The study, by intelligent home climate company tado°, was conducted in 150,000 European homes from June to August 2019 between 12pm and 6pm. It shows an average indoor temperature of 22.3ºC and 21.5°C in UK and Irish households respectively. This means that the UK and Ireland are the only European countries studied that fit within the World Health Organisation’s ideal indoor temperature recommendations of between 18º and 22º (depending on the room function).
Whilst this is good news for the UK and Ireland, Met Office statistics show that the UK’s 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2002 and predicts that the Earth’s global average temperature is likely to reach record warmth during the five-year period from 2020 to 2024.
Elderly people in particular suffer from high temperatures due to a higher prevalence of chronic medical conditions which increase the risk for their health. More and more elderly citizens and people with health issues will have to deal with high temperatures in their daily life: In 2018, a record of 220 million people over the age of 65 were exposed to heatwaves. It’s not just the vulnerable that suffer though, heat impacts everyone as it can harm the body’s ability to regulate temperatures, which can lead to illness.
Can air conditioning save lives?
An air conditioner or heat pump with a cooling function keeps the room temperature comfortable and can mitigate the impact that heat has on health, such as dehydration or heat stroke. Rising temperatures, a growing middle class in developing economies, and increasing urbanisation is driving a strong global growth in residential AC. The number of AC units worldwide is projected to double from 1.6 billion units in 2016 to approximately three billion units in 2030. In the UK, approximately 200,000 AC units are sold annually. Plus, with many parts of the world likely to spend more time indoors than usual this Spring and Summer due to the coronavirus situation, AC use will likely additionally grow. But ACs consume a lot of energy. The more AC we use, the more hot air (and hazardous refrigerants) they pump out. Studies have shown that during hot weather spells, AC use can raise a city’s temperature by over 1°C.
A smart control for less energy consumption and a healthier home climate
A smart thermostat can help cut down the energy use of your AC and/or heat pump while keeping a cool and healthy indoor climate. Geofencing helps to turn off the AC once the last person leaves the home and turns it on before the first person comes home. When open windows are detected, a smart thermostat switches off the AC to prevent wasted air conditioning and adapts to the weather for optimal energy efficiency. Users can see how much energy they are using throughout the day and in monthly energy use reports. The transparency this provides gives residents a understanding of their AC use and behaviour which can help mitigate wastage.
An app allows friends or relatives to help control the home climate remotely for people who may need assistance. “Staying cool is a basic human need. The warmer the summers get, the more we need a solution that keeps homes cool and healthy, while saving energy,” says Christian Deilmann, CPO and co-founder of tadoº. “With the Smart AC Control, tadoº contributes to a comfortable, and sustainable way of living for all generations.”