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Dulley's Money-Saving Tip #1017

Proper location of your thermostat

(related Dulley column topic links - 763, 850, 698, 921)

The location of your furnace/central air-conditioner thermostat on the wall can effect your year-round utility bills and comfort. Very often, the thermostat is located near a front door or in a hallway that is subject to warm and cold drafts. These drafts can cause it to cycle the furnace or air conditioner on and off when the rest of your house needs to be neither heated or cooled. Another potential problem is sun shining in a window directly on the thermostat or on the wall near it. This can trick the thermostat into switching the heating and cooling system on and off at the improper times. Still another problem is a lamp or TV near it that creates heat.

If you think that your thermostat location is subject to any of these problems, attach a deflector piece of cardboard to the wall. It has to stick out only about three inches, just enough to disrupt and constant drafts. It will also block any direct sun. Remember, you want some room air circulation around the thermostat so it senses the room air temperature, just not chilly or warm drafts. Move any heat-generating lamps or TV's away from it. If you had a problem with this, you should notice more constant room temperatures after adding the cardboard deflector.