Heating & Cooling Problems? How to Know If It’s Your Thermostat or HVAC

September 19, 2023

Heating & Cooling Problems? How to Know If It’s Your Thermostat or HVAC

Your Columbus HVAC system need prompting to turn on and off, and this prompting is provided by your thermostat. A thermostat measures the current air temperature and makes adjustments based on the settings you provide. If you have problems with your thermostat, it can lead to excessive or insufficient heating and cooling which increase your utility bills while decreasing your homes comfort.

Thermostat in the Wrong Place

Your thermostat should be located in an area of your home free from sources of heat or cold, which can affect its readings and prompt too much or too little heating or cooling. The best place for a thermostat is on an inside wall well away from any windows, doors, and air registers. If your thermostat sits near an outside door or window, consider adding extra weatherstripping to the frames to reduce the amount of outside air that enters your home. Windows near your thermostat should be kept covered to prevent direct sunlight from affecting its readings. Close nearby air registers to prevent blowing heated or cooled air onto your thermostat. You may want to consider having a professional move your thermostat to a better location, especially if you experience consistently inefficient heating and cooling.

Uncalibrated Thermostat

Even if it’s located in the right area of your home, an uncalibrated thermostat will not provide an accurate reading and cause your HVAC system to run too much or too little. You can easily check the calibration using a second glass or digital thermometer taped to the wall directly beside your thermostat. Place a cloth or paper tower between the second thermometer and the wall so they do not touch. After 15 minutes, compare the reading on your HVAC system’s thermostat with the thermometer beside it. If the readings disagree by a full degree or more, your thermostat isn’t properly calibrated. Carefully take off the casing and clean the interior of your thermostat. Dust can settle on the thermostat and cause inaccurate readings. If your thermostat uses a mercury vial to detect temperature, ensure that this vial is straight and not tilted. To adjust it, loosen the screws holding your thermostat in place, straighten the unit, then retighten the screws. After cleaning and straightening your thermostat, replace the cover and leave for another 15 minutes. If the readings still disagree, it’s time to purchase a new thermostat.

Old or Inefficient Thermostat

Today, digital technology has replaced older mercury-based thermometers inside HVAC thermostats. Many thermostat models also allow you to set daily, weekly, or monthly programs for more efficient heating and cooling. If your thermostat is old or you tend to forget to turn the air off when leaving your home, a programmable thermostat is a low-cost investment that will provide convenience and accuracy over an older model. You can reduce your heating and cooling costs simply by using the air conditioner or furnace only when you are home. A programmable system will ensure you can’t forget to turn it off when it’s not needed.

A little knowledge can go a long way toward lowering your utility bills and increasing your home’s comfort. You can find more information about how to use your thermostat wisely on our Learning Center. If you need help from a pro, visit our website to learn about our services and contact a Columbus HVAC expert today.

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Last Updated: September 19, 2023