Addressing Ghost Thermostats Readings

October 21, 2020

© Mariusz Blach | Dreamstime

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It's the time me of year for witches, zombies and ghosts. While there is debate on the legitimacy of ghosts, there's a good chance one is lurking in your home right now. Ghost thermostat readings aren't supernatural, but they can suck the life out of your energy budget. The term is used to describe when something interferes with the thermostat’s ability to produce an accurate temperature.  Your AC system may be freezing you out because your thermostat is in a different room where it is warmer and that is how your utility bill can launch like a SpaceX rocket. Common causes for ghost readings include a thermostat exposed to prolonged direct sunlight, a draft source such as a door or window, or a source of heat such as a kitchen or fireplace. Another source is a thermostat that’s been placed on an exterior wall, allowing the thermostat to be influenced by the temperature outside or next to a AC ducts or a hot water line that can give a false temperature reading. The simplest fix is to move your thermostat to a better location. Look for an interior wall away from sources of heat and cold, protected from direct sunlight. Although you may be able to do it yourself, chances are you will need to extend the low voltage line from the HVAC to the thermostat, which may be better done by a professional.  A slightly more complicated cause of ghost readings is a home whose size or layout makes effective distribution of your treated air difficult. This is especially true in multi-story homes where the thermostat is located on the first floor. The temperature difference on other floors can be as much as 10 degrees. Solutions include a zoned HVAC system or multi-split unit, but there’s also a simpler option. Multi-room temperature sensors are designed to be placed throughout the house, usually connected by a wireless network. With these multiple readings, your thermostat can find a “Goldilocks” balance between the various parts of your home and make the temperature just right.

SOURCE: Reader's Digest

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