Usability of residential thermostats: Preliminary investigations

Publication year: 2011
Source: Building and Environment, Volume 46, Issue 10, October 2011, Pages 1891-1898

Alan, Meier , Cecilia, Aragon , Therese, Peffer , Daniel, Perry , Marco, Pritoni

Residential thermostats control 9% of the total energy use in the United States and similar amounts in most developed countries; however, the details of how people use them have been largely ignored. Five parallel investigations related to the usability of residential thermostats were undertaken. No single investigation was representative of the whole population, but each gave insights into different groups or usage patterns.Personal interviews revealed widespread misunderstanding of thermostat operation. The on-line surveys found that most thermostats were selected by previous residents, landlords, or other agents. The majority of occupants operated thermostats manually, rather than relying on their programmable features…