The two most common guidelines I've seen for thermostat placement is: don't put it on an outer wall, do put it in a central part of the area to be regulated. The first is certainly a good idea, but the second leaves out a lot of important considerations.

Whoever built my house put the upstairs thermostat in a central location... in the upstairs hallway at the top of the stairs. This is a terrible location, because:

  • people are only rarely in the hallway
  • there are no vents in the hallway
  • cold air flows down the stairs to the bottom floor
  • hot air flows up the stairs from the bottom floor

When the bedroom doors are closed at night it's virtually impossible to keep the rooms at a comfortable temperature. They get too cold in the winter, because the thermostat is warmed by air from downstairs and the bedrooms are cooled by their outer walls. In the summer, the A/C just runs continuously because none of the cold air reaches the thermostat, and what little gets into the hallway just flows down the stairs.

Two weeks ago I spent a day investigating what it would take to relocate the thermostat, but the difficulty is prohibitive. The thermostat wires come up from the basement, through the ground floor walls, to the second floor. Ugh. I was hoping they came down from the attic, but no such luck.

So, yesterday I ordered a Venstar Wireless thermostat sender and receiver set. Theoretically I'll install the receiver at the existing thermostat location and put the sender in my bedroom. The sender has a thermometer on it, and will tell the receiver when my room is the right temperature. The set cost $210 with shipping, but if it keeps my A/C from running all night I'm sure it will save me money over the course of the summer.

Anyone have any experience with these? I couldn't find many reviews, and it didn't seem like wireless thermostats in general are very widely used.

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