Is Your Home's Thermostat in the Right Place?
Your thermostat is an important component of your cooling and heating system. Without it, your air conditioner wouldn't know when to cool your home and your furnace wouldn't know when to heat it.
The thermostat's job is to read the air temperature in the areas surrounding it and compare it to the temperature you've set for your house. If there isn't a match, the thermostat then will send a signal to your AC unit or furnace to adjust the temperature accordingly.
Problems If Your Thermostat Is In the Wrong Place
There are several things that could go wrong if your thermostat is in the wrong place, including:
Uneven Heating and Cooling
If your thermostat is located in a hallway on the second floor, it may cause such big differences in temperature in your bedrooms upstairs that you end up with one bedroom being hotter than the other. If you live in a single-story home and your thermostat is located behind a bookcase or door or on the other side of the home, it could create uneven temperatures.
False Readings/Inaccurate Temperature Readings
It's important you obtain an accurate reading to keep your house at a comfort level. Where your thermostat is located will determine how accurate the reading is. Place it in the wrong place and you could end up with a false or inaccurate temperature reading.
Overworked HVAC Leading to Shorter Equipment Lifespan
Inaccurate temperature readings could lead to your AC unit or HVAC system overworking, which can lead to wear and tear or excessive shutting on and off. These and other things can lead to a shorter lifespan of your equipment.
The behaviors mentioned above where your equipment is not operating normally because of inaccurate temperature readings can waste energy.
Higher Energy Bills
When your AC unit or HVAC system is continually running due to inaccurate readings from your thermostat being located in the wrong place, this means higher energy bills.
Places You Don't Want Your Thermostat
You wouldn't want to place the thermostat:
In Direct Sunlight
If you place the thermostat in direct sunlight, you're running the risk of a false reading. If the thermostat is heated by direct sunlight, it will "think" the entire room is that warm and will signal your AC unit to kick on when it really shouldn't. Alternately, it might signal your heater to stay off when you really could use the heat.
Near Hot or Cold Equipment
Same thing goes for placing the thermostat near hot or cold equipment. It could mess with it's readings, thereby mess with your cooling or heating.
Near Doors And Windows
Drafty windows will cool the areas around the thermostat down, so it will take readings that indicate the room being a lot cooler than it really is. Because you constantly open doors, placing your thermostat near one would naturally expose it to the outdoor air and depending on the season, it could cause your heater or AC unit to cycle on and off constantly.
Places You Do Want Your Thermostat
Places you do want to install your thermostat include:
On an Interior Wall
You'll obtain a more accurate reading by placing your thermostat on an interior wall than you would on an exterior wall since exterior walls tend to be much cooler and it would trigger the thermostat to signal the furnace to warm up your home.
Near the Center of Your House
Because the thermostat will measure the average temperature in your house, having it in the center of your home will provide you with the most accurate "average" reading because it measures the centrally circulating air.
Five Feet Above the Floor
Because heat rises, if you have your thermostat very high up on your wall, it can provide you with an inflated reading and trigger your AC to turn on. Around 5 feet above the floor is an ideal place for you to install the thermostat (in a single-story home) to obtain an accurate average reading.
What Is the Proper Height of a Thermostat?
If you live in a two-story home, you should place your thermostat on the first floor fairly high up on the wall and keep it in the most central area of your entire home, to help regulate temperature.
If you live in a single-story home, the suggested height from the floor is 5 feet (60 inches) above the floor. It provides an accurate reading while still staying at a height you can reach and out of reach of children.
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