Want a Working HVAC System? Don’t Cover Your Thermostat

If you have spent any time on Pinterest, you’ve likely seen the many, many images and tutorials on how to hide that unsightly thermostat. It seems like a great idea – why would you want an ugly control unit positioned smack in the middle of your wall? Covering it up with a beautiful painting, or even hiding it in a recessed box, creating what looks like a lovely thermostat nook, seems like a fantastic way to brighten up your room. Problem solved, right?

Nope. If you cover your thermostat, your problems are just beginning.

Covering your thermostat prevents the device from accurately reading the temperature of your living area. More than likely, the cover will cause the thermostat to think the room is warmer than it actually is. If your thermostat is constantly reading the wrong temperature, then it won’t operate at peak efficiency, meaning that you (and your guests) may be uncomfortable. Sure, you could mess with the thermostat to try and offset the difference created by the cover, but the inefficiency likely means that you are using more energy, leading to higher bills at the end of the month.

So, what are your options? Well, as HVAC professionals, we think thermostats aren’t all that bad! But if you must hide yours, we prefer these options:

Don't Hide Your Thermostat
image courtesy of Makely School for Girls

This option allows for decent airflow around the thermostat, so it will still run efficiently. The plant adds a nice air quality boost for your home!

Don't Cover Your Thermostat Frame
Image courtesy of All Things Homie

Adding a decorative frame around your thermostat is ok. Air is still flowing, and it can read the temperature accurately – just make sure that your frame allows for some extra space around the thermostat’s edges. And if you want to get fancy…

Dont Cover Your Thermostat Chalkboard
Image courtesy of Changing My Destiny

…you can add a chalkboard effect around the frame! That way, you can let your spouse know when they’ve turned the air to an unsatisfactory temperature (in the most polite wording, of course).

Don't Hide Your Thermostat Plain Sight
Image courtesy of IIIINSPIRED

Another trick is to hide your thermostat in plain sight. Surrounded by so many beautiful pieces of art, the thermostat just fades into the background. As you can see, this trick also works with light switches.

Dont Cover Your Thermostat Shelves
Image Courtesy of Salvage Sister & Mister

While we aren’t in love with this option, it’s still better than completely enclosing your thermostat in a box. The pictures leaning against the wall still allow some air to move through, increasing the chances of an accurate temperature reading. Just be sure that you don’t have any lights shining directly on the pictures, as the added light can also mean added heat.

If your thermostat is in a very unsightly location, there is always the option of having a tech come out to evaluate other options for placement.

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