As HVAC professionals, we are often asked about thermostats and whether it is possible to move them. There are many benefits associated with the correct thermostat placement, and it can dramatically help to improve the efficiency and performance of your system. Fortunately, in many cases, it is possible to move a thermostat as a DIY task with just a few basic tools. If you only need to replace the interface or move your thermostat to the adjacent wall, the entire project may only require an hour or so. Unfortunately, in some cases, if advanced wiring and thermostat installation are required, you will need assistance from an HVAC specialist. So, here we’ll present a basic guide to moving your thermostat, so you can determine if you can tackle this yourself or if you need to call in the experts.
Why Should You Move Your Thermostat?
Generally, there are two reasons why you may want to move your thermostat. The first is that the thermostat appears unsightly. If it has been poorly placed by a previous owner of the property or after a remodel, the thermostat may draw the eye and stick out like a sore thumb. When you have taken time and care to create the best room aesthetics, it can be extremely frustrating to have to look at an unsightly thermostat. In this type of scenario, the thermostat could be relocated to a different place on the same wall or be moved to an adjacent wall surface.
The second common reason to move a thermostat is to create a better air balance. When a thermostat is poorly placed, it can contribute to uneven cooling or heating throughout your home. For example, if your thermostat is in a room with a number of large windows, this room may heat up far more quickly compared to other areas of the house. This means that the thermostat will register the higher temperature, triggering cooling throughout the home in summer and switching off the heating in winter. Either scenario will leave you feeling colder than necessary. In a similar way, if the thermostat is placed in a drafty area, such as near a basement or garage door, it can cause system misreadings which cause uneven air distribution throughout your home. In this type of scenario, moving the thermostat will not only boost your home comfort, but it can also improve the efficiency of your system, reducing your electricity bills during typically higher usage periods.
How to Move a Thermostat
There are two scenarios where moving your thermostat could be a DIY project. Replacing the thermostat or moving it to an adjacent wall or surface. Both of these instances will not need the thermostat to be rewired, which typically requires attention from an HVAC specialist.
Firstly, you should ensure that power to your HVAC system is cut off before you start any work on the project. This will ensure that the area is safe for working, without a risk of an electric shock.
Once you are confident that there is no power supplied to your HVAC system, you will need to remove the interface from the thermostat back panel. Slowly disconnect any cables, taking care not to dislodge any connections. Remove the back panel from its housing on the wall.
Replacing the thermostat: Install your new back panel in place before you reconnect the cables to your new thermostat interface. It is crucial to check that you connect the wires to the correct ports or there is a risk that the thermostat will not function properly. In the worst case scenario, failing to connect to the correct ports could cause the thermostat to fail.
Moving the thermostat: When you are moving your thermostat to another location, you will need to follow the first steps as above. Instead of simply swapping out the thermostat, you will need to locate the new back panel on the adjacent wall. This will require drilling holes in the adjoining wall to seat the back panel. Using a wire fishing tool, you will need to pull the wires through to the new hole. Once you have the wires through the back panel, you can connect the interface as detailed above. Again, check to ensure that the wires are reconnected to the correct ports.
When Should You Call in a Professional HVAC Specialist?
There are a number of scenarios when it is a better idea to call in a professional HVAC specialist rather than tackle the project yourself. For example, if you want to move your thermostat to another room that is far away from the existing location and the existing cables can be a far more challenging task, particularly if you have little experience with electrical work. This type of project will require advanced expertise and knowledge of electrical wiring.
For example, with a wired system, you will need to run a cable from the HVAC unit to the new thermostat location. This may require that the wall is opened up, which can be a messy and challenging aspect of the project.
Even if you opt for a wireless thermostat model, you will still need to install a sensor on the HVAC unit. This can be difficult if you lack knowledge of how the furnace works and the parts of the system. If the sensor or thermostat is not properly installed, it is unlikely to perform correctly.
Correct placement of a thermostat is crucial to achieving optimum efficiency and home comfort. So, if you suspect that your thermostat is not in the right location, it is worth considering relocating it. Whether you opt for moving the thermostat as a DIY project or need to call in a professional, you’re likely to notice an immediate improvement in your home comfort.
If you are considering moving your thermostat, you can rely on a professional HVAC specialist to provide an effective solution. An experienced technician can not only help with the task of moving your thermostat, but can also advise you on the best location for your new thermostat.