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How Interference with Thermostats Can Be Bad for the Environment


Everybody knows that buttons, switches and control panels can be extremely tempting to fiddle with, especially for children, and thermostats are no exception. With the knowledge that messing with it will not cause catastrophe as it might were they to play with a serious looking control panel, it can be even more alluring to just move the thermostat about simply because it is there and within reach. It may also provide a source of amusement for adults who should know better to perform a practical joke by turning the thermostat right up to maximum or to its lowest setting.

Whilst the consequences are unlikely to be anything more than mild annoyance for the owners of the building, we know how small changes to a thermostat can have cumulative effects. For example, turning the thermostat down by just one degree could cut energy bills by up to 10% each year and with one degree being barely noticeable, any interference or fiddling with the thermostat by just a slight amount may go unnoticed and result in higher energy consumption and heating costs over a considerable period of time. Along with the financial implications for the bill payer, the increased energy consumption can be bad for the environment if that electricity is produced through burning fossil fuels.

As is the case with other environmental actions, a single thermostat is not going to have much effect upon the health of the planet or global pollution levels. However, the cumulative effects of all the other thermostats in the world which are set slightly higher than they could be will result in a dramatic effect upon energy consumption levels and, consequently, pollution levels as a by-product of generating this electricity.

How Can Thermostat Levels Be Maintained?

The best way of preventing unwanted changes to thermostats is to locate them away from public areas such as in a basement or in a room where the public are not allowed. If this is not possible then covers can be fitted over the top which require a key to open and so prevent unauthorised adjustment of the thermostat and temperature controls. Along with thermostats, this is also good practice for other controls and switches for other devices, with the obvious exception of emergency stop buttons of course which need to be in reach for anyone to press. Whilst they may sometimes be subject to misuse, it is necessary for them to be available should the need arise to stop a process in an emergency situation, without having to wait for someone with a key to come.

Related Course

Please see below for more information on the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate:

NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management

The NEBOSH Environmental Certificate, or NEBOSH National Certificate in Environmental Management to give it its full title, is an environmental health and safety course which is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who are responsible for managing environmental issues at their workplace.

The NEBOSH Environmental Certificate qualification focuses on UK law, so is really only suitable for those who are based and operate within the UK.

Click Here for More Information

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