Protecting manual thermostats from drafts

Thermostats positioned near drafts could cause homeowners to overspend on their energy use.

Yesterday's post inspired me to survey my yards to see if any of our trees had in fact grown to obstruct the amount of natural sunlight our house was getting. However, after a few loops around the old house, I couldn't find any use for my hedge clippers. So, I turned my focus back to reader comments and questions.

One entry caught my attention as it made me reconsider the placement of my manual thermostat – I use a high-quality Honeywell with a light-up display for those late night snacks. In his email, Bob from Minnesota writes about how he found out his thermostat wasn't giving him the most accurate reading. (It turned out that another thermostat his house had installed on the far-side of the same floor was giving a different reading).

After a few different tests to determine the root cause – which included switching the devices to see if one was broken and checking the exterior for damage – Bob found his reading in his main dining room – no matter which interface he used – was consistently lower than in the rest of the house. As a result, the false reading this thermostat had been giving him had been causing him to adjust the heat levels more often than necessary.

If this is the case, the culprit is likely a small draft that happened to be in the vicinity of the thermostat. One that isn't big enough to affect other areas of the house. But, as a result, Bob wasn't able to correctly set the temperature for his house. This could have potentially cost him hundreds of dollars – depending on how long the problem had been ongoing.

Still, Bob hasn't found the draft, but I told him to keep us informed. For now, it may be best to check your thermostats to make sure the readings are correct. Even if no drafts are involved, it can help you rest easier to know that this device is doing its job and helping to save you money. 

Related posts:

  1. Adjust your manual thermostat for energy benefits
  2. Bathroom drafts could be caused by faulty damper flap

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