To most homeowners, the fact that their home’s HVAC system is a vital part of its comfort is obvious. What many don’t realize, however, is how much of a role their HVAC thermostat plays in the process. Something as simple as having your thermostat installed in the wrong location in your home can have an outsized effect on your comfort.
It can also have a big influence on your energy usage by causing your HVAC to run more often than it should. That’s one of the reasons the team here at Northwest HVAC Heating & Cooling often fields questions about thermostat placement. The most common among these is whether it’s possible to move an already-installed HVAC thermostat. Here’s the answer to that and what you need to know about doing it.
The Importance of HVAC Thermostat Placement
In a home with a single-zone HVAC system, everything about how and when your HVAC runs depends on a single thermostat. That’s why you’ll often find one installed in a central location inside the home. The idea is for the thermostat to record a temperature that’s representative of the average temperature in the residence.
So, if your thermostat gets installed somewhere that’s unusually warm, such as near the kitchen or by a western-facing window, it may register a temperature that’s too high. Or, if your thermostat’s too near one of your HVAC system’s vents, it may also struggle to record a proper temperature.
Moving Your Thermostat
If your thermostat isn’t in the right place, it is possible to move it to a new location. However, the amount of work that takes depends on how far away you plan to move it. The reason is that there’s a set of control wires running from your HVAC system to the wall where the thermostat resides. If you’re moving the thermostat somewhere close by, it could be easy to move those wires to the new location.
If you’re moving your thermostat to a different room, however, you’ll likely need the aid of a professional HVAC technician. They’ll have to run a new set of control wires from your HVAC system to where you’d like your thermostat to be situated. Depending on the construction of your home, that could be a difficult process. The good news is that an HVAC technician will have at their disposal all the tools and materials needed to do the job. They’ll also have the knowledge and experience to help you choose the right new spot for your thermostat.
An Alternative to Moving Your Thermostat
It’s worth pointing out that there is an alternative to moving your thermostat, particularly if your goal is capturing a more representative indoor temperature. You could consider installing a smart thermostat instead. Many smart thermostats include a setting that allows you to define an offset temperature to adjust the reading the unit takes.
So, if you know your thermostat’s location routinely produces temperatures that are two degrees too high, you could tell the smart thermostat to shave two degrees off its reading. That alone could solve your issue and make moving your thermostat unnecessary. And if that’s not enough, some smart thermostats offer an even more advanced solution.
Many of today’s best smart thermostats include remote sensor units that you can place throughout your home. You can use them to help the smart thermostat gain a more realistic picture of the actual temperature conditions in other rooms. Then, the smart thermostat can adjust its behavior to meet your comfort needs automatically.
You can even tell a smart thermostat to give preference to different sensors at different times. You could, for example, tell it to rely overnight on the reading from a sensor in your bedroom. Then, you could have it switch to a sensor in your living room or wherever else you spend your time during the day. That way, your HVAC will automatically prioritize your comfort in the room you’re using at any given time.
Consult the Thermostat Experts
Now, you know it’s possible to move a thermostat in your home if it would help your HVAC to perform better. You also know there are solutions that could improve your comfort without the necessity of moving your thermostat. Whichever solution you choose, though, Northwest HVAC Heating & Cooling can help. We’ve served the Vancouver, WA community since 1997, and we offer comprehensive HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance options. That includes the installation and servicing of thermostats. We also offer indoor air quality services to help you make sure your home’s air is clean and healthy at all times. If you think your home might benefit from moving your thermostat, or if you need any other HVAC services, contact the experts at Northwest HVAC Heating & Cooling today!