I remember the first time my family bought a television that had a remote control. Before that, changing the channel without touching the dial meant sending someone else over to turn the knob. At least that’s how my father did it.

There’s something about the power of controlling an item without physically touching it that makes it irresistible to many people — men especially.

My father would walk around the house with the remote in his pocket, as if it was so precious that it could not be left unguarded on the coffee table. Of course, that just made me and my sister want it even more.

One thing we left to my parents was setting the thermostat, but these days, I guess that’s anomaly, according to an Ipsos Reid survey recently conducted on behalf of HVAC sales company Honeywell.

Ipsos Reid surveyed 4,648 residents of 12 states — Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, California, Missouri and Illinois — as part of Honeywell’s efforts to promote its new Wi-Fi-enabled “smart” thermostat for the HVAC market.

The survey revealed that people there are more likely to argue over a room’s temperature than who gets to change channels on the television. And almost one in three people in those states will change the temperature when no one is looking. Unlike me and my sister, only 16 percent said they’ll grab the remote.

Officials with the HVAC construction equipment manufacturer said they think the company’s voice-controlled thermostat may be a solution.

“We don’t have a solution for getting people to listen, but Honeywell’s new Wi-Fi smart thermostat with voice control may be a good way for families to reduce disagreements over home comfort,” said Tony Uttley, general manager for the company’s home comfort and energy systems division. “In addition to changing the temperature with your smartphone or tablet, you can simply tell your thermostat what to do. You’ll always be listened to, and you can even lock the controls to prevent others from making changes.”

That sounds even more effective than walking around with the TV remote in your pocket.