Building temperature and air quality are essential to the well-being and comfort of occupants, and influence energy efficiency. In the summer of 2022, the French government introduced a plan to reduce energy consumption in response to rising energy prices.

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Published on 10 October 2023

Temperature measurement and energy efficiency

In this article:

What does it mean to measure the temperature of a building?

This involves measuring the ambient heat in different areas of the building, such as offices, meeting rooms and other rooms. The ambient temperature is equal to that of the air in the environment. It influences the thermal comfort of occupants, as well as the energy consumption required to heat and/or cool the premises. These measures are just some of the factors that need to be taken into account to optimize the energy efficiency of businesses and other buildings open to the public.

 

Why is it necessary to raise the temperature?

Temperature measurement is essential to guarantee thermal comfort. It also helps to reduce energy consumption and monitor the operation of the various equipment in buildings.

Analyzing it can be useful for :

  • Thermal comfort: the more the heat in the air is controlled, the greater the comfort for occupants.
  • Safety: for some businesses, such as laboratories or data centers, monitoring humidity and temperature is important to ensure the safety of employees and equipment.
  • Energy consumption: temperature has a direct impact on an infrastructure’s energy consumption. If it’s too low or too high, it leads to excessive consumption for heating or cooling the room.
  • Monitoring the operation of high-risk equipment: heating, air-conditioning and ventilation systems can be monitored using temperature data. If these do not correspond to the manufacturer’s instructions, then this may indicate a malfunction or breakdown.

These data therefore play a part in the energy-saving process.

 

How do I measure indoor temperature?

Finding this element in an enclosed space is more complex than you might think. In fact, to ensure a precise result in terms of improved comfort and lower energy costs, it’s best to follow a few rules. If the individual uses a thermometer :

  • Make sure there are no heat sources near the tool.
  • Place the thermometer in the center of a room on a table or other support less than 50 centimeters from the floor.
  • Avoid hanging it on the wall to avoid distorting the analysis and increase efficiency
  • Step away from the tool so as not to affect the measurement with your body heat
  • Leave the thermometer alone for at least 5 minutes to adjust to the room.
  • Read the temperature after the time has elapsed

To make it easier to measure heat levels in enclosed spaces, there’s another way: the temperature probe. This device contributes to energy efficiency by measuring and analyzing thermal variations in a room. This temperature sensor is capable of cross-referencing temperature data with occupant activities. This feature adjusts the heating or air-conditioning level according to the level of activity of individuals in the room. The data collected will make it possible to :

  • Reduce energy consumption and thus save money
  • Anticipating energy renovation needs
  • Accurately and reliably measure temperature variations in the environment
  • Provide evidence in the event of disputes (non-compliance with heating contract, removal of doubt in the event of a tenant complaint).
  • Manage fluctuations and act accordingly
  • Protect the health and comfort of room occupants

 

Depending on the space – bedroom, bathroom, living room or workplace – temperatures are not the same. The recommended temperature for a bedroom is 16°C, and 18 to 20°C for a baby’s or child’s room. In a bathroom, the thermostat should be set to 17°C during the day and 22°C during periods of use.

In spaces such as living rooms, offices or open-plan offices, it should be set at 19°C. To ensure that saving money goes hand in hand with thermal comfort, it’s essential to adopt these rules. According to the FrenchEnvironment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), reducing your heating by 1°C can save you 7% on your energy bill.

 

What does sober energy mean?

Energy sobriety is an approach that involves reducing the consumption of various forms of energy (gas, water, electricity, etc.) through changes in behavior, collective organization and lifestyle. This is not to be confused with energy efficiency, which calls for technologies to reduce energy consumption, such as renovated infrastructure.

The aim of energy sobriety is to reduce energy demand and related costs without compromising the quality of life of building occupants. This goal can be achieved by :

  • Thermal insulation
  • Natural ventilation to eliminate pollutants such as carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM)
  • Temperature measurement and control.

Everyone can achieve this goal to reduce energy costs.

Are you concerned by energy efficiency?

In October 2022, the French government unveiled its plan to reduce energy consumption by 10% by 2024. All businesses, local authorities and private individuals are affected by this new plan. The measures were defined after discussions with several trades:

  • The State
  • Local authorities
  • Digital and telecommunications companies and work organizations
  • Housing players
  • Establishments open to the public (ERP) and commercial premises
  • Transport professionals
  • Manufacturers
  • Sports professions

In France, the government has put in place a plan of 15 key measures to be adopted in 4 areas: energy waste, sustainable mobility, organization at work and energy management. These are recommendations to be implemented by consumers, local authorities and businesses, under the slogan “Every gesture counts”.

For example, among these 15 measures, to save energy in buildings, the following are recommended:

  • Limit heating and air-conditioning:
    • Reduce heating to 19°C during the day, 16°C at night and 8°C for an enclosed building
    • Postpone the heating period by 15 days, when possible with an acceptable outside temperature.
    • Minimize air conditioning to 26°C
    • Switch off ventilation systems when buildings are unoccupied
  • Turn off or reduce lighting :
    • Switch off interior lighting when buildings are empty
    • Reduce the lighting of advertising signs at night and turn them off after 1 a.m.
    • Install presence detectors connected to light bulbs

For their part, private individuals are invited to contribute to this collective effort. Here is a short list of the small recommendations that come up most often:

  • Lower heating temperatures to 19°C or even 17°C in bedrooms at night
  • Reduce water heater temperature to 55°C
  • Unplug appliances and tools that are on standby or not in use
  • Offset the use of household appliances such as washing machines, outside peak consumption periods.
  • Equipping homes with programmable thermostats

To ensure precise results in improving comfort and reducing energy costs, it’s best to follow these few rules.

To encourage people to take these actions, the French government has introduced a bonus called the “sobriety bonus”. The State emphasizes: ” Households that control their energy consumption can receive a bonus on their gas and electricity bills from certain suppliers. Several energy suppliers are committed to offering this service “. Equipped with the latest technology, Nexelec’s connected detectors and sensors provide a concrete response to the challenges of energy efficiency. These temperature,humidity, heat, presence and light meters are intelligent devices that automatically measure and analyze the building’s ambient parameters. They make it easier to achieve energy-saving targets.

 

Energy efficiency is at the heart of today’s concerns, which is why corrective measures need to be implemented today. These will save on energy consumption, reduce bills and help protect the planet. In addition, installing connected sensors designed for energy efficiency will enable precise, reliable analysis and measurement of interior spaces.