In the cold winter months it can be tempting to leave the thermostat at a set temperature when away so that when returning home it is warm.  The attraction is not only the immediate gratification of a warm home, but many assume this practice saves energy because the heater won’t have to work as hard to heat the room to the desired temperature. Unfortunately, this is not true. It's actually more efficient to heat your home as needed, which means turning the heat down when leaving the house, or setting a smart or programmable thermostat to do so, if you have one.  It is possible to save as much as 10% on your heating bills by turning your thermostat back for eight hours during the day - typically when you are at work and not at home, or when you are sleeping at night.

Thermostat Placement 

The right thermostat location is key to keeping you comfier and saving money on energy costs. Most important, avoid placing the thermostat in areas that can have temperature extremes. This can making the thermostat think that the room is a lot cooler or warmer than it actually is. For example, don't install your thermostat near;

  • doors that could let in drafts
  • windows that could shine hot rays of sun onto the thermostat
  • a bathroom door that could let hot steam settle around the thermostat
  • Lamps or TV sets since they release heat that could confuse the device's sensors.

For the best results, put your thermostat on an interior wall. Exterior walls are a non-starter because they are often closer to the temperature outside than other walls in the home. This will make the thermostat will think that this unusually cold or hot area represents the rest of the home and will kick on to cool or heat when it really doesn't need to.  

It is also important to be certain to place the thermostat in a well trafficked area.  Putting a thermostat in a room or hallway that is rarely used isn't a great idea because the thermostat won't be reading the temperature of the area needing to be heated or cooled. Another option to consider is using a smart thermostat that works with remote wireless sensors that are able to be placed throughout the home.  With these sensors the smart thermostat is able to adjust temperatures based on any room in the house.

Make certain a smart thermostat it is unobstructed by doors, bookshelves or decorations so that its sensors can work properly. Also, make sure that a smart thermostat is placed in range of the Wi-Fi source so that it can stay connected to the internet.  As always, consult an HVAC professional if you have questions about your home's wiring.