A new report by BC Hydro finds when it comes to heating the home, British Columbian couples are at odds — with four in 10 admitting to arguing over the temperature.
If your household thermostat is a source of heated debate between you and your significant other, rest assured you’re not alone.
A strong majority of couples say they go behind their partner’s back to maximize their own comfort.
More than 60 per cent of you change the temperature when your spouse isn’t looking, according to a survey of British Columbian couples commissioned by BC Hydro. Fully half of survey respondents said they hop up and crank the dial as soon as you leave the room.
Arguments are common and five per cent said their level of conflict amounts to “all-out thermostat war.”
An unscientific survey on social media tapped a rich vein of marital conflict.
“My partner grew up in a hot climate and feels the need to cook us alive at maximum heat in the winter,” said one long-suffering commenter.
Others admitted to living in fear that their subterfuge would lead to “did you touch the thermostat” arguments or the angry opening of every window in the house by an overheated combatant.
About 20 per cent of respondents to the BC Hydro survey admitted they change the thermostat to purposely annoy their spouse.
Even when there is no conflict at home — usually because there is no spouse — many people said temperature is a constant source of conflict in the workplace, too.
Baby boomers are more likely to adjust the thermostat for comfort than younger generations. On a related note, they are also more likely to be menopausal.
Thermostat battle is twice as likely to be driven by a quest for greater comfort more often than saving money.
“British Columbians are definitely at odds over the thermostat and more than 40 per cent admit to arguing about it,” said BC Hydro spokeswoman Mora Scott. (For the record, Scott puts on sweaters when it’s cold, while her husband prefers to crank the heat.)
Adding to the conflict is that people are operating with all kinds of misperceptions about the most efficient way to maintain a comfortable living environment, many of which are in conflict with the governing laws of the universe.
“Those misperceptions are starting a lot of these arguments,” said Scott.
Cranking the heat to maximum will not heat a room any faster than turning the thermostat up a few degrees to your target temperature. So, cut that out.
It is NOT more efficient to keep your home at the same temperature all the time. Turn the heat up and down based on whether you are in the room and what you are doing.
If you leave the house or go to bed, 16°C is plenty warm, probably too warm. You’ll be more comfortable doing brisk housework in a cool room, so save your warmest setting — no more than 21°C please — for loafing in front of the TV, BC Hydro says.
BC Hydro says of the surveys carried out by Insights West and Majid Khoury: ”Each survey was conducted online of 600 British Columbians (aged 18+) and the results are weighted for gender, age and region. As these were online surveys, a margin of error statistic is not calculated.”
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