This Room is Too Hot 🔥
When we get inside a car that has been parked under the sun for a long time, we have one thing in our mind: making it as cold as possible – as soon as possible. Often, we select the coldest temperature possible on the climate control and assume that this will cause it to get colder at a faster rate.
For example, if we would like to achieve 21-degree temperature inside the car immediately, then we would select 16-degree on the climate control and assume that the air conditioning would cool down the car faster than normal.
As a matter of fact, this is not the case. Whether it is 21-degree or 16-degree, the amount of cold air coming from the air conditioning does not change. Our assumption is, therefore, incorrect.
This is due to the availability heuristic. This term refers to judgments which people make about the likelihood of an event based on how easily an example, instance, or case comes to mind.
Sadly, devices do not have an emotional interface that can understand our emotional expectations and decrease the temperature as quickly as possible.
Our brains don’t like uncertainty, and we experience a type of uncertainty during the cool down process of the car's interior. We don't know when it will be cooled down, that's why we aim for the coldest temperature. Due to the fact that our brains don't like the uncertainty, they try to find a shortcut to eliminating the uncertain events.
We also have a present bias, meaning that we don't tend to consider future events when we are making decisions. When you achieve the 16-degree temperature, the car will be too cold, and we won't be pleased with this. Also, the extended use of air conditioning will lead to higher energy consumption. Unfortunately, we are not immune to this bias, and it happens often!
In reality, the air conditioning will not pump more cold air than usual to reach the lowest temperature possible, even though our brain makes this assumption. In order to eliminate this heuristic decision, the climate control system should have an estimated elapsed time to cool down indicator.
When the temperature is set to 16-degree, it will show a long time, and when it is set to 21-degree, it will show a shorter time. As we would like to reach 21-degree, we will not select the colder temperature.
This indicator can be implemented in any climate control for either cars or rooms. An estimated time frame could easily be produced by calculating the amount of cold air exiting the air conditioning and the drop in temperature.
Once again, a major problem can be solved by behavioural economics.