'Thermostat wars' heat up

The cold snap gripping B.C. is turning up the heat on household thermostat wars.

A report by BC Hydro finds when it comes to heating the home, four in 10 couples admit to arguing over the temperature.

The report found that while arguments about the "right" temperature are common, five per cent of couples describe their situation as an “all-out thermostat war.”

The survey found many will go to great lengths to get their way, and are motivated by comfort more than cost savings.

More than 60 per cent admitted to adjusting the thermostat when their partner was not looking, and 50 per cent say they have waited for their partner to leave the home before adjusting the dial. Twenty per cent even admit to turning the temperature up or down just to annoy their partner.

What temperature is considered "right" is one the most contentious household arguments – but Hydro says it is often based on misconceptions:

  • Cranking up the thermostat does not heat the home up faster than turning it up a degree or two at a time.
  • It is not more energy efficient to keep the thermostat at a constant temperature instead of adjusting it based on the time of day or what activity is going on in the home.
  • Turning on a space heater is not always a more energy efficient way to keep warm.

Hydro recommends setting the thermostat at 21 C when relaxing or watching TV, 18 C when active inside the house, and 16 C when away from home or sleeping.

Check out ways to save energy and money this winter at powersmart.ca.

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