How Can a Thermostat Location Be "Wrong"?
Because your thermostat sets your home's temperature based on its reading of the air temperature directly around it, it's important that the air around it is similar to the air in the rest of your home. If your thermostat's in a location where the air is colder or warmer than the rest of your home, such as by a window, a vent, a ceiling fan, or in direct sunlight, it'll be tricked and set the temperature incorrectly.
How to check if your thermostat is in the right location
Look around the area your thermostat is in to see if there's anything that could be causing an inaccurate temperature reading. Direct sunlight, nearby vents, drafty windows, or fans can make the thermostat think that your house is warmer or colder than it actually is.
Likewise, being too far removed from the normal circulation of air in the home can also cause a bad reading. Make sure your thermostat isn't in a corner or blocked by anything.
If your thermostat is near a window, try blocking the sunlight with blinds or even a sheet to see if that changes how your thermostat controls the temperature throughout the day. You can also keep a log of days that your HVAC system was cooling or heating too much and comparing the log to the weather on those days. If your house gets too cold on sunny days, that's a sign that your thermostat is in a bad location.
Place a thermometer in an area of your home that is away from any potential environmental factors (sunlight, vents, fans, drafty areas). Leave it in the same location for a few days. Check the temperature periodically and compare it to the temperature reading on your thermostat. If there's more than a couple degrees of difference, then your thermostat might be getting a bag reading.
Pull your thermostat away from the wall and look at the wiring. Check to see if the thermostat is sealed where the low voltage wires come into the back of the thermostat. The wall it is mounted on may have an internal draft giving the thermostat a false sense of the actual room temperature.
CAUTION: Be careful not to touch the metal part of the wiring directly. When in doubt, turn off the circuit breaker to ensure that there is no power to your thermostat.
What To Do If Your Thermostat Is In a Bad Location?
To minimize the difference in temperature in the air around your thermostat, you can try to block things that are causing it. For example, keep any windows or vents by the thermostat closed, ceiling fans off, and shades drawn to block out sunlight.
Didn't work? If your thermostat still seems to be setting temperatures incorrectly, there might be something else going on that will require an experienced professional. You can reach out to our Remote Assist expert for a virtual diagnosis.
NOTE: This content is for informational purposes only, and HomeX and its affiliates disclaim all liability related to it. If you decide to perform any tasks based on this information, you assume all risks, including the risk of loss or damage to property or personal injury.
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