The heat is on: smart meters cause thermo-spats

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SMART thermostats are sparking bitter heating arguments between couples – according to livid Mumsnet users.

The gadgets, made by companies including Nest and Hive, allow homeowners to control the temperature of their properties via their smartphone.

They’re a good way to cut down on your energy bills, with the Energy Saving Trust claiming a smart thermostat could save the annual household £150 a year.

But according to those logging on to popular internet forum Mumsnet, the devices are also creating friction in Britain’s relationships.

Some have even threatened their partners with divorce for “d*cking about with the heating”.

One Mumsnetter posted: “So we’ve got fr*gging hive and he’s got the app on his phone. So will just turn it down, even when he’s not in the house but I am. He’s out tonight and he’s turned it down, he claims he thought I’d be in bed and I’d forgotten to turn it down.

“But he’s obsessed, he never puts it above 19 unless it’s really cold out and then he’ll stretch to 20. If he’s not in though he gets no say over the heating does he? Slightly lighthearted, but I’m considering LTB (leaving the b*stard), if he doesn’t stop ****ing with the heating when he’s not even in the house!”

A slew of responses followed.

One said: “I co-own a boiler installation company and see this argument daily but the results vary dependent upon how long you are at home and what you consider your ambient temperature.

“I hate being cold but will only bang it up on weekend. During the week I have the mindset that I should be in the office so I turn it off; even if I’m home. On a weekend I bang mine to 28. Husband turns it to 21.’

Another added: “I would actually divorce my husband if he was a d*ck about the heating. I’d sooner be hungry than cold but I’m very fortunate to be neither. Tell him the temperature is none of his business if he’s not at home and you are. Because it’s not.”

One said her ‘DH’ – aka ‘Darling Husband’ – was also obsessed with their smart thermostat.

She revealed: “When DH retired he was like this. Too much time on his hands and he became obsessed with turning the heat down. Slowly he was turning it down a degree every night. It drove me spare. Said l would move out to a hotel if he bloody touched it once more. You have my full sympathy. I only wanted 20.”

Other Mumsnet users are “boiling alive” in too-hot houses.

One revealed: “I feel your pain but my DH is the opposite. He seems to think it’s perfectly fine to boil us all alive. If he’s cold the heating goes on. It’s not unusual to wake up absolutely stuck to the bedsheets either because it’s so hot in here. I love it when he b*ggers off to work so I can open all the windows. Sadly he works from home more often than not…”

Meanwhile others also said messing with the Hive would constitute grounds for divorce.

A poster stated: “I’ve got Hive and I boost it constantly. If DH turned it down when he wasn’t even in, I’d leave him. It’s controlling. I refuse to be cold in my home. When DH is in, we compromise.”

Others shared the pain. One wrote: “Oh god thermostat wars, this was us last winter. The novelty should wear off but make sure you put the app on your phone too.”

Leading UK energy expert Phil Foster, founder of tariff switching firm Love Energy Savings, said: “When it comes to energy efficiencies, smart thermostats are a no-brainer whether you’re a home or business owner.

“They allow you to adjust the warmth of your home while you’re away, making sure the heating isn’t on needlessly and cutting back on wastage.

“But not all relationships work as seamlessly as the tech when it comes to disputes about the perfect temperature of a property – particularly offices.

“And Autumn is often a tricky time to judge as to when the heating should and shouldn’t be on as the weather switches rapidly.”

According to the World Health Organisation, the standing temperature recommended for a living room is 21ºC.

The rest of the house can be cooler, at between 19-20ºC. Meanwhile a home temperature is officially regarded as ‘cold’ when it reaches 16ºC and 12ºC is seen as ‘unhealthily cold’.

A 2014 YouGov poll by an energy efficiency group found that 24 per cent of Brits have argued about the central heating.

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