How Important is the Placement of Your Thermostat?
Does the location of a thermostat matter? If you care about avoiding high energy bills, then yes, it does.
Incorrect thermostat placement can lead to inconsistent temperature readings. It can make your HVAC system run too often or not often enough. This provides your home with uneven cooling and heating, and increases wear and tear. All of these factors lead to energy wastage and high energy bills. If you suspect poor performance from the above symptoms, we recommend calling a heating and cooling professional to assess the situation. Moving a thermostat requires moving essential wires throughout the house and should only be done by someone who is trained in this field of expertise.
Below, you’ll find tips on where the best and worst thermostat placements are to ensure optimal functionality. If you notice symptoms of poor heating and cooling performance, you may need to have your thermostat relocated.
Where You Should Not Put Your Thermostat
In Direct Sunlight
The thermostat monitors the temperature of your home and automatically adjusts the cooling and heating system to the desired temperature. If you place it in direct sunlight—such as near the window or skylight—it will cause the thermostat to “think” that the interior temperature is warmer than it actually is. The air conditioner will kick on even when it’s not needed.
This can happen even during winter. Beams of direct sunlight can influence the thermostat reading, causing it to needlessly turn on. In case your thermostat gets sunlight for a couple hours a day, you can mitigate this issue with window treatments like curtains or blinds.
Near Vents, Doors and Windows
A thermostat placed near doors, windows, and vents are the first thing that gets hit by incoming air. Because these areas send out hot and cold air, the thermostat will get cooler or warmer a lot faster than the rest of your home.
This means the system will shut on and off even before your house gets to a comfortable temperature. The unnecessary cycling of your heating and cooling system makes it work needlessly harder, and also wastes a ton of energy.
In Empty Hallways
The purpose of heating and cooling systems is to keep the indoor temperature comfortable. If you put the thermostat in an empty hallway, it won’t be able to accurately read and evaluate the right temperature. That’s because airflow is restricted in a long, thin, and empty space.
Near the Kitchen
Your kitchen is probably one of the places in your home where it can get warm without the help of your heater. Why? Because it’s where heat-emitting appliances are located—stoves, ovens, dishwashers, etc.
The Best Thermostat Placement for Your Home
In some cases, not all of these criteria can be met. As long as most of them are met within reason, you shouldn’t experience any trouble.
Regularly Used Rooms
The purpose of an HVAC system is to keep the temperature comfortable for its inhabitants. It is therefore ideal to place the thermostat in a room where you and your family usually hang out.
An interior wall is not affected by cold or hot temperatures that can interfere with your thermostat’s ability to give accurate readings. This makes it an ideal location to install a thermostat.
Toward the Center of Your House
Another great place to mount your thermostat is at the center of your home. The central area is the best place that reflects the true climate of your house. This allows the thermostat to accurately evaluate the average indoor temperature.
The First Floor of a Two-Storey House
A thermostat should be placed on the main floor (or first floor) of the house. Upper floors heat up because the sun shines down on the roof and this warms up the attic spaces. Hot air rises, which means that hot air produced within the house will find its way upwards.
Placing your thermostat on an upper floor will cause the air conditioner to work overtime or prevent the heating from turning on. This also applies for the coldest room in your house.
Other Considerations and Tips
A thermostat should only be moved by a professional HVAC specialist. If you are considering renovating your home, changing the layout of the room the thermostat is in, or find yourself with a poorly placed thermostat, call a professional. In saying that, here are some considerations an HVAC technician would take into account when placing a thermostat:
Be careful not to obstruct thermostats with doors, bookshelves, and artwork so the sensors can work properly
If you replaced your thermostat with a smart device, ensure that your Wi-Fi signal is strong enough to connect
Correct placement should be five ft. off the ground for an accurate average reading, otherwise this could lead to issues mentioned above if installed incorrectly
Heat-generating appliances should be installed away from the thermostat, such as televisions, fireplaces, and lamps
Don’t mount your thermostat near plumbing pipes and supply ducts. The water or air that moves through the pipes can cool or heat up the surrounding walls and cause the temperature to fluctuate
Keep Your Energy Bills at a Minimum
Finding the right thermostat placement will ensure accurate temperature readings. It will make sure your HVAC system is running efficiently and your energy bills at a minimum while ensuring your entire home is at a comfortable temperature!