When you are going to pay for your own cleaning: How consumers report on their heating and cooling needs
Posted On July 11, 2021
Consumers are often very keen to know what they are paying for when they use their heating or cooling devices.
But what they don’t usually report is the cost of the service.
That’s because many consumer reporting sites have not been able to properly identify the cost involved in their heating/cooling needs, a recent study found.
The report, titled ‘How we report on heating and coolers’ and published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, looked at the results of a survey of nearly 600 consumers who had bought heating/freezers and cooled their homes in 2016.
The study found that consumer reports of their heating, cooling, and energy costs were very different to the costs consumers actually paid.
Most of the respondents did not know the true cost of their home heating/cleaning needs, the study found, but only around a third of those surveyed had reported it on their account.
The authors say consumers may want to think twice about buying heating/colders if they do not know how much their needs are.
“The majority of the survey respondents indicated that they did not actually know the actual cost of heating and/or cooling needs, although a significant minority indicated that the cost was unknown,” they write.
“This finding is consistent with other studies, which have shown that consumers have a limited understanding of their thermostats’ costs.”
This could mean that consumers may end up with inflated bills for their heating needs if they pay for their own home heating and air conditioning.
The researchers also found that consumers who did not report the actual costs of their needs on their accounts were also less likely to choose an electric heater for their home.
This could also mean that many of the electric-only households who are experiencing heating/air conditioning problems could have avoided costly repairs by simply buying an electric-powered heating and electric-colding unit, or even buying an alternate heating and colding unit.
Consumers may also want to consider buying heating and heating-control products that have an added layer of safety, such as heating and control systems that can be connected to a home’s air conditioning system.
“When we surveyed consumers, we found that they often do not realize that the products they are buying are actually a part of a home heating system,” the authors write.
They say consumers should think twice before signing up for heating and lighting services from companies that claim they are “the only one for your home”.
The authors suggest that consumers consider buying a heating/thermal control system if they want to have the best experience possible when they are having a heating and electricity problem.
“We found that people who were using an energy-saving device were also more likely to have an inflated bill for heating/electricity related expenses, as well as for the energy usage associated with that device,” they conclude.
“Many consumers are unaware of the true costs of the energy and heat they consume.
The more information they receive, the better they will be able to make informed purchasing decisions.”
Consumers should also be aware that their home thermostat and heating/heat control products may not be fully-installed, so they may need to buy additional accessories to keep them warm.
The survey also found a correlation between the number of heating/energy-related bills consumers report and the number that they have to pay on their bills.
This suggests that consumers should be mindful of how they spend their heating money, especially when it comes to electricity bills.
“While most consumers are happy to pay a little extra for their air conditioning, heating and hot water, a small minority may be concerned that they may not have enough heating or hot water for their energy needs,” the researchers conclude.