5 Thermostat Problems You Should Know About


The quality of the indoor environment is an important component of physical and mental health. At a time when many people work from home, the home environment, including temperature, can also affect productivity.

Research finds that the ideal temperature for productivity is around 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Deviations from this ideal temperature can reduce performance by as much as 10%.

Your thermostat lets you keep an eye on the temperature in your home. What happens, though, when your thermostat isn’t working to its highest standards?

Thermostat problems make it nearly impossible to maintain an ideal temperature in your home. Fortunately, thermostat issues are fixable. However, you need to know what you’re dealing with.

Read on to learn more about five common thermostat problems.

  1. Your Thermostat’s Display Is Blank

The most obvious sign that your thermostat isn’t working is a blank display.

Causes of a blank display include dead batteries and chewed, loose, or corroded wires. They also include a blown fuse and a tripped safety switch. Finally, the causes of a blank thermostat can also include an aging thermostat. Like other devices, your thermostat’s lifespan is limited. If the display is blank and the device is old, you may simply need to replace it.

Find out more about the causes of a blank thermostat at https://www.schneidermechanical.com/possible-reasons-for-a-blank-thermostat/.

  1. Your Thermostat Is Inaccurate

Maybe the temperature on your thermostat is going up, but the room still feels chilly. Or maybe the thermostat won’t go down no matter how long you run your AC.

The problem, in this case, could be a buildup of dirt and debris inside your thermostat. Even the tiniest dust particles can cause inconsistent readings when they accumulate between the thermostat’s contact points.

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to clean this debris. Simply open the case and gently brush the dirt away with a soft brush.

Another possible reason for an inaccurate thermostat is poor placement. Perhaps your thermostat was installed near a drafty door or window. Or maybe it’s directly in the path of the afternoon sun or near the kitchen. These problems can make it difficult for the thermostat to get an accurate read on the room temperature.

If sunlight seems to be the problem, try using curtains or blinds to shield the thermostat from the sun’s warm rays. A longer-term solution—and, in most other cases—the only solution is moving your thermostat to a better location.

A final problem related to thermostat placement and accuracy may be less visible. However, it’s also easier to fix. If you find that your thermostat is inaccurate, check for holes or cracks in the nearby walls, attic, or crawlspace. These fissures can let cold air in and cause inaccurate temperature readings.

For small holes near the thermostat, use a silicone sealer. Larger holes in the attic or crawlspace will likely need rock wool or fire foam insulation.

  1. Your Thermostat Needs to Be Recalibrated

Another common problem with thermostat accuracy involves calibration. When your thermostat was installed, it came with factory-calibrated internal sensors. These sensors kept the temperature consistent throughout your home.

Over time, though, these sensors can become less efficient, and miscalibration can produce uneven temperatures throughout your home. In addition, it can cause system problems, like short cycling.

Short cycling happens when the thermostat tells the system’s compressor and fan to turn on and off too frequently. The result is not only an uncomfortable environment but higher energy costs and a reduced lifespan for your HVAC system.

  1. Your Thermostat Isn’t Level

If your thermostat is an older model, it may rely on a mercury bulb. To produce an accurate read on the temperature, a mercury bulb thermostat needs to be level.

When your handyman or HVAC technician installed your system, he surely checked to make sure the thermostat was level. Over time, though, houses shift and settle on their foundations. As a result, your once level thermostat may be level no longer. And as a result, your once accurate thermostat may now be leaving you in the cold (or heat!).

Of course, the problem, in this case, isn’t really the thermostat. It would work fine if it were level. It’s not, though, and if it relies on a mercury bulb, it’s also old. That means it’s probably best to replace it with a newer model.

In fact, a new thermostat brings with it a host of benefits. Newer thermostats are programmable and easier to use. Programmable thermostats, in turn, bring energy savings. Finally, newer thermostat models also offer additional helpful data. These include system alerts and even reminders to change the furnace filter.

  1. Your Thermostat’s Software Programming Is Faulty

Installing a new thermostat usually brings comfort and peace of mind. In most cases, moreover, you can expect a new thermostat to last at least a decade.

Modern thermostats replace mercury bulb sensors with safer and—generally more accurate—computer software. However, even the best computer software is subject to glitches and programming problems.

Maybe you’ve run through the list of possible causes for your thermostat problem, and you just can’t find the problem—let alone a solution.

If that’s the case, the problem might be the thermostat’s internal software. If so, the only solution is to replace the defective device.

If you’ve recently had your thermostat installed, contact your installer. In fact, if your thermostat is less than five or six years old, you should check with the installer or manufacturer. Many devices come with a limited warranty that covers the first two to six years of the thermostat’s life.

Don’t Let Thermostat Problems Leave You Frosty—Or Hot Under the Collar

If you’ve ever wondered, “What’s wrong with my thermostat?,” you know how important indoor temperature is to your comfort, your productivity, and even your health.

This guide has offered a few of the most common answers to your question. It has also suggested possible solutions to common thermostat problems.

As you work to implement these and other solutions for a happy and healthy home, remember to count on our blog for the best advice.

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