Since HVAC systems are such a large investment, most people put a lot of thought into which one they will install. One component that homeowners in Las Vegas often overlook, though, is the thermostat. Unfortunately, overlooking your thermostat can cause comfort issues in your home and prevent your HVAC system from operating as efficiently as it could. Every aspect of your thermostat, from type to placement, is important when you’re trying to achieve constant home comfort. Whether you’re installing a thermostat yourself or having it installed by someone else, here are a few tips that the pros at BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair encourage you to keep in mind.
How Does a Thermostat Work?
It’s important to understand how a thermostat works to understand why it’s vital to take your time when choosing a location for your thermostat. A thermostat’s most important component is its thermistor. This component is made of a material, usually metal, that reacts in a predictable way as the ambient temperature changes. A digital thermostat senses these changes by sending an electric current through the thermistor. A mechanical thermostat has a metallic strip that expands and contracts as the temperature changes. This, in turn, opens and closes the electrical circuit that allows your HVAC system to turn off and on.
When placing your thermostat, the main thing you want to avoid is temperature extremes. If you place the thermostat in an area with an extremely warm or cool temperature, the HVAC system will regulate the temperature of your entire home to match these extremes. This means that the rest of your home that doesn’t suffer from wild temperature swings will be extremely uncomfortable. One good way to objectively determine which is the most comfortable room in your home is to use a thermometer to measure the temperature in each room. Then, take the average of those temperatures and place the thermostat in the room whose temperature is closest to the average temperature.
The Problem With Vents
Something that BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair regularly sees is homes that have the thermostat located close to one or more vents. This is especially common in homes where the thermostat is located on a wall that is part of the utility closet. Although this placement often gives you convenient access to the thermostat, you will likely be disappointed by the levels of comfort you experience. When a thermostat is near a vent, it will be measuring the temperature of the air coming out of the vent. This means that it will sense that the air in the room is warmer or cooler than the actual ambient air temperature. That’s why you want to be sure to put your thermostat in a location that accurately represents the overall temperature profile of a particular room.
Don’t Forget That Heat Rises
Another consideration when installing a thermostat is to make sure you don’t put it too far up the wall. One problem with this is that you’ll have a hard time accessing the thermostat to change the temperature of your home. The main problem, though, is that your thermostat will typically sense a temperature that’s higher than the main living area. That’s because warm air is less dense than cool air, meaning that it will rise. During the summer, the heat that makes its way into your home from outside will rise, creating inaccurate readings. During the winter, the heat that your HVAC system creates will rise, again resulting in inaccurate readings. Place the thermostat at or slightly below eye level to ensure you’re always getting an accurate temperature reading.
Easy to Access
While most commercial buildings work hard to keep their thermostats concealed so that only a few people can change the temperature, residential thermostats should be as easy to use as possible. That’s why BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair recommends placing your thermostat in a room that you frequently use. This could be a living room, kitchen, family room, or another common area. Keeping your thermostat easily accessible will help you keep better track of how your thermostat responds to various weather situations. This, in turn, will help you make more accurate adjustments to make sure that you don’t run your HVAC system more than necessary.
Sunlight: A Thermostat’s Enemy
Whatever you do when installing your thermostat, make sure not to install your thermostat in a location that receives direct sunlight. When a thermostat receives direct sunlight, even for just a few minutes, it creates wildly inaccurate temperature readings as the sun’s rays warm the thermistor in the thermostat. Even after the sun is no longer shining on the thermostat, it can take a while for the thermistor to cool down again, meaning that your HVAC system will work overtime for quite a long time. Plus, if you have a digital thermostat, direct sunlight can damage the screen on your thermostat, meaning that you’ll need to replace it far sooner than you would need to otherwise.
Remote Sensors for Targeted Comfort
To help accurately dial in your home’s comfort, you may want to opt for a thermostat with remote sensors. Remote sensors have a variety of convenient applications that make them more than worth the increased cost. One application is installing multiple sensors in various rooms in your home. Using the combined sensor readings, you can get an idea of the average temperature of your home and adjust the thermostat settings to reflect this average. Another great way to use a remote sensor is to install one sensor in a specific room, such as a bedroom, that’s far away from the location of the thermostat. Then, at night, you can instruct your thermostat to only pay attention to the readings from the remote sensor so that your HVAC system can keep your bedroom at a perfect sleeping temperature.
Excess Wear and Tear
One major risk of incorrectly installing your thermostat is excess wear and tear on your HVAC system. Inaccurate temperature readings can cause your system to run longer than it needs to or turn off and on quickly several times in a row. Either of these conditions, when repeated over months or years, will potentially cause your system to fail, resulting in the need for repair or replacement by BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair. If your thermostat is installed correctly and your HVAC system still operates in an unexpected manner, it’s a good idea to give the pros at BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair a call to see what else might be happening with your system.
Your Partner in Home Comfort
At BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair, we want to be partners with our customers to help them achieve optimal home comfort. We can work with you to help you maintain your air conditioner and heating system. We also provide HVAC repair and installation services. Plus, if you have leaky ducts, we can repair, seal, or replace your ducts to ensure the cool air from your HVAC system arrives where it’s needed. For over five years, we’ve been trusted by this community to provide home comfort and energy savings. Our consistent five-star customer reviews testify to the fact that we deeply care about what we do. To learn more about installing a thermostat, contact us at BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair today.