The good, better & best of thermostat placement

When it comes to installing heaters and wall thermostats in your home, some places are definitely better than others.

Our engineering team has some pretty solid suggestions for those of you who may be asking yourselves, “Where should I put my thermostat?” or even those of you who don’t even really think about where to put your thermostats.

So, here are your options for placing a wall thermostat from least effective to best, or what we’re calling OK, better and best.

OK: Above the heater

wall thermostat above heater
Placing a wall thermostat directly above a wall heater is not ideal.

Putting a thermostat directly above a heater is OK, but not ideal. That’s because when the heater turns off, residual heat from the heater will escape and influence the temperature the thermostat senses.

Better: One (or more) stud over

wall stat with Apex72
Moving a thermostat out of the same wall cavity as a heater will help performance.

Moving your thermostat into an adjacent stud cavity on the same wall is a better option than putting it in the same cavity. Why? Well, moving the thermostat over means it won’t be directly above the heater, which means that residual heat won’t be an issue like it is when the heater is directly below the thermostat. (Residual heat isn’t really a factor for thermostat placement with our new Apex72 heater, which is shown in the photo above, because it’s placed high on the wall.)

Best: Same room, different inside wall

wall thermostat on adjacent wall
Installing a wall thermostat on an adjacent wall is the best install option.

Putting your thermostat on an inside wall that is adjacent to the one where you installed your heater is better still, according to Dragos Craciun from our Engineering Department.

“To get the best, even temperature in your room, you’d want the thermostat to be on an inside wall that is adjacent to the wall that the heater is on,” he said. “So it can only sense the heat from the room and not be offset by being too close to the heater.”

We know that isn’t always possible, is a more difficult install than using the same wall and will require more wiring than putting it on the same wall, but it will be worth it in the long run.

“There is a slight cost for moving the thermostat but it is going to improve it’s performance,” Dragos said. “You get what you pay for.”

That comes in the form of increased comfort. Because the thermostat isn’t near the heater or warm air it is blowing, it will get a more true reading of the room.

We should also point out that putting a thermostat on the wall directly across from your heater can also result in a lot of temperature swings.

We realize that a lot goes into where you put your wall thermostat. For one, if you’re dealing with existing construction and adding a heater, a lot of your decisions will already be made for you. You may or may not be able to get into the wall and run wire wherever you want. If you’re working on new construction, you have a lot of choices, but running wire between a heater and adjacent wall can cost a little more of your time and money. But at the end of the day, we think it’s going to be worth it.

If you’re a homeowner, you’ll reap the benefits of spending a little more time and energy installing a thermostat in the best place it can go. That will come in the form of improved comfort, and a better operating heating system. (Heck, it might even help you save on some of the heating costs too.)

If you’re a contractor, electrician or handyman, you’ll make your clients’ lives easier and extend that added comfort to them.

When it comes to baseboards, it’s a lot more cut and dry. Baseboards should go underneath a window and wall thermostats should really go on an inside, adjacent wall.

Paul Suarez

Paul Suarez

Paul is a highly caffeinated, uber organized family man that keeps himself busy finding and sharing the stories that make Cadet a great company. When he isn't writing, or shooting photos and videos, you'll likely find him searching for killer deals on Craigslist, playing classic Nintendo games or quoting his favorite movies and TV shows.

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