Survey finds ‘thermostat wars’ an issue in Ontario homes

'Thermostat wars' is one of the most common household disputes in Ontario, according to a survey released by Direct Energy. File photo, Global News

TORONTO – A survey released Wednesday by Direct Energy finds that ‘thermostat wars’ is one of the most common household disputes in Ontario, with one in five (21 per cent) households saying they can’t agree what temperature the thermostat should be set to.

“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.

Sixteen per cent of those surveyed admit to changing the temperature when their partner is not looking, while five per cent admit they change it to their preferred temperature and blame it on someone else.

The survey found that 50 per cent of Ontarians want to be in control of the thermostat because they’re concerned about energy costs, yet 83 per cent are setting the thermostat at 23 degrees Celsius or less.

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Direct Energy says you can see an extra three to five per cent increase on your energy bill for every degree Celsius below 25 you set your thermostat to.

“With energy prices on the rise, it’s important for households to come to an agreement on temperature now,” Walton says. “There are many ways to stay cool during the summer heat while still saving money.”

Tips to help keep the temperature in your home just right during the summer months include installing a programmable thermostat, using ceiling fans to circulate air, replacing furnace filters every three months so your air conditioner runs more efficiently and to close curtains and blinds — which will help keep your home from getting too hot inside.

Direct Energy also suggests adding shade around your air conditioning unit, such as a shrub or small tree. A shaded unit uses approximately five per cent less electricity than one in direct sun. If you are planning to add shade around your AC unit, ensure you leave 24-inches of clearance so you don’t block airflow.

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Fighting over the television remote (28 per cent) and cleaning the toilet (27 per cent) topped ‘thermostat wars’ when it came to disputes in Ontario homes.

The survey was conducted by Angus Reid Forum online among 665 randomly selected Ontario residents between April 30 and May 1. The margin of error, which measures sampling variability, is +/- 3.8 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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