Homes are hotter than 30 years ago
HOMES in East Anglia are feeling with heat with average temperatures rising by 5C in the past 30 years, a new survey has found.The average domestic temperature in the region has risen from 13C to 18C, according to a study on use of the UK's domestic energy.
HOMES in East Anglia are feeling with heat with average temperatures rising by 5C in the past 30 years, a new survey has found.
The average domestic temperature in the region has risen from 13C to 18C, according to a study on use of the UK's domestic energy. The rise, it has been warned, to could lead to health problems for individuals and damage to the environment.
The Powergen Energy Monitor, which was conducted by the University of East Anglia (UEA), has showed a trend of "domestic warming" that could see indoor temperatures rising from 18C to 20C by 2020.
Researchers questioned 1,800 householders on how they combated cooler temperatures during the winter.
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The survey revealed 89% of people turn up the thermostat or switch on extra heating appliances if they feel cold.
But fewer than one in 10 reacted in an "environmentally friendly" way, such as putting on an extra layer of clothing.
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The research showed that this shift in consumer behaviour has been brought about by better heating systems, better insulation and cheaper energy prices – all of which have contributed to a warmer domestic temperature
But Dr Sarah Brewer, health writer and member of the British Society for Allergy, Environmental and Nutritional Medicine, said: "A hotter home can have an effect on the condition of your skin. Studies have shown that even short periods of exposure to low air humidity can increase roughness and exacerbate skin problems, such as atopic eczema.
"It's not just the skin that can be affected - the body is also sensitive to temperatures that are too warm.
"During the day, if heating is set too high, it can induce lethargy, poor concentration and fatigue."
"Of course older people and those who suffer from illnesses may need to live in a warm house, but it's important for them also to be aware of the risks this might entail.
"A rise in temperature of only 4°C could more than double bacterial growth rates which could lead to increased cases of food poisoning and the spread of germs and bacteria - all of which can have an impact on health."
Mike Newell, energy efficiency manager at Powergen, warned of environment risks of the rising temperatures.
"Because most houses, particularly those over 20 years old, are less efficient than they might be, by turning up the thermostat people are using more energy and contributing towards the release of more damaging carbon emissions than they have to," he added.
Dr Rob Tinch, lead author of the Powergen Energy Monitor, said: "If 18°C is the average domestic temperature, then there are households which are warmer than this - and some may be too warm.
"We need to consider the health and environmental arguments and decide, as individuals and as a society, where we should draw the line."