Which Direction to Install a Thermostat?

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The placement and direction of your thermostat can greatly affect your heating and cooling costs. If it is placed in a less-than-ideal location, your thermostat reading could be off by several degrees, causing the system to run more or less than it should. To maintain thermal comfort and keep your bills under control, consider some simple strategies for placing your thermostat.

Where to Install a Thermostat

  • As a general rule of thumb, thermostats should be installed on interior walls and not on exterior walls. A hallway is often an ideal location, if it is in the central part of the house, or place the thermostat in the room in which you spend most of your time, such as the family room. Locate the thermostat about five feet above the floor, or at a comfortable height for you to read and adjust it.

Thermostat Direction

  • Before you settle on a particular wall for your thermostat, consider the direction it is facing and its orientation to other elements. For example, your thermostat should be located far from any elements that produce heat, such as kitchen appliances or light fixtures, as well as exterior doors or windows. Don't place it on a wall that receives direct sunlight at any point in the day.

    Also, consider the layout of your HVAC system. It is better to place a thermostat adjacent to a return vent rather than a supply vent, which will throw off the reading. Also, never place thermostats behind doors or beneath stairs, as vibrations can affect their accuracy.

Other Considerations

  • Once you have decided on the proper placement and direction of your thermostat, there are a few other options to consider to improve its efficiency. You might consider investing in a programmable thermostat. Depending on your daily routine, you can set the thermostat to warm or cool your home before you wake up, and then maintain a certain temperature while you are gone during the day to reduce operating costs. Similarly, the temperature adjusts again before you arrive home to a comfortable level.

    Another option is to install a remote control thermostat so that you can adjust the temperature from anywhere in the house. This is especially convenient if the thermostat location is far away from your bedroom, for example.

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