SMART thermostats could be sparking bitter heating arguments, Love Energy Savings has warned.
The gadgets, like Nest and Hive, allow homeowners to control the temperature of their pad via a laptop or smartphone.
They’re a good way to cut down on your energy bills, with the Energy Saving Trust saying a smart thermostat could save the annual household £150 a year.
But according to Phil Foster, founder of leading UK business and consumer tariff switching firm Love Energy Savings, they could also be a source of strife.
And Mr Foster, who’s just issued a new guide to smart heating systems, says spring is a particularly tricky time.
He says: “When it comes to energy efficiencies, smart thermostats are a no brainer, whether you’re a home or business owner.
“They allow you to adjust the warmth of your home while you’re away, making sure the heating isn’t on needlessly, and cutting back on wastage.
“But not all relationships work as seamlessly as the tech when it comes to disputes about the perfect temperature of a property - particularly offices.
“And spring is often a tricky time to judge as to when the heating should and shouldn’t be on, as the weather switches rapidly from feeling summery to quite cold again.
“I’d urge couples to agree on some temperature boundaries before any tit-for-tat smart thermostat struggle ensues.”
The Love Energy Savings team, headquartered in Bolton, say recent debates on the popular opinion sharing website Mumsnet illustrate the friction.
One Mumsnetter even threatned ‘divorce’ as a result of thermostat tinkering, writing last month, ‘So we’ve got frigging hive and he’s got the app on his phone. So will just turn it down, even when he’s not in the house but I am. He’s out tonight and he’s turned it down, he claims he thought I’d be in bed and I’d forgotten to turn it down. But he’s obsessed, he never puts it above 19 unless it’s really cold out and then he’ll stretch to 20. If he’s not in though he gets no say over the heating does he?’
A slew of responses followed.
One said, ‘I co-own a boiler installation company and see this argument daily but the results vary dependent upon how long you are at home and what you consider your ambient temperature. I hate being cold but will only bang it up on weekend. During the week I have the mindset that I should be in the office so I turn it off; even if I’m home. On a weekend I bang mine to 28. Husband turns it to 21.’
According to the World Health Organisation, the standing temperature recommended for a living room is 21ºC.
The rest of the house can be cooler, at between 19-20ºC. Meanwhile a home temperature is officially regarded as ‘cold’ when it reaches 16ºC and 12ºC is seen as ‘unhealthily cold’.
A 2014 YouGov poll by an energy efficiency group found that 24 per cent of Brits have argued about the central heating.
"Id urge couples to agree on some temperature boundaries before any tit-for-tat smart thermostat struggle ensues."
Phil Foster, Love Energy Savings
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