When Does the Thermostat Need Replacing?

Broken Thermostat Symptoms 

A properly functioning thermostat is critical to maintaining comfort and good indoor air quality. It helps the unit regulate the home’s temperature. Without a working thermostat, the AC and heating system could either stay on longer than needed (driving up the home’s energy bill) or not turn on when it should (making the house feel uncomfortable). 

Here’s some good news: thermostats generally surpass the 10-year mark without problems. However, like everything else, they don’t last forever. It might be time to consider thermostat replacement if a homeowner notices these common signs of a faulty thermostat.  

An Oddly High Energy Bill 

billThe Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes that the average California household spends about $123 on its monthly energy bill. If a homeowner notices a sudden spike in how much they spend each month, this could indicate an issue with the thermostat, like a broken sensor. 

A malfunctioning thermostat can drive up the energy bill by: 

  • Making the HVAC system work overtime 
  • Failing to communicate changes in temperature 
  • Causing short cycling 

There’s no need to struggle with an old thermostat driving up energy costs. Many smart thermostat options are available today, giving homeowners ultimate control over their home’s heating and cooling. Additionally, many smart thermostats pair with apps to let homeowners predict their anticipated energy bill and have many money-saving features. 

Incorrect Readings on the Thermostat 

temperatureIf a thermostat gives incorrect temperature readings, this could mean any number of things, some of which may require replacement, including: 

  • Poor placement: A thermostat should be strategically placed so it doesn’t give incorrect readings because of drafts or sunlight. 
  • A sensor or calibration issue: Thermostats have sensors that help them read and display temperatures. If the inside of the thermostat itself is too hot (or there’s an issue with the sensor), it might not work correctly.
  • Dust accumulation: If there’s too much dust on the thermostat’s sensor, it’ll affect how the device measures the temperature. 

How does a homeowner know that the thermostat gives incorrect readings? They can use an indoor home thermometer and compare it to the temperature on the thermostat. If there’s a difference in the temperature reading, it could point to a broken thermostat. 

The Unit Short Cycles 

An air conditioning and heating system relies on cycles to regulate a home’s temperature. Typically, an HVAC system stays on for around 15 minutes, gets the house to the right temperature, and then shuts off. The system will stay off if the home stays at the desired temperature. If the thermostat notices a temperature change, it’ll signal for the system to turn on again to reach the desired temperature. 

Short cycling is when the system frequently kicks on for a few minutes and then shuts off without getting the home to the right temperature. A system may short cycle to prevent it from overheating if it needs a new air filter. It may also short cycle if the thermostat gives inconsistent readings or has a broken sensor. 

Short cycling is more than an AC or heater turning on and off. It can also cause higher energy bills, above-average wear and tear to the system, and other inconveniences. Rather than suffer from an inefficient system, homeowners should consider replacing the thermostat and starting fresh. 

About Lambert Heating and Air Conditioning 

Lambert Heating and Air Conditioning is a family-owned and operated company serving Downey and the surrounding areas for more than 40 years. They offer upfront pricing, financing, and a satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for a smart thermostat installation in Downey, CA.

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