Summary: Temperature Control


HVAC systems are responsible for 57% of residential energy consumption in most developed countries, on average. The average residential sector in the same developed countries accounts for 20% of final energy use – so we have the means to reduce a big chunk of our energy consumption by changing our temperature control practices.

Preventive temperature control is extremely important to reduce the need for reactive control. Improving insulation is one of the most important preventive temperature control measures, as it can significantly reduce HVAC energy consumption. In addition, realizing that we can live comfortably at a wide range of temperatures [e.g. 17-27°C] will help us reduce our HVAC needs. We just need to dress accordingly.

When preventive control isn’t sufficient, we rely on HVAC systems. These devices allow us to quickly stabilize space temperatures, but they’re costly and energy intensive. To reduce our impacts, we’ll need to pass the right policies, use HVAC systems as little as possible, and replace old systems with more efficient ones once end of life is reached.

Without any measures in place, the world will see a surge in energy consumption from such devices, especially in warmer climates where many countries are still developing. Global A/C energy demand is expected to triple by 2050.

Improving preventive temperature control is paramount, as it will help reduce the need for reactive control. Decreasing HVAC energy consumption can help us lower our GHG emissions considerably, hopefully keeping us out of a climate-change-induced vicious circle.