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HVAC Technology / February 23, 2022

Debunking 4 Common Myths About HVAC Thermostats

Your thermostat is the part of your HVAC system that you interact with most frequently, but how much do you really know about it? HVAC thermostats have complex inner workings hidden behind their simple interfaces, and separating thermostat facts from fiction requires some specialized knowledge. This guide will debunk four common myths about HVAC thermostats.

1. Thermostat Placement Does Not Matter

An HVAC thermostat determines when your home has reached the desired temperature by sensing the temperature of the air directly around it. For this reason, you need to install your thermostat in a room that is regularly occupied and close in temperature to the rest of your home. An interior wall close to the center of your home will provide a relatively accurate temperature reading for your entire home.

You must also consider potential hot and cold spots in your home to determine the ideal placement for your thermostat. Drafts from nearby doors and windows can throw off your thermostat’s temperature reading and disrupt furnace and AC cycles. Your HVAC system may even be working against itself if the thermostat is too close to a vent register.

2. You Should Always Leave Your Thermostat at the Same Temperature

If you are looking to maximize the energy efficiency of your HVAC system, you may want to make as few adjustments to your thermostat as possible. One of the common arguments is that it takes more energy for your system to change your home’s temperature over time than to maintain the same temperature. However, this policy isn’t the most efficient way to run your HVAC system.

Energy leakage is the reason the single-temperature method does not work out over time. Even the most well-insulated homes will gradually lose conditioned air. Your HVAC system works continuously to overcome energy loss and maintain a set temperature, so adjusting your thermostat as needed is more cost-effective.

3. Every Home Only Needs One Thermostat

85% of homes with central heating and 60% of homes with central cooling are equipped with a single thermostat to control their HVAC system. However, HVAC technology continues to advance, and a central thermostat is no longer the only available option. Homes that have zoned heating and cooling systems often use multiple thermostats.

A zoned HVAC system gives homeowners precise control over the temperature in different areas of their homes. These systems are popular in large, multi-story homes, where there may be a thermostat on each floor or even in every room.

4. Mechanical Thermostats Are More Accurate Than Electronic Models

Mechanical HVAC thermostats are the traditional choice, and they are accurate enough to provide adequate comfort in most homes. A mechanical thermostat relies on the thermal expansion of a coiled metal strip inside the thermostat to estimate the temperature of the surrounding air.

The real air temperature in your home may be a couple of degrees above or below the setting on your mechanical thermostat. Mechanical thermostats can also lose accuracy over time and require recalibration as repeated expansion and contraction of the metal strip causes it to wear down. In contrast, electronic thermostats use digital sensors that accurately read the air temperature down to the degree with no gradual loss of accuracy.

Whether you are just getting to know your HVAC thermostat or you are considering an upgrade, these facts are useful for any homeowner to know. Your thermostat defines how you interact with your HVAC system and can bring a new level of comfort to your home if used optimally. For more helpful HVAC tips and quality HVAC service, contact us at Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar today.

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