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Could Your Windows Be Messing With Your Thermostat?

NEST thermostat set at 76

Could Your Windows Be Messing With Your Thermostat? If you are noticing an issue with temperature change and the thermostat is located near a window, the answer is yes! If you feel like your thermostat isn't performing as it should, here's what you need to know.


The location of a thermostat can definitely affect it’s function, especially if the thermostat is by a window. The thermostat helps the owner of the home control the climate of the home indoors. It does this by being able to detect the temperature of the atmosphere and then communicating with the air conditioning unit’s control board. When one puts the thermostat near a window, a few issues can occur. Draft from a window can lessen the ability for the thermostat to sense the atmosphere’s temperature in an accurate manner.

Possible Draft

The thermostat should be away from windows, especially if there is a draft there. Direct sunlight from a window can also have a negative impact on the thermostat. A thermometer can only read the temperature of the air, and moving air from a window may be a different temperature than what is truly being experienced indoor, causing an error in the thermometer’s readings.

Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight can exponentially diminish the thermostat’s ability to accurately detect temperature changes. Sunlight accumulates the heat within the thermometer. Whether the thermometer works with mercury or alcohol, both will be affected. Mercury is less likely to be affected but will give a wrong reading nevertheless. The more heat that a thermostat gets from sunlight from a window, the more the reading goes up and up. This is the reason why a thermostat should be put in a shaded area away from a window. You ultimately want the average temperature of the air.

Best Location

The best place for a thermostat is in a hallway that does not have windows. If the thermostat has to be by a window, make sure no direct sunlight hits the unit, and make sure that no outdoor air reaches the thermostat as well. Moving a thermostat is a possibility with a trained expert in the field.

Looking to move or upgrade your thermostat? The experts at Tri-City Heating and Cooling can help!