Thermostat location

I have a new construction home and have always wondered about the location of the thermostat. It was placed in a small alcove in a hallway connecting the living room / kitchen / dining to the bedrooms. It seems like a good spot, centrally located and right by the return air, but I have read a lot of bad things about placing it in an alcove like this.

There does not seem to be any consistency in room temp. Some days I have to put the stat on 72-73 just to be comfortable, other days that is just way too cold. There also seems to be some humidity problems from time to time.

If you look at the attached pictures, the only thing in that alcove is a bath and a closet, and both doors have to stay closed. I am some what knowledgable with HVAC systems, but am in no way an expert, so I thought I would ask the opinion of some professionals.

It seems to me that the stat is not accurately reading the temp of the return air as maybe the air is passing right beside the stat instead of past it. Of course I could be wrong.


How large is the home

Since there are problems with the heating and cooling, and the thermostat is located where it gets little exposure to return air, and the only exposure it gets is return air from a bathroom which may be extremely warm sometimes, I would recommend relocating it to the wall with the lightswitch.


Looks like a centrally located filter-grill type?

Is this the only R/A-F/G designed into your HVAC system? Are ther others?

Are you having airflow problems to all rooms, or just the furtherest/perimeter rooms?

Do you know if any of the existing supply ductwork (attic area location?) has balancing dampers in any of the runs?

Is the alcove area open in all directions or can it be closed off, and do you close it off?

With limited info., it sounds like you may have more of a balancing/airflow problem than anything else, but again limited info. to work with.

If this is a new home (say within the 1st year warrenty), I’d call the Builder and/or the installing HVAC Contractor.
Check with your neighbors, they may be having the same problems you are.

Good Luck

You may need to do some balancing, if there are not returns in each room, is there a gap at the bottom of the doors?



All the suppplys are relativly close to the unit, except for the den. That one is a bit of a stretch. It does stay warm in that room because this is where all of my computer equipment is. I have thoough about adding another return to this room to help pull the warm air out, but all the other rooms are pretty consistent.

No dampers in any of the runs.

Only open to the hall, bathroom and closet. The bath and closet stay closed.

This is what I was thinking of. It would be very easy to do this but I did not want to proceed if it would not make any difference.

Look for an open area, on an inside wall, somewhat away from the return duct.

Also, how often do you change your filter. Should do it every 30 days.

Hope this helps;

Thermostats operate more efficiently closer to the return do not want them in a dead air space.

Thank You Charley. :smiley:

Another good resource for HVAC answers is Post in the Residential section and you’ll get a ton of answers.

Another option versus cutting off the bottom inch of the door is placing transom grilles in the walls of the rooms. Place one low in the room and one high in the hallway in the same stud space. Tjernlund also makes a powered transom system called AireShare