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Is my thermostat placement affecting the heating efficiency of my home?

Man With Warm Clothing Feeling The Cold Inside House

Is my thermostat placement affecting the heating efficiency of my home?

The last thing New Yorkers want during a bleak winter is to come inside to a cold house. Your thermostat is an essential component to temperature regulation, which is why your thermostat placement can make or break the heating efficiency of your home. Not only may improper placement lead to inefficient heating, but it can also drive up your utility bills and energy usage. Being able to recognize the signs that your thermostat should be relocated is the first step to improving the distribution of heat in your home.

Signs that your thermostat placement is all wrong

The biggest sign that your thermostat placement is wrong is uneven heating from room to room. For example, you’re bundled in layers in your bedroom, and you have to strip down to a t-shirt and shorts to comfortably grab a midnight snack in the kitchen. Another major sign of improper thermostat placement is high utility bills. If your bills seem higher than they should be, your thermostat might be working in overdrive to compensate for its poor location.

Keep your thermostat away from temperature extremes

An important thing to remember when moving your thermostat is to keep it away from locations with temperature extremes. For one, this means your thermostat should be kept out of direct sunlight. On a cold day, you may prefer sitting in a sunny spot outside because the sun’s rays warm you up. Similarly, if your thermostat is in a sunny spot, it can also pick up on the warmth from the sun, and will adjust accordingly. This can lead to “ghost readings”, making your heating system fail to kick in when your home needs it.

Keeping your thermostat out of temperature extremes also means keeping it away from doorways, windows, skylights, and air vents. The opening and closing of doors can cause temperature fluctuations and therefore cause inaccurate temperature readings. While windows and skylights are great at letting light in, they can also be known to create unwanted drafts. In addition, it’s important to place your thermostat away from air vents to prevent it being hit directly by heating or air conditioning. Any temperature extremes like this can trigger those nasty ghost readings and cause your energy bills to spike.

A central location where natural air currents occur

Keeping your thermostat in a central location is key. Hallways are especially prone to restricted air flow within their often long and narrow setting, so it’s best not to place your thermostat there. Ideal thermostat placement may be in your living room or den. This allows you to have optimal temperature settings within the most used rooms in your home. Though it may also be one of your most used rooms, you should not place your thermostat in the kitchen. Heat from your stove and oven can be sensed by your thermostat and may pause your heating system or even kick in your air conditioning. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that your thermostat be placed in a room where natural air currents occur. This allows your thermostat to trigger your heating system based on the normal cycle of hot air rising and cool air falling.

Interior walls only

Along with a central location, wall placement is equally important. The best place for your thermostat is on an interior wall. Exterior walls do not follow the extreme temperatures rule above due to close proximity of windows and doors. As of 2010, ADA compliance guidelines dictate that a business’s thermostat should be no higher than 48 inches from the floor (U.S. Department of Justice). However, for a private dwelling, ideal thermostat placement may be anywhere from 52 to 60 inches from the ground.

Relocating your thermostat can be a difficult task, but may be necessary to maintain excellent heating efficiency. For expert HVAC installation and repairs, OSI Comfort Specialists is here for you. Give us a call at 516-763-1400 to discuss your thermostat relocation or new installation needs.