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Is Your Thermostat Lying to You?


While your thermostat doesn’t actually have the malicious capacity for deception, it can fool you based on certain environmental and mechanical concerns. Maybe your home feels warmer or cooler than it should based on the thermostat reading, but you can’t find the reason. Perhaps the thermostat in your Garden City, Georgia home is lying to you, but you can easily turn it into a faithful truth-teller.

Call the Experts

We’re happy to evaluate your thermostat for mechanical soundness. Every thermostat has a finite lifespan, which means that it will stop working eventually. In this case, we recommend upgrading to a more modern thermostat

We can also adjust your thermostat if it’s repairable. Sometimes these devices grow less accurate over time, so they need routine calibration. This isn’t a job you should attempt by yourself. Instead, let us handle the proper steps of calibrating, so you can enjoy your home in comfort.

Look for Windows

Windows let in sunlight, which translates into heat. If you’ve installed your thermostat directly across from a window, the sun’s heat could influence your thermostat’s understanding of the ambient temperature. The ideal place for a thermostat keeps it away from windows, especially if you don’t use blinds, curtains, or other window treatments to block sunlight.

Stay Out of the Kitchen

Thermostats don’t belong in kitchens. Not only do appliances, such as the stove and oven, generate heat that can fool your thermostat, but cooking over the stove will increase humidity levels in the room. The same goes for bathrooms, which product equal heat and humidity when you shower or take a bath. If you experience chronic trouble with moisture, consider letting us install a whole-home dehumidifier to rectify the problem.

Check the Wall

While all walls might seem suitable for thermostat installation, exterior walls draw more heat. They can fool your thermostat into thinking the room is warmer than it is, so the air conditioner will run longer, increasing your utility bills unnecessarily. An interior wall offers a far more practical place for your thermostat.

If possible, choose a wall in a windowless hallway or utility area. This will keep it away from heat-generating objects or home features, which will make your thermostat more reliable. If this isn’t possible, select any interior wall that isn’t directly across from or next to a window.

Avoid Radiators, Registers, and Vents

If your thermostat sits directly over your radiator, register, or vent, the resulting heating or cooling will trick your thermostat into thinking your home’s temperature is different from reality. The same goes for fans, such as ceiling and floor fans, that point directly at the thermostat. You’ll feel less comfortable because your thermostat will adjust for the wrong indoor temperature.

Look for Blockages

Airflow can prove essential for thermostat accuracy. If furniture, decor, artwork, or other items block your thermostat, it can’t get an accurate reading on the indoor temperature. Resist the urge to cover your thermostat with curtains or wall art because you’ll decrease its accuracy. If you upgrade to a modern thermostat, you’ll get a more attractive device that you won’t feel tempted to disguise.

Additionally, move furniture so that it creates maximum airflow and doesn’t block your registers, vents, or thermostat. We can help you identify problem areas if you’re not sure how to rectify the problem. Many homeowners who choose small houses run into this issue with storage, seating, and other furniture.

Don’t Light the Fire

You also don’t want to mount your thermostat too close to the fireplace. If you want to hear the crackling flames and feel the extra heat, you’ll confuse your thermostat and force it to lie. The same is true for portable space heaters; keep them away from your thermostat, so you don’t generate false readings. Essentially, you don’t want to place your thermostat too close to anything that generates hot or cold air.

Choosing the perfect location for your thermostat can prove tricky, but we can help. We know how to make sure you get the best performance out of your thermostat, so call McDevitt Air at 877-692-9402 to schedule an HVAC consultation.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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