17025 standard requires, laboratory environmental conditions should be monitored and controlled. Environmental conditions mean a specified range or conditions of acceptability of that specific parameter, like temperature and humidity.
It should be monitored means that there is a specified interval for checking if it is meeting the acceptable range/conditions, and it should be recorded to review the results.
Furthermore, monitoring and control are during the calibration process and the storage and handling of equipment. This also includes the calibration status of measuring instruments.
Why is it a Concern?
First and foremost, the concern is preventing contamination. Improper climate control can allow for the growth of microbes and bacteria. Not only does the temperature and humidity affect the lab, but it affects instruments.
There is a direct relationship between room temperature and equipment temperature stability. In pressure calibration, density changes with temperature.
With high humidity, metals like gauge blocks will rust quickly. When metals rust or corrosion occurs in an electrical area, it creates a leakage path for voltage and current, which causes a malfunction or inaccurate readings.
If below 20%, where the air is arid, instruments can be prone to static electricity, which will damage the electronic equipment. The temperature in a lab can affect volume, but it can also affect the chemical reaction speed.
Prevent Problems with Monitoring and Maintenance
Maintenance of laboratory temperature and relative humidity requires an air-handling system that controls the environment and monitoring devices.
To maintain consistent conditions, room and equipment temperatures should be monitored faithfully and adjusted frequently.
A monitoring system can help you track fluctuations in temperature. It can also be set to notify an employee when the temperature drop is too low or too high. The best monitors also developed and maintained ideal temperatures.
Another vital part of laboratory temperature monitoring is to track historical and data fluctuations. The right monitor collects data and compiles reports. Following patterns and trends will make adjusting the lab to the temperature and humidity needs easy for accurate results.
Following insights and data about fluctuations will allow you to link those changes back to causes and maintain your lab’s credibility and productivity.
Temperature and humidity are the two most monitored environmental conditions in a laboratory. It can affect the data, instruments, and calibration without monitoring and control. If you need clarification on the best monitoring products or help determine if your instruments need calibration, we can help. SRP control systems can help you care for the equipment your lab needs to be accurate and compliant.