A new study by intelligent home climate management company tado° has found that UK homes gain heat significantly faster than European neighbours on hot summer days.
The study, conducted in over 60,000 UK homes in the summer of 2021, found that a UK home with an indoor temperature of 20°C and an outside temperature of 30°C in sunny weather gains on average 5°C after three hours. Compared with some Western European neighbours such as Germany and Italy, UK homes are gaining heat more than twice as fast.
This means that Brits have to suffer even more from uncomfortable temperatures at home during heat waves than their neighbours. Studies have shown that high temperatures at home lead to a loss in productivity and can also trigger serious health issues such as dehydration or heat strokes. Global heating is making heat waves and other extreme weather events more frequent.
Scottish homes are more susceptible to the impact of heat waves than English homes
UK homes are among the quickest in Europe to heat up in hot weather but there is also a difference between the north and south. Whereas southern English homes heat up on average by 4.7°C after three hours, Scottish home temperatures rise by 5.6°C in the same conditions.
Old UK housing stock
The UK housing stock is the oldest in Europe and British homes struggle to maintain desired temperatures in the cold and heat. The UK has the oldest housing stock in comparison to EU countries with approximately 38% of its homes dating from before 1946, compared to 24% for Germany and Sweden.
Air conditioning and insight
“Our study shows the degree to how homes react to outdoor temperatures and solar radiation,” says tado° Co-founder & CPO Christian Deilmann. “As heat waves become more common, residents will increasingly turn to air conditioning to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures.”
Air conditioners help to reduce indoor heat but they come at a financial and environmental cost. They increase electricity costs and also emit pollutants into the air. Energy-efficient AC technologies like the tado° Smart AC Control ensure that the home is appropriately cooled at a minimal financial and environmental cost. tado° ensures the AC is only on when rooms are occupied and gives tips on how to keep the air healthy at home, and provides insights about the indoor and outdoor air quality. The data which provides these insights can help residents use their AC more effectively and better understand how their home temperature changes according to the weather. Rising temperatures, a growing middle class in developing economies, and increasing urbanisation is driving a strong growth in residential AC. Traditionally within Europe, it has largely been Mediterranean countries that had ACs in homes. In recent years, however, increasingly hot summers have occurred frequently throughout Europe and many countries are breaking historical temperature records. The International Energy Agency predicts the demand for AC will double in the next 20 years. The increased popularity of homeoffice will also add to further demand for air conditioning at home.