Does the thermostat turn the HVAC system on and off before the house is sufficiently comfortable? Do you find yourself constantly adjusting the temperature to keep the systems running longer? Are your energy bills suspiciously high? If you have any one of these problems, the placement of your thermostat may be the issue.
In the winter, your home can get too cold if the thermostat reads higher than the real temperature. The room temperature isn’t one of many things that affect how the thermostat shows the temperature. These include older thermostats with parts that wear out and move out of their normal range. If the electronics inside the thermostat are broken or if the thermostat is installed wrong, it will give wrong readings.
Many homeowners move into a home and never question the placement of the thermostat, but doing so could save you your comfort and your hard-earned money. So, here, we’ll talk about some of these problems and give ideas for how to fix them to help deal with this annoying and possibly expensive situation.
Factors Affecting Thermostat Readings
Sources of Heat or Cold
The heat from lights, electronics, and direct sunlight, along with excess cold from a frequently opened refrigerator, can all affect the temperature sensed by the thermostat.
Installation on an Exterior Wall
Exterior walls, especially in older homes, are colder or hotter than interior walls depending on the season. Even with proper insulation, the thermostat could still be exposed to temperatures that aren’t representative of the temperatures throughout the home.
Too Close to Heating and Cooling Vents
The temperature of the air coming directly out of the supply vents for your heating and cooling systems is going to be much warmer or cooler than it will feel in the room. This air needs to disperse and warm or cool before the thermostat shuts down the system. Placing the thermostat too close to one of these vents could cause the system to short cycle, and the room will never get comfortable.
Drafts from windows, exterior doors, garages, or any other source should be avoided when installing your thermostat. These drafts can cause temperature differences around your thermostat, causing it to keep the heating and cooling system running for longer than necessary.
Guessing could lead to discomfort if the systems are shutting on and off prematurely. It could also lead to high energy costs because the units are running longer than you need them for comfort. This is a lot for a homeowner to assess on their own. Your best bet is to partner with a professional HVAC technician to install your thermostat properly and in the proper place!