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Does the Placement of Your Thermostat Matter?

Does the Placement of Your Thermostat Matter?

Posted by
Ed Miller on Tue, Jul 13, 2021


Pawn to B1. Knight to D5. No, wait! I shouldn’t have done that; I moved it to the wrong space!

Just as it matters in a game of chess where you place your pieces, it also matters in the game of temperature control where you place your thermostat. There are right and wrong moves for your thermostat. Let’s break it down, one game piece at a time.

Wrong Moves:

If you want to win the game of having a perfectly cooled or heated house, then make sure you don’t move your thermostat to the following places.


There is nothing like fresh air blowing through an open window on a bright, sunny day. It warms the soul, but it can unintentionally warm the thermostat as well. According to Consumer Reports, you want to avoid placing a thermostat near a window because of the acute temperature fluctuations that can happen. That bright sunlight, for instance, will tell the thermostat it’s hotter in the house than it actually is, prompting it to turn on the air conditioning. But that’s the wrong move! It’s perfectly cool inside the majority of the house. So, windows won’t let you win.


We are encouraged to walk through open doors when they present themselves in life, but what happens if the door is close to a thermostat? That open door creates unwelcomed drafts in our living space. This is why it is problematic to move a thermostat near a door. On a brisk winter’s day, a burst of cold air from the door will tell the thermostat, “Baby, it’s cold in here,” and then the thermostat will turn on the heat. But that’s the wrong move! It’s cozy and warm inside most of the house. So, doors won’t give you a check-mate.


One of the worst moves on the gameboard is to move the thermostat near a vent. Let’s say the air conditioning rightly turns on because the house is getting uncomfortably hot; then a blast of cold air from the air vent hits the area surrounding the thermostat, and the thermostat says, “My bad! That’s the wrong move. It’s actually chilly in here,” and then it turns off the air conditioning. It’s a vicious, costly cycle that will keep your air conditioning working overtime throughout the day. Don’t lose the game to something as simple as an air vent.

Other Sources of Temperature Fluctuations:

It’s a no-win situation if you move your thermostat near these other places of temperature extremes.

  • Do not place it in the kitchen; the heat emanating from your meatloaf in the oven can skew the thermostat’s reading.
  • Do not place it in the bathroom; the steam from your long, luxurious shower will send the air conditioning into overdrive.
  • Do not place it on exterior walls; those walls tend to be cooler than the other walls in the house and will produce an inaccurate read on the thermostat.
  • Do not place it near obstructions; bookshelves, large decor, lamps, or TV sets are bound to set off a series of unfortunate temperature events as they impede airflow or produce waves of heat.
  • Do not place it in an unused room; the empty room will be communicating with the thermostat, but your conversation is happening way over there, where you are heating up, and no air conditioning is turning on.

Right Moves:

You know how to lose at the game of temperature control; let’s talk about how to win. Here are the rules of winning gameplay:

Rule #1: Placement

Move your thermostat to an interior wall, close to the center of your home (so, no top floor or basement placement people!). Interior walls regulate temperature better than exterior walls, which makes them more appropriate for your thermostat. Try an interior wall that is a common living space like a living room, family room, or foyer. This will allow the thermostat to read the average temperature of the average air circulation in your home. And, of course, avoid any of the wrong moves listed above (windows, doors, vents, etc.!).

Rule #2: Height 

Just as you are limited to the number of spaces you are allowed to move on a chessboard, you are also limited to how low or high you can place your thermostat. The general range you want to aim for is between 52-60 inches off the floor. As we all know, heat rises, so if the thermostat is placed too high, the registered temperature reading will also be high. Similarly, if it is placed too low, the thermostat will read a cooler temperature. Channel your inner Goldilocks and go for the “just right” height placement of 52-60 inches to achieve your “just right” temperature.

Rule #3: Type

If you’ve moved into a home where the previous owners broke the rules of thermostat placement, then simply upgrade your thermostat type to a smart thermostat, like the Nest or Honeywell. These thermostats have remote sensors and geofencing. If your thermostat has been placed in a problematic room, instruct it to register the room where the remote sensor is placed or program it to simply average the two temperatures together. Additionally, this type of thermostat uses your phone’s location to determine your location and will adjust to your ideal temperature when you are close to home. Now that’s considerate!

Snyder Heating and Air Conditioning: A Winning Company

Check-mate! Congratulations! You have officially won the game of temperature control! You knew the right moves (and wrong moves) of thermostat placement and have succeeded where few have. However, if the temperature of your home is still not to your liking, feel free to reach out to Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning for a maintenance call. Our certified HVAC technicians are trained in the rules of home comfort and will happily lend a hand. Game on!



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