Did you know that the location of your thermostat makes a difference to how your HVAC system runs? Temperatures throughout your home can vary a little, so it’s important to choose a thermostat location that will accurately represent your home’s average temperature. If you pick the wrong location, you can end up with an HVAC system that runs too much, doesn’t run enough, or turns off and on too often. To ensure your system runs optimally, follow these tips for picking a thermostat location.
Keep Your Thermostat Away From Windows
Ideally, your thermostat should be in a room without exposure to direct sunlight. It’s fine if there are some windows far away providing indirect natural lighting. However, strong sunlight falling right onto your thermostat can make your thermostat temperature read several degrees warmer than it really is. In the summer, this can lead to an air conditioner running nonstop. In the winter, it can mean your heater doesn’t turn on even when the rest of the house feels very cold.
Mount Your Thermostat on an Interior Wall
In modern homes with better insulation, placing the thermostat on an exterior wall is less of an issue. However, in many homes, exterior walls can have a vastly different temperature than the rest of the home. This can cause more issues with your thermostat’s ability to judge temperature properly. It typically leads to ACs that run longer in the summer and heaters that run longer in the window.
Choose a Draft-Free Area
In addition to locations with unreliable temperatures, you also need to avoid locations with drafts. Gusts of air can temporarily change the ambient temperature around a thermostat, so it can unexpectedly turn on or off. The biggest thing you need to avoid is placing your thermostat directly in the pathway of a vent. If cooled or heated air is blowing right on your thermostat, it will never run long enough to make your home feel comfortable. Putting the thermostat by your windows or doors can expose it to a lot of drafts.
Avoid the Kitchen
The kitchen is never a good place for your thermostat. Even if you don’t cook a lot, kitchens are warmer than the rest of the house because they contain your refrigerator and other large appliances. If your thermostat is in the kitchen, it will always read as warmer than everywhere else. This means you’ll consistently find yourself feeling a little chilly in the other parts of the house.
Place Your Thermostat Around Shoulder Level
The height of your thermostat also has a big impact on its accuracy. Heat rises, so the space right below your ceiling will be a little warmer than the rest of the home. If you put your thermostat too high, you’ll get inaccurate temperatures, and your AC will run too long while your heat won’t run long enough. There’s also a practical reason to avoid putting your thermostat too high up on the wall. Having it lower makes it much easier to adjust the thermostat settings.
Skip Hallway Placement If Possible
Your hallway might seem like a discreet, out-of-the-way place to put your thermostat, but this is an unwise location. Hallways are long, narrow spaces that tend to have unusual airflow. Not only can they be drafty, but it also tends to take a little longer for cooled or heated air to reach hallways. When your thermostat is in the hallway, it tends to run for excessive amounts of time. Though the hallway is a little better than the kitchen or a sunny living room, it still isn’t the optimal space for a thermostat.
Don’t Forget About Convenience
When picking your thermostat placement, keep in mind that the right location is about more than just making your HVAC run properly. You also need a location that’s easy to check and adjust. Even if you have a remotely operated smart thermostat, being able to glance at your thermostat can provide you with helpful information about your home. Make sure it’s in an accessible place you visit often instead of a spare room you never enter.
If you would like help installing your thermostat, Fire 'n' Ice Heating & Cooling, Inc. is happy to assist you. Our professionals can find the best location for your thermostat and connect it to your system. We also provide a variety of other HVAC services in the Downers Grove region. For help with repairs, maintenance, and installation, contact Fire 'n' Ice Heating & Cooling, Inc..