Does It Matter Where You Place Your Thermostat?
There are numerous variables when it comes to keeping your household comfortable. Factors such as the way you take care of your HVAC appliances, the consistency of your cleaning habits, and the presence of air leaks all play a role in your home climate. One other factor that many homeowners fail to consider is the placement of their thermostats. Believe it or not, where you choose to set up your thermostat can have a significant impact on the comfort of your living space.
If you’re experiencing uneven or inconsistent temperatures around your house, you may not necessarily be facing a major HVAC repair. Before you assume the worst, consult with a competent HVAC technician to consider reevaluating where you have your thermostat. If suboptimal thermostat placement does turn out to be the culprit, you’ll be able to solve the problem fairly easily. If that doesn’t end up being the case, you’ll barely have wasted any time or effort, and you can simply move on to other potential fixes.
Why Thermostat Placement Matters
Thermostats have the important job of monitoring your household climate and relaying the information to your heating and cooling systems. That way, when the temperature of the home is too low or high, your HVAC unit can work as necessary to correct it. So, for your household to maintain a comfortable climate, your HVAC appliances need to be receiving accurate information from your thermostat.
If you have your thermostat placed incorrectly, it can result in occurrences referred to as “ghost readings.” Essentially, a ghost reading is when your thermostat gives false information to your HVAC system, causing your heating or cooling unit to work more or less than it should. In addition to really messing with your household comfort, frequent ghost readings can also lead to your appliances wasting energy and accumulating extra wear and tear.
So, how can you ensure that your thermostat is always relaying accurate information? Ultimately, the key is to place it somewhere that features a temperature representative of the entire household. Below, you’ll find some of the best and worst places to set up your thermostat.
The Best and Worst Places for Your Thermostat
While there are several areas around your home that will serve well, there are a few general guidelines to follow for proper thermostat placement. For one thing, regardless of which part of the house you’re setting it up in, your thermostat should always be placed between 52 and 60 inches from the ground. Heat rises, so if you have the thermostat placed higher up than that, it can result in ghost readings of higher temperatures. Alternatively, if it’s placed lower than 52 inches, it can result in low ghost readings. You should also avoid placing your thermostat anywhere that it will be blocked, such as behind a bookcase or beside a doorway.
Good Spot: Near the Center of Your Home
It’s generally a good idea to place your thermostat in a room that’s near the center of your house. Usually, the center is the area of your home that best reflects the climate of the entire living space. Since your thermostat’s objective is to determine the average temperature of your whole house, having it installed near the center usually works beautifully. In addition to encouraging the most accurate readings and minimizing ghost readings, the center of your home is also a spot that’s easily accessible for everyone in the family.
Bad Spot: Near Doors or Windows
In almost every case, having your thermostat near doors or windows is a bad idea. These parts of your home are not representative of the average household temperature, which means that ghost readings will be a common occurrence. With windows, the presence of sunlight and drafts coming through will only complicate things for your thermostat. Alternatively, if your thermostat is near a door, then it will encounter a wave of air from outside every time that door opens. In all these situations, your thermostat will constantly be exposed to misleading temperatures, and your household climate will most likely be all over the place as a result.
Good Spot: In a Frequently Used Room
If there’s one room where you and your family spend large portions of your time, that room would be an excellent spot for your thermostat. Since your thermostat will always be measuring the temperature of that room, you can rest assured that it will always be around the temperature that you prefer. That said, you’ll still want to follow the guideline of avoiding spots with nearby windows or doors, even if it’s a room you use frequently. Now, if that room is near the center of your household, that’s even better.
Bad Spot: In the Kitchen
Although you may not think of it as such, your kitchen is most likely the warmest room in your house, on average. Whenever you’re running the oven or the stove, it’s going to increase the temperature of the area. As a result, your thermostat will consistently experience ghost readings, and your air conditioner will likely be running far more often than you need. Plus, since your thermostat will always think your home is warmer than it truly is, your heating system won’t know when you need it to run. All in all, the kitchen is a very bad spot for your thermostat.
Good Spot: On the First Floor
If you live in a two-story home, you’re typically better off installing your thermostat in a central location somewhere on the first floor. Because hot air always rises, it’s very common for the second floor of a household to be significantly warmer than the first floor. So, if you place your thermostat on the second floor, it will commonly experience high ghost readings. Therefore, if you live in a three-story home, your best bet may be to place it on the second floor, as that will give a good representation of the average household temperature.
Bad Spot: Above or Below Air Vents
Air vents are spread all throughout your home, so it’s easy to put your thermostat near one without even thinking about it. However, this is something you should avoid. If your thermostat is placed directly above or below one of your vents, it will regularly encounter very warm or cold air, which will consistently disrupt the accuracy of its readings. It’s entirely fine for your thermostat to be in the same room as an air vent; it just shouldn’t be directly above or below one.
Since 1998, our business at Polar Air & Heating, Inc. has been a trusted name in Las Vegas, NV for outstanding heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services. We know full well how harsh the temperature can get in the desert, which is why our technicians will do everything possible to help keep your home comfortable. On every job, we’ll go the extra mile to meet your personal needs. Our team is available 24/7 for emergency repairs, and we make installations easy with flexible financing options on approved credit. In addition to that, we can properly maintain all your HVAC equipment to keep it fully functional and prolong its life. Give us a call at Polar Air & Heating, Inc. today if you’d like to schedule an appointment.