Thermostat location

Encountered a thermostat located in a master bedroom on first floor of home. - not that unusual. However, the location in the room was on the wall directly behind the open door. So if the door was open the thermostat was covered. If you close the door to expose the thermostat, you cut off air flow to room, because there is no return in the room. The only return for this unit was about 30 feet away in the kitchen/living room.

I commented on the position to the homeowner and she said that she had questioned the builder about it already. The builder’s response was that the system had been computer designed and the position of the thermostat had been determined to be the “absoute optimum position.” That if she had it moved it would void all warranties on the HVAC system.

She had complaints about the comfort level in a number of rooms on this first floor.


I agree with you about the position. The thermostat needs to be mounted near the air return plenum.

Horse Hockey!

1 Like

The more I think about it the more I have decided they just do not want to mess with moving the thermostat because it will be difficult with the second story above. I noted it in the report and recommended that the location be verified as appropriate IN WRITING by a licensed HVAC contractor. Maybe the builder will back off if pressed.

The HVAC sub that installed the system should put it in writing.

Perhaps the field tech made a mistake and put the thermostat on the wrong side of the wall. Is the area outside the door to the MBR in a hallway or similar?

If so, moving the thermostat would be simple.

Are the plans available. The location may be listed there.

I think the installer messed up. About two feet away would be a hallway that, while not perfect without a return nearby, would be loads better.

I told the client to ask the builder for the plans if he uses them as an excuse and also suggested checking with the city to see if the plans are on file.

Maybe some one should contact the unit company and see if this is correct. Then find a free lawyer and collect some cash for negligent representation.

Don’t think the client is interested in making anyone pay, she just wants the house to be comfortable.

The sad part is that common sense says the builder is wrong, that the installer messed up by a few feet, but by taking such a hard stance about it with her and insisting that not only was he right but that there were severe negative consequences for changing things, he has pretty much painted himself into a corner.

I’ll let you know what happens when I hear back from the client.

The builder is wrong. Location of the thermostat has no effect on the equipment, only comfort levels experienced by the homeowner. The thermostat should be located as close to the source of the most untreated air in the space (preferably at the return register). Improper location of the thermostat may cause radical temperature swings due to the lack of air movement at the thermostat. Orientation to solar exposure may affect operation and comfort levels. Location on exterior walls will have a negative affect on accuracy. Etc.

Heard back from client this week.

After a couple repeated pushes on her part and threatening to call her own HVAC guy and bill them, they agreed that it was a mistake and that it would be better in the family room near the return and moved it. So much for their infaliable computer designed HVAC system…

Go figure…

I don’t think we can blame the computer for this one - well, maybe the one operating in the contractor’s head. People who try to double-talk a homeowner to avoid doing the job right is one of the many reasons home inspections are needed.


I once inspected a newer house that had multiple HVAC zones in it with each zone having its own control thermostat. As you might expect, one thermostat was in the master bedroom. Another one was in the family room, etc.

If you see something like this, be sure to check the HVAC FAU and look for servo controlled dampers in the ducting. The darn thing took forever to check out with me climbing in and out of the attic to verify everything was operational. It would be a nightmare with multiple FAU’s.