Do you need to relocate your thermostat? If you’re getting ghost readings it may be a good idea. Your thermostat works by measuring the temperature around it to control your HVAC system.
What is a Ghost Reading?
Spooky sounding, the ghost reading occurs when the unit reads a temperature that’s warmer or colder than the air in most of your home. Inaccurate readings can cause the thermostat to send the wrong signals to your AC or heater, so it runs at the wrong temperature or cycles on and off too frequently. The overall effect not only reduces comfort, but also efficiency.
If you relocate a thermostat improperly, it can cause ghost readings. But you can avoid this by:
1. Moving the Thermostat Out of Direct Sunlight
Heat from the sun can trick the unit into thinking solar heat is the actual room temperature. It may then turn on the AC when it’s not needed or not trigger the heater to turn on.
2. Keeping the Thermostat Away from Air Vents
Thermostats should never be placed near supply air vents. Hot or cold air from your HVAC can alter the reading so the unit thinks your home is colder or hotter than the actual air temperature. Likewise, thermostats should be kept away from drafty doors and windows.
Placement near a return air vent is more favorable. That’s because air is being sucked in from various parts of your home, providing a more accurate perspective of temperature.
3. Placing It Away from Obstructions
Covering a thermostat, or placing it directly behind, next to, or under a sofa, wall unit, or chair, can create ghost readings. Drapes and curtains can also interfere with thermostats. Furnishings should also not be placed over air vents as this can create false readings.
More Tips on Thermostat Placement
It’s best to relocate a thermostat that is near your hot water line, ductwork, or a heat-producing appliance. A centralized location will provide the most accurate readings. When you relocate a thermostat, you might want to consider an interior, frequently used room, but an interior hallway is best. From there, it can sense the overall temperature as air is circulating from different rooms. Proximity to a return air vent helps for this reason.
Do not install a thermostat in the kitchen or near a fireplace. The unit will think the rest of your home is just as hot as where you’re cooking or there’s a flame burning.
If the size and layout of your home is causing issues with your thermostat, you may want to consider installing a multi-zoned HVAC system or mini-split unit. These benefit homes with multiple floors the most. Sensors placed throughout the home can allow your thermostat to calculate a balance from the multiple readings it receives.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Going hi-tech is both economical and simple to use. Smart thermostats can adjust themselves and even learn your daytime and nighttime habits. They often operate on wireless networks and can be controlled using your smartphone. You can manually control the temperature using an app or the thermostat can track your phone’s location, adjusting HVAC settings based on what room you’re in or sensing when you are within a certain distance of your home (motion sensors are another option for automating your HVAC system).
Contact Sky Heating & Air Conditioning for Help
Our AC/heating professionals can assist you in determining whether you need to relocate your thermostat. Relocating one can be a challenge, especially if it involves rewiring. We can manage this as well and recommend the best programmable or smart thermostats for your home. For more information, call 541-275-2918 today.