In Direct Sunlight

If your thermostat is in direct sunlight, you run the risk of getting false readings. The thermostat records the temperature of your home (specifically the room in which it is placed) and uses that information to judge whether the heating and cooling system needs to kick on. If the thermostat is located near a skylight and heated by direct sunlight, it “thinks” the room is warmer than it actually feels, causing your air conditioner to kick on when it isn’t needed. Alternately, your heater may stay off when you’d like it to be on because the thermostat is unable to accurately calculate the temperature of the home. These “ghost readings” cause your heating and cooling system to waste a ton of energy by cycling on and off unnecessarily.

Above Air Vents

Your thermostat is supposed to be able to accurately represent the temperature feel in your home. When the thermostat placement is above or near an air vent, the temperature readings get skewed because the thermostat is the first thing to get hit with incoming air. If the heater is on, the thermostat “thinks” the room is warmer than it is, and if the air conditioner is running, the thermostat cools down before your home does. Just like placing your thermostat in direct sunlight, placing it above an air vent leads to ghost readings that waste energy and cause your bills to skyrocket.

Near The Kitchen

Of all the places in your home, your kitchen probably gets the warmest without the help of your heater. With so many appliances – including both the stove and oven – in a concentrated area, it’s easy to see how the temperature in your kitchen is wildly different from the rest of your home. A thermostat placed in the kitchen often reads that the home is far warmer than it truly is, causing the air conditioner to turn on when you don’t need it. But because your kitchen isn’t constantly warm, it poses a big problem for your thermostat. The fluctuations in temperature confuse your thermostat and prevent it from getting an accurate reading. If your thermostat placement is in or near your kitchen, your whole home is going to cool down whenever someone is cooking!

In The Hallway

It’s unlikely that any of your loved ones live in the hallway, which is why your thermostat should not be placed there. The main goal of your heating and cooling system is to keep your family comfortable, so it makes sense that the thermostat be in a place that accurately represents the “real feel” air temperature of your home. Think about where you and your family spend the most time and make sure your thermostat is in or near that room. Your hallways are empty for a majority of the time, so placing your thermostat there decreases the accuracy of the readings. Hallways also make readings more difficult because airflow is restricted in the long, thin space. Plus, people walking past the thermostat are likely to bump into it, possibly switching the settings without realizing it.

Near Doors And Windows

We’ve already covered thermostat placement near air vents. Doors and windows fall under similar circumstances. Drafty windows cool down the areas around them, so if your thermostat is in the general vicinity, it’ll take readings that show the room as being much cooler than it actually feels. Since doors are constantly being opened and closed, a thermostat placed near a door would naturally be exposed to more outside air than the rest of the house. Depending on the season, this causes your air conditioner or heater to cycle on and off without ever achieving a comfortable temperature.

Ideal Thermostat Placement

The best place for your thermostat is on an interior wall, away from all the areas we previously discussed (direct sunlight, air vents, your kitchen, hallways, windows and doors). Ideally, it should be placed toward the center of your home. You should also take into consideration which rooms you and your family members use most frequently. That way, you’ll be certain the rooms in which you spend the most time are the most comfortable for the ones you love.

Learn more about ideal thermostat placement and making your heating and cooling systems perform more efficiently. The On Time Experts are here to help you and your family stay comfortable year-round.

Meet the Author
Randy Kelley
Randy Kelley


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