CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

The Best and Worst Places to Install a Thermostat if You Actually Care About Your Electric Bill

Yes, there is a right and a wrong place to put your thermostat. Here's where to move it.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
2 min read
Amazon Thermostat set to 73 degrees Fahrenheit

Moving your thermostat could help you save money on your utility bills all year.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Looking to cut down those utility bills? You might consider trying things like unplugging your appliancesadjusting your thermostat, turning off your lights or buying some smart devices. There's even an easy ceiling fan hack that can save money heating up or cooling down your house. But if you haven't considered the location of your thermostat, you could be leaving cash on the table.

Why? Because the right thermostat location can actually save you money on your utility bills year-round. Plus, proper thermostat placement can make your heating and cooling more energy efficient while still keeping you comfortable. Here are the best -- and worst -- places to put your thermostat. (You can also check out 5 more tips for saving money on your heating and electric bills, and other practical ways to cut costs around the house.)

Don't put your thermostat in these spots

The most important thing about thermostat placement is to avoid areas that experience temperature extremes, making your thermostat think that the room is a lot cooler or warmer than it actually is. After all, your thermostat is there to keep you comfortable.

CNET Home Tips logo

Don't install your thermostat near doors that could let in drafts, in direct sunlight by windows or near a bathroom door that could frequently be warm and steamy. Also, the US Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy advises against putting lamps or TV sets near your thermostat since they release heat that could confuse the device's sensors. It's likely a good idea to keep your thermostat out of the kitchen for that reason, too.

Exterior walls are also a no-go because they are often cooler than other walls in the home. Any of these less-than-ideal spots for a thermostat could trick it into cooling or heating when it really doesn't need to, using up precious energy and money.

Some thermostats are put in rooms or hallways that are rarely used. This isn't a great idea either, because the thermostat won't be reading the temperature of the area you actually want to heat or cool. This can leave you sitting in a room that is uncomfortably warm or cold.

The best location to put your thermostat in your house

Put your thermostat on the interior wall of a highly-trafficked room for the best results. If you have a smart thermostat, be sure that it is unobstructed by doors, bookshelves or decorations so that its sensors can work properly. Also, make sure that your smart thermostat is in range of your Wi-Fi so that it can stay connected to your account.

As always, consult an HVAC professional if you have questions about your home's wiring. For smart thermostat installation basics, start here.

Looking to purchase a new thermostat? Check out our guide to finding the right thermostat for your home and the best smart thermostats of the year