Painting your walls olive green makes the room feel warmer, study finds

Telegraph Reporters
Nearly a third of study participants said the olive green room felt the warmest. - www.alamy.com

Painting your walls olive green makes the room feel two degrees warmer, a study has found.

The experiment, led by Oxford University and paint-makers Valspar, tested whether certain colours affected people’s perception of body temperature.

For the research, 157 participants were sat in separate rooms painted six different colours — olive green, dark blue, coral, mustard yellow, bright pink and purple.

They were all kept at the same temperature — 18 degrees.

Nearly a third (31 per cent) said they felt warmest in the olive green room.

Participants reported feeling around two degrees warmer in the that room, with some saying they felt up to five degrees warmer than the actual temperature.

More than half (55 per cent) said they felt the most comfortable in the coral coloured room.

Less than a third (28 per cent) said they felt coolest in the dark blue room.

Based on this, scientists suggested thrifty homeowners could knock up to £270 off their yearly energy bills by painting the walls olive green because they won’t feel the need to turn up the thermostat.

The revelation comes as the Committee on Climate Change has called for British homeowners to reduce their energy use to help save the environment.

Experimental psychologist, Prof. Charles Spence — who designed the experiment — said: “This illustrative study goes some way to showing that our senses are intrinsically linked and that the colour our walls are painted can really impact our thermal comfort."

Prof Spence, head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory, added: "Olive green features undertones of warming shades, such as yellow and brown, which may explain why it was such a popular choice for making participants physically warmer when it came to body temperature.

"These suggestive findings offer some intriguing possible solutions on how to help save on fuel costs."