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Old and cold? Findings on the determinants of indoor temperatures in English dwellings during cold conditions

Hamilton, IG; O'Sullivan, A; Huebner, G; Oreszczyn, T; Shipworth, D; Summerfield, A; Davies, M; (2017) Old and cold? Findings on the determinants of indoor temperatures in English dwellings during cold conditions. Energy and Buildings , 141 pp. 142-157. 10.1016/j.enbuild.2017.02.014. Green open access

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Abstract

Indoor temperatures during winter conditions play an important role in influencing the comfort and health of households, space heating energy demand and peak heating power. The role that physical dwelling features and household characteristics have on wintertime indoor temperatures has been examined among low-income households, but not across English households in a systematic manner. This paper examines determinants of indoor air temperatures during wintertime conditions to examine how temperature conditions vary with, for example, dwelling age or household socio-economic conditions. Using a cross-sectional survey of English dwellings that included monitoring of indoor air temperatures from January 2011 to February 2012, this study examines the determinants of indoor temperatures during wintertime conditions within a representative sample of English dwellings (N = 821). The study analysed indoor temperatures standardised to outdoor air temperatures of 0 °C, 5 °C and 10 °C within the study sample and the influence of physical dwelling features (type, age, size), household characteristics (tenure, income, composition, benefit receipt) and energy performance (loft and wall insulation, heating system and performance rating levels). The analysis finds that as dwelling age decreased (i.e. newer), so did indoor air temperatures in both the living room and bedrooms, after adjusting for a selection of dwelling and household characteristics. Compared to the lowest income quintile, households with higher incomes kept warmer temperatures, but this was not a linear increase and the highest incomes were not on average the warmest. There appears, however, to be little change in the dwelling temperature trends when looking at lower or higher outdoor air temperature conditions (i.e. 0 °C and 10 °C). In designing policies to improve indoor thermal conditions, policymakers will need to consider underlying energy performance of the dwelling alongside the socio-economic conditions of the household, for example when providing fuel support payments to at risk households.

Type: Article
Title: Old and cold? Findings on the determinants of indoor temperatures in English dwellings during cold conditions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2017.02.014
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2017.02.014
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Keywords: Indoor temperature; Cold; England; Energy performance; Dwellings; Households
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1543928
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