Guide to Proper Thermostat Placement

  • September 1, 2022
  • By MR COOL

Your thermostat constantly monitors your home’s average internal temperature, keeping you comfortable year-round. If you’re experiencing high energy bills or a fluctuating heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, you might have thermostat placement problems. Before contacting a technician, see if your thermostat placement is causing the issue.

General Thermostat Placement Guidelines

If you’re looking for advice on thermostat placement or want to move your device due to thermostat placement problems, you’ll want to select the right location for your device. Thermostat location can affect your home’s climate, changing the correct home temperature and influencing your comfort level inside.

For the best thermostat placement, here are some general guidelines when looking for the right location:

  • Keep it away from heat-generating appliances like stoves, ovens, lamps and televisions.
  • Avoid the hottest or coldest room of the house.
  • Keep sensors from being blocked by shelves and doors.
  • Mount it at least 5 feet high off the floor.
  • Keep furniture and objects from blocking the thermostat.
  • Stay away from plumbing and ducts.

You generally want your thermostat to sit where it can take an average reading of the home’s temperature. Watch out for appliances and systems that could influence the thermostat’s readings to get the most accurate measurement. Prevent anything from blocking or covering the thermostat to help improve the system’s functions.

If you’re moving a thermostat’s location, carefully evaluate each potential section of your house. You’ll want to access the device easily for the most convenient climate control. Improper placement can lead to incorrect readings and increased energy bills, so ensure you’re choosing the best possible location for the device.

The Best Place to Install a Thermostat

Good thermostat placement ensures your device performs efficiently and correctly. You should install your thermostat in a central spot with plenty of air circulation for the best readings. This location should also be easy to access since you’ll want to adjust your thermostat without inconveniencing yourself.

Placing it too high or too low from the floor will influence the temperature the system reads. Since cool air sinks and hot air rises, low thermostats will read cooler temperatures and high ones will state warmer temperatures. Setting the thermostat placement height at 5 feet will give you the best average of your home’s temperature.

To assist you in selecting the best spot, here are some excellent locations for your thermostat:

On an Interior Wall

Interior walls are insulated from changing outdoor temperatures. They won’t warm or cool like exterior walls, allowing your system to get a better read of your home’s climate. Interior placement will allow the thermostat to remain uninfluenced by outdoor temperatures while gaining access to interior air circulation for the best-possible reading.

In a Central Location

Placing the thermostat in a central area will give your device the best measurement of your home’s average temperature. Main rooms are connected to many areas of the house, experience consistent airflow and are less affected by outdoor temperatures. Central locations are also easily accessible, making it convenient for you and your family to adjust the climate as necessary without struggling to reach the device.

On the First Floor 

For houses with more than one floor, the thermostat should be placed on the first floor. Heat usually rises, so a thermostat on the second floor will register the house at a much warmer temperature than the average. This can drive up your energy bill, especially during hot summer months, since the device will work much harder more often to compensate for the higher upstairs temperatures.

To get more accurate thermostat readings and control, consider installing a mini-split system for separate rooms. Split systems on each floor allow you to have a different temperature for each location in the house, improving the thermostat readings and keeping your home comfortable.

In a Frequently Used Room

Always install your thermostat in a frequently used room. Placing your device out of the way will affect its readings and the house’s temperature. Less frequently used rooms experience less air flow and different temperatures than the rest of the house.

If you’re using a room often, you want it to sit at a comfortable temperature. Placing the thermostat in this area will make that the most comfortable room in the home and provide better climate control for the whole house.

The Worst Place to Install a Thermostat

Areas with dramatic temperature swings can cause the thermostat to incorrectly read the house climate, making it work more frequently and harder. The more your thermostat adjusts your HVAC system, the more money you’ll spend on energy bills.

To help keep this from happening, avoid placing your thermostat in these locations:

In Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight hitting your thermostat will affect its readings. Beams of warm light will cause the device to register the interior temperature as warmer than it actually is. This will waste energy and make your thermostat work harder. Even during the winter, sunlight will influence what the device reads the indoor climate as, influencing your comfort level.

Near Vents

Vents send out hot and cold air, which can mess with your thermostat readings. Hot and cold air coming from the vents will influence your thermostat and cause it to turn the air conditioning system on more frequently. Your device can pick up false readings if it’s set above or below a vent, so avoid them if you want the correct thermostat readings.

By Doors and Windows

Drafts and sunlight come in through windows and doors, altering the thermostat and changing the indoor temperature. Air flowing through gaps and cracks or open doors will cause the thermostat to work harder. Even if your average indoor temperature isn’t changing much, these drafts and sunbeams will turn your air conditioning on and off without reaching the correct settings.

Near the Kitchen

The kitchen contains ovens, stoves and other appliances that emit heat throughout the day. This heat can lead to incorrect readings by your thermostat. The device will think the home temperature is much warmer than it is when you’re using the kitchen, leading to air conditioning activation more often.

In Empty Hallways

Empty hallways see minimal air circulation, which the thermostat uses to evaluate the average temperature. Since you aren’t often hanging out in your hallways, move the thermostat to a more common location for the most accurate and comfortable temperature reading.

On Exterior Walls

Exterior walls are more likely to warm or cool according to outside temperatures. Even with insulation, the temperature of these walls will fluctuate as the outdoor temperature does, causing your thermostat to change, as well. To avoid your thermostat reading outdoor temperatures, place it on an interior wall for the best performance.

Trust MRCOOL Products for Your Home Heating and Cooling

You rely on your thermostat to help heat and cool your home daily. For the most energy-efficient, effective thermostats and HVAC systems, trust the professionals at MRCOOL.

We offer a variety of products to meet your cooling needs and maximize your energy savings. If you want to improve the comfort and convenience of your home, consider installing the MRCOOL Mini-Stat for a precise, easy-to-use control system.

At MRCOOL, we’re dedicated to providing you with high-quality, affordable HVAC solutions. Contact us today with any questions about becoming a reseller. Find a dealer location near you to make a purchase!


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