Achieving Precision and Reliability: Best Practices for Operating and Maintaining Temperature Humidity Chambers

Monday, August 07 2023

Temperature humidity chambers allow you to evaluate the performance and reliability of various products under different environmental conditions. To ensure consistent and accurate results, it’s important to operate and maintain these chambers properly. As with using any testing instrument, using test chambers carries a bit of a learning curve. Fortunately, we’re here to help. 

If you’re wondering how to operate a humidity chamber, read on. In this blog post, we will explore the best practices using temperature humidity chambers, covering everything from standard operating procedures to maintenance tips.

Standard Operating Procedures for Temperature Humidity Chambers

To operate a humidity chamber effectively, it is essential to follow a standardized procedure. The standard operating procedure of a humidity chamber typically includes the following steps:

1. Preparing the Test Specimens: Ensure that the test specimens are adequately prepared, including placement within the chamber and any wiring connections.

2. Setting the Test Parameters: Determine the desired temperature and humidity levels based on the specific requirements of the test. Write a program in the chamber controller that follows the test profile over specified time intervals. 

3. Loading the Chamber: Carefully load the specimens into the chamber, ensuring proper spacing and avoiding overcrowding that may hinder airflow and ensure uniform exposure. Spacing from the chamber walls should be four inches or 1/6th of the overall dimensions.

4. Initiating the Test: Allow the chamber to stabilize at a set temperature and humidity level (25°C/50% is common) before starting the test and recording data.

5. Monitoring and Recording Data: Regularly monitor the chamber's conditions and have a plan to maintain a log of the test, either with an external device, or the chamber’s built-in storage.

Tips to Ensure the Optimal Operation of a Humidity Chamber

Here are some additional tips for operating a humidity chamber effectively:

1. Calibrate and Validate: Regularly calibrate and validate the chamber's sensors and controls to ensure accurate measurements and reliable performance. Yearly calibration and maintenance are typical and recommended, although your company’s standards may differ.

2. Avoid Sudden Temperature Changes: When transitioning between different temperature and humidity levels, set the control for gradual ramping for better control. If fast cycling is desired, use a ‘step’ ramp step to let the chamber use all its capability to heat or cool.

3. Minimize Door Openings: Limit the number of door openings during testing to maintain stable conditions inside the chamber. Frequent openings can cause temperature and humidity fluctuations and possible condensation. A buildup of condensation/ice is even possible.

4. Regularly Check for Leaks: Inspect the chamber's seals and gaskets for any signs of wear or damage that may lead to leaks. Address any issues promptly to maintain consistent testing conditions.

Maintenance Guidelines for Temperature Humidity Chambers

To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your humidity chamber, follow these maintenance guidelines:

1. Cleaning: Regularly clean the interior and exterior surfaces of the chamber using appropriate cleaning agents. Pay special attention to removing any residues that may affect the accuracy of measurements.

2. Filter Replacement: Replace the humidity water filters according to the manufacturer's recommendations to maintain proper water quality, and to prevent the build-up of minerals on the humidity generator.

3. Condensate Drainage: Clean the condensate drainage system regularly and check for kinks in the line. (Yes, even temperature chambers have drains, to allow melted ice build-up to be removed.)

4. Scheduled Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule for more in-depth inspections, safety checks, and repairs. Consider partnering with an authorized service provider for professional assistance.

Operating and maintaining a temperature humidity chamber in accordance with best practices is vital for obtaining accurate and reliable test results. By following the standard operating procedures, implementing effective operating tips, and adhering to regular maintenance guidelines, you can maximize the performance and lifespan of your humidity testing chamber.

Browse the Widest Selection of Temperature Humidity Chambers!

ESPEC is a leading provider of high-quality environmental test chambers, including temperature humidity chambers. With a commitment to innovation and reliability, our chambers are designed to meet the diverse needs of industries such as aerospace, automotive, electronics, and more. Our network of experienced Sales Representatives can help you navigate the chamber selection process with ease. Find a local rep today!