Thermostat Control A Hot Button Issue In Ontario Homes

TORONTO, June 17, 2014 /CNW/ -- Ontarians are hot under the collar when it 
comes to indoor temperature according to a Direct Energy survey. The results 
of the survey released today show that one in five (21 per cent) Ontario 
households cannot agree what temperature the thermostat should be set to. In 
fact, of the options Ontarians were given, "thermostat wars" are the third 
most common household dispute with 24 per cent indicating they have argued or 
disagreed about it. Only disputes about the control of the television remote 
(28 per cent) and cleaning the toilet (27 per cent) were more common. Not only 
are Ontarians who share a thermostat disagreeing on the temperature, some are 
sneaky about it -- 16 per cent admit they've changed the temperature when 
their partner isn't looking. 
"With hot summer weather having finally arrived, it's common for Ontarians to 
bicker over the temperature the thermostat is set to in their homes," said 
Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas for Direct Energy. "With energy prices on 
the rise, it's important for households to come to an agreement on temperature 
now.  Ontarians should also remember that setting the thermostat to a lower 
temperature is just one way of keeping the house cool and should be taking 
advantage of other easy methods to stay comfortable and save money this 
The Direct Energy survey found half (50 per cent) of Ontarians who share a 
thermostat say they want to be the one in control of the thermostat because 
they're concerned about energy costs. However, 83 per cent of Ontarians are 
setting the thermostat at 23 degrees Celsius or less, which could end up 
costing them this summer. In fact, every degree Celsius below 25 degrees will 
add an extra three to five per cent to an energy bill. 
"When the mercury rises, conflicts around home temperature don't have to," 
said Walton. "There are many ways to stay cool during the summer heat while 
still saving money. From small changes to larger upgrades, Ontarians can take 
control of their energy bills." 
There are many ways to help reduce conflict around the thermostat, many of 
which homeowners can implement themselves. Here are a few tips from Direct 

    --  Install a programmable thermostat. Set the times and
        temperatures to match your schedule. Also, consider setting the
        thermostat to turn off your air conditioner at night when the
        outdoor temperature cools down. Better yet, consider installing
        a "smart" thermostat. These devices will begin to adjust your
        homes temperature after learning your cooling habits.
    --  Use ceiling fans to circulate cool air. Fan blades should
        operate in a counter-clockwise direction in the summer to move
        the air downwards and maximize cool air circulation so your air
        conditioner doesn't have to work as hard. Ceiling fans can be
        just pennies a day to operate and are great for cooling down
        the room they operate in.
    --  Replace furnace filters every three months. This will help your
        air conditioner run more efficiently. Clogged filters mean that
        furnace motors must work harder and use more energy.
    --  Close the curtains and drapes. Before you leave the house for
        work in the morning, remember to close the curtains and drapes,
        especially on south and west facing windows. This will help
        block out the high summer sun and stop the home from getting
        too hot inside.
    --  Give your AC unit some shade. Without blocking airflow, plant a
        small tree or shrubs around your air conditioning unit. A
        shaded unit uses up to five per cent less electricity than it
        would in the sun. Try to maintain at least 24 inches of
        clearance around your outdoor AC unit from any landscaping.

Additional survey findings:
    --  One in five (20 per cent) Ontarians who share a thermostat say
        their household never agrees on what time of year to turn the
        air conditioner on
    --  17 per cent of Ontarians say their children influence their
        energy consumption behavior
    --  Five per cent of Ontarians admit they usually change the
        thermostat to their preferred temperature and blame the change
        on someone else
    --  Seven per cent of Ontarians claim their children usually change
        the thermostat without their approval

About Direct Energy Direct Energy is North America's largest provider of 
heating & cooling, plumbing and electrical services and a leading energy and 
energy-related services provider with over six million residential and 
commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with 
choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of 
innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one 
of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 
46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. To 
learn more about Direct Energy, please visit

About the survey From April 30(th) to May 1(st) 2014 an online survey was 
conducted among 665 randomly selected adult Ontario residents who are Angus 
Reid Forum panelists and who share a thermostat with others in their 
household. The margin of error--which measures sampling variability--is +/- 
3.8%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted 
according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to 
ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Ontario. 
Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

For further information on home energy efficiency tips or to book an interview 
with Dave Walton, please contact: 

Jeff Lanthier

Direct Energy 905-943-6260

Logo -

SOURCE  Direct Energy 
Kelly Ornelas or Becky Brescacin, High Road Communications for Direct Energy, or, 416-644-2235 or 
CO: Direct Energy
ST: Canada
-0- Jun/17/2014 13:00 GMT
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.