Thermostat Control A Hot Button Issue In Alberta Homes

CALGARY, Alberta, June 23, 2014 /CNW/ -- Albertans 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 (17 per cent) 
Alberta households cannot agree what temperature the thermostat should be set 
to. In fact, of the options Albertans were given, "thermostat wars" are the 
third most common household dispute with 20 per cent indicating they have 
argued or disagreed about it. Only disputes about the control of the 
television remote (24 per cent) and cleaning the toilet (23 per cent) were 
more common. Not only are Albertans who share a thermostat disagreeing on the 
temperature, some are sneaky about it -- 14 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 Albertans 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.  Albertans 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 nearly half (44 per cent) of Albertans who 
share a thermostat say they want to be the one in control of the thermostat 
because they're concerned about energy costs. However, 95 per cent of 
Albertans are setting the thermostat at 23 degrees Celsius or less, which 
could end up costing them this summer. In fact, for 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, Albertans 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
        home's 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:
    --  18 per cent of Albertans who share a thermostat say their
        children influence their energy consumption behavior
    --  Five per cent of Albertans claim their children usually change
        the thermostat without their approval
    --  61 per cent of Albertans say that when it comes to deciding the
        temperature for the house, being comfortable is more important
        than saving money
    --  One in five (20 per cent) Albertans want the temperature in the
        house to be cooler than others in their household

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 617 
randomly selected adult Alberta 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 +/- 4.0%, 19 times out of 20. 
The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current 
age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the 
entire adult population of Alberta. 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

Kelly Ornelas or Becky Brescacin High Road Communications for Direct Energy or 416-644-2235 or 

Logo -

SOURCE  Direct Energy 
CO: Direct Energy
ST: Canada
-0- Jun/23/2014 15:00 GMT
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