Many people don’t realize the importance that a thermostat plays for a comfortable temperature in their home. When the AC or heater don’t seem to be working right, it is often the last thing people think to check. Like anything else, your thermostat can wear out over time, making your HVAC system unable to properly heat and cool your home.
One of the first signs that your thermostat might be failing is not feeling like it is heating or cooling to the temperature you’ve set it at. For example, if you set it to 70 degrees on a warm summer day, and it feels much warmer than that in your home. If the thermostat setting that’s used to keep you comfortable is no longer suitable, or you notice that your HVAC system is struggling to keep up, you may want to consider replacing your thermostat.
What Should I do if I Think My HVAC System Isn’t Working Properly?
Many homeowners mistakenly rush to thinking that the HVAC system is what’s in need of repair when temperatures in their home are no longer comfortable. However, before dropping a ton of cash to have your HVAC system repaired or replaced, there of some other things to check.
- Check your weather stripping
All doors and windows leading out of your house will have weather stripping to help keep your home’s internal temperature unaffected by the outside temperature. This is another element that can wear out over time, and one of the less costly fixes. If you can see light coming in from around a closed door, you want to replace the weather stripping around it.
- Check your filters
An AC filter that isn’t changed regularly will accumulate a ton of dust, making it much harder for air to pass through it. A clogged filter makes your HVAC system work much harder and less efficiently.
- Check your thermostat
Make sure your thermostat is set to an appropriate temperature and that it is ‘turned on’, meaning that whatever powers your thermostat (electricity or batteries) is working properly.
If you have checked these things and your HVAC system is still struggling to work properly, it very well may be time to replace your thermostat.
What Type of Thermostat Should I Get?
Generally speaking, there are three types of thermostat, so make sure you choose the proper one for your home.
Mechanical Thermostats with Bimetallic Strips. This traditional type of thermostat has two sensors constructed of two different metals which expand and contract at different rates. Slight temperature changes trigger the two pieces of metal to change, opening and closing the circuit.
Mechanical Thermostats with Gas Bellows. These operate in a similar manner – gas-filled bellows react more quickly than metal strips – creating a quicker response to temperature changes.
Digital or Electronic Thermostat Sensors or ‘Smart Thermostats’. Smart thermostats can save homeowners money and help your home feel more comfortable. Following are some of the features of a ‘smart thermostat’ that allow you full control of your homes temperature:
- Create weekly temperature schedules.
- Wi-Fi controlled with a smartphone app.
- Voice controlled through communication devices like Alexa, Echo or Dot.
- Thermostat learns your schedule.
- Sensors detect through your phone location to sense that you’re almost home.
- Alerts you to rapidly dropping temperature within your house to help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
If you’re ready to change out an old or malfunctioning thermostat, or just upgrade to a more efficient ‘smart thermostat’, make sure to call an experienced HVAC technician to ensure the work is done properly.