Ideal Thermostat Settings to Save Money and the Environment
National Resources Canada suggests that an “indoor thermostat should be set somewhere in the range of 22–25°C, depending on your comfort requirements.”
Across the world, office buildings, hotels, cinemas and shopping centres are fixed at 22ºC, plus or minus half a degree, and it’s been that way since the 1950s. That’s the thermal comfort level of a 44-year-old man and it was decided by the Americans in the 1950s. Same for many homes but this set-and-forget temperature setting is costing consumers and the environment.
Statistics Canada reports from 2009 indicate that more than two-thirds of Canadian households that had an air conditioner and a thermostat adjusted the temperature in their dwellings while away from home by either shutting off their air conditioner (55%) or setting the temperature at 24ºC or higher (13%). While at home and awake 22% set their home temperature at 24ºC or higher. Forty-four percent chose to keep the temperature between 20ºC and 23ºC, and 9% preferred to keep their dwelling at 19ºC or lower when at home and awake. When asleep 29% of Canadian households turned it off when sleeping, (33%) preferred to sleep with the temperature set between 20ºC and 23°C while 9% chose cooler temperatures and kept their home at 19ºC or lower.
The majority of Canadians follow Natural Resources Canada’s recommendation so there should be a lot of comfortable 44 year old men in Canada. To get the ideal for energy costs and environmental saving we may need to follow the suggestion from Tony Crabb, national head of research at real estate services firm Savills Australia who in a recent TEDx presentation entitled Life Out Of Balance, who called for a shifting to a “19 to 25 world,” that is no higher than 19 degrees in winter, and no lower than 25 degrees in summer.
Another option suggested by Natural Resources Canada is to ensuring you purchase ENERGY STAR qualified central air conditioners that must meet minimum efficiency standards of performance under Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations, as well as under similar regulations in many provinces. These regulations specify the minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) for central air-conditioning equipment. The ENERGY STAR specification for central air conditioners requires that the EnerGuide SEER rating be 12.0 or greater for a single-package unit and 13.0 or greater for a split system.
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