The goal of this research is to examine human response to background noise, and relate results to indoor noise criteria. In an initial study by the authors, subjects completed perception surveys, typing tasks, and proofreading tasks under typical heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) noise conditions. Results were correlated with commonly used indoor noise criteria systems including Noise Criteria (NC), Room Criteria (RC) and others. The findings suggested that the types of tasks used and the length of exposure can impact the results. To examine these two issues, the authors conducted a second study in which each test subject completed 38 total hours of testing over multiple days. Subjects were exposed to several background noise exposures over 20, 40, 80, and 240 minute trials. During the trials, subjects completed a variety of performance tasks and answered questions about their perception of the noise, the thermal environment, and various other factors. Findings from this study are being used to determine optimum testing conditions for on-going research examining the effects of tonal or fluctuating background noise on performance, annoyance, and spectral perception. Results are being used to evaluate the effectiveness of commonly used indoor noise criteria systems.