5 Ways to Tell if Your Home's Thermostat is Malfunctioning
When the indoor air in your home no longer seems to be getting as cool as fast, it could be the fault of your air conditioner's mechanical system. However, for some Seattle homeowners, the a/c unit is functioning just fine and it is the thermostat that needs to be repaired or replaced.
In this post, learn five signs that can alert you to the fact that your home's thermostat is malfunctioning.
A Thermostat's Job Description
The job of your HVAC system's thermostat is similar to the role of a manager overseeing a sales force. Only in this case, your thermostat is overseeing the ambient temperature (cool, hot) of your home's indoor air and adjusts it as needed to comply with your requests.
So if you set your thermostat to adjust the indoor air temperature so that it is 5 degrees cooler than it currently is, your thermostat will then relay those instructions to your a/c unit's mechanical systems and set in motion the events that are required to lower your indoor air temperature accordingly.
5 Signs Your Thermostat isn't Working Correctly
If there is any disconnect or confusion in between what you tell your thermostat to do and what actually happens, these 5 signs will be clues.
Sign #1: Your switches are not set properly.
Sometimes even with the most complicated electronics, in the end the simplest explanation ends up being the right one.
In this case, your thermostat may not deliver the results you are expecting because there is a setting or switch that conflicts with what you are asking it to do.
So for example, if you want your thermostat to provide cool air but the switch has gotten knocked over to "heat," or if you have the setting on "Fan" instead of "On" or "Auto," your thermostat may not perform to your expectations.
Here, a simple change in settings should resolve the issue.
Sign #2: Your lever seems more difficult to move than usual.
With this issue, the issue is often one of maintenance and cleaning, especially if you have an older style of mechanical thermostat where the adjustment is done manually with a lever instead of digitally.
Over time, dust and dirt can collect inside the thermostat box, making the lever resistant to moving.
Sign #3: You are getting a low battery signal (or you aren't but your batteries need replacing).
If you are relying on your thermostat to tell you when it needs a battery change, you may need to go ahead and make calendar notes about when you change the batteries and when they are likely to require changing again.
This is especially critical if your thermostat's low battery warning indicator is malfunctioning (and the only way you would know this is if you test the batteries) or if your thermostat doesn't have a warning indicator.
If you change out the batteries and the issue with your thermostat resolves, that will give you your answer.
Sign #4: Your thermostat wires have become disconnected or loose.
If you are like most Seattle homeowners, you have probably seldom if ever looked inside your thermostat mechanism. But inside even the most sophisticated thermostat systems are simple wires and connections, and sometimes those wires come loose from the connections.
When this occurs, they will need to be securely reattached and then tightened. This may be the job for an HVAC specialist in thermostat repair, given the inherent dangers of working with electrical appliances.
Sign #5: Your a/c unit works just fine when you disconnect the thermostat entirely.
Finally, one sure clue that your thermostat is the element of your a/c system that is malfunctioning is if you disconnect the thermostat portion entirely and your air conditioning functions perfectly on its own.
In this case, you can at least be reassured that your actual HVAC system is healthy and operational. But you will then need to troubleshoot further depending on the type of thermostat you have, checking with another temperature gauge as a backup to see if you can identify the malfunction with your thermostat.
Upgrading to a Programmable Thermostat
If you find you are having persistent issues with your thermostat malfunctioning and you don't have a programmable thermostat, it can make good sense from both an operational and a cost savings perspective to consider changing out your thermostat and upgrading to a programmable unit.
Many of these types of programmable thermostats can also integrate with smart phones for remote operation. You can also save surprising amounts of money with just a 1 to 2 degree temperature adjustment up or down, as well as with programmed cycles to account for when people are at home and when the house is empty.
When to Call a Pro for Thermostat Repair
As mentioned in Sign #4, there are jobs that you can likely handle on your own and jobs where it is safer for you and your whole family to call in a HVAC specialist.
Because so many home fires are caused by issues related to HVAC malfunctions, it is always a good idea to have your entire HVAC system inspected, cleaned and maintained at least once per year, and certainly when an electrical issue is suspected.
For quality services in your Seattle, WA local area, call Gene Johnson Plumbing & Heating at 206.792.7495 or visit company website.