Finding the Right Spot to Place Your Thermostat
Many variables come into play when it comes to your home’s climate. Even if you always stay on top of HVAC maintenance, keep a clean home, and make an effort to conserve energy, you may still find that you’re having trouble maintaining consistent temperatures. There are quite a few possible reasons this could be happening. It could be that you need to change your HVAC air filters, install attic insulation, or seal up a few air leaks. Or, it could be that you need to move your household thermostat to a new location. Although many homeowners are unaware of this, the specific placement of your thermostat can have a significant impact on your home’s climate. Additionally, it can make a difference in your HVAC system’s health and energy efficiency. Fortunately, once you know the guidelines to follow, it shouldn’t be difficult to ensure that your thermostat is set up in an ideal spot.
Why Thermostat Location Matters
If your household thermostat is a modern unit, then the temperature of the area around it will have a direct impact on how your HVAC appliances behave. Smart thermostats work by detecting the climate around them, then sending signals to your HVAC system to circulate cool or warm air around the house. Basically, if the thermostat doesn’t think your home’s temperature is where you want it to be, it will try to fix that. So, for your household to consistently be near your preferred temperature, it’s crucial that your thermostat gets accurate temperature readings.
General Guidelines for Thermostat Placement
To achieve the most consistent climate possible in your home, your thermostat should be placed in a spot where it will receive an accurate sample of the household temperature. In general, you want to keep the thermostat away from any areas that will be prone to consistently high temperatures, consistently low temperatures, or temperature fluctuation.
Wherever you end up placing your thermostat, you should measure the distance from the floor to ensure that it’s between 50 and 62 inches. Warm air always rises, and cold air always sinks. So, if your thermostat is placed higher than 62 inches from the ground, it will frequently get readings that are warmer than the rest of the home. If it’s below 50 inches, then the readings will regularly be too cool. When your thermostat sends inaccurate information to your HVAC system, it’s referred to as a “ghost reading,” and you want to avoid those occurrences as often as possible.
Another general rule is that you shouldn’t put your thermostat near any supply ducts or plumbing pipes. Typically, air and water moving through those ducts and pipes will impact the temperature of the walls around them, which could result in ghost readings for your thermostat. Additionally, with any sort of smart thermostat, you should double-check that you’re installing it somewhere where it will be within Wi-Fi range and receive a strong wireless signal. Finally, make sure you aren’t setting up the thermostat in any spot where it will be blocked by pieces of furniture or an opened door. Below, you’ll find some of the best and worst places for your thermostat within your home.
Thumbs Up: Near the Center of Your Household
Usually, the temperature around the middle of your home is going to be the closest representation of the household’s average climate. So, if your goal is to keep the temperature of the entire living space as even and consistent as possible, then the center of your home is the perfect place for your thermostat. As an added bonus, keeping your thermostat near the center of the house should make it easily accessible for everyone living there.
Thumbs Up: In Your Most Inhabited Room
Another solid option is to place your thermostat in the room where you and your family spend the majority of your time. Granted, this won’t necessarily lead to an even temperature across your entire household, but it should guarantee that your favorite room is always as comfortable as you want it. For example, if you’re spending hours each night watching movies in the family room, having the thermostat there will ensure that its temperature readings are always coming from that room. So, whenever that room gets too warm or cold, it will be quick to correct the climate. If your favorite room is also near the center of the house, that will be even better.
Thumbs Up: In a Room With No Windows or Exterior Doors
The presence of exterior doorways or windows can lead to regular temperature fluctuations. So, if there’s a room in your home that contains neither, it should be a good bet for consistent temperature readings. That way, there will be no drafts coming in through the glass or gusts of air from opening the door to mess with your thermostat’s readings.
Thumbs Down: In the Kitchen
Did you know that whenever you run the stove or oven, your kitchen becomes one of the hottest parts of your home? If you use your cooking appliances with any kind of regularity, then the kitchen would be a poor place for your thermostat. If you do set the thermostat up there, it will frequently be telling your air conditioner to circulate cold air, even when your home is cool enough already. Not only will this put extra strain on your cooling system, but your comfort will be inconsistent at best.
Thumbs Down: In the Path of Direct Sunlight
This one should be a no-brainer, but it’s always worth a reminder. If you put your thermostat anywhere that receives direct sunlight, its reading will be consistently high. If you install your thermostat in the evening, you may not even realize you’re putting it somewhere that will be hit with sunlight during the day. So, even if the sun isn’t out when you’re choosing a spot, make sure you’re considering its positioning carefully.
Thumbs Down: Above or Below an Air Vent
Your air vents serve as the means for your HVAC system to distribute cool and hot air to the different sections of your household. So, if you place your thermostat directly above or below one, it’s going to constantly get hit with that airflow. If it’s above the vent, it will frequently receive high ghost readings, and if it’s below the vent, the readings will constantly be too low. Either way, your HVAC system won’t know what to do to keep your home comfortable. Placing the thermostat to the left or right of the vent likely won’t be quite as problematic, but it would be a better idea to have it at least several feet away.
Since 2006, our expert team at Express Plumbing Heating & Air has provided top-notch heating, cooling, and plumbing services to the Boise, ID area. Additionally, you can always call us for sewer repair, leak detection, excavation, and many other expert services. Our family-owned business aims to set higher standards in the work that we do every single day. When customers reach out to us for help, we take great pride in delivering the highest quality of results and customer satisfaction. If you’re interested in learning more or scheduling an appointment with our team, just contact our offices at Express Plumbing Heating & Air now!